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Cold Suspenders

By Alvin Finch - A short extract



The walk back to Morton's abode was uneventful. Katei was unsure of how they were going to gain entry to the house. Morton had already been mulling this over for a few minutes, along with other things.

The house door was keyed to Morton's passport, and 'spare' ID cards, but was also dependent on his retina pattern. He was worried that the time in the stasis machine may have disrupted his eyes. He finally verbalised his concerns to Katei, who now also mulled over the problem as they strolled up to Morton's dwelling.

Katei examined the scanning device at Morton's doorway. She was surprised at how primitive it was. She fished around in her pocket, and withdrew her mobile phone.

She cleared her throat, and said to Morton, "As it happens, for some reason I still have a high definition, semi-holographic facial photograph of you stored on a memory slice in my phone." She called up the image, and magnified the image of the eye to the same size as Morton's eye. She held this in front of the scanner.

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Morton gave the door a command word, and the entry LED glowed green, indicating that the door was now open. Morton meanwhile failed to grasp the significance of a woman keeping hold of a fellow's photographic image for a number of years. This was slightly to Katei's relief, but more to her annoyance.

Morton now in the familiar surroundings of home began to relax slightly. He felt rather confused, and decided that perhaps he had better sit down and review the situation. Katei followed him through to the living area. Morton took a deep sigh and his favourite seat. He looked quizzically at Katei, realising how much older she now looked. Less delicate he thought, more rounded, but rounded in a pleasant way. She was definitely more pleasing to the eye than the very delicate elf she had appeared before (in his opinion anyway) Morton mused.

He tried to fathom why what had happened to him had happened, and started to open his mouth to speak to Katei. Katei pre-empted his vocalisation, with a probably more sensible one of her own. "Tea, coffee, or perhaps something stronger?" she enquired. Morton momentarily considered the stronger option, but found himself asking for a strong cup of tea, and "only a tiny dash of that vile milk substitute stuff," adding "please" as he realised that he may have been a bit stern in his tone, and wanted to regain a polite stance.

As his listened to the water in the micro-kettle starting to pop, the steam heating and washing out the tea, he mused on the processes that his body had gone through, and how it was that he had woken up in the lab several years later than planned. Could his friend really have

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C O L D   S U S P E N D E R S

been the instigator he wondered, or was there something deeper involved in it?


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