In The Name of Lynch

-A Tragic Turn-

Bryce hardly slept that night. In the barn with Murray, he watched Mattie tend to her calf. As the cow doted lovingly on the daughter that Bryce himself had helped deliver, tears ran down Bryce's face.

"Maybe you should've explained things to your mother," Murray told him. "It's not as if she knew who Jenny was. You never did contact her at ACS."

"If she had simply said that she was concerned about me, I might've considered that," Bryce told him. "But she just yelled and screamed at me as if I were a child."

"We are children to our parents no matter how old we get. The fact that you still look sixteen or seventeen doesn't help. But that can't be helped."

Bryce wiped away his tears. "I supposed you're right," he said. "But I can't believe she didn't even give Jenny a chance. Though maybe I should call it off considering what I might have to do."

"What do you mean? You're not going back into cryo!"

"No," Bryce shook his head. "But I may have to reattach myself to the computer in order to..."

"Nonsense!" Murray told him. "We've got Max for that!"

"We can't use him! Any hint of Max would bias public opinion either for or against Network 23."

"Look," Murray told Bryce. "It's late. You're upset. Get some sleep. I'm sure you'll think more clearly on it in the morning."

Murray rolled over and went to sleep.

But Bryce still could not. He decided to head over to the pond to see if he could relax there. It was the place where he and Jenny had become engaged after all. It had happy memories for him, and he hoped those happy memories would give him some peace.

Watching the moon sparkle in its surface, he walked around it, humming tunelessly to himself as he worked out what he should do about his mother and Jenny. He wanted them to like each other. And he wanted his mother to see what a wonderful lady Jenny was. As he thought these things to himself, he did not notice the slimy area and fell into the pond with a loud splash.

Bryce had grown up in the city, and they did not have swimming lessons at ACS. He floundered in the water, trying to get back to the shore. But the night's darkness made it nearly impossible for him tell which shore was closest. And the water was bitter cold since the sun had been down about four hours at this point, adding freezing pain to the panic Bryce was starting to feel. He tried to calm himself by thinking of how silly it was that people should use the word 'flounder' to mean flailing in the water when flounders themselves were pretty darn good swimmers.

By some miracle, he reached the edge. But it was the slimy edge and he could not pull himself up. He tried several times, each more strenuous than the last as his limbs grew stiffer with pain until he had to admit that he was defeated.

As his consciousness faded for the last time, he remembered a remark he'd made long ago about challenging God. A faint smile formed on his lips as he whispered what he was certain would be his final words.

"Checkmate. You win."

Back                         Home                              Max Headroom Main Page                              Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted!