Lynette Baxter was born a beautiful child with light brown hair and blue eyes as most babies are, one of thousands born that same day. Not an unusual birth, except, of course, to her parents who were completely enthralled with her arrival. She was a cute normal baby. If she had stayed that way who knows what would have happened or wouldn't have happened.
Lynette advanced normally through her first year or more. Her mother took her to the pediatrician for the usual visits for shots and examination. She started toddling and trying to say a few words quite early, but again this was not too unusual. Her mother doted on her pretty little girl. Her hair has stayed the same light brown, almost blond, but her eyes had changed to a hazel to match her father's.
Things started changing around her second birthday when her mother took her for a scheduled visit to the doctor. She had become aware of something that puzzled her.
“Doctor, can you check her eyes? There are times when Lyn doesn't seem to be aware of things, like when I hold up her toys in front of her she doesn't focus on them. She also bumps into things like she doesn't see them. It's not all the time, and not for long, just occasionally.”
“Well, let's take a look. She follows my finger fine when I move it, and her eyes dilate correctly. Young children are easily distracted, maybe she's concentrating on something else when this happens. If it continues or gets worse we could have her looked at by an ophthalmologist. There's a very good one here in the clinic.”
“I think I'll watch her closer, Doctor. If it keeps up I'll call you.”
It was only a few days later when Mrs. Baxter called, “Doctor Berg, there's something going on and I'm scared. Lyn seemed to be blind all morning. She was feeling her way around just staring straight ahead. It didn't seem to bother her, she didn't cry or fuss. Then, just before lunch, she was fine, running around as usual. Can you refer me to the ophthalmologist?”
“Certainly Mrs. Baxter. I'm sure Dr. Shelton will find if there's anything wrong, don't worry.”
They arrived early to the ophthalmologists office but were shown into an examination room immediately. After a thorough exam Dr. Shelton called Mrs. Baxter into his office, “I can find nothing organically wrong Mrs. Baxter. We can do more testing at the hospital, possibly a brain scan would show something.”
“If you think that's what we should do, let's do it. Could it be psychological or something like that?”
“There is such a thing as hysterical blindness or conversion disorder that sometimes comes and goes, but you say she's acting normal during these incidents and I've never heard of a child this young having it. If the hospital tests are inconclusive I'd recommend seeing a child psychiatrist.”
After a thorough battery of hospital tests nothing was found. On the contrary, it seemed that Lynette was an exceptionally healthy child. Mrs. Baxter made an appointment with the best child psychiatrist she could find, a Dr. Phyllis Mendel.
Dr. Mendel took Lynette into an examination room alone and did a preliminary physical exam. At one point she shined her little penlight in Lynette's eyes, “Can you see the light Lynette?”
In her little girl voice Lynette said, “I can now.”
“What do you mean, honey, you can now? Are there times when you can't?”
“Sometimes I just see the Dark.”
“Can you tell me when it happens, Lynette?”
“I don't know, it just happens. Mommy feels bad sometimes when the Dark comes so I just sit down until the light comes back.”
“How do you know that Mommy feels bad? Does she yell at you?”
“Oh no, Mommy never yells at me. I just feel that she feels bad.”
“When the light comes back does Mommy feel better?”
“I don't know, I can't feel her then.”
“Can you feel other people when the Dark comes?”
“Uh huh, I can feel Daddy.”
“What does Daddy feel like?”
“He feels like worry sometimes. Sometimes about his job. Sometimes about me. He feels happy too, like when Mommy and Daddy are sitting together on the couch.”
“Does Daddy love you?”
“ He holds me and loves me a lot. I like that. Mommy does too.”
“Can you make the Dark come, Lynette?”
“I don't know.”
“Could you try for me?”
“Do I have to? Sometimes it's not nice to feel if Daddy or Mommy are real worried.”
“No honey, you don't have to. I'm going to ask you some more questions and we won't talk about the Dark, is that alright?”
“Uh huh, you're a nice lady.”
After finishing her talk with Lynette she took her to a playroom full of toys and called Mrs. Baxter into her office. “Lynette's a very precocious child Mrs. Baxter. I'd like to see her on a regular basis until I get a handle on what's going on. I'm sure you don't have to worry about her mind, I think it's very sound, but there is something strange going on.”
“What do you mean, Doctor? What is it?”
