Warning: if you meet a cable man named Jim, run. Run very fast.
Mark hadn’t believed that at first, but the more he thought about it the more sense it made. He texted his brother, too much of their youth a question. I didn’t send for a cable man, did you do something?
Tom texted back soon enough. Why would I send you a cable guy?
With a groan, Mark went to escape out the window, away from the man waiting at his front door with the name “Jim” on his vest.
Nobody actually understood what was happening, but Mark and Tom agreed that it was something worth running away from. Rather quickly.
Tom had long since stopped thinking that Mark was hiding the truth from him. After all, how could he continue to hide something like this? The axe man looked the same as he did when they were teenagers. Except now Tom was in his mid twenties and Mark coming on thirty. So it couldn’t be the same person.
He was doing the same thing though. Mark pulled him around a corner and they caught their breath.
“I swear,” Tom managed to say, “if I thought suit fitting was going to result in this, I’d probably have told you to get another best man.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t have been so early,” Mark replied.
Yeah, none of the others were going to believe this, that was for sure.
Something about this was a bad idea, but looking back on the lumberjack chasing them through the forest, Mark figured it was too late to change his mind.
His little brother kept shooting a look at him. The sixteen year old didn’t have the breath to ask it, but Mark knew the question he wanted to ask was “why”.
“Don’t panic, I’ve got this under control,” he managed to wheeze out.
Tom didn’t look like he believed him. Mark dragged him around to the other side of a tree.
Taking a couple big gulps of air, Tom hit him in the arm. “Wh-”
They waited for the axe-armed man to run by their location. Yep, too late to change his mind. Holding Tom’s forearm, Mark turned them around back toward the cabin.
There was a train on the track. James retied his sneakers. Mercedes stood next to him, hands on her hips.
“What. What even.”
The way her nostrils flared out with every irritated snort was something that was more pronounced in this cold weather. It was Mercedes idea that they be a bit more active. Not driving everywhere active, but really active active. It was James’ idea that they run the track to make sure they get the minimum in ever day.
Like most of James’ ideas, somehow it was ruined. Today, it was by a train.
“When did that get there?” Mercedes demanded of the passing penguins.
One of them honked. James squeezed the bridge of his nose. “We could go and run up and down the river instead?”
“And have the wind make fun of me? Last time it called you fat. The wind’s a jerk.”
“The wind doesn’t have sole possession of the riverside.”
As far as Mercedes was concerned, it did. They had to find somewhere else to run though, rather than the track. The train wasn’t theirs to move, after all. That was up to the triceratops who wanted their vote.
The dread began in his stomach and rose to his head. It was enough to make him feel ill. He took in a deep breath and held it, trying to calm the pounding of his heart.
“Good god, it’s just a lap. You have no health problems. Just get going.”
He could have glared, but he didn’t. Dejectedly, he started to run.