Puppy Love

 

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Miss Parker's House
Blue Cove, Delaware

Miss Parker walked wearily into her house and dropped her keys and several folders on the side table. Turning, she switched on the light of her living room and was temporarily blinded as the light reflected off the silver wrapped boxes and back into her eyes. She gasped at the unexpected sight and slowly moved towards them as though they were bombs that might explode in her face. Suddenly, impatiently, she sat down on the sofa and pulled the first box towards her, tearing the paper off with a child-like eagerness to know what was inside. The first sight that met her eyes was several layers of tissue paper and these were flung out, only to hover for a few seconds in the air before drifting down to the floor.

When her fingers first touched the plush white fur, she drew back as though it had burned her. Suddenly she lunged forward and drew from the box a white plush stuffed rabbit. Her fingers caught in the collar that it wore and on a disc she read the word ‘Benjamin’. Her eyes filled and she cuddled the soft toy to her as she looked down at the photo of her baby brother and the rabbit that she had left when she went to work. As she did so, however, her eyes traveled to the other box and her impatience was almost as great with this second gift. This time the fur was brown and the shape was that of a dog. Miss Parker put both toys of the table and stared at them, moving again only when the phone rang.

“What?”

“Did you get them?”

“Yes, Jarod, I got them. Thank you.” She paused for a moment. “Why?”

“Think of it as - a Valentine’s Day present. I found out about Benjamin and I heard that you always mourned the puppy you had as a little girl.”

Miss Parker sat upright in her chair. “Who told you?”

”Gabriel.”

“What?!” Miss Parker leaped to her feet. “How do you…?”

“I was kidding,” Jarod interrupted laughingly before becoming serious again. “I would have sent you the genuine article but after you gave Benjamin to Debbie, doing it again would defeat the purpose. I thought that this way you could at least keep them for yourself.”

Tears glistened in Miss Parker's eyes as she looked down at the playthings in front of her. Then her eyes traveled up to the window and she thought briefly about the events that had occurred that day. “Jarod, what do you know about a project called Eclipse?”

To Miss Parker's surprise, Jarod's voice became harsh and she could hear loud footsteps as though he had begun to pace on timber boards.

“I know more than I want to and, believe me, if you start investigating that, you’ll wish you hadn’t learned anything either.”

“But why does it upset Sydney so much to talk about it?”

“He couldn’t do anything about it, even if he’d wanted to.” Jarod's words came from between clenched teeth and Miss Parker was tempted to give up, but had one last question she wanted answered.

“And you? How were you…” Miss Parker trailed off as she realized that the only thing hearing her question was the dial tone.

”Daddy, I want to know about Eclipse.”

Miss Parker heard once more her own voice protesting to her father and the vehemence with which her questions had been greeted.

“I will decide what you do and don’t need to know, understand? Do you still have the DSA?”

“The disk was inside the machine when it was damaged beyond repair.”

Miss Parker smiled grimly to herself, stood up and rescued one of the folders from the file she had brought him. Turning off the light, she let the moonlight filter in through the window as she sat back down and pushed her new possessions to the far side of the table. Laying the folder on the table, she exhaled deeply and opened the folder. The moonlight shone off the disk, reflecting off the silver surface and back into her eyes.

End of Episode
Puppy Love

 
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