“When Lynette is sightless, she is not blind in the ordinary sense of the word. She gains another sense that seems to block her sight. She gains a strong sense of empathy. She's coping with it extraordinarily well and it's not affecting her negatively. I suggest that you get her training from a place where the blind are trained to handle their affliction. With one of their canes she will do fine until we figure out what to do.”
Lynette did get training and carried the collapsible cane with her where ever she went as she grew older. Her periods of being sightless didn't seem to bother her at all as it was the only existence she had ever known, and she gained something that was a wonder to her. She could feel animals.
“Mommy, you said that doggy down the street must be mean cause he's always barking at us. He's not mean, he's lonely. He wants to be with people and he can't cause he's tied up all day. He likes people.”
Mrs. Baxter was very protective of her darling daughter. Maybe being a little over protective as she never let her out of her sight and took her with wherever she went, even to Grinell's butcher shop.
“Good morning Mrs. Baxter, and how are you Lynette?” Mr. Grinell tickled Lynette under the chin a bit which caused her to giggle. Grinell was a squat man with heavily muscled arms and shoulders from wrestling sides of beef and pig carcasses all day. “What can I get for you today? I have some fine lamb chops.”
“Those sound fine. Wrap three please, and about two pound of hamburger.”
“Here you are, and here's a sucker for you, sweetie, have a good day.”
A few days later Mrs Baxter visited Grinell's again, but this time Lynette was seeing the Dark, and was holding her mothers hand. When they approached the butcher Lynette clutched at her mothers legs. When Grinell chucked her under the chin she screamed and tried to bury her face in her mother's dress, crying hysterically.
“Oh dear, what's the matter, honey. Are you hurt?” Lynette cried even harder, screaming out her howls, and trying to burrow farther in her mother's clothes. “I'm sorry Mr. Grinell, I'll have to come back later, I don't know what's come over her.”
When they reached the car Mrs. Baxter hugged her close to try to calm her. ”Shh, shh, honey, stop crying and tell mommy where it hurts. Everything is alright, shush now.”
Lynette stifled her sobs enough to be able to mutter, “Mommy, why does that man want to do those things to me?”
“What man do you mean?”
Lynette pointed to the butcher shop. Her mother was confused, “Do you mean Mr. Grinell? But you like Mr. Grinell, he always gives you candy. What bad things are you talking about, honey?”
“He wants to stick things in me, down there, and watch me cry. He wants to pull my hair too, and make me open my mouth. You won't let him do that, will you?”
“No darling, no one is going to hurt you while Mommy and Daddy are here, and we're going to be here for a long time. Here, let me wipe your nose and face. Then we'll go home and I'll talk to daddy about it and we'll make sure no one can hurt you.”
It being a Saturday, John Baxter was home, painting a spare bedroom. After putting Lynette down for her nap she went in and told him about the incident. Fortunately Lynette had regained her sight and didn't feel the rage boiling in her father. “Let me clean up this mess and then I'm going to see Sid Nugent. I've a good relationship with him from the bowling league and he's a detective on the police force. Maybe he can do something.”
When he returned some time later he called his wife into the kitchen where Lynette wouldn't overhear them. “It doesn't look like anything can be done, Kim. I could tell Sid was skeptical about Lyn being able to sense that creep. He hasn't seen what we've seen her do. Even if he did there's no proof of anything but the word of a young child and they can't do anything on that. As far as the police goes, they don't know of any crime he committed, so nothing can be done.”
“There has to be something, John. At least I can warn my friends.”
“Sid warned me to not do that. If Grinell found out we were spreading gossip about him he could sue our shoes off. Just buy our meat at the supermarket.”
Not all of Lynette's discoveries about people were bad ones. The three of them were taking a stroll one early evening with Lyn between them, each parent holding a hand to guide her as she was seeing the Dark. They were being approached by an elderly stooped man when John remarked, “Here comes old man Hodgkin. I wonder why he's such a grump?”
When they met Kim greeted him, “It's a beautiful night, isn't it Mr Hodgkin,” to be answered by a noncommittal, “Yup,” as he continued walking without even glancing at them.
“Daddy, I don't think he's a grump. I think he's the nicest man I've ever been near, he's always thinking nice things about people. He's just bashful like mama says I am sometimes.” After that they took pains to stop and chat with the old man to find out he was, in fact, a kind considerate person without a bad word for anyone.
