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cover image of Renegade


by Ulf Wolf


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   Not today
His room was small and warm and he had now sat so still for so long and said nothing for so long that I would be justified in wondering whether he was still awake.He was though. His eyes were open and resting on his hands, on his hairless hands one on top of the other, who in turn rested on the cluttered table. He could have been inspecting them, could have been figuring something out about them, or pondering what to say next, or none of the above: it was anybody's guess.Then, after another warm while, he looked up from his inspection or musing, found me again and smiled, though I believe mainly to himself. He then slightly shook his head and said—with emphasis on I: "I think." He then tapped his temple with his index finger, and started over. "I think that this all took place up here. I think you imagined it."When I didn't answer, for I didn't quite know what to say, after a brief silence, he added, "You know you've always had a vivid imagination."When I still didn't answer, he said, "Come on, Christopher. You don't really think this could have happened, do you? That it...," but there he stopped, as if struck by another thought, one too important to pass up.He always called me Christopher, never Chris like the rest of the world.His right hand had returned from temple-tapping and re-covered its mate. And they were hair-less, his hands were. I had often noticed that before and now I noticed it again. Odd, that. And so clean they shone.He still smiled, and still to himself more than to me, as he studied me over the rim of his glasses, apparently done talking after all, waiting for my response.It was my turn to shake my head. I didn't know what to say. I had hoped that he would believe me, I thought I had good reason to.I looked away, at the curtained window, and as I did I heard him draw a long, audible lungful of air. "What you have to realize, Christopher, is that sometimes, even though you think you see or feel something, it's not necessarily the case. It often is, and in this case it most certainly was some chemical or other playing tricks with your brain."I faced him again, and he gave me another long, searching look before he said, "I don't know what you expected me to say, and I'm sorry if I have disappointed, but I but there has to be some biological, some chemical explanation. There has to be."Then he added, "And I think you know that.":Walter had moved since I saw him last. Prior to that, for as long as I had known him, he had lived either with his aunt on 2nd Street or in that always too warm (for my taste) little room he had rented from Mrs. Finch on Lake. Now he had his own place. I think they call them studio apartments, or is it bachelor pads? I'm not sure, but this, too, was small, and this, too, was warm. Walter liked cozy.And this apartment was almost as badly lighted as his room on Lake. His drawn curtains kept the day out and the only sources of light were the cold fluorescent over the kitchen counter timidly spilling into the room and the reading light by the table which was still highlighting his hands. The rest of the apartment lay in shadow and smelled of a day or two of not much housekeeping.

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Ulf Wolf
Smashwords Edition
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Ulf Wolf (Author)

Ulf is a Swedish name that once meant Wolf. So, yes, Wolf Wolf, that's me. I was born Ulf Ronnquist one snowy night in late October, in one of those northern Swedish towns that are little more than a clearing in the forest. Fast forward through tw...

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