“Always looking for love, aren’t you Marcus Fox Smartville. I have an aunt down in SIFton. I’ve heard the rumors.”
“Well, ahh,” I attempted to explain. “You know. Things happen. I sometimes get a little carried away.”
“And you’ve still got that primmy rose with you. Primrose… primmy rose. That’s where it all started for you, right?”
“It was, let me tell you. YOUR SIM 01. Neither North nor South. Then the second (02). That’s where you found *me*.”
Ah ha. A clue! I thought. Thanks Sweet Alice! Now I just had to finish out this awkward meeting. She stared steadily at me. A member of the church choir she was, and also the prayer group meeting immediately afterwards. Was this…?
“No,” she answered, as if reading my mind, shocking me. But then I remembered we were already talking about the Room before the rose diversion. She was just answering a question I’d already asked about 2 minutes ago. Might as well be 20 years ago. Then she did it again.
“20 years. *Not* 12 as some think. Give me credit for aging well! It was a long time ago now. I’ll give you this before we — both of us — move on. The retaliatory strike was at Golden City, in case you didn’t know.”
“I knew that,” I replied.
“Golden City to Golden Sink. The Truth Brothers wiped out.”
Ahh. The Truths! Both of ’em. Such horrible luck. First the house with the fire, then the house they were replacing it with by an even greater fire. Nuclear. Was this what Biff Carter meant by the second gun?
“No,” she answered. She’d done it again. Time to move on.