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Alternity, a Novel of Alternate History

s.t.u.d., page 2




“Yeah, that’s what I said. But she says they need all the teachers they can get.” Henry picked up the folder once more and, once more, opened it to stare at his printed name.

Harry Roman reached down for one of the two suitcases that were the last of his possessions in the room. “What the hell: head down there and milk it for what it’s worth. Any of your interviews even call you back?” Henry shook his head. “Then just do it.”

----------------------------------------

Henry stepped off the flight from La Guardia at three thirty-three in the afternoon and immediately began looking for the chauffeur he was told would meet him at the gate. Local families were reunited with their loved ones arriving home, business people shuffled off with their carry-ons rolling behind them, and Henry was eventually left alone in the waiting area with a solitary sitter. The heavy-set man’s features were hidden by the two-page spread of a copy of the New York Times, which carried the headline “Launching of Shuttle is Scheduled for Tuesday.”

Henry made his way to a pay phone and called the number he was told he could call any time.

“Mirage Springs Schools. This is Nancy.”

“Nancy, it’s Henry Bac--”

“Henry! It’s so good to hear from you! I take it you’re at the airport."

“Yeah, at the gate--”

“Yes, well, I’m so terribly sorry. I wish we could have told you before you got on the plane.”

“What’s that?”

“The position has been filled. I’m so sorry.”

“But it’s a new school--”

“I’m sorry, Henry, but all of the positions have been filled. It’s funny how one day you really need new hires, then the next they’ve all been hired. Again, I’m terribly sorry--”

“How do I get home?” Henry’s forehead was touching the cold metal of the phonebox.

“Home? Oh yes, New York. Well Henry, sorry again, but return airfare wasn’t part of the agreement.”

“What--”

“Sorry, Henry. I have someone here in my office right now. Gotta go!”



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