Forgotten Songs From An Imaginary Past, Chapter 14.3

Music spheres 1

Lot’s to ponder in our little world these days, most of it quite worrisome. Maybe nothing makes sense but it all seems to keep on happening no matter what we think or feel. I hesitate to mention this, but thanks for dropping by and spending some of your day with me. It is much appreciated.

So…these are Debra Sorensen’s forgotten songs and they always have been. Grab a cup of tea and settle in, ’cause it’s down the rabbit hole we go again, and it’ll be a bumpy ride for a while, so…hang on, because we’re gonna get wet…

(The Who \\ Go To The Mirror)

(The Beatles  \\ Fixing a Hole)

Part IV: The Music of the Spheres

Chapter 14.3

Red Mountain Road, Pitkin County, Colorado    12 April 2002

Debra Sorensen was sitting in the sun, enjoying the unexpected warmth slanting through her living room windows. There was an eight month old Golden Retriever puppy curled up on top of her thighs, and Deb gently rubbed the puppy’s soft white belly until, sure enough, the pup rolled over and stretched, probably startled out of dreams all her own – all while enjoying their mid-morning warmth together. Winter had come early and was showing no signs of leaving, and there was still more than four feet of snow in her yard, and yet another massive winter storm was expected overnight. 

Her shoulders felt tight, her neck like a hot steel rod had replaced her spine, and she knew she could never again fall back into the comforting arms of Xanax – but the temptation was always so strong…and it was always there wherever she went, an itch she could never quite reach. The pup had seemed like a good idea at the time, just like this house had, but now, after a long winter wrapped up in this stone and timber cocoon, she was tired of the short days and the oh-so-long nights and ready to go somewhere. Anywhere.

But that wasn’t really possible now, was it? And while she knew why, there was no comfort in knowing.

Because seeing people had become an overwhelming cascade of unwanted information, and after just a few days at her father’s house, the city had left her a breathless, anxious wreck. Even getting in her Porsche and running over to Gelson’s for a few things to make a sandwich left her reeling – because every soul she passed, either in passing cars on the street or while walking down an aisle in the supermarket, projected streams of relentless, undeniable emotion. 

Someone overcome with grief? She could not only see it, she soon realized she was feeling the other person’s grief. Debra soon realized she wasn’t just an empath…no, now she was like some kind of amped up vacuum cleaner, sucking up emotion everywhere she went. And while she’d always been a true empath, now there was no way to turn off the stream, no way to shut it down – without walling herself off from humanity.

She’d told her dad she wanted to move up to the mountains, maybe some place with clean air and close to someplace where she could ski in the winter and go hiking in the summer. So of course he’d called Dina Marlowe. And it happened she’d built a place just outside of Aspen back in the 90s but she never used it and yada-yada-yada. They all hopped in the Gulfstream and flew into Sardy Field, and Dina showed her around the house. She’d originally designed it for an actor – and no, she would not reveal who – but he’d had a heart attack and that was that. His widow had objected but the actor had left the house to Dina and yes, that too was that. She was, Dina hastened to add, still a rather striking looking creature and, well, she just left the rest to their imagination.

“How does five sound?” she asked.

But Ted had just smiled at her. “Sure. Why not?” he said.

And yet the sight of their emotional dance had left Debra revolted. His swirling black vortices intermingled with her purple greed and the sight had sent her fleeing to the emptiness of the road and, without knowing why she’d taken off up the road. ‘Maybe a bear will come out of nowhere and eat my fat fucking ass,’ she snarled as she walked along the gray gravelly shoulder, her brand new hiking boots kicking up tawny rivulets of dust on the side of the road. But no, after a couple hundred yards she came to a house and a happy enough looking family was out front, and just then a little girl held up a puppy and shouted at her…

“You here for the puppies!” the girl asked. Her aura was bursting with reds and greens, almost a fireworks display, and Deb pinched her eyes and tried not to stare.

“What?” Deb said at last, smiling as she took in the girl’s innocent if sparkling aura.

The girl’s mother turned and looked at Deb. “Sorry. We had an unexpected litter and we just put an ad in the paper…” Pale blue aura…so she seemed safe, for now anyway.

Deb walked down and looked at the puppies and then at the pups’ mom and dad. “They’re gorgeous,” Deb sighed, marveling at the fact that all their auras were tiny and uniformly blue. “Which one is your favorite?” Deb asked.

“This one,” the little girl said, and Deb knelt down beside the girl and rubbed the pup’s tiny chin.

