It’s Day Twelve, kids. Didn’t anyone think to wake me up?
I think I’m in the doghouse.
Good grief, Roth, says Ziva, her disbelieving, widespread hands indicating the sparse contents of my desk, is this all you've done since I was last over?
I’m lost for words, and glance nervously up at my literary agent. Well, I glance more sideways than up; even when I’m sitting, it takes some tall heels for my agent to look down on me. Today’s boots are a good four inches high, and are just about getting the job done.
Well, I mumble, I’ve been kinda busy with Nicky and Mike’s writing challenge.
Ziva sighs, and her anger deflates somewhat; we're both taking part in the challenge over at We Work For Cheese. The Finn turns on a pointy heel and leans against the empty desk. Oh, tell me about it. She shakes her long dark hair down, clearly frustrated. Did you see today’s prompt?
Yep. The Day I Met Abraham Lincoln has been a looming problem since the challenge was announced.
I got nothing so far, no inspiration. How would I meet him? What do I say?
I daren't mention that she's been credited with coming up with the idea; I'd rather be supportive than right anyday.
But then I’m struck by an idea, and pick up the phone.
An hour later, I think I’m in the doghouse again.
The antique office is in disarray as I help Ziva down from the Time Pyramid; Max, my arch-genius best friend, being of a tall persuasion, never saw the need for a ramp. I can hear his voice resounding inside, cursing the raw recruits of his new, Norwegian, all-ferret flight crew.
The pyramid is hanging six feet off the ground in the office, as is its wont. Lights glitter at its corners, and its burnished gold sides glow warmly in the early-morning light from the tall, narrow windows. Glancing up, I am relieved to see the apex has cleared the vaulted ceiling by a few inches.
Ziva tap-taps round to the rear of the desk, stepping carefully over the shattered vase of dark red tulips, and avoiding the toppled filing cabinets. She stoops slightly to examine the out-cold figure in black, and his broken chair.
What date did you say it was, Roth? she asks mildly; I’m wary of her tone, but settle for a straight answer, as I always do.
Um, November 18, 1863. She sighs and rejoins me at the front of the desk, depositing a tall black hat onto the desk as she goes.
He’ll have a bump on his head when he delivers The Gettyburg Address tomorrow. She chuckles in a way that I can only describe as brooding and Scandinavian; I can picture a remote cabin and an endless vista of snow under dark skies. Inside, a crazy lady sharpens an axe.
I feel like a fool, and curse Max for letting me navigate; this never ends well. I wave vaguely in the direction of the fallen president.
Well, you did get to meet him. Something more seems necessary, and I add weakly, That’s something to write about. Right?
Ziva gives me a look that makes my tummy flip nervously; the smallest smile curling the very end of her mouth. Do you know what? she says, straightening my tie and then tapping me gently on the chest, I really appreciate your efforts, Indigo, but I think I’ll let you write about this one.
Oh. 'Indigo'. That sounds ominous. Okay.
She steps under the pyramid as an unexpected wooden ladder descends amid a barrage of broken, vitriolic Norwegian. I’ll think of something else to write. I'll see you inside. As she steps gracefully up into the ship with a grin, I hear the faintest, There’s no hurry.
Yep, definitely in the doghouse again.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2013