Tensile Strength

Ratio of the maximum load a material can support without fracture when being stretched to the original area of a cross section of the material. When stresses less than the tensile strength are removed, a material completely or partially returns to its original size and shape

The Prologue

Alexis crawled into the closet. It was never-ending. She fully expected that at any minute she would end up in a snow-filled forest being greeted by a faun named Mr. Tumnus. She didn't find woods or a lamp post but she did find yet another box. A groan escaped her. This better not be more comic books. Her mother told her not to disrespect the comic books since selling even a third of them would probably pay off her medical school loans.

She backed out of the closet, dragging the mystery box with her. She longed to be at the beach although she would probably be reading test protocols and trial results instead of sunbathing and reading a trashy novel. No rest for Dr. Alexis Cooper even on her day off. Her mother decided it was time to clear out some of her father's belongings two years after his death. Alexis contemplated the box but her mind wandered to her latest drug trial. Hopefully, it would stop the cancer currently spreading through her mice.

The loss of her father stabbed her. She longed to discuss her research with him. Ever since she could remember, her father had been grooming her for medical school. She was pretty sure she was the only first grader to receive a copy of Gray's Anatomy as a birthday gift and even more certain that she was one of the few who could read it.

And she wasn't to be just any kind of doctor.

"Oncologist." Her father taught her to spell when she was five. "Specializing in research." He had stood behind her, his long fingers covering her shoulders as they looked with identical blue eyes into a mirror. "You, Alexis, will cure cancer."

That is what she set out to do, developing at least one drug regimen that worked. She had astounded her colleagues in the research field. Some of them had been working on drug trials for years; she had found success at age 32. And what does her father do? Ups and dies of heart attack. Sometimes, life just wasn't fair.

Alexis took the lid off the box and drew in her breath. Nestled in tissue paper and gleaming like black onyx was a pair of knee high leather boots by Prada. They had a four inch heel and a three quarter inch platform on the sole. The zipper sparkled in the sunlight. The leather was like butter. Alexis lifted out one of the boots and admired it. Boots like these were at least seven hundred dollars. They couldn't be her mother's- the size was wrong. Her father's? Was this part of the reasons he was so odd? A breathy laugh escaped her. Her father's skinny leg may have fit but not his ridiculously huge foot. Upon further investigation, she realized these boots would fit her.

Alexis removed the boot trees from the legs and stepped into the boots. Both zippers slid up easily and the leather coated her calves. They didn't quite reach her knees but a quick glance in the full length mirror revealed that she was nearly as tall as her father with them on. Alexis admired her image. Was there anything sexier than short shorts and knee high boots?

A gasp made her turn around. He mother stood there clutching two glasses of lemonade.

"Where did you find those?" She said.

Alexis indicated the closet with a jerk of her head. "In there. Way in the back."

"I can't believe he kept them." Her mother muttered, placing two coasters on the bureau followed by the glasses.

"These were Dad's?" Alexis' voice was incredulous. Her mother frowned.

"Wait here." And she disappeared once more. When she returned, she was carrying a manila envelope. "Sit."

Alexi sat on the large double bed. Her mother sat beside her. "Your father was supposed to tell you this story years ago but I thinkā€¦I know he didn't want to tell you anything that would taint your opinion of him." She took Alexis' hand in her smaller one. "Or of me."