I enter Evers and nod to Love Saldgren, its owner. Even though he played a role in that disaster of play last year, I still like him. Alright, if I am being completely honest, which I try to be, I like the pastries more than the man himself. I spot Hannah sitting at a corner table, and make my way to her.
Next to her sits Eiddwen Mordecai and two other people, one a girl and one a boy. I frown slightly. What an odd mix. “Please”, she calls to me,” sit Rune.” I promptly do so, eyeing the two unfamiliars. One is a dark-skinned boy wearing a large sweater over a shirt, which is the latest fashion, a style that makes young men look like their grandfathers if you ask me, although none certainly has. The other is a girl with a mocha-skin and dyed purple hair. I subtly shapeshift my tongue and taste the air. The boy smells like carrion, dead flesh and vermin, while the girls smell sweet. Too sweet./The boy is a some form of ghoul and the girl wields alchemy of a sort, I think./ That confirms it. Hannah has gathered a group of supernaturals, but for what purpose?
Hannah claps her hands, once. “Let us go and buy fika, before we start, yes?” I trail behind Eiddwen as we follow Hannah’s disguised question. “So do you know what this is about”, I ask quietly. She shrugs and order coffee. I grab a chocolate filled danish, that, despite its unfortunate name is quite tasty. Having all ordered, we sit down.
“Before I begin, let’s have a small presentation”, Hannah orders, again. She goes first. “My name is Hannah Duchamps, aged sixteen and my pasttime of choice is chess.” She gives Purple-Hair a glance. “Hiya guys”, she starts,” I am Rozin Zeitunian and when I am not in school, I ride, and when I am not riding, I sing.” Grandpa-Sweater stands up. “So I am Hannes Sundqvist, and my hobbies include gaming of every first-person shooter you can think of, and some of which you cannot think off and of course sewing, particularly cross-stitching.” “Eiddwen Mordecai”, Eiddwen drawls. “I like to party, to act and to hunt.” Four sets of eyes switch to me. “Rune Fallowfell, yes I have heard the joke about my surname before, I like running and any book about speculative fiction.”
“You’re probably wondering why I have called you here today”, Hannah says with the practised tone of someone reading from a prompt,” but before I come to that, are you all aware of the current situation with the Student-Council?”
“We have a Student-Council?” Eiddwen’s question is sarcastic and acidic. “Exactly”, Hannah says, undaunted by Eiddwen’s tone. “After Sihle Nabkei’s death the previous Student-Council imploded. In four months time they have had twenty-six people try out the various roles, with none staying.”
“Interesting”, Hannes muses before continuing. “But what does that have to do with us?” “You guys don’t get it, do you?” Eiddwen breaks in again, interrupting Hannah. “Girl Genius here wants to be President and I am guessing she wants the rest of us take up the other positions”, she comments.
“That is not the way I would have phrased it, but yes. Each of you have strengths that would fit well in a Student-Council. Rune, being so meticulous, would make an excellent secretary. Hannes’ sense of number would enable him to track records of the money and the accounts, which is just what one looks for in a treasurer. I have, if you will forgive me the boast, the leadership skills neccessary to chair as President. There isn’t a person more feared in Ochre than Eiddwen, a quality the enforcer needs. And Rozin would complement me as vice-president”, Hannah says, with something that approaches fervor in her voice. “Together we become more than the individual parts of our talents” she continues, in the same vein.
I judge the reactions; Eiddwen looks disinterested while Rozin whistles, and Hannes is tapping his fingers against the table in a famous melody from a movie where people wield swords of light. I don’t know if I am so ‘meticulous’ as Hannah thinks, but… but it would be an interesting experience. It would look good on my resume later on. And face it– if I don’t force myself to get out and hang out with people I won’t. “Additionally”, Hannah says in the undecided silence,” we have all got something going in our favor that the previous council lacked.” “We’re supernaturals, you mean”, Rozin says softly. Hannah nods, while adding, “Doesn’t that strike you as weird? That there are so many supernaturals at Ochre, but we got no saying in the student-body, no representation what so ever? Well I want to change that!”
“Calm down, Churchill”, Eiddwen remarks. “Does that mean that you’re in?” “I am in”, I say, surprising not only the people at the table, but myself a little. “I am a little hesitant… but sure, I am in”, Hannes tangents. I give him a grateful look.”I don’t know”, Eiddwen mutters, before continuