Written by Darala Starr :: [Monday, 01 July 2019 19:32] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 04 July 2019 09:44]
“Well, I’m waiting for an explanation,” Tina said, her arms still folded across her fitted exercise T-shirt.
Darala looked into Jason’s eyes, silently asking him, can I trust her? And as if he understood her inquiry, he nodded gently.
“Very well,” Darala said. “But perhaps this is a conversation better suited to privacy. Besides, we should make sure Kyle is okay.”
At that very moment, a low, even voice came from the staircase.
“Why? What’s wrong with the young man? And who set off the alarm?”
The deputy sheriff came down the last two steps and made it a point to flash his badge on his shirt breast pocket.
Tina noticed Darala and Jason were suddenly tense, and intuition led her forward from there.
“Good afternoon deputy Brown,” Tina said. “There’s nothing wrong with Kyle, he just had a little accident.”
Kyle said, “I was trapped in the vault and….”
Deputy Brown’s eyebrow rose sharply.
Backpedaling, Kyle said, “Er… um… what I meant was, I was puttin’ stuff away and a… really strong breeze came through the building and blew the door shut on me. I kinda freaked out and hit the alarm, but… it’s cool. I’m fine.”
“A breeze?” deputy Brown asked. He scoffed and said, “Young man, that door probably weighs more than your daddy’s pickup truck.”
“It was a very, very strong breeze,” Tina said, then, gently put her hand on Kyle’s shoulder.
“You’ve worked very hard this week and I appreciate it. Take a few days off and come back on Monday.”
Kyle nodded and, giving Darala a very big smile, said, “Thank you.” After that he carefully navigated his way around the grim-face deputy and hurried up the stairs.
“Is there anything else, deputy Brown?” Tina asked.
“As a matter of fact there is,” he began. “I would really like the pleasure of a conversation with this young woman here,” he tipped his hat toward Darala and she found herself avoiding his stare. Jason picked up on this and said, “I can’t see any possible reason for that, deputy.”
“Have you forgotten what she did this afternoon on the road? The truck,” the deputy said, his stare narrowing.
Jason smiled and said, “Well deputy, people can do all sorts of incredible things in emergency situations.”
“That’s correct,” Tina said. “I once lifted a three hundred pound crate that had tipped over and almost fallen on my sister when we started working here at the shop.”
Deputy Brown was growing frustrated. “I understand all about the statistics of unusual feats with adrenaline surges, but what she did today was… well, it was simply beyond anything humanly possible.”
Darala had enough and said, “I think I should be going now.”
Deputy Brown said, “What’s the hurry?”
The tension in the air was like electricity in the small room, and thinking quickly, Tina said, “The hurry, Deputy Brown, is that Darala and I need to get back home so we can have dinner and spend some quality time catching up.”
Deputy Brown flung his stare between Tina and Darala.
“Are you telling me that you know this woman?” he asked.
“Yes, deputy. Darala is my cousin. From up north.”
Tina’s stare was settled, her eyes certain. Darala smiled warmly at her and added, “And I’m really looking forward to it. It’s just been such a long time since we’ve really talked.”
Tina said, “And Jason was planning on joining us, weren’t you, Jason?”
“Been looking forward to it all week,” Jason said, smiling brightly.
Tina said, “Now let’s all head back upstairs and outside. I need to lock up.”
Deputy Brown was about to turn and leave, but caught a glance of the odd deformity of the big steel wheel of the vault door.
“How did that happen?” he asked.
Tina shrugged and said, “It’s always been like that. The whole thing needs to be replaced.”
A full two minutes later they were all standing out front of the store while Tina quickly locked and bolted the entry. Deputy Brown was about to slide into his squad car, but hesitated. Instead he turned and gave Darala a pointed stare. In return, Darala began feeling enormous frustration with this deputy Brown person. He was targeting her, and she thought about what happened earlier.
You were showing off, Darala,she thought. Pulling the truck and straightening the bumper—that was all unnecessary. You should have stayed hidden and continued looking for the transponder.
But she also realize that had she not done those things, she would never have met Jason and consequently Tina, both of whom were becoming very good friends. Not to mention what happened with Kyle. It’s unlikely she would have been there to help save the young man.
“I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that a breeze shoved a solid vault door shut,” deputy Brown said, continuing on his rant.
“It was a very strong and sudden gust,” Jason said. “The weather can be a mysterious force.”
Deputy Brown scowled at the comment.
“It’s just that I don’t feel the slightest breeze out this evening,” the deputy said. As if to make his point, he turned his back on them and tilted his stare toward the sky.
“See what I mean,” he said. “It’s perfectly peaceful out here, not a cloud in the sky.”
In that moment, while deputy Brown’s back was turned, inspiration came to Darala. She dropped her hands on her hips and quickly drew in the largest breath that she possibly could. Her powerful Tau Ceti lungs filled with air and her chest rose suddenly beneath her suit, the fabric tight against her swelling bust. Jason simply could not help staring at her; now thinking he needed a very cold shower.
Pursing her lips tightly together would allow the force of her breath to be more focused, directional and strong, Darala reasoned. So she did just that. A moment later, Darala pushed all that air forward, the force of it multiplied through her tight lips.
The result was an explosive, rushing gust of wind that struck deputy Brown like an invisible fist, knocking him forward so hard he tumbled and rolled. His hat flew violently off his head and spun far away like a Frisbee. Dirt and debris from the ground rose into a rolling wave and dusted over him. After the initial shock of the event, deputy Brown found himself in a haze of dusty air.
Darala quickly unplanted her hands from her hips and settled back into normal breathing. Jason’s mouth hung agape and Tina was equally stunned. But she quickly tossed her hair into a messy tangle and rushed toward the deputy Brown to help him up.
“Deputy, are you all right?” she asked.
He whipped his stare around, waving his hands around to try and clear the dust from the area.
“What the hell was that?” he asked.
Thinking quickly, Darala messed up her hair and squatted down to one knee, pretending now to stand as if she’d also been knocked down. Jason did the same thing. Seeing this, deputy Brown dusted himself off and said, “Crazy weather. You all should just probably go home before you get hurt.”
Tina nodded and said, “Yes, yes. That is a great idea.”
Quickly she trotted across the parking lot and grabbed his hat off the ground. She walked it back to him and handed it over.
“Your hat,” she said.
Deputy Brown pulled it snug down over his head and said, “Listen young Lady, just because your dad is… doesn’t mean I believe everything you tell me.”
Tina straightened her hair and folded her arms across her chest. She cocked her hips to one side, those satin running shorts giving off a soft glow in the late afternoon light.
“Goodbye, deputy Brown,” she said.
Without another word he dropped into his cruiser, fired up the engine and pulled away, accelerating just a bit too hard.
Jason said, “Darala, how did you do that?”
Tina said, “You are incredible!”
Darala looked at them both and shrugged. “I can’t believe it actually worked,” she said, grinning.