Thursday Teaser – MALLORY

When I get impatient I wiggle my foot. It’s more of a seizure than a wiggle, actually. I’m doing that now. I sat in the waiting room for what felt like a century, and by the time we were allowed in a room there were seven of us. The odd-number sessions are the worst. Because we get paired off at some point for one-on-one discussions, and it never fails that I get stuck in that three-person group. It means the tête-à-tête becomes a messy ‘It’s your turn – No, it’s your turn’ thing that takes forever. And training isn’t usually something any of us want to do longer than necessary.

As my foot bounces wildly, I take in the others around me. The two that were there when I arrived in the waiting room are the only ones that appear green – the rest of us have a ‘hurry it up already’ attitude. I almost laugh, until a girl sitting on my right speaks to me.

“Can you stop that?” she asks.

“Sorry?”

“The foot thing. My brother used to do that. It’s so annoying. He never sat still. A nervous tick, our parents said, but I didn’t think so. I swear he did it just to piss me off. I can’t believe his feet didn’t fall off at the ankle. Damn kid shook it hard enough to do just that,” she said.

“Oh.” I stilled my foot and tried not to glare at the teen. I could have given her an ear-full and told her my patience was simply wearing thin and that if one more person pissed me off, I’d take my ‘annoying’ foot and shove it somewhere unpleasant. But I snapped my mouth shut. She wasn’t worth the headache.

The Instructor, one I didn’t recognize, moved around the room speaking in hushed tones to each of us briefly. There didn’t seem to be anyone in the room I felt comfortable dishing my current concerns to, so I hoped he wouldn’t mind me using him as a one-on-one. But that changed when he finally made it to me.

He bent forward and spoke in my ear, not quite a whisper, but not loud enough for the others to hear. “Mallory, we’ll be doing something different today. Once I have spoken to everyone, please rise and take your chair to the back of the room.”

And that was it. He moved on to the teen at my right and I watched him speak to her with my forehead crinkled in a frown.

Something different? Why? I’m just here to talk, so I don’t go crazy.

– MALLORY, A Station Series Novelette – Coming Soon

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