“She’s really pretty. Have you given her a name yet?”

“Daisy. Isn’t that good name?”

“It sure is. And you know what? I’m buying the house just down the hill so anytime you want to come visit Daisy you can. How does that sound?”

The girl had jumped up and down at that…and Deb turned away from the intense display of joy.

…but her parents were a little sanguine about situation.

“Look,” her mother whispered to Deb, “if it doesn’t work out just bring her back. No questions asked, okay?” she said, her aura a cool, soothing blue green.

“Have you ever had a pup before?” her husband asked, and his question felt more like an interrogation. His aura flickered from maroon to gray, and Deb filed that away.

“Nope, but I always wanted one.”

The woman nodded, perhaps a little too knowingly, but then again Debra could see her reluctance, not just hear it in her voice. Her aura changed to bright lime green flecked with red, but it was a subdued display, almost trustworthy, and after Deb promised to come right back with her wallet she took off down the road, back to Dina’s house. Well, to her house, right?

And then she’d decided to stay at the house that night, no matter what. Dina took a guest room across from her father’s room, leaving Deb to sort out her things in the huge main bedroom. Dina taught her how to start a fire and how to work the appliances; she’d even made out a list of all the people in Aspen who could be counted on in a pinch, a list most notable for including not one plumber or electrician. Daisy, however, knew how to pee and set about marking the house with gusto.

And so, the very next day her father and Dina left and she watched his Gulfstream lift off and fly down the valley, turning to the left over a big red mountain and disappearing behind another wall of mountains, these kind of green, but a scraggly sort of green. And that’s when she realized she didn’t have a car, and that the nearest market was in Aspen, and that was about ten miles away.

She went inside and found a telephone book and looked under automobile – sales, and yes, there it was. A Land Rover dealer in a place called Glenwood Springs. She dialed the number and asked to speak to a salesman, and a few minutes passed before some guy named Joe picked up the line.

“I’m looking for a new Defender.”

“Yeah? Who isn’t? What are you looking for?”

“A Defender.”

“Yeah, yeah, but what kind? Three door or five? Inline six or turbo? Pickup bed or not?”

“What do you have in stock?”

“I got a three door with the inline six.”

“Uh, this might seem like a silly question, but do you deliver?”

“Excuse me?”

“And…do you take American Express?”

And three hours later she and Daisy Jane drove into Aspen in her shiny new Defender. This one was kind of slate gray with a white top, and it turned out that Daisy could pee just fine on her new seat, thank you very much.

+++++

Skiing was fun. At least she’d always thought skiing was fun, but then again…she’d never tried skiing alone. As in…by herself, because dogs weren’t allowed on the slopes, and anyway, Daisy was still too young to take up skiing.

But that had been her life in late autumn, and now it was spring. She had cabin fever. So did Daisy. And the idea of calling her dad and going home for a visit seemed a little like admitting defeat, and being in Los Angeles was asking for Trouble. Trouble – with a capital T. Yes, Trouble, because Trouble had come calling, and in the form of little .5 mg tablets. She’d started taking a smaller dose, a .25 mg tab, before heading into town to do her grocery shopping, and who knows, maybe these had worked. At least they had in the beginning. But soon enough she grew tired, then depressed, and then soon enough she was taking a .5 mg tab first thing in the morning and another one in the evening – whether or not she went into Aspen. She slept more, and the fifty pounds she gained after breaking up with William turned into a cool one hundred pounds, and that was before Christmas. Dina and her father came up to ski and after taking one look at her, Ted sent for a personal trainer from the studio to come up and take matters in hand.

The trainer, a hard bodied surfer named Stacy, had probably been a Marine drill sergeant in an earlier life, and by the time she left for LA in late March even Daisy Jane was drinking spinach and kale smoothies for breakfast. Stacy had ferreted out all Deb secret stashes of both Oreos and Xanax and after that Deb couldn’t find a doctor in Colorado willing to write her a prescription for the drug. Period. And she knew, because she’d tried them all. And a few in Utah, too.

And now she was, well, in a word – bored, as in bored out of her mind. And, yes, she was ready to spend some quality time with a someone of the opposite sex. Or even the same sex if the first option didn’t work out. But…William Taylor was…out of the question.

And that left…Henry Taggart.

So she called the studio, talked to one of her dad’s secretary and a few hours later she had a number. And, well, it had been almost four years. At least he’d remember her, right? Wouldn’t he?