When Lyn started kindergarten the school made provisions for what they considered a handicap. They also made sure the other children knew that when she was using her cane that she couldn't see and don't throw things to her. Naturally some of the children didn't listen and there were accidents, but nothing serious.
Lyn loved the school experience as she could pick her friends from the ones she felt were gentle and kind and ignore the ones that weren't. Being highly intelligent let her keep up with her lessons even during her unsighted periods when her friends and parents would read them to her. She maintained a very high grade average through her early elementary school years.
It was during this time that the doorbell rang one evening. When John answered the door there stood Sid Nugent. “Can I talk to you and Kim? I have something I think you'll be interested in.”
“Why sure, Sid. Kim honey, can you come in here? Sid's here and want to talk to us.”
After the offer of a drink or coffee being turned down they settled in the living room. Sid started, “Where is Lyn? You can tell her later if you want but I don't want to let her hear what I'm going to say.”
Kim said, “She's in her room, studying, and won't hear us. What is this about, Sid?”
“It's about Grinell. Maybe I should have listened closer, John, but I don't know what I could have done at the time anyway.”
John asked, “What about that creep? Did someone else complain?”
“No, not that. He was picked up over in Canyon City for kidnapping a young girl. He tried to lure her into his car and when she wouldn't go he grabbed her arm and forced her.
"Luckily there was an old retired mechanic, that's kind of the neighborhood busybody, looking out his window and saw it. He grabbed his binoculars and got the last four license plate numbers and he recognized the make of the car. He called 911 right away.”
Kim asked, “Was the girl hurt? Is she alright?”
“She's shook up and scared, but physically she's fine. There was a squad car nearby and they caught him within a mile or so.”
John was irate. “Yea, physically she's fine, but she'll have to live with that fear for the rest of her life. That's what I was trying to impress on you when Lyn was scared by that pervert.”
“John, I hear you, and I'm sorry. Maybe I should have done something then. Maybe I could have kept a closer eye on him, but that's years ago and I can't change it now.”
“So what's going to happen now? He's in jail, isn't he?”
“Oh yes, and if any judge gives him bail they'll be in big trouble after what they found in that apartment he has above his store.”
“Why? What was it?”
“Kim, are you sure you want to hear this? It's pretty graphic.”
“Yes Sid, I want to know every detail about that monster.”
“Well, okay, but don't shoot the messenger. His computer was filled with child porn of the worst kind. The kind of thing only a sadist would enjoy. He was also a photographer himself and I'm not going to describe what those showed, but there will be a nationwide attempt to match those pictures to missing children as will the little girls' clothing found.”
Kim was quietly sobbing now and John had tears running down his cheeks. Even Sid was misty eyed as he had a daughter too.
John was quiet for a while, thinking, then asked, “Is there a chance he'll ever get out, Sid? If he does, I'll be there waiting for him.”
“I'm sure you won't be the only one. I can't say, John. If they can match evidence then I would say no, there's no chance. But you read the papers and know what the courts are like, so I'm guessing too.”
They were able to match some of the evidence so Grinell didn't get out but was found guilty on all charges. He was sentenced to four life sentences without parole to be served consecutively. Child molesters are not welcomed anywhere, even prisons. He survived for less than two years there.
Lyn did have some nightmares for some time after the original incident but with time they became rare. She was now maturing into a very attractive young lady as she was going through her high school years.
Dr. Mendel had been seeing Lyn for some time and had become a close friend of the family and even though she was no longer being paid was a frequent visitor to their home. She and Lyn had many long conversations where the good doctor learned a lot about how to have a better relationship with her patients.
She was easily one of the most popular girls in her class as she was able to empathize with classmates and help them if they were having difficulties in teen life. She was voted class president her first two years and would have been the third year but the school had term limits to give someone else the experience.
Her Junior year started very well. She was elected vice president of the class and was growing even more beautiful. Naturally she was one of the most sought after girls by the boys in the school but she didn't date very often, and then only for social events such as dances. That didn't stop the young men from asking though.
One day she was walking from one class to another when she felt a period of Dark coming on. She stopped and took her cane from it's holder and unfolded it. This was her first time that she was seeing the Dark since the term started. She proceeded down the hall but felt a disturbing presence approaching.
