Excerpt, Northward

A PI, Francis McNally, is trying to carry on a conversation with a mother whose daughter is clearly in charge. They both keep fending her off, but the young girl, Regina, is clearly running the show.

 

 

Let her stew for a moment,” Nikki said, then finished her brandy in a gulp and poured another.

“Hope I remember to put the batteries back in the remote tomorrow. You know, I found her here one night about 3:00 a.m. watching some home decorating show. So now I disable the remote, at least when I remember. And she hasn’t figured out yet that there’s an on/off button on the TV.”

“Neither did I,” I said. That drew out a cautious smile.

“Now, what can I tell you about Derek,” she said, “or has Manitok told you enough?”

“Nobody ever tells me enough,” I said. I kept watching the kitchen door, expecting Regina’s re-entry with an appropriate selection from the knife block.

move more spasmodically. Even then, she seemed to have a good handle on what constituted an acceptable response to frustration, for when she slammed down the remote—she chose the couch where it landed noiselessly and undamaged. Then she was back to the kitchen.

“High maintenance,” her mother repeated.

“She knows her limits...and yours.”

“Let her stew for a moment,” she said, then finished her brandy in a gulp and poured another.

“Hope I remember to put the batteries back in the remote tomorrow. You know, I found her here one night about 3:00 a.m. watching some home decorating show. So now I disable the remote, at least when I remember. And she hasn’t figured out yet that there’s an on/off button on the TV.”

“Neither did I,” I said. That drew out a cautious smile.

“Now, what can I tell you about Derek,” she said, “or has Manitok told you enough?”

“Nobody ever tells me enough,” I said. I kept watching the kitchen door, expecting Regina’s re-entry with an appropriate selection from the knife block.