She dialed the number. Her stomach started doing cartwheels. Then a few barrel rolls.

“Yello.” The voice even sounded like him.

“Henry?”

“Yo.”

“It’s me. Debra.”

“Sorensen? No shit?”

She laughed. He laughed. It felt good.

“No shit.”

“How are you?” he asked.

“Old and lonely.”

“Lonely? What happened to…? Oh, I probably don’t need to ask that one, do I? Your dad ran him off, right?”

“Pretty much.”

“Damn. I was hoping Bill would finally grow a pair and stand up to him.”

“Everyone has a price.”

“Oh, no. Now that I didn’t see coming.”

“Neither did I. And my guess is neither did Bill.”

“Geez, I’m sorry to hear that. So what’s up?”

“I think I just wanted to hear your voice, know you’re still alive.”

She heard him sigh. “Okay. Try again.”

“What do you mean, try again?”

“I’m not buyin’ it, Sorensen. If you’re gonna lie, at least make it a good one.”

“Damn. I never could fool you.”

“Okay. So…”

“Do you ski?”

“Water, or snow?”

“The white stuff.”

“Not too much these days. Bad knee. Wanna go sailing?”

“Any sharks involved this time?”

“Nope. Unless that includes me.”

“Mind of I bring a friend?”

He hesitated. “I don’t know. Hum a few bars and I’ll see if I can follow along.”

“She’s a Golden Retriever. Her name is Daisy Jane.”

“Ah, a flyin’ me back to Memphis kind of Daisy Jane?” he said, and she could feel his smile through the line.

“How did I know you’d be the only one who’d know that?”

“Because I’m the only person in the world who knows you, kiddo. I mean really deep down knows you.”

“Why do you think I called?”

“I was just wondering what took you so long?”

Vindo

Lake Union, Seattle, Washington                                                 15 April 2002

“Is this yours?” she asked when she saw the boat.

“No, it’s a dealer demonstrator but they charter her out from time to time. So, yeah, I made them an offer they couldn’t refuse and here we are.”

“She’s not like that boat in Papeete, that’s for sure.”

“The Clorox bottle? No, she’s not. Uh, you didn’t happen to bring a life vest for the pup, did you?”

“No, not many places in Aspen for those.”

“Okay, another item for the list.”

“How long did you charter her for?”

“A week. Sorry. Was that presumptuous?”

“Yes. But then again, I was hoping for two weeks.”

He nodded. And then he grinned.

“So, where we headed?”

“Once we head out, or right now?”

“Out there.”

“San Juans. Maybe Friday Harbor, then up to Victoria…assuming you brought your passport.”

“Yup.”

“Puppy chow?”

“Yup, in her suitcase.”

“I shoulda know’d it,” he said, chuckling as he helped her aboard.

+++++

Sitting in the sailboat’s pilot house after dinner, Debra told Henry about the events she’d experienced on 9-11…from falling to waking up and seeing intense auras and even the rather interesting results of her MRIs.

“So, let me get this straight?” Taggart said, “this doc actually comes right out and tells you that, quite possibly, you represent a new species, or sub-species?”

“Yup,” she sighed, gently rubbing Daisy’s belly under the light of a flickering oil lamp. “You know, it’s amazing down here, like a whole other world hiding in plain sight.”

Henry nodded. “Sailboats are weird. They’re like the opposite of a time machine.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. It’s more like they put us in touch with something we’ve lost. We move too fast these days, probably too fast for our own good, but then along comes a sailboat…moving about as fast as ketchup coming out of a bottle. Hell, some people jog faster than most of these things move.”

“Why don’t you have a boat yourself?”

“If you can’t use something almost every day there’s really no point in having it. You don’t own a sailboat, by the way. The boat owns you, and if you can’t get into that kind of relationship with a thing like that you’re probably better off with a puppy.” He smiled at Daisy, then at Debra. “You know, she’s almost as cute as you.”

“I’m not cute, Henry. I’m frumpy.”

He chuckled at that. “Been a rough two years, hasn’t it?”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get over the way Dad manipulated us.”

“Why do you think he did it?”

“Oh, I’m not sure, really. Once I thought it was because William wasn’t Jewish, but that doesn’t make sense. Not really. I thought about it a lot this year and I keep coming back to the idea he doesn’t like to see other people happy.”

Henry nodded. “I know the type.”

“Do you?”

“Yeah. They’re more of them out there than you’d think possible.”

