“One dimensional Mrs Threedy”

Vernon had come to the decision that 1970s architecture was Nihilism in Denial.

Vernon had come to the decision that 1970s architecture was Nihilism in Denial.

Section 114 is lost in the 70s

Knowing there was unlikely to be any mobile signal Vernon opted for a trek of his own to the Mathematics department. He entered the featureless 1970s block and climbed the stairs fretting over the possibilities.

In Jean Luc’s office was Mrs Threedy. Ancient and inevitably the focus multidimensional jokes. It was well known however that she could give as good as she received. “Afternoon Joan; have you seen Jean Luc by any chance, is he in d’you know?”

Solid, substantial and with strong foundations, Joan Threedy sat at the desk marking exercise books. Flick and tick, flick and tick. After a moment she looked over the rim of her tortoiseshell frames and said, “He’s not in here as you can see. What’s a Philosopher of Religion doing in Mathematics? Are you lost?”

The Maths office was overwhelmingly threadbare... and Threedy.

The Maths office was overwhelmingly threadbare… and Threedy.

Vernon wondered if his puzzlement was what his students felt when they didn’t know if he was joking or not. “I’m looking for Jean Luc. I’m worried about his son. Has he taken the day off or has he gone to lunch?”

“Well now. As to Jean Luc’s Émile, he’s not likely to be at school, this or any other from what I know of him; always taking the day off and probably out to lunch too I’d say. Ah but here’s Jean Luc now.” And to her mathematics colleague she said, “Jean Luc your priest is here for confession.”

Vernon turned to see a wan smile linger on Jean Luc’s tired face. Unsurprisingly he wasn’t sleeping well. They left and Jean Luc managed to quip, “No wonder physicists are constantly looking for more dimensions, “‘old 3D’ is tiresome don’t you think?”

Vernon knew it would take a special lens to get Mrs Threedy in focus.

Vernon knew it would take a special lens to get Mrs Threedy in focus.

As they walked by common consent to the dining hall Vernon said “I wasn’t sure you’d be in. Have you found Émile?”

Jean Luc sighed and shook his head briefly. “No, but he contacted me and then refused to say where he is. He seems to think he uncovered some kind of scam that Tarkey was up to when he re-tested the Nonsense Filter App on its return from ‘fine tuning’. Émile won’t say where he is only that he’s fine and comfortable; of course Ari doesn’t believe me.”

As they joined the queue for food Jean Luc said quietly “Sorry Jean Luc. I’m glad at least the boy’s okay. You must have been beside yourself with worry. I’ve been fired you know, at least I resigned and before my letter arrived I was fired.”

It was Jean Luc’s turn to offer comfort. “Sorry Vernon, I had no idea.”

See the story in the round on The Novel page 

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