Contra-Bandy ch15As shameful as it was to admit, my first instinct was to pull the blanket over my head and try to be invisible. Even worse, I almost did it. However, it was easier to quell such a humiliating urge when Shawn was around in any capacity, as he took up all of the Ridiculousness in the room. It was like a reflex or something.He handed me a steaming mug of tea that smelled strong and bitter, forcing me to sit up. "You kept falling out of your bed.""This explains nothing.""I had a lot of homework to do.""Equally uninformative." I pinched bridge of my nose between my knuckles, holding the mug in one shaky hand and balancing it against the bed. "Why am I in your bed instead of anywhere else in the dorm?"Shawn indicated his messy vortex of a desk, which actually did more to explain than his previous half-answers. "I wanted to keep an eye on you, but I've got all this work to do
You may be on break
TrepidationThe day went by so slowly it appeared to stop every now and again. I woke up much earlier than I was accustomed to, and had been forced to clean my flat several times before I could even think of leaving for work. It was the first time I could ever remember beating Mr. Defoe to the shop. I'd waited for fifteen minutes and when he'd finally arrived, it took a surprising amount of effort not to bounce impatiently.I never did things like that. It was detrimental to my health.At any rate, the hours had crawled by interminably, giving me far too much time to reflect on why I was so excited. Anxious, now that was mindlessly easy to explain to myself. Giovanni made me nervous all the time, and it was not the kind of feeling that could be readily reconciled. But I was still humming along with the radio as I set an encyclopedic volume on the top shelf.Perhaps it was the idea of
embarrassing as it was to admit,
Vesi Vanhin Voitehista 4A few steps away from the apartment, Shoe brushed past Taivuttaa, inadvertently bumping his wrist. Taivuttaa swore rather more evocatively than he would ever mean to, then clapped his pain-free hand over his mouth. A muffled apology didn't quite beat it there.Shoe gave him a curious look, then smacked himself on the forehead. "For the love ofyou're injured! Why didn't you say something?"Thoroughly embarrassed, Taivuttaaa let his hand drop to his side. "I didn't want to be a bother...""You never could be," Shoe said, apparently quite sincere. "Honestly... when Salugi told me you fell off the roof, I assumed you could fly."The absurd statement fit perfectly with everything else that Shoe had said thus far, so Taivuttaa didn't bother with more than a withering look of disapproval. "I nearly died.""Okay, point taken. Why didn't you?""Someone caught me." Taivuttaa rolled his should
Time Wasted"Fannenpora is what Ba Ki was built on," he blurted, without intending to speak. Now that he had, it seemed he should continue, after all, she was watching him expectantly, and to back out would be cowardly. More than that, it would make him look like an idiot. "I'm the fifth generation, technically, but no one is really born there. Even new babies are said to be spirits that had no other place to go." Ba Ki's name literally meant 'no place', or 'not a place'. None of its residence had illusions, and none of them could ever truly forget why they belonged there.But he wouldn't tell her that. She seemed happier now that they were topside, more at peace. He'd seen peace like that, appreciated it as a rarity. Finding peace for himself had not really been difficult in the long runbut seeing it in someone else was not something he'd counted on. Before he'd left Ba Ki, he'd bee
Contra-Bandy ch14The answer burbled out of me, clumsy and heavily accented. "Mr. Bengal's first week curriculum. English lit 2010, my first year." It hadn't been one of the really remarkable points in my life, and the book I was holding now had not made a big impression on me. "It's about a woman who risks her life to protect her children from her ex-husband." Not the page-turner one would expect, and I'd always thought the book had been intended as a collection of examples of what not to do, in many ways. When I'd thought about it at all.Mari looked at the book as though I'd just told it contained a bomb. "I thought that was a year.""Yeah, but it's also a class code." I rolled my eyes and dropped the book onto the cot. "I'm a university student.""In war-time?"That was it, I couldn't take this anymore. I nudged the book the opposite of gently so that it sliced across the room like a clumsy
Not What I ThoughtAfter Giovanni left, the day became rather boring. Therefore, it only made sense that the next two days were equally intolerable, even with the holiday sale. That had ended yesterday, and it hadn't been as fun as I'd hoped. I was shocked at myself, and did my best to ignore it, but there it was all the same.The third day, I was composing a song with only the repetitive use of the word 'dull' in place of lyrics and suspiciously similar to the melody of a newscast theme when the door swung open. Apparently "I'll see you tomorrow" meant "I'll drop in on you once you've begun to give up the prospect of life ever being entertaining again."Giovanni poked his curly-haired head in, then strode past the front desk with careful jauntiness. It made me think of a small child sneaking past his monster-infested closet. He was holding a plain white bakery style box tied with brown string, and seemed rather glad to see me.
Vesi Vanhin Voitehista 3Without Salugi and her intimidating shadow, the candles seemed more subdued, like a workforce five minutes before quitting time. As Shoe passed them, they seemed to flicker. He waved a hand at Taivuttaa. "You're the leader of this little expedition, this entitles you to walk in front of me.""I...""It would also help us get this over with quicker. Or weren't you the one who was so keen on getting out of the Apartment of Pain?"Taivuttaa reached up to scratch his head, then reminded himself that he couldn't be sure when his hair would be completely clean again, and dropped his hand at his side, allowing his arm to swing like a pendulum. His arm's shadow cut through the candlelight in small clumsy arcs. "Apartment of Pain?""Heh. That's right, you're still pretty new to ol' Eszme." Shoe leaned against the wall and rubbed his palms together, as though he were plotting something in a cold room.