As it got closer she started shaking. She hadn't been exposed to this type of malevolence since Grinell, years before. She started to be nauseous from the loathsomeness she felt. Her legs grew weak and she fell to her knees, trying not to vomit.
Whoever it was gripped her arm. “Lyn, what's the matter? Do you want me to help you up? Lyn, it's me, Charlie.”
One of the teachers rushed up. “Charlie, run and tell the nurse I'm bringing Lyn to her room, then you better go to your class, the bells about to ring.”
As Charlie ran down the hall Lyn felt relief almost immediately, but was still weak and shaking. The teacher knelt beside her. “Can you make it to the nurses room Lyn, or should I carry you?”
“I'm starting to feel better, Mr. Byrd. Just let me lean on you a little.” When they reached the nurses office the nurse had her lie down and checked her over.
“How do you feel, Lyn. Your heart was racing but it's slowing down now, are you dizzy?”
“I”m feeling better but I'm still a little nauseous and shaky.”
“I think you should go home and rest. Whatever it was really hit you hard. I'll call your parents to come and get you. You might think about having a doctor look you over.”
Kim Baxter rushed to the school and helped Lyn to the car. “How do you feel, honey? What happened?”
“I'm not sure, Mom. I have to get it straight in my head. I'm trying to figure it out myself.”
When they reached home they were greeted in the driveway by Lyn's dad, John, and Dr. Mendel who John had called and she had hurried over. When they entered Dr. Mendel asked, “Do you want to lie down, Lyn? Are you feeling better now?”
“Yeah, I'm feeling okay. I have to talk to all of you. Something happened and I'm not sure what it was, but it scared me so bad I almost threw up. Can't we just sit here at the kitchen table? I still have to try and figure it all out. I got so many impressions at the same time.”
"Take your time, honey. We've got all day if need be. Let me ask you some questions.”
“Okay, aunt Phyllis. But let me start first and tell you what happened. I felt the Dark coming so I unfolded my cane and when I lost my sight I felt something or someone coming toward me. Right away it didn't feel right and the closer it got the worse it was. That's when I started feeling sick and when he grabbed my arm I thought I was going to throw up.”
“You said he. Do you know who it was?”
"It was Charlie something. I don't know his last name. He transferred here from another school this year. That's what I don't understand, he's always been nice enough, although he is a bit of a loner. He's never even asked me for a date, so why does he feel like that?”
Kim gave a little grunt. “Yeah, Grinell was like that too, always friendly and cheerful.”
“It didn't feel like Mr. Grinell, Mom. He felt greedy like and mean, but not hate. This felt like hate and rage and revenge and all kinds of bad things I don't even have names for, and it was much stronger.”
"Was this all toward you, Lyn?”
“I don't think so, some maybe because I'm popular, but mostly toward the school. Yes, definitely toward the school, or some other school, I can't tell which. It was all jumbled up in this ball of...evil.”
John stood and went to the phone. “I'm calling Sid and get him over here. He damn well better listen to me this time.”
The ladies took Lyn into her bedroom to rest, then returned to the kitchen. When Sid arrived they held a council. John led off, “Don't tell me you can't do anything this time, Sid. You're the Chief of Police now, that says the ball is in your court.”
“I didn't say I wouldn't do anything, but what are you talking about? I rushed over here because you said it was an emergency. Well, where is it?”
“You're right, Sid, I'm sorry for jumping on you. It's just that I'm so worried about Lyn. Alright, we'll tell you what she told us.”
Between the three of them they were able to recall all that Lyn had related. When they finished Sid turned to Phyllis. “Doctor, you're the professional here, what do you think is going on?”
“First, I'll tell you what I know, then I'll tell you what I think. I'm absolutely certain that Lyn had a traumatic shock today and is still feeling the effects of it. It has put her in a state of hyper awareness where she picks up even the smallest emotion and will have to be medicated to prevent her from going into deeper shock. I've already called the pharmacy and they're bringing it over.”
“Now I'll tell you what I think. She has sensed something so vile to her that she almost shut down completely. She can't cope with all of it. It is so horrendous that her mind doesn't want to accept it. After she's medicated I think she'll be calmer and can figure it out and then may be able to tell us more.”
“Can I talk to her? I'd like to get a first hand recount of what happened.”
“No, I don't think that would be wise at this time. She's not too sure of what happened. After I have her sedated she'll be sleeping and maybe after she wakes you could when she's calmer. Chief, whatever you do, don't discount this. Something serious is going on.”
