10 July 2011

University of Washington

Persephone Evelyn Bumbaugh stepped off the dogsled onto Pike Street.
"Who says dogsledding is animal cruelty?  Look at their faces - they had a blast!"
The musher noted her faux fur-lined hood.
"Hope you did too.  You make a beautiful dandelion!"
Persephone snapped off her hood.  Her puff of golden curls breathed to life.  He corrected himself: "Okay, now you look like a dandelion."
Dogsledding was not common in Seattle, but neither was accumulating snow.  Persephone, with twelve hours to kill until her connecting flight, was not going to waste the opportunity.

Taylor, a dogsled guide from "The" Vancouver Island, came down to the Emerald City for an outdoor expo.  The unusual snowstorm was the perfect backdrop for him and his pack, but scared the expo organizers enough to postpone the whole deal.
The outdoors can sometimes be too outdoors.
With their plans scrapped, Taylor decided to take his dogs along on a self guided tour.  They had been patiently immobile on the 4 hour ferry ride and needed to move.  The 30 degree streets proved to be a genuine workout for his six huskies.  They rarely got up to their full speed.
This allowed a sharp-eyed blonde to flag them down and work her charm.
In only two minutes, Persephone had talked her way into Taylor's mini exploration.  He took it on his own to lend her his jacket, which she was now returning.

"This was an amazing - "
Persephone was going to say layover, but caught herself.
" - stopover, I really appreciate it, Taylor.  Here's your coat back.  Thanks."
"Now where are you flying to again?  If it's somewhere cold you can keep it."
"I appreciate it, but it's Singapore.  Pretty hot there."
"Singapore!  Exotic!"
"I guess."  Persephone knelt down to pet the huskies, who were now sprawled out on the packed snow.
She thought, He's older.  He seems cool.  I can tell this stuff.  Go on, divulge.
She continued, "I'm over there a lot for work, so it's no big deal for me anymore.  Kind of getting sick of it, actually.  It'd be like you and...uh, Tacoma maybe?"
"Yeah, Tacoma blows.  Sequim too.  And Port Angeles is a hole."
"Skwim??  I wouldn't like Skwim either.  Skwim.  What about places you do like?"
"Up north, Victoria.  Down south, Astoria."
"And way down south, Pretoria.  Been there?"
"Where's that?"
"That's a no.  It's in South Africa.  Heh heh...Skwim."
"You really want to go to Sequim!  I can tell!"
"Not with the sell job you just gave me!"
Taylor's dogs, having rested for a while, are now ready to get moving again.  They start nosing him.
"Hold on now, pups.  Listen, Persephone, if you ever have a longer - "
Taylor was going to say stopover, but caught himself.
" - layover in the area, you really should consider a ferry up to The Island.  It's beautiful land."
"I'd love to do it right now even, but my plane..."
"Yeah, I know.  It's almost a 4 hour one way, because they stop...at..."
Taylor stopped.  He squinted at his watch.  He put one hand on his hip and  brought the other to his lips.
"Whaaatcha thinkin'?" said Persephone, imitating herself, twenty-five years younger.
"They stop at Friday Harbor.  A town in the San Juans.  Two hours one way.  We get off there, where we get my dogs a run and us some dinner.  Then I get the next passage to The Island.  You get the next return to Seattle two hours later!"
"With time to spare!  I like it.  When does the next ferry leave here?"
Taylor turned to point under the highways and toward the piers.  "You see that giant boat in the distance?  It's here now.  What do you say?  Hop on?"
The dogs were already in position.  Taylor held out his coat again.
Persephone slipped it on and grabbed onto Taylor's waist.
"Mush me, dogsled man!"
As the canine convoy pawed down the street, Persephone yelled, "So what's Friday Harbor like?"
Taylor yelled back.  "Almost as nice as The Island."
"Almost as nice?  You need to work on those selling skills."
Taylor ignored Persephone's half-joke.  A minute later she cut the silence.
"Hee hee...Skwim."

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