“What makes someone like that?”

Taggart sighed, then took a sip of rum. “I don’t know. Maybe some people are born that way, while others just run up against people they’d like to trade places with, and realize that can never happen…”

“So, like jealousy?”

“Yeah, or maybe something more like envy. It’s a problem as old as mankind, and it’s one of the seven deadly sins with good reason.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, think of things like putting someone down, trying to ruin their reputation, or even finding joy in someone else’s troubles. Everyone from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas has recognized there’s a big human tendency to do these things, to act like this, so they tried to enact rules to curb the tendency.”

“So it isn’t really a stretch to think Dad did this just to watch us suffer?”

Taggart shrugged again. “I don’t know, Deb. Maybe. Or maybe this is how he treats all people.”

“Doesn’t that sound a little like Hate?” she whispered.

“It sounds a lot like Hate, Deb, but think about all the people you pass out there on the street who walk along with a deep scowl or with a deep frown on their face. Frowns…worry like its been etched in stone by time, frowns that never go away. And I doubt those frowns are grounded in Love, ya know?”

“When I first saw Dad and that other man on the plane their auras were black, but it was worse than that, Henry. Their auras were almost alive. At one point Dad’s aura tried to reach into me, like it was looking for something…”

“Energy.”

“What?”

“It was looking for energy, at least that’s one explanation.”

“You mean you’ve heard of something like this before?”

Henry took another pull from his rum. “Oh, yeah. The Games People Play.”

“What?”

“A book I read once, The Games People Play. Eric Berne, a psychiatrist, wrote it in the 50s, I think, or maybe it was the early 60s. Something called Transactional Analysis, like Freud in a way but he looked at psychopathologies arising out of dysfunctional parent, child, or adult states of mind. Anyway, I took a social psych class and that was one of the texts. The other was this huge comic book, like 400 pages, called the Adventures of Con Man, which, like the titles suggest, lays out all the ways children learn to manipulate their environment. In essence, we learn to con each other at a very early age, and some cons are accepted by society while others aren’t.”

“That sounds cynical…”

Taggart nodded. “I’m pretty cynical. The problem is, I think we’ve all become cynical, and probably because we’ve grown tired of being conned all the time. I mean, really, look around and think about it. We live in a culture that’s absolutely defined by sets of ongoing cons, from selling stuff people don’t need to political parties that promise things we all know they have no intention of doing. Or try ‘Flying the Friendly Skies’ to the City of Brotherly Love on for size. Call it salesmanship if you want to, but we all live out our lives surrounded by an infinite variety of con artists and that’s not all that surprising because from our earliest upbringing we learn to con others to get what we want. Babies don’t usually cry from pain, do they? No, they cry because they want attention, and they want attention because they want something, something they need from someone else. Our humanity is rooted in that con artistry.”

“I was talking about my dad and you said ‘energy’; what did you mean?”

“Yeah. Ever hear of a book called The Celestine Prophecy?”

“I think so. Some kind of adventure story, wasn’t it?”

“Almost, but it builds on the same set of concepts, or in other words, people con because they want or need to steal energy from others. Take ‘drama queens’ and the ‘oh woe is me’ types, or interrogators and other bullies…because this theory says that in the end everyone is out there trying to pull energy from other people. We say things like “oh, it feeds his ego” or “that really brings me down” – but what we’re really referring to are energy states.”

“Energy states? Come on…”

“Sound far-fetched? Well, do you think ‘depression’ is an elevated energy state? Or what about feeling happy, or even being excited about something? Think those are low energy states?”

“No, not really…”

“Yeah, and that’s the problem, Deb. When someone isn’t feeling ‘up’ an easy way to get a boost is to steal someone else’s energy. To, in a sense, con them into giving you some of their own, so when someone does something that makes you feel lousy, watch how they react after they’ve pulled that off. Strutting around a little more? Becoming an even nastier bully? And think about it! All this goes back to our earliest recorded history, and the whole envy thing was such a problem it made it into the ten commandments.”

“What?”

“Yeah, thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife? Covet is just another word for envy, Deb.”

“So…as far as energy goes…?”

“Those black tendrils reaching into you? My guess is you were actually observing an energy transfer of some kind.”

“Okay, that’s weird, Henry.”

“Hey, it’s just a thought, ya know. Unfortunately I took a bunch of psych classes, so weird comes naturally to me.”

“It kind of makes sense, though.”

“Maybe. But here’s the thing. You are probably in the best position of anyone in human history to validate this, because you can see this stuff in real time.”

