Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 -

Return of the Disciplinarian

by Frank Martinet
Published: Nov 12, 2016
Words: 52,717
Category: general
Orientation: M/F (mainly)
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1. Monday

I awoke groggily with a disconcerted feeling. The lacy pink bed cover was not mine, nor was the bookshelf of porcelain unicorn miniatures above my head. I sat up with mild curiosity, wondering who I'd come home with, but then I remembered: this was Grandma Eden's guest room. I was back home in Dornbrook.

I couldn't remember much from the previous night, or even the previous week for that matter. Between cramming for finals and celebrating my graduation with the gang at the Lucky Dragon, I hadn't slept more than a dozen hours in the past one hundred and fifty. The train had come in after midnight and to judge from the afternoon light streaming into the room, I had been dead to the world for most of the day. I still felt like hell but the idea of slugging in bed for much longer sounded like even worse torture. I stumbled from bed into the bathroom, relieved myself, and took a quick hot shower.

Grandma Eden was setting out the tea things when I emerged, dressed and somewhat alert.

"Marty! You're awake!"

"Good afternoon, Grams. Thanks for letting me sleep in. I was beat."

She laughed, her voice amusingly girlish for one pushing seventy. "I didn't have much choice! I knocked several times but you were dead as a log."

"Sorry. I haven't had much time for sleeping lately."

"Sit, and I'll get you some breakfast."

I was famished and obeyed, quickly absorbing a mountain of hot buttered scones with honey, coffee instead of tea, deviled ham sandwiches, and fried eggs with bacon. I felt like a real person again when I finished and decided I'd go for a walk in the fresh air. It was a lovely day, warm and bright, and I was restless after weeks of studying.

It was great to be home. When I'd lived in Dornbrook I'd thought the little town quaint and old-fashioned and couldn't wait to be off to university, but having been away for a while, I realized there was much to like about the peaceful place. It still wasn't the sort of place for me to permanently settle in, but it was a nice change of pace for a visit.

I traveled up Gravely Street to the top of Dorrill Hill with its beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. I noticed that even Dornbrook hadn't escaped change: there was a new housing development out on the west side and a new collection of stores just off Route 13.

"Marty Reece? Marvel's boy?"

I turned at the voice and vaguely recognized the dowdy woman in the doorway of the small brick cottage. She was Mrs. Lun-something, I thought.

"Yes ma'am, that's me. Just here visiting, staying with Grandma Eden."

"Weren't you in school?"

"All done, ma'am. I got my diploma two days ago."