Since Monday Maureen had talked mostly about the weather. There was a lot to talk about. There were wind gusts over sixty miles per hour and the rain accumulation was steady if modest. In her own modest and steady way, Maureen made it all feel safe and calm. The listeners in the room were not overly concerned or agitated, and the sound-proofing of the cottage kept them all in perfect denial. The four of them sat around a natural gas bonfire burning above a spread of fake coal-like rocks. Earlier, over the weekend, they’d been subjected to the musical stylings of Mary Jane and Garreth Woolstonecraft on harpsichord and flute. Next on the program was folksy tales of ordinary ghetto peeps sponsored by Sierra Mist, but that was slated for Friday. Until then, Maureen was the sound emitting from the personal collective 5:1 surround acoustical system.
Of the four, Jay was the most motionless. His heart rate had stabilized at 15 per and the wearable MRI was showing no discernible activity. Kathleen was next with a body temperature of eighty eight point eight. Karon and Jimi were struggling to relax, as if their bodies contained resistance to the theme. This was impossible, of course. Federal regulations assured that decay and release from this evolutionary plane would proceed as precisely as the area beneath the proverbial curve.