“Yeah, okay, but what if I don’t want to?”

Taggart leaned back and smiled. “Who would, Deb? I mean, really, I’m assuming you can’t just flip a switch and turn this off, so going anywhere entails exposing your senses to all this extraneous information…”

“And now everywhere I go I’m going to realize I’m watching nonstop con artistry and there won’t be any way to shut it down, to turn it off…”

“Okay, lets change the topic a little. I’m tossing out some kind of aura right now, right?”

“Yup.”

“And?”

“Cool blue. As in laid back, no anger, just kind of mellow.”

“What about Daisy Jane?”

“Pretty much the same thing all the time with her, except when she needs to go outside or gets hungry…”

“And then what happens?”

“Oh, shit! You’re right. Her color goes from pale blue to cobalt, sometimes with little red flecks inside these spreading tendrils…”

“And where are the tendrils? What are they doing then?”

“Reaching out to me. Oh, Henry…it makes sense now.”

Henry nodded as he looked at his watch, then he sighed. “Well, we need to be up around four to make the tide at Shilshole. And that means we’ll need to make it to the locks before the heavy traffic, so we really ought to hit the hay.”

“Would you mind if Daisy and I stay with you tonight?”

“Ooh, you got to be kidding, right?”

Friday Harbor, Puget Sound, Washington                                     17 April 2002

The Vindo 49 sat on her mooring ball in the fairway between Brown Island and the village of Friday Harbor, and a little Zodiac was tied off her swim platform, adrift in the tidal stream flowing past her stern. Deb was sitting on the lowest step on the platform, her feet dangling in the water, and daisy was sitting beside her – looking intently at a sea otter swimming by. The otter rolled over on its back, revealing a clam in its shell – and the otter took a rock and began pounding on the shell until it broke the shell open. The otter ate the clam nestled inside the shell and Daisy sat up, whimpering at someone else getting something to eat and realizing that someone else wasn’t her! She sat bolt upright and barked once, causing the otter to slip under the waves and disappear.

“Care for some salmon?” Henry asked Deb as he came up the companionway.

“Sure. Is it smoked?”

“I got smoked and some sashimi.”

“Wasabi and soy?”

“You know it, Babe.”

“Any more riesling?”

“Coming up with the next load. Got bagels and cream cheese too, if that sounds good.”

“Better save that for breakfast, if that’s okay?”

“Right,” he said as he disappeared down below again. He came up with a fresh bottle and two glasses and set them out on the cockpit table, then he walked aft to the swim platform. “Okay, chow’s on,” he said. “Need a hand?”

“Yes, could you take her, please?”

“You do know she isn’t exactly a puppy anymore, right? I mean, did you see the size of those turds?”

Deb laughed. “She’s got big feet, that’s for sure.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“She’ll be a big girl when she grows up.”

“Man, I hate to break it to you, but if she grows much more you’ll go broke trying to feed her…”

“So, what’s on the menu tonight?”

“I got some good cheese in that shop, some hummus and olives too.”

“Brie? – and what’s the other one?”

“Emmentaler. I wanted something firm and nutty…”

“Like you, you mean?”

“Oh, am I…firm?”

“Now I know what being saddle sore feels like.”

“Excellent. Damn! I forget the soy…”

“I’ll go down. I need to wash my hands.”

“Okay if I give Daisy some salmon?”

“I feel sorry for you if you don’t…”

“Come here, girl. Want some nice grub for a change?” Daisy sat up but she ignored Henry, and the salmon, instead looking aft to where the sea otter had been. “What is it, girl? Do you feel something out there?”

Daisy’s head tilted to one side and she sniffed the air, her eyes squinting a little as errant breezes woke up long dormant instincts, then she stood and pointed at something behind the boat. Taggart turned and looked – but even though he didn’t see a thing, he was hoping…

After they finished dinner and when the galley had been squared away, Taggart started the engine and cast free of the mooring ball, taking the Vindo outside the harbor first to the east and then south. They made their way to North Bey, just a few hundred yards north of Dinner Island, and he set the anchor in the rocky mud – just where he had last summer on his trip from Vancouver to Seattle on the new Swan. Daisy came up to him, her feathered tail swishing through the air – creating little hurricanes around his ankles – the he bent down to her level and rubbed behind her ears.

“You ready for a walk on the beach?” he said – and that was all it took. She dashed aft and literally dove into the Zodiac.

