Tunnel Tales Drabbles
by Judith Nolan



Her Balcony


“I’ve seen your world,” he’d said reflectively. “There’s no place for me in it…”

But there was a place for him… here, on this balcony, with her… Tears scalded Catherine’s eyes as she leaned over the wall, staring into Central Park, fancying she could see him among the shadows. The moon had fled before Vincent finally left. She’d clung to him, only parting when he’d said he couldn’t stay.

Catherine frowned. He’d also said he could feel the things she was feeling. Had he sensed her break-up with Tom tonight?  She’d therefore been alone. Was that why he’d finally appeared?




Auntie Edie


“You look like you had some hot date last night, girlfriend.” Edie’s dark brows rose interrogatingly at Catherine. “Anyone I know? Maybe I could date him when you’re done?”

“I stayed in… read a book,” Catherine lied. She compressed her lips. How could she share her incredible balcony reunion with Vincent? “Nothing special.”

“Yeah, sure…” Edie grimaced. “Must’ve been some book. From that starry look in your eyes, I could’ve sworn…” 

“It’s windy outside.” Catherine shrugged dismissively.  

“Fine…” Edie grimaced. “Well, Auntie Edie’s always here… when you decide to talk. Having no love-life myself right now, I gotta share someone’s…” 




Elliot’s Stuff


“Best stuff… yours.” Mouse nodded vigorously. 

“Thank you, Mouse.” Elliot watched him closely. Conversations with the tinker were never uneventful. 

“Need something more…” Mouse lowered his voice, shuffling closer. 

“Like what, my friend?”  

“Detonators.” Mouse frowned. “Got plastics. But no boom!” His mobile hands flew outwards. 

“Does Father know what you want?” Elliot mused. 

“Not for Father. Or Vincent.” Mouse looked puzzled. “Mouse needs only.” 

“That’s what I’m afraid of…” Elliot laughed. “How about we ask Vincent first?” 

“Why?” Mouse cocked his head. 

Why indeed? Elliot shrugged. “Because he would want to know.” 

“Oh…” Mouse brightened. “Okay, good, okay fine!”



A Miracle


“How is he?” Falcon entered Father’s chamber. 

“Well, he finally stopped crying about three o’clock this morning.” Father’s deeply haggard face told its own story. “Three whole days…” He shook his head. “I don’t know where he found the strength. He finally slept only when I held him.” 

Both men stared down at the tiny baby cuddled against Father’s chest, tucked within his heavy woollen vest. They saw only tight-closed eyes and a shock of dirty blond hair, sticking straight up like an exclamation point. The rest of his body was hidden from view. 

“He’s an actual miracle…” Falcon breathed. 




Sweet Delight


“What is it?” Vincent peered into the bowl Catherine held out. 

“Try some and see.” Catherine smiled at his caution. She spooned a large portion, lifting it towards his mouth. 

Vincent reared back, his gaze zeroing on the creamy mound perched on the spoon. His suspicions didn’t alter.  

“Aw, come on,” Catherine wheedled. “It’s only ice cream. I thought, since it’s so hot tonight…”

“Ice cream…” Vincent mused. He sampled it with his fingertip, before testing it with his tongue. He smiled.  

“You’ve never had ice cream?” Catherine puzzled. 

“Never…” Vincent swirled the taste around in his mouth. “Not bad…”



Love and Hope


…the clouds that gather round the setting sun, do take a sober colouring from an eye that hath kept watch o'er man's mortality…” Vincent finished reading, closing the book. 

Lying against his shoulder, Catherine slept, her breathing slow and even. He sighed, looking down at her, turning his head to press a kiss against her forehead. She didn’t move or wake. For a long moment he hesitated, considering the implications. He could wake her and leave, or… 

Gathering her into his arms, he stood effortlessly, pausing briefly at the threshold, before carrying Catherine into the darkness of her apartment beyond…