A splinter that snags on silk

Section 64 ends chapter, but there’s more

There was something he’d forgotten, something niggling, like a splinter that snags on silk; only now, with the conference tomorrow had it made itself distinct. It stepped into the limelight and he gasped.

Vernon shuddered involuntarily and sat down heavily on the edge of the bath. He hadn’t mentioned his plans to Claire, to Daniel or Pippa. Not explicitly. Sure, one day when they’d been braving the bitter cold at Colchester Zoo, somewhere between the narcissistic orang-utan and the manic meerkats, he’d asked if they would mind him going away for a year or two. Daniel had only shrugged; Pippa alone had truly registered his remark.

“You can go daddy, if you really want. We’ll be alright. It’s not as if we see you often is it?”

“Wouldn’t you miss me?”

“Do you want me to?” said Pippa.

That question mark that had hung over Vernon’s thinking for quite a while then, returned now with a vengeance, smiling with spritely spite.



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