Story Go Round 08/2003/2003, #3

Ambiguity was His Middle Name

The guy in the thing turned the device to the left. It made that one loud sound like before. A couple of girls watching gave him a look he would not soon forget. He pretended not to notice, and put on the headphones again. The device began to rattle, and he adjusted a knob on the control panel. The crowd cheered. But it wasn't for him. The girls sniggered as they noticed his growing embarrassment.

It was time for a change, he decided. He clenched one fist. He remembered how it had been all those years in the deep freeze, with nothing but the howl of hounds for comfort. This time it would be different! This time it would be for the sake of ... Justice!

The girl on the thing moved the object over there. It gave off that one strong scent like it often did. Some guys looking over at her whistled and said stuff she would rather not remember. She acted as if she hadn't heard, and settled the gas mask back down over her nose and mouth. The object started to hiss, and she turned the nozzle on the tank. No one noticed her in the teeming crowd. They were purposefully ignoring her. The same guys from before came over to apologize and lend a hand.

She took the hand and put it in the pickling jar. Her collection had grown steadily of late - soon it would be comprehensive enough to begin the experiment afresh. This time it would be different! This time the guy in the thing would have to notice her. It wasn't all she wanted, though. She also wanted some stuff for the race, and a couple of toys to give to that boy. Oh no. She had forgotten the job! It was supposed to start in awhile... She hurried to her car, but stopped midway when she noticed the guy with the headphones. He kept nodding his head in a certain way, like that one animal. They gave each other a look.

Things were going to be different, she decided. She frowned as she walked. She thought back to how it used to be. Day after day in the lab, with only the splashing of the hands to keep her company. This experiment would work! And the experiment would produce ... results!

That look. That look they shared. It led her to feeling the way she felt now. She couldn't describe it. She had no idea how he felt - ambiguity was his middle name - she was sure she would know later. She turned back to her handiwork in the lab.

And yet, she had to hand it to him; even though she couldn't put her finger on what she was feeling, she would find it hard to stop thinking about him. And she would go on thinking about him, even if it took a long time. She was ready to go through a whole lot for him, and hopefully, one day it would happen. They had always said it wouldn't, but she wouldn't let them stop her. No way! She was going to fight her way to the top ... she would never stop!

He took off the headphones and stowed them under the thing the device was sitting on. The show was over about now and that was ok with him. The crowd shifted over to the next interesting thing, leaving him up there to do his stuff in peace. Some girl had looked at him intensely when she walked by a minute ago. Maybe she thought she knew him from somewhere, or she was one of them. Either way it was of little import to him, he got busy doing something with the controls and forgot all about it. A plan was forming in his mind.

Timing was of the essence, and he would begin sometime. The evening provided a dark cover for his activities - very few people could see what he was working on. It was so dark, he even dropped something which broke, and suddenly he was thinking of that girl again, when he was so determined not to.

He couldn't stop relishing the way her eyebrows formed such a neat, unbroken line across her face, bifurcating it evenly and separating the bumpy unevenness of her eyes, nose, and mouth from the smooth gentle plain of her forehead. The world spun for a second and he faltered. He was getting too specific, too detailed. Pull back, he admonished himself tartly. She had a face, much like other people's faces; so do most people. Big whoop. It was more important that he do something somewhere else, at least for now, or the plan would fail.

Back in the lab, she was finding the object pretty handy. It had an alarm, and there was even a remote. Absorbing herself in the task at hand, she began muttering to herself, and even encouraging herself by name.

"Atta girl S...", the blatting of some loud machinery covered the sound of her voice.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange