I get up in the morning. Do my daily routine. And lo and behold, as I walk up to the upper plane, I find a new chair, tailored to look exactly as the old one. Life is good.Change is evil./Oh, stop that. You sound demented./ You can be demented.
I frown. Hermann has put a stick-it note on the kitchen table.And where is the Old Man anyway?
Some moron down in City Hall has ‘misplaced’ hundreds of thousands of kronor. You will have to make your own breakfast. I left a hundred-kronor bill on the refrigerator if you want to buy pizza when you get home. I am not sure how long this will be taking. Could be a simple mistake, could be something else.
I remove the bill from the refrigerator and pocket it. Sometimes I forget that Hermann has a job of his own, one that doesn’t entail watching me. Hmm, but this means I can eat anything I want for breakfast…. Verde sends me images of deer, hog and horse. Eww, not going to happen my little dragon. /Wyrm!/ I open the refrigerator and pull out some bread, ham and and custard. Christmas has come early this year it seems.
I arrive a little earlier at Ochre, just like I’d planned. Our first lesson is P.E. and everyone will be going to the Hangar, sooner than later. I wait one or two minutes, a gambit that is rewarded as I spot Nevena.
I sidle up to her. “Could I talk to you for a moment?” She gives me an assessing glance. “Sure.” We walk around the Hangar, til we’re at a distance where we won’t be overheard. I rehearse my words in my head, and then I say them. “I am sorry. You have been wanting to talk to me, and I have blown you off for no good reason. I overreacted and I should have talked to you instead of shoving my head down the sand. It was immature, not to mention silly.” I scuff my feet against the ground and try to channel penitence. /You really were immature. Truly./ This is not the time.
“I forgive you.” I look up to meet those yellow eyes. “But you know, it ain’t easy for a girl be forgiven when someone isn’t answering their calls.” I wince at her tone. “Why… why didn’t you come?” She sighs. “How much do you know about our bodies? Us supernaturals.” “We heal. We’re stronger than humans. We have magic. It varies supe to supe I guess?” “Right, we heal, especially people like you and I, who are close to the Flight.Beast-magic. It’s almost a rule you could say. But the thing is, if I were to say that there is a rule for it, then you’d probably point out that all rules have exceptions, right?”
“Right…” I say hesitantly. “And that exception is Miroslava. My sister. She gets these… seizures and we must watch her. Once she–” Nevena stops. “Anyhow, she had one last Saturday, and that’s why I didn’t come.” I put a hand before my mouth, feeling chastised. “Crap, now I feel like such an asshole. Is she alright?” Nevena waves a hand in a frustrated movement. “Yea. We’re used to it.”
Verde? /Indeed?/ What kind of disease could do that? Affect an supernatural?
I see: I see a woman with pale skin and fangs, a woman with red, irritated veins, screaming. Two men are holding her down, and one of them is placing something in her mouth. One of those rubber things, to make sure that she doesn’t bite her tongue off. I see a man with burnished skin, eyes like a supernova, dressed like a harem-slave out of something of a Thousand Nights fading. The edges of his figure become hazy, and he drifts away, like he never existed. I see a brown cobra the size of an skyskraper, blinking lazily. It’s stuck in its skin. No that’s not it. It’s not stuck in its skin. It doesn’t want to shed. Doesn’t want to live anymore. It takes a razzling breath, and then blood spurts of its mouth. The tongue. It just bit its tongue off. Suicide.
I had to ask, hadn’t I?/We’re no less susceptible to disease than mortals. Ours are just more… colorful./
I shake my head, and focus on Nevena.
There is something in Nevena’s tone. While I don’t put much trust in my faculties to judge a person, I feel that I recognize that particular sentiment. It’s same voice I used to speak in when people asked me about the Accident. The-can-we-please-move-on-now voice.
“Hmm that second date…” I throw out. Nevena rears her head back, a bit surprised. Crap, what did I say just now? She takes a few steps back, and glances around the corner. She thoughtfully massages her chin. Looks down on her clock. “You know, if we go right now, we can make it to the ten a clock movies.
I blink at her. That wasn’t the reaction I expected. “But we have school right now. I mean, our lesson is going to start any minute.” “Technically our lesson hasn’t started yet. They can’t fault us for not showing up. We might be sick. Or dead. Or lost in the depths of Moria.” “But-” I struggle for an argument “- someone might have seen us.” “I don’t think so. We were first here.”
She seems to make an decision. “Right.” She lifts her gymbag over her shoulder. “One way or the other, I’m going to the cinema. Alone… or not.” With that as her final salvo, she walks away towards the stall.
But I can’t skip school. What would Hermann say? What would mom or dad say? Skipping school is wrong. It’s a small step down on the road to delinquency. On the other hand… it’s P.E and I could think of half a dozen more fun things to do, one of them being a movie with a girl I like. And let’s face it, with only two additional lessons on today’s schedule, I will all together only miss three lessons.It’s Thursday. Nothing happens on Thursday. Those three lessons– I can catch up with. Yeah, keep justifying yourself. You want to go with her.
Not so reluctantly I trudge after her.
She is corrupting me. They’re right. Girls are bad news. Or that’s atleast the lie I tell myself.