Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Past Life - Chapter 1, scene 4
(Latest installment. To read the story in order, go to the Writing - Past Life (story) category)
Wednesday 1st November, 7:30 am.
Through the early morning hours Katherine turned her thoughts into hypotheses; subjected them to critical analysis, ran mental simulations to see how they might stand up in the real world, and rejected those with sub-optimal outcomes. That was the way her logical left brain worked. But tonight it was fighting for a hearing with something less ordered, more subversive; an emotional flood tide that kept interrupting and undermining her careful logic.
She lost count of the number of cups of coffee she had made or the minutes she had stared, unseeing, at some late night TV show, while the waters of emotion had overwhelmed her thoughts. But, sometime around dawn, Katherine had mastered her unruly emotions and arrived at the makings of a plan.
She would go to the university early and retrieve her own research papers. She wouldn't be able to complete the work without the university's research program, but she might be able to recycle some of the material if she could get onto another computer related program elsewhere. That might at least provide some basis for keeping her career alive. After that she would make an appointment to see the Vice Chancellor to discuss her future. Maybe, the university would be keen to replace Jeff so that they could retain his research funding. If she were lucky, she might get a recommendation to be research assistant to a new Professor.
Once she had done that, she would go to Jeff's place. Not that she particularly wanted to visit a murder scene, but there was the tantalising thought of all that computer equipment that Inspector Peyton had mentioned. That too might provide some leverage with the university.
Heading to the shower, Katherine shrugged off the pink wrap, letting it fall to the ground as her slim frame slid gracefully behind the frosted glass; looking for all the world like a scene from a TV advertisement for beauty soap. At twenty-eight, Katherine was an attractive woman. Anyone could see that; anyone except Katherine herself, who seemed totally unaware of the magnetic effect she had on the few men who got close to her. Whenever Katherine looked in a mirror, she saw a nerdy geek with glasses and front teeth that seemed a touch too large. In her own eyes, Katherine was a computer scientist; a good computer scientist for whom IQ was a more vital statistic than dress size.
An hour later, dressed in a brown suit atop a beige, roll-neck jumper and wearing a backpack, she carried her kick-bike down the stairs of her flat and scooted toward the university.