- Text Size +
* * * * *

It was Beth Tweddle who stooped down to pick up the little man in her right hand. With only his head sticking out the top of her clenched fist.

"All right, you! Who are you, and what were you doing in the toe of my ballet flat?"

So, Bob Bullfinch did the best he could to recount everything he had gone through since he had blacked out aboard the jetliner.

"For all I know," he concluded: "I'm actually in some London hospital bed with a concussion. And, this has all been just a bad dream!"

Aliya Mustafina grinned: "Does this feel like dream, little man?"

Whereupon, she began stroking his head with her right index finger.

"Cut that out!" he barked up at her (though more in embarrassment than anger).

Both gymnasts merely giggled.

"So, what should we do with him?" asked Beth of her Russian roommate.

"You've got to help me," shouted Bob: "Please! Show me to your coach...or the team nurse...or even the Judges' Committee!! Somebody--anybody--with the authority to get me looked at by someone who can explain how I got this way!!!"

"Nyet-nyet-nyet!" exclaimed the Russian girl: "If we show you to either of our coaches, they will kick us off both our teams for harboring a man in our dorm room."

"But, I've never been to your dorm room," Bob protested: "I told you..."

"I know; I know," replied the English girl: "You were held hostage by the Chinese as a living good luck charm. They'll nickname me 'Beth Twaddle,' if I try to sell _that_ story. Especially with China taking the silver in the uneven bars, just now!"

"We shall just have to keep you with us, overnight," decided Aliya: "Then, we see what to do with you, tomorrow."

"Now, wait a minute!" yelled Bob, only for Beth to cut him off by covering his face with her thumb. Aliya then giggled, once more, as Beth used her left hand to pull the neck line of her dark blue leotard outward. Thereby allowing her to drop the shrunken American down inside!

After which, the two gymnastic medal winners donned their sweatsuits and headed for the tram that would return them to the Olympic girls' dormitory.


Zeus and the Fates were laughing their heads off (figuratively speaking).

" 'So close and, yet, so far,' " quoted Lachesis.

"Aye!" agreed her thunderbolt-throwing father: "Now, let's resume watching his older brother, Gabriel."

Thus, the magni-scrying glass changed scenes, once more. Specifically; to the dorm room of Sheilla Castro. The foremost server on the Brazilian girls' indoor volleyball team. She knew a little more English than her beach volleyball-playing roomate, Juliana. So, Gabe Bullfinch was able to tell almost the same thing to her as his younger brother had told the gymnasts. And, with just as much dubiosity demonstrated by Sheilla.

"Still," she added: "...you _have_ proven yourself an effective good luck charm. So, our team captain has ordered that I hang on to you during our five games against the Russian team, tomorrow. Good-night, little one!"

"No, wait...!" pleaded Gabe. Though, to no avail.

He still wound up in the top drawer of the dresser assigned to Sheilla...for the next eight hours.

You must login (register) to review.