by DeckerM

Judge's Note: This story was not an entry in the contest per se. DeckerM sent it to me one day and told me she was going to enter another story but she wanted me to see this one too. I thought it was hilarious. She knows 'Hawk too well. :)

Winterhawk paced around the room as the woman sat down at the keyboard. He watched her intently as she stared at the blank screen for what seemed like forever.

He held back an acerbic comment—willing her to begin already. Finally she complied.

As her fingers fell into a steady rhythm, he could see the events unfold.

"Now wait a minute!"

She stopped at his complaint and looked up at him expectantly.

"Now what!?" Her tone was distracted... annoyed.

"I wouldn't do that," he told her. He forced his voice to remain calm— non accusatory.

She stared at him for a few minutes and then looked back at the words as they appeared on the screen.

"It looks fine to me," she finally assured him.

"Fine?" His tone was disbelieving. "Do you really think I'd walk into such an obvious trap?"

She gave him exasperated, almost condescending look as she shook her head. "It's a plot device... Duh!"

"Why do you always resort to such silliness? I'm serious, I wouldn't just walk in there. I mean... look at it from my point of view."

"I'm thinking of the readers."

"I understand that, and I understand that you want to entertain them—but you have to make it believable and what it comes down to is—I wouldn't be so easily fooled."

"What if you were... drugged!?"

Now it was his turn to give her an almost disappointed look. "That is such an obvious ploy—convoluted at best."

"Then help me out here!"

'Hawk smiled. "Well—you could make your villain a little more patient... play it along longer... gain my trust."

"But the more time you spend with him, you're going to notice little things... "

"Like the way flies seem to congregate wherever he goes?"

"Yeah... that... it was supposed to be subtle..."

Hawk shook his head. "Well...it's not. You've mentioned flies in every third sentence and I'm fairly certain you don't spell 'putrescence' like that."


He chuckled as she pushed him away from the computer and towards the entertainment center. "Here, keep yourself amused," she ordered. She waited until he started going through her CD's before returning to the computer.

"What sort of organization is this?" he asked after a few moments.


‘Hawk bowed his head. "Based on?"


"Then why is Jethro Tull in the ‘A's'?"

"Ian Anderson." ‘

Hawk took a deep breath. It was going to be a long night.

The woman rested her head in her hands as she stared at the screen realizing the same thing. After a long pause, her fingers started moving again... making a few of the suggested changes—trying to salvage what she'd done so far.

Suddenly she could feel everything fall into place and began typing again. She was lost in the words until ‘Hawk snapped her out of it with an ill-timed comment about the music.

She glared at him for a minute. "Look... will you let me work on this?"

Winterhawk held his hands up in front of him as if warding her off. "I'm just here to make sure you do this right..."

"Well—can't you go help somebody else?"

For some reason that amused him. "But—I'm helping you."

"Straight over a cliff."

"Better you than me," he quipped.

"It can be arranged," she warned him.


With a grumble, the woman hit the delete key. As ‘Hawk vanished from sight, she started writing again. She jumped slightly as Ocelot appeared next to her shaking his head.

(c) 2000 DeckerM. Used with permission.