Names and Strangers

The guy was a complete stranger

Sometimes I just like the way some characters interact. These are a couple of my favorite. What’s your favorite pairings?

Josephine Maria Ziegler sniffed and turned her head to stare pointedly out the window. Ollie rolled her eyes at Josephine. So much for their first class arrangements. Their private train car had become semi-private. Ollie watched the man and was far less put out than her travel companion.

First off, she’d never seen him before and didn’t go making grudges out of nothing. Second, his worn clothing (slightly worn) was irritating Josephine. Ollie wouldn’t have to figure out how to accomplish that task today herself.

Besides, there was one easy to take his measure. Chattering. “What brings you out this way?”

“Hmm?” the man asked folding his paper. How he could stand just sitting there reading Ollie didn’t understand. “Ah yes, I’ve been engaged in a contract which requires a bit of travel.”

“Contract huh?” Ollie scratched her forehead. “Some kind of construction project? Seems to be more of those every day.”

The man chuckled. “Oh, I’m afraid not. I’m useless at such things.”

“So what then?” Ollie asked.

“Ollie,” Josephine squeaked. Ollie breathed out as she glowered. How many times did she have to remind her not to use their names. Hadn’t the Hollyhead disaster taught her anything?

“Oh, don’t worry Miss Ziegler,” the man opened the case in his lap. She hadn’t said Josephine’s name. Ollie reached for her gun, but he was faster. He pointed his at Josephine who’d taken to wailing. Again.

“And this,” Ollie snapped, “is why we don’t give our names out.”

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