“Don't worry, I'm not. I learned my lesson the first time. I have enough to find out more about this boy from the school. I'll check into his background to see if there was trouble at his old school and as soon as I found out where he lives I'll have him watched. I'm afraid that's all I can do at this point unless one of you has a suggestion.”
Phyllis said, “I do, see if he was seeing a mental health specialist in his old town. You probably won't get to see any records but just knowing if he was tells us something. Maybe later you could subpoena his records. We have to stay on top of this.”
“Alright, I'll go to the school now and see what I can find out. I'll let you know what I find out when I do, but you'll have to keep it quiet. If he's planning something we don't want to spook him into acting prematurely.”
The next morning Sid returned. John had called work and said he had a family emergency and wouldn't be in for at least a few days. Phyllis had postponed her appointments or had made arrangements for her patients to see another doctor. They all were at the kitchen table again.
“I did get some information. The principal was very cooperative and let me see this Charlie's records of where he transferred from and how he's doing here. He's quite intelligent but only does average in his schoolwork. He came from an East coast city with his mother, there's no father listed. We have his home address and I have him being watched when he's not in school.”
John asked, ”Don't you think it would be good to watch him in school? That's what this is about according to Lyn.”
“The principal is taking care of that when I explained that the school is involved. I can't have one of my men in there, he'd notice that. The teachers have been told to keep track of him and to try to find out what he's interested in. I think we're pretty well covered there.”
“Chief,” Phyllis asked. “Were you able to find out about his mental health?”
“Not yet, I called the principal in his old school but he won't release anything over the phone. I contacted the Police Chief there and he's going to see what he can find out and let me know, but I don't know when. That's about all I have now. How is Lyn? Can I talk to her now?”
“Yes, I think so. I have her on tranquilizers so she's much calmer. She can see today and has been thinking about what happened and it seems much clearer to her now. I'll go get her but if I say stop you better stop questioning her. I don't want her to go back into shock again. The rest of us should be quiet and let them talk.”
When Lyn had seated herself Sid asked, “Can you tell us more about yesterday, honey? Just take your time.”
“I can't tell you why I broke apart like that, but it was just so overwhelming that I couldn't handle it, it was too strong. Now that I feel better I have thought about it and it's still not altogether clear I did get some feelings.
"It's strange, like they're on another level. The usual feelings are there, like happiness or worry or sadness. Those are on top, but underneath is this, uh, I don't know how to picture it, maybe a pool or puddle kind of thing. But it's not quiet like a pool, it's more like the ocean in a bad storm, only more so. And the only word I can think of is...evil."
“Can you tell where it's aimed? You're mom said hate and revenge and rage, is that right? Those are usually meant for something or someone.”
“Yes, all those and lots more, all the bad ones just mixed up like. This is hard to say in words. I heard someone say onetime, “How do you describe a color to someone who's truly blind.” It's like that. I don't get pictures, I get feelings, like emotions. If I have to describe it in pictures I'd have to say school is a big part, but I don't know if it's our school or all schools. I think I felt both love and hate toward me, but also so many other people, his mother I think, I'm pretty sure his dad, different students here and hundreds somewhere else, just flashes like. I'm trying to say it and it can't be said, I'm sorry.”
Phyllis said, “That's enough. I think you've got all you need and you won't get any more.”
“No, wait, aunt Phyllis, I want to say something else. Mr. Nugent, like when I say his mom and dad and other people it's not that I see them, I just feel what he feels towards them, that's what I meant. At least that's the only way to say it. It's really strange, like when I try to tell people what animals are feeling. It's not what people think. Dogs and cats do like people, but not like we like them, it's different and there's no way to explain it or say it. I'm so sorry I can't help you, I really tried.”
When Lyn started quietly crying Phyllis almost shouted, “That's it, no more. You're going to wring this girl out. Come with me Lyn, I want you to lie down. I think you did wonderful, you didn't fail.”
Sid faced Lyn's parents. “I didn't mean to cause her any anguish. I'm sorry she did, but she did help a lot. We know there's a danger here and we have to stop it somehow. Will you tell her I think she's incredibly brave and really gutsy. I'm going to see what else I can find out if I have to fly there and strangle that principal. I'll try to get back here later if I find out more.”
