Grey, Grey-er, Grey-est

“It started the day Daryl was born. Joan went through a long, hard labor. And then he didn´t breathe right away.’

Simon leaned back in his camp chair, watching the flames, as he spoke to his friend. “You?’

Jim was sitting a few feet away, poking at the fire with a crooked branch. He thought back to the day Sandburg had shown up at the hospital pretending to be a doctor. That´s when it had started. He was sure of it.


Simon snorted. “Then when he was learning to walk, he takes a header off the deck. We had to rush him to the emergency room. That made a hefty contribution.’ He looked at Jim. “What else?’

Images of the loft, broken into; his young roommate missing and later found…tied to a chair, gagged with a yellow scarf…flashed through Jim´s mind. He absent-mindedly ran his fingertips across the top of his head and nodded imperceptibly.


Simon chuckled and shook his head. “Sports injuries, school bullies, anytime he was more than five minutes late coming home.’

The faces of Garret Kincaid, David Lash and Lee Brackett appeared in his mind as Jim nodded again, this time with surety.


Just then, the flap of the nearby tent was thrown back and Blair crawled halfway out. Sleep-bleary eyes looked up at the two older men. “I heard my name.’ He fumbled his way out of the tent, still entangled in his sleeping bag, and attempted to pull himself to his feet. “What´s up?’

Simon and Jim exchanged amused looks before Jim answered. “Nothing, Junior. We were just trying to account for the grey areas that seem to have cropped up.’

Blair yawned and frowned quizzically at his friends. “Grey areas?’

Simon and Jim pointed to each other´s heads, sniggering softly.

Now Blair looked perplexed. “And my name came up?’

Jim rolled his eyes dramatically, but the effect was lost on Blair as he rubbed wearily at his eyes and struggled to disentangle himself from the sleeping bag hopelessly entwined around his legs.

“Repeatedly.’ Simon tried, in vain, to shield his sputtered chortling by holding a hand to his mouth.

“No way, man.’ Blair had made it to his feet. The sleeping bag was at waist level, fisted in a tight grasp with one hand. He seemed to have given up any hope of extricating himself. He pushed at his disheveled curls with his free hand, but they refused to cooperate and kept bobbing back, covering his eyes. “For one thing, you have to actually have hair in order for it to turn grey…’ The lopsided grin he´d been wearing slid off his face as Jim stood and made a mock-grab for him.

The move caught him off guard and he stumbled forward. With his feet still trapped in the sleeping bag, he lost his balance. He toppled awkwardly toward the fire, his arms frantically pin-wheeling as he tried to remain upright. The sleeping bag slipped to his knees, thwarting the effort.

Twin shouts of “Sandburg!´ were hurled at him by both Simon and Jim as the sentinel lunged out, hurtling across the fire. He threw his arms around Blair´s midsection, tackling him to the ground.

They two men landed with a loud thud.

Blair moaned.

Jim groaned.

He could actually feel six more strands of hair turning from light brown to smoky grey.

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