After a long moment of deep contemplation, I look up. "Hey, Bromley," I say casually, a smile on my face. "I'm glad you could join us."

He nods, a little gruffly, and sprawls in a chair. He looks quite the ruffian.

"I know you aren't who Jem thinks you are," I say slowly, almost patronizingly which seems to suit an author.

He looks alarmed. I see the danger glowering in his eyes, and I quickly change the subject. "Now, now, tell me what you know of your parents."

His knuckles clutch the arms of the wooden chair. I suppose I asked a wrong question. I try again, "Why do you risk your neck on causes that you know little about?"

He scrubs his chin. I think he seems slightly confused a moment before he says, as if reciting a well-remembered phrase, "I've nothing to live for; I've nothing to lose."

I wasn't newly inspired by that answer. I'd heard it already. "Why have you nothing to lose?" I press. "Explain yourself."

His face pulls a stubborn expression, and I groan inwardly. I've caught a peek into his soul, however, though he may not realize it. I gave him that stubborn nature, which in turn sends my creativity streak rolling. He is helping me more than he knows.

"Did you have any siblings?" I ask innocently.

He shifts. "A sister," he says, and I am surprised. His voice is thick, too, which sends my fingers trembling in excitement.

"A sister?" I probe.


"That won't do; Jem's sister's name is Katharine."

"That was her name."

I lean back in my chair. I suppose I can work with this. I need more, however, so I decide to keep him under interrogation for a moment longer. "Did you have any brothers?"

His eyebrows knit together.  "No," he says after a moment of hesitancy. "No brothers."

I know what he means, so I don't bother making him further uncomfortable. "Thank you, George Bromley," I say, tapping my pencil to my head. I smile at him. "You may go. For now."

And he vanishes from sight.


  1. That sounds captivating. . . may we know more?