Major Tammy Fuller interviews author, James Hellvig:
MT lost in thought, startles as Jim stops in front of the deserted diners table. Waving at the opposing bench she says.
“Welcome. Please, have a seat.”
Slouching into the cramped booth, JH forces a grin saying.
“Thanks. This is a little…weird. Am I interrupting something?”
Nodding in agreement MT replies:
“You’re always interrupting! As for my thoughts… are you sure you want to hear them?”
Shrugging Jim raises his hands in mock surrender mumbling.
Face slowly reddening, MT replies.
“You took high level operator and turned her life upside down. What the hell do I know about raising a kid or relating to a cantankerous old nun? ”
Signaling the waitress, Tammy orders coffee raising an eyebrow in Jim’s direction quizzically. Tensing, he tells the disinterested woman.
“Black coffee please…and a few Equal packets if you have them.”
Nodding tiredly, the waitress shuffles away leaving a pair of stained menus on the edge of the table. Each ignoring the printed offerings, MT breaks the growing silence saying bluntly.
“Sooo…let’s hear it! What in the CRAP where you thinking! Why saddle me with people and emotions I can’t control!”
Squirming a little uncomfortably JH answers.
“I’m not sure. I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I can’t answer the why part except to say that there’s still more to tell. Your faith, Anna and mother Steele along with dozens of other questions remain unresolved!”
Scowling, MT glowers at the man while the returning waitress sets their cups down, taking the untouched menus with her with a sigh. Jim hurriedly stirs sweetener into his cup, sipping as MT growls.
“Does mental illness run in your family?”
Sputtering, coffees spraying into his off hand as he hastily lowers his steaming cup back to the table were it promptly sloshes over.
Rolling her eyes, MT continues a little vehemently.
“Please tell me you didn’t get me into this mess without figuring a way out of it! I’ve pushed my military commanders about of far as I can. You were an operator once! Having the proper intelligence in critical! ”
Looking embarrassed JH mutters.
“Well no…I mean… yeah! I’ll figure it out eventually! What are you? My editor!”
Leaning back, MT snorts.
“If I were your editor, I’d kick you butt! I don’t suppose I could speak to your muse?”
JH closes his gaping mouth with a click before chuckling and responding with.
“If you can get anything out of that cigar chomping clown I’d be impressed! He only shows up sporadically, grunting here and there and making smart aleck comments. Good luck with that!”
Shaking her head sadly, MT mutters.
Indignant, JH says.
“Oh come on! I’ve done all right so far! After all, odd as it is, we’re sitting here!”
Taking a deep calming breath, MT sighs ticking off points on her fingers and saying pointedly.
“ Nuclear detonations. Betrayals. Friends and family in pain…we’re steps away from anarchy. Do you still wanna stick with that ‘I know what I’m doing’ line?”
Thinking carefully, JH replies.
“All I know for sure is that you’re tough and smart Major. I’ve given you plenty of help. I’m confident that whatever lies ahead, we’ll get thru it… IF we work together!”
Studying the greying man across from her, Tammy finally sighs loudly, reaching out a hand to cover one of his own saying firmly.
“OK. I still think your butt could stand a kicking…BUT we’ll defer that for now. Just try and give me a little heads up, huh.”
Pointing a finger an inch from his nose, Tammy continues sternly.
“You keep my people SAFE author man! Understand me?”
Smiling in return, JH nods solemnly saying.
“Yes Ma’am. Kicking my butt might be harder than you think ya know.”
Squeezing his hand, Tammy stands to leave saying over her shoulder.
“Don’t count on it Kenpo man…coffee’s on you. Figure you owe me that much!”
Watching as she walks slowly out the door, Jim sips his cooling coffee musing.
Maybe I OUGHT to get her to talk to the muse….