The Law According to Commander Driver
[Episode 44 of a spin-off from my novels The Hitch-hiker and Mission of the Unwilling.]
The former Captain of the Sister Ship, Commander Driver, appearing more foreboding in a habit, glared at us. ‘What, do you think you are doing?’
Günter and I jumped apart and stared at our boots as if we were naughty school children who had been sprung.
Driver narrowed her eyes. ‘No fraternizing here, I don’t care what your excuse might be!’
I went into self-justification mode; a well-rehearsed course of Holly-action. At school, I was always in trouble. My father and mother had threatened to send me to an all-girls boarding school. Then they ran out of options, because they did send me to boarding school and I persisted in getting into strife. But according to me, it was never my fault.
‘I-It’s not what you think Ma’am. I was sliding down the banister a-and w-went so f-fast that I j-just couldn’t stop. I-if it hadn’t been for Günter, I would have raced r-right through the door and b-bowled you over.’
Günter tittered like a repeat offender facing the principal.
Driver tightened her lips which did not auger well for our current situation.
‘What, pray tell, were you doing sliding on the banister?’ Driver asked.
Before I could protest myself into deeper trouble, Günter interrupted. ‘Please excuse my friend. May I have a word, Sister?’ Günter took the portly nun aside and spent some minutes in discussion in hushed tones. Driver nodded into her double chin.
Unable to keep still, I spied the huge brown leather-bound Visitor’s Book. I flicked through the pages. Banal comments yawned over the yellowing pages. A familiar signature on a page entitled January 2012 caught my attention. ‘It was the greatest night of our lives’, signed Minna Fahrer.
Next line: ‘That it was,’ signed Kirk R.
What’s all that about? A cold draught made me shiver.
I assumed that Minna had been with Günter for the greatest night of her life. Perhaps, Günter had taken the persona of Kirk as was his modus operandi as secret agent. Or were the rumours correct? Did she have an affair with this Kirk? Who was Kirk R? I gripped the edges of the book. She did not deserve him! She had a good thing going with Günter and she wasted it.
I slammed the book shut. Günter and Driver snapped their heads in my direction. I smiled and gazed around the room as if nothing had happened.
Driver strode over to me. ‘Right, my dear, I think you need to get some rest. I will show you to your room.’
She led me there. The seascape view from the window so perfect one could have mistaken it for a framed picture.
She gave me a tour of the room and laid down the law in the same breath. ‘You may have a bath. If you have a shower—only two minutes, we need to save water. There’s a fresh change of clothes in the wardrobe. No boiler suits in this convent.’ She opened the wardrobe door to reveal Eighteenth Century frocks with the accompanying bustles.
‘Thank you,’ I said. Not really into that old-fashioned gear.
‘Now, no bouncing on the bed, you hear. And under no circumstances, male visitors!’
‘Okay, thank you for your kindness and hospitality.’ I noticed in the mirror my face flushed the colour of a tomato.
‘Oh, and another thing, dinner will be served at six o’clock, sharp. Be in the dining room at that time or go without,’ Driver added.
‘Thank you, Ma’am.’ I bowed and followed her to the door as she departed.
Driver closed the door behind her, and I heard her shoes thumping down the hall in time to my beating heart.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Normanville Beach © L.M. Kling 2012
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Click on the links to my novels below and learn how this war on the alien cockroach Boris began and will continue… The Hitch-hiker Mission of the Unwilling