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  • [This is the last part of a short story with multiple episodes. The seed of this one is That Wistful Sound.]

    Trevor's injury wasn't serious, but he left the clinic with a leg support and crutches, and instructions to take it easy for a week. As Ted drove us back to the community I described to them the article I had printed about fiscal malfeasance at the Collateral Group private bank. I wanted to know if they thought it could be the same company Pete had worked for and essentially blackmailed.

    "Possible," mused Ted. "Fits the description. If it is that company, now that regulators are after them, they might be tempted to believe Pete turned them in. You know, a double-cross."

    "And for all we know, Pete could have blown the whistle on them. Do you think they would come after Pete up here? I wondered aloud. "Could the drug set-up be an act of revenge?"

    "It makes sense in a spooky way," Tammy replied. "But we're speculating. So let's not barge in and suggest this to Pete, especially if there's nothing we can say or do to help the situation."

    "Uh-huh," I agreed, realizing I already knew more than I needed to. "Kind of delicate."

    We arrived at the village about a half hour before dinner and split up. Annie and Iris were napping in our trailer when I walked in. I needed to rejuvenate myself, so I headed straight to the tiny shower stall. Thankfully some thoughtful residents had provided us with changes of clothing, because mine were pretty rank by now.

    As I lathered my body, my mind sifted through the past 24 hours and all that had taken place. A feeling of deep gratitude came over me for the support and kindness we had found in this community, and even for the choices we now had. Two days ago we knew nothing of them.

    Should we head back to "civilization" to pursue our careers? Should we link up with family in a distant city? Should we throw in our lot with the Wellconomy people? Will I ever see that cute red-headed librarian again? Wait! Where did that come from?

    I stepped out of the shower, toweled myself and got dressed. Annie and Iris had stirred and were also changing into borrowed clothes, looking a bit random, like everything else that had just happened.

    Annie looked at me in the quizzical way she sometimes does. There was only one thing to do. I went to them, pulled them close to me and said "No matter what happens now, I want you to know I love you so much."

    "Annie closed her eyes, smiled and said, "I know. Let's just follow our hearts, shall we?"


    [The original seed of this series is On Sustainable Power, May 31, 2012.
    To identify all the stories in the series, click the tag That Sound beneath the map.]

    @image: Immigrant road sign
    @audio: Mississippi River Blues played by Lance Benson
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