Mouse and Peripherals!




Mouse and Peripherals!


“I need to talk to Sandra,” he says. His words are directed toward the forest, not to me. I’ve evidently just become part of the scenery.

“Give me thirty minutes,” I say.


“Because I just freakin’ walked to town to buy you clothes, you know, and now you want to drag me back,” I say and stomp into the cabin.

That’s not why, but he doesn’t need to know.

I lower the ladder that leads me to the attic where I have a computer and multiple peripherals. Tom’s footsteps echo beneath me, impatiently and then I hear him on the ladder. His head pokes through the opening and his eyes widen.

“What the . . .”

“Yes?” I ask.

He looks around. “You’re not just a squatter.”

“Did I say I was?”

“What are you?”

I don’t answer. “Here.” I hand him a nice newly laminated id. “It’s not going to fool someone who looks really closely, but for the guys around town, it will be pretty convincing.”

Yep, my ids can be overwhelming when you’re not expecting them. I am a professional. Seriously.

He looks from the id I’ve made for him to me. “I’m not sure I understand.”

I shrug. “Those guys might ask you if you’re from around here. What’s your driver’s license say? Washington DC? Jacksonville, NC? Now, it says this cabin in West Virginia.”

“This looks official,” he says.

I pick up my cell and ignore him. I’m staring at the weather update, but he doesn’t need to know that.


I look at him, briefly. He is trying to figure out who I am.


“I’m sorry for knocking you down. I don’t usually knock women down.”



“I don’t care,” I say and then look him fully in the face. “Let’s go and get you hooked up with Sandra.”

I climb down the ladder and then push it back up until it disappears. He’s waiting at the entrance of the cabin, his eyes intent as they scan my face. What’s happened to the badass? I wonder.

“Do you know what room she’s in?” he asks.

I shake my head. “I’ll stop inside the café, use their wifi, and find out.”


I look at him like he’s grown two heads. “I’ll hack into the motel’s system.”

“You can do that?”

“You have to ask?”

The motel’s computer security is ridiculously easy to bypass. I find out that Sandra is in room 8 and send Tom on his way. I order a mocha latte and a pecan tart and watch him cross the street to the motel. He has a nice ass in those jeans and the short sleeves of the t-shirt show some nicely muscled arms. It’s a shame that this is going to be the last time that I see them. I take a bite of warm pecan tart and homemade vanilla bean ice cream and plan what I’m going to do next. I think it’s time to go south, maybe somewhere warm and sunny.

end 2/4/2017

S. Darlington

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