Novel excerpt: Goodbye Grammarian

*** an excerpt of my WIP, "Goodbye Grammarian". A gang of would-be thieves has just been thwarted, thanks to the timely intervention of a couple of Lexicon City's superheroes. Alex Graham, a.k.a. the Grammarian, was forced to watch from the sidelines.***

Finally, as they were at last dismissed by the police, Alex said good night to Kate.

"Oh," he said, remembering one of the only bright spots of the evening, "I forgot. We were going to get together sometime this week, weren't we? For coffee?" Alex smiled at the mild absurdity of such a mundane thing as a coffee date among the excitement of the evening.

"Ah. Yes, we were, weren't we?" Kate shook her head. "With the attempted robbery and the way those two superheroes, ElectroMan and... and..."

"The other one is called Mr. Midnight. He's one of Lexicon City's finest heroes."

"Right, Mr. Midnight. Well, with all the excitement of how they captured those men, I'd forgotten our conversation."

Alex nodded and said, "This has been an unusually eventful night." He fished in a pocket and pulled out one of his business cards: Polaris Antiques: Brokerage and Restorations. Alexander I. Graham, owner. "Give me a call sometime. My schedule is pretty flexible, especially in the mornings. I'd love to get together and talk about some of those furniture dealers I mentioned."

She looked at the card, turned it over and looked at the back before meeting his eye. "Thanks, I'll do that. I'm pretty busy the next few days, so I'll give you a call later this week." She held out her hand. "It's been a trying evening overall, but it's been a pleasure to meet you, Alex." They shook hands and, in a swirl of dark hair and a perfume he didn't recognize, she left.

Without being too obvious about it, Alex watched her go. Either as the Grammarian or in normal life, she was one of the most intriguing women he'd met in a long time. A scientist in a materials science department, but also an attractive woman who came to society benefit functions? What was she researching that made LPU work so hard to hire her away from her previous position? Who did she know on the museum board that got her the invitation to tonight's party, and so soon after arriving in town? More importantly, where should he take her for coffee? He wondered if it would be rushing it to suggest lunch instead. Meeting for coffee was an ambiguous thing, but taking her out to lunch would be a clear signal that he found her... interesting. In his experience, lunch was a much better first date than dinner. Lunch had a built-in time limit, so there was never any uncertainty about when to wrap things up. It made things much more relaxed, much better to set the stage for future dates. Whereas dinners sometimes got awkward, because of the uncertainties about what kind of expectations each person had. Yes, lunch would be much better than coffee. But where?

As he mulled over different options, he saw that Kate had reached the exit. She paused by the door and dropped his business card into a trash can before she walked out into the night.

Alex sighed. He waited another few minutes to make sure he wouldn't bump into her in the parking lot, then he also left the museum. There was work to do; he made his way home to get changed into costume and hit the streets.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Poor Grammarian. I don't think much of the lady if she couldn't even wait to get out the door; can't believe it didn't occur to her that he might see. Or did it?

  2. Janet: There's quite a bit more story after this. Her actions aren't nearly as clear cut as they seem.

    Red: Sorry, I didn't install the Mandarin font pack.


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