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A Perfect Bloom 29 – Alex Ankarr
“Oh, come on,” Linnet protests. “Aren’t you dying to see what love-token he’s cooked up for you this time?” She’s drumming her pretty pink-polished nails on the smooth cedar of his desk, and there’s a pretty pink flush on her cheeks too. She’s clearly as eager as she’s making him out to be.
“What are you insinuating?” Cory asks innocently. “It could be from anyone. You don’t know…” Then he relents, at her irritable groan. “Yes, all right, Linnet. I am – quite keen – to take a look at the innards of this thing. As you know perfectly well. But I can’t just…” And he’s about to make all kinds of reasonable objections, about scans and viruses and such. But it’s a suck on his attention that’s not all that great an idea. Because it distracts him enough that it leaves Linnet free to jab and punch the little gift-box out of his hand, whip the stick-drive out of it, and run around the desk to stick it in the appropriate port on his hard-drive.
“Linnet!” he protests. Because protesting is all that’s left to him. The box has already popped up on his hi-powered bit of tech, asking what he wants to do with the new hardware. Linnet’s prodding at ‘play’ so hard she nearly pushes his laptop off the desk.
“What?” she asks scornfully, looking up. “Cory, this guy is gone on you, and I can see it even if you’re too damn cautious and careful to want to accept it. Yet. Me! The greatest cynic the world has ever known, bar none, none, I tell you! If I think he’s legit, then I do think you can give the cynicism a bit of a break… Oh, and here we go,” she announces. And she lifts her hands into the air, and slowly dances away from him, circling, pirouetting. Her rhythms are wild, she’s entranced, spooked, enchanted.
It’s because music is stealing out into the air of the executive office. That’s what’s on the drive. Cory draws his brows together, and struggles to identify the tune, but he can’t. It’s a Spanish guitar instrumental, slowly picked out, a little uneven, perhaps not completely expert. It’s charmingly played, though, and the notes are pretty, haunting, a minor key thrumming its way through the heart. After too short a time it comes to an end, and there’s a little echoey pause, that suggests it perhaps wasn’t recorded on top-notch equipment. Then a voice leans into the mic. “A rose, for Cory,” it says. It’s deep, ish, a little cracked, the timbre not smooth. It’s distinctive.
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014
No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.
Photo credit: Bonita Suraputra (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21185968@N00/3428731883/in/photolist-6dZ9wX-6e1HhW) via a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode), book cover modifications made.