the golden mystery (part nine)

This story started here.

Dan poked his head in through the open door, but before he could speak the woman said, "People don't appreciate how difficult it is to create a test like this. And now we need a third one, and they all have to be comparable in difficulty, or it wouldn't be fair–"

"Audrey," Dan said as he approached the desk, "we should probably work on figuring out what happened this morning. Then we can deal with creating a new test."

She looked miffed that her tirade had been interrupted, but she said, "Well, what do we have to do?"

"I'd like to get everybody in here," I said. "Everybody who was involved. Then I can find out the sequence of events." Then I interrupted myself (and I could imagine my employer's look of disapproval at my disorganization). "You mentioned that Corey had a broken arm. I'm just curious about how he broke it."

Dan shrugged. "He just said he fell, but it seemed there was more to it."

"We broke it," one of the Golden said suddenly. I had already given up trying to figure out which of them was which. "He tried to put his hands on Sharon's body, under her clothes. So, we broke his arm to stop him."

Audrey looked dubious about this, but then Ron spoke up.

"He did that to me," she said. "Or he tried to. The first day I was in school."

I glanced at her, and I guess it was obvious to the others that I had not known about this before.

"Hazel wants to fight her own battles," one of the Golden said, "as much as possible. She has been defending herself from various human predators for some time, after all." He jumped nimbly away as Ron tried to kick him in the shin, and one of the others continued. "To run to you with every incident in her life would cause you to lose respect for her. She is fully aware that she can come to you whenever she encounters a situation she can't solve, and that feeling makes her happier than she will ever express to you directly."

It was almost like a dance. The Golden spoke in sequence, and as each one spoke Ron tried to deliver a kick, but she was always blocked by the other two, one of whom then started to speak.

I had heard of people completing each other's sentences, but this seemed extraordinary to me. It was apparently not unusual, though, since Audrey and Dan barely reacted, except for Dan's smile at Ron's increasing determination to land a good kick on somebody.

When that was done, Ron made a face, but she was clearly not upset. We had already observed that kicking was mostly a friendly game with Ron. When she was really upset, she cursed, loudly and at length.

"Well," Dan said, "now that we've had our exercise, let me get the others."

Ron leaned over to whisper something to one of the Golden (her expression said that it was probably her friend Will). As she finished, they all three smiled.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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