Dr Grump and The Extra Dimension: Part 1 (a story in fragments).
'Nothing,' she said, but in that way we both knew that something was.
'Are you going to tell me now or later?'
But she flounced off.
Dr Grump is very good at flouncing. In fact I think she studies it (when she is not studying sexual dynamics and etymology). Sometimes Dr Grump and I sit together in the Senior Common Room in College (St Clueless's at the University of Uurm) and watch soap operas on the TV just for research purposes. Whenever there is a big spat I notice that Dr Grump pays especial attention to the end of it, noting particularly the scene-shaking slamming of a door and the momentary hush that follows it.
There were doors slammed last night. In fact it was easy to follow her because of the noise: first the one to the office and then the one to the corridor and then another and then another after that - each one slammed a little less vehemently than the last.
I eventually found her in Simon's car trying to detune his radio to something more to her taste (Simon is Dr Grump's ex-lover - also a professor of hormonal chemistry and a fellow fellow).
'What's up?' I asked again (I was having to shout above the mess of music and manic voices). She shook her head.
'Tell me.' I said and lent forward to switch off the radio.
She looked up at me and I gave a little gasp. Dr Grump's mascara was running down her cheeks - normally her grooming is impeccable.
'Tell me.' I said again, a little softer this time and hesitantly touched her on the shoulder (although Dr Grump and I are close we are not physical).
'I found out something important,' she said, 'but no one will believe me.'
Then she frantically reached into the glove compartment for a tissue and sobbed loudly into it.