Fiction: Recruitment Demonstration (539 words)

25 May

Colin was vaguely aware that his mouth was hanging open as he watched them, but he couldn’t help it.  Mara didn’t even flinch as her brother went towards her eyebrow with a needle.  When Andy was done with the stitching, Mara looked at herself in the little hand-held mirror.  “Not bad, Andy. Your stitches are getting neater.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault you never get injured so I can practice,”  Andy countered, cleaning up the supplies and old gauze.  “And—actually, let’s keep it that way.  You can be the surgeon of the family. Never get hurt again.”  Andy headed out with all the trash without waiting for a response.

Mara admired her stitches for a moment longer before smiling up at Colin.  “Come here for a second would you? Hold the mirror for me?”

Almost unaware of what he was doing, Colin slid into the chair opposite Mara and held up the mirror at her eye level.  When she started braiding her hair carefully down the side of her face, he found his voice again.  “What are you doing?”

“I’ve got to come up with a hairstyle that looks cute and somewhat casual but still covers up the stitches.  My homeroom teacher likes to ask a lot of questions when I have visible wounds.” She brushed a few more pieces into place and tied it off with a small ribbon.  “There. What do you think? Does that look cute enough to distract from the wound?”

“Does this happen often? Changing your hairstyle to cover up injuries from your vigilante runs?”

“I wish you wouldn’t call us vigilantes.  Something just sounds so vicious about that.  I don’t like to think of us as vicious.”

“What do you prefer to be called then?”

“Hm.  I don’t know.  I didn’t give too much thought to it—to be honest.  Maybe we’ll ask Andy when he comes back in. But: to answer your question: I’d say ‘a bit’ not ‘often.’  Like, you remember that summer that all the girls thought colorful tights were fun under sundresses—Bruise on my thigh the size of a cantaloupe that took forever to fade away.  Or that fall when Andy decided that fingerless gloves would be worn all the time?  Nine stitches along the back of his left hand.  That was a tricky one because I was so sure he was going to pull the stitches and bleed through the glove. Andy’s not very good at being cautious, you know?”

“Yeah—“  Colin replied distracted, think back to the fashion statements she’d mentioned.  “My Goodness—how long have you two been doing this?” Colin dropped the mirror to the table, “that was like—three summers ago.”

“A while,” Mara answered vaguely.  “Andy’s got the records if you want to read them before signing up.”  Mara turned to look at Colin and raised her unstitched eyebrow.  “You are still thinking about joining up, right?  One little bleeding eyebrow isn’t enough to scare you away.  Because I’d really like to have you one the team.”

Colin gave a breathy laugh.  “I must be insane to even be considering this.”

Mara smiled and patted him gently on the arm as she got up to put the mirror away.  “Join the club.”

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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Stories


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