To say that the anxiety level was high in the Baxter home that afternoon would be a momentous understatement. Lunchtime came and went with no one seeming to be hungry. Dinner was not much better with just a little picking at their food. About seven thirty Sid returned and they gathered around the table again, Lyn included.
“Lyn, we learned a lot today and we wouldn't know any of it if it wasn't for you. If you didn't have these fine people as parents I think I'd adopt you. Thank you so much. But I came to tell you what we found out.
"That Chief there didn't spare the horses, he went all out. At the next Chiefs conference I'll owe him a lot of drinks. Charlie's name is Charles Hanson and he has a juvenile record. They don't release those records but we know he has one. The principal still didn't want to open his school records but the Chief put a little heat on and he finally did.”
“Was he trying to hide something, Sid?”
“It seems like he was. Charlie had done some things in school that he didn't want to get around. If the school board found out he'd be fired for running a lax school. Charlie had started a couple fires in waste baskets and then graduated to throwing cherry bombs in the toilets. Somehow he had something on the principal and got away with it. The Chief wants us to see if we can find out from Charlie what that was all about.”
“Where did he get the cherry bombs? They're not legal are they?”
“He made them. His dad was a rocket nut. You might have seen them on TV. They build these rockets and shoot them off. These are not toys, they're very powerful. His dad used to make his own propellant and some of those chemicals are very strong. Charlie learned enough to make explosives and that's what I'm worried about.”
“Could a kid get those chemicals? Don't you have to have a permit or something?”
“That's where it gets tricky. They're not illegal and if they're not mixed they're harmless. You remember the nut that blew up that office building by mixing fertilizer and diesel fuel, don't you?
“Oh my God, yes, that was horrible.”
“Anyway, Charlie's parents were divorced and he and his mom moved here where she grew up. You asked about his mental status, Doctor. He was seeing someone but those records are sealed too.
"His dad was arrested for something and he's in jail. When they moved here Charlie might have brought some of his dad's chemicals. We can't get a search warrant yet but we're watching him very close. If he does anything here then I think we can. I think we're pretty well covered so far. I'll let you know if anything comes up.”
More than a week went by with no word. Lyn had her sight back and returned to school, but she didn't meet Charlie anyway, it was a large school.
Early Sunday morning Kim answered the phone. When she hung up she called to John, “Sid called and said he'll be over in an hour or so, he has something to tell us.”
“Why don't you call Phyllis and see if she's free to come for breakfast. She'll want to hear what he has to say too.”
“I was just going to, maybe she can stay for lunch too.”
“I don't know about that. Have you seen that woman eat?”
“Oh, John, I'm going to tell her what you said.”
The answer was a loud groan.
Sid arrived just as Kim and Phyllis were starting cooking breakfast. “Looks like my timing was perfect, should I put another plate on the table?
Kim grinned. “It's already there, how do you like your eggs?”
Just then John entered the room. “Alright, what's the big news?”
“Don't I get fed first? Is that any way to treat a public servant? I've been up all night.”
“You're going to be a hungry public servant if you don't spill it. I'm not going to sit here with my stomach churning waiting for your news.”
“Okay, okay, where's Lyn, she's the one who deserves to hear it.”
Kim called Lyn in while John handed Sid a mug of coffee and they sat.
“It's all over folks. He made a mistake and was caught. We got a search warrant and found that he had quite a stash of chemicals to make explosives. He'd already made some and was going to use them last night.”
"My men watched him leave his house carrying about a four foot rocket. There's no law against carrying a rocket so they just followed him. He set it up aimed at the movie theater entrance and was about to light it when they jumped him. He had put on an incendiary warhead on it. It would have exploded and sent fire everywhere in the theater. There's no telling how many would have died. You saved a lot of people's lives, Lyn."
Phyllis asked, “Where is he and how is he now.”
“He was real calm and talked to us freely after his mother showed up. Then all of a sudden he just quit talking and sat there. His mom said he had spells like that. She called it catatonic.”
“He needs help. Can I see him?”
“If his mother says so I guess you can, but why? He confessed he had a bunch more he was going to use in the school, this was just his test run.”
“You do your job Chief, I'll do mine.”
“Say, speaking of jobs. Lyn, honey, after you graduate how would you like to come to work for me? You'd make a terrific lie detector.”
This was met by four voices shouting, “NO!!”