Informal Introductions

“We should’ve had these on before we got here,” Alliane said. She struggled to secure the royal blue bowtie around her throat. The sweat pouring down her ruddy face and hands made the task more troublesome than it should have been. Her long, black hair irritated her more by sticking to her hands and face….

Shopping. Maul.

Palmer watched the young woman with curiosity. He sat at a small table in the mall’s food court. Holiday shoppers flowed around him like slow-moving traffic going this way and that. The murmur of the patrons sounded like a dull roar to his ears. He stared at the brown-haired woman sitting down at the edge…