“You taking Daisy now?” Deb called up from the saloon.

“Yup. Why don’t you slip into that shorty now?”

“Now? The sun’s going down?”

“I know, but there’s someone I want you to meet.”

“In a wetsuit?”

Henry stepped into the inflatable and started the little Yamaha outboard and they puttered over to a rocky beach and Daisy hopped ashore, checking every rock and piece of driftwood for just the perfect place to pee, then she circled twice and dropped a load…

“God damn, Daisy! No more sushi for you!”

She looked crestfallen and turned away.

“Aw, sorry girl. Come here…give us a kiss. I know, I know, mine doesn’t exactly smell like a bed of roses…” They walked up and down the beach for about fifteen minutes, then Henry stepped into the Zodiac and Daisy followed without being asked. “Golly, you are such a good girl,” he said, rubbing her chin as he clipped her collar to a safety line. “Ready to go?”

The moon was coming up beyond Mount Baker and he watched Daisy watching this full moon come up and once again he wondered what kinds of instincts such sights might arouse in her? Where did these instincts reside? Inside a chemical chain on component strands of RNA? After all, she hadn’t been raised by a pack of Golden Retrievers that had somehow passed along such knowledge…no, the information was encoded in the history of the breed and only came into being when Daisy came into being. It was really kind of magical, Henry thought…

And, he wondered, what was being encoded within Debra now? What changes to the species would she engender? The ability to read people by seeing within them? How would that change us, he thought? When you could actually see someone lie to you, or when you could feel genuine love? When layers of deceit could be peeled away in a glance? Everything about us will change, won’t it? When we can read envy or greed or lust as easily as we read a newspaper…what will become of deceit? Will it simply cease to be?

But…

“What happens to us,” he mused out loud, “to people like me who can’t see the world the way she does? How will we survive in that world?”

Daisy turned and looked up at him then, and he saw the sadness in her eyes…like she had understood the nature of his question…and she knew the answers, too.

+++++

“What are we doing back here?”

“Oh, I thought you might like to go for a swim?”

“Are you nuts?” Deb cried. “That water’s like ice!”

“Yup.”

“You said you wanted me to meet someone. Who, for heaven’s sake?”

And as if right on cue the male orca slid up into the moonlight, his face a couple of yards off the Vindo’s stern.

“Oh, no…you’ve got to be kidding…”

“Nope.”

“Is that the same one from…”

“From Bora-Bora, and Catalina too, for that matter.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know,” Henry said as he slipped into the water. “Come on. I want you two to have a little chat…”

“A…what?”

“Just come on in, would you? If you stay close to him the water will be warm enough.”

She slid into the water – but Daisy wasn’t having any of it so she jumped in too – but the orca swept Deb into a kind of embrace and took off with her…leaving Henry and Daisy alone in the water, both looking at Deb as she disappeared into the far reaches of the sound.

+++++

She came back to them a few hours later. Henry took one look at her and dove back into the water, taking her from the male and pulling her over to the swim platform, then hoisting her up on deck. She seemed comatose, or at least completely out of it, as he got her into the cockpit, covering her with blankets then holding her close. She came to slowly, her movements glacial even after her eyes opened. She tried to speak but no words came so he pulled her closer still.

“Deb? Where were you? We couldn’t see you?”

She lifted her hand and pointed to the sky.

“What? What are you trying to say?”

She tried to speak again but her words seemed choked and dry, so he reached for a bottle of water and popped the top, holding the bottle to her lips as she tried to sit up. She took a tentative sip or two then coughed it all out, shaking her head slowly as her body rebelled against her surroundings.

Then her head fell back a little and she seemed confused for a moment.

“Do you know where Sagittarius is?” she whispered.

“The teapot? Yes, that’s it, right over there…” he said, pointing at the center of the Milky Way that was now just coming up over the central Cascades. “The asterism there, the teapot with the steam coming out of the spout? That’s it right there…”

She gasped once and nodded, then she spoke again: “That’s where we were, Henry. All of us. Right there.”

“All of us? Who else was there?”

“I don’t know, but there were two women there, and they were, well, they’re waiting for you.”

Henry heard the orca surface again, then he heard his blowhole open and he exhaled – just before Daisy ran for the rail and leapt into the water…

© 2021-22 adrian leverkühn | abw | adrianleverkühnwrites.com all rights reserved, and as usual this is just a little bit of fiction, pure and simple.

(Thompson Twins \\ Hold me Now)

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