Mind of Darkness

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Chapter Twelve

Joseph Jones shakes his head. “Some people.”

Some people being the Prime Minister especially.

Grunting, Joseph shoves his hands into his pockets and makes his way across the village that had spent days bustling in preparation for the Prime Minister- who, when she finally did show up, said a few niceties and disappeared.

Not that he cares or anything. But it sure seemed rude to the people who were looking forward to the woman who seemed to cause time to look forward when he was supposed to be enjoying a vacation.

Joseph kicks at a twig as he closes the village door behind him before picking up his face and jogging toward the part of the Island he knows best. The Meadow.

He pauses at the top of a small hill above it to take in the assortment of colors blowing in the breeze below him, even more beautiful than when he was here last time, even. Though, to be fair, he was kind of worried he would lose his best friend then, so it put a damper on things.

But maybe now that Christopher’s securely positioned on this side of the veil, Joseph can consider bringing his fiancé over for a picnic or something romantic people usually do.

Letting out a whoop, Joseph charges down the hill and plunges into the meadow, running as fast as he can.

Until his foot collides with something, sending him somersaulting in the air before landing him face-first in a clump of morning glories.

“@#&!”

“Did you really just say keyboard keys instead of a proper exclamation?”

Startling, Joseph spits out the morning glories in his mouth and rolls over onto his back so that he can face the person who spoke.

The somewhat familiar-looking woman looks slightly younger than Ruth Rogers, and seems just as sophisticated despite the fact that she is lying on her stomach in the meadow. In a pencil skirt.

Joseph pushes himself up into a sitting position. “Yes, well, I spend a lot of time looking at keyboards. And the exclamation point is a perfectly good exclamation, thank you very much.”

The woman cocks her head at him causing her perfectly straight, perfectly silver chin-length hair to fall slightly over a once beautiful, though still wrinkle-less face with one eyebrow arched at him.

Then Joseph’s eyes fall on the woman’s own gray irises and his brain registers the connection and he jumps up. “Prime Minister Thompson! I’m so sorry- and I don’t apologize to just anyone, either.”

The woman smiles a motherly sort of smile. “It’s quite all right. And none of that titles nonsense- I’m incognito.” She winks at him before pushing herself up into a sitting position and proffering her hand. “My name is Eleanor. Yours?”

“Joseph. Joseph Jones.” He stares at the hand, wondering if it will give him rich and powerful germs.

He’d always wanted rich and powerful germs.

Eleanor smiles as he shakes her hand. “Nice to meet you, Joseph Jones.”

“The honor is all mine. And I don’t say that to just anyone either.”

Joseph’s eyes fall on a book lying next to Eleanor. “Is that a… young adult book?”

She laughs. “Not just any young adult fiction either.” She leans forward, as if to disclose a terrible secret. “It’s dystopian.”

“Dystopian?!” Joseph can’t help but laugh. “No way!”

Yes way. But you mustn’t tell anyone. It would be an absolute scandal.”

Joseph taps his chin at this. “Tempting.”

Eleanor gasps jokingly.

“But don’t worry, ma’am; I’m not easily swayed by temptation. Besides, my friends think I’m crazy enough already. May I see it?” More rich and powerful germs coming his way...

She hands it to him, and Joseph leafs through it.

He frowns as he looks at all the small print and short hand in between lines and margins. “What’s up with all the notes?”

“Oh. I have a bad habit of scribbling in my books. Notes on the story, things I have to remember, a lyric I just heart- anything really.”

Joseph nods slowly as he looks at all the many, many notes. “You sure write a lot- but you did write a history, didn’t you? And an autobiography?”

Eleanor nods. “And- under a pen name, of course- a dystopian series of my own.”

“Now that’s a scandal waiting to happen.” Joseph looks really closely at one note. “Is that a phone number?”

“My doctor’s,” she answers, peering over his the book to see. “I like to keep that close. I’m old you know.”

Joseph shrugs. “You are that.”

Eleanor smiles and shakes her head at him. “You remind me of myself when I was your age- that was an eternity ago, and I’d almost forgotten. Please tell me more about yourself.”

Joseph shrugs again. He never was one to directly disobey the government, so why start today? “So, I was born in a hospital- before that I was conceived in Canada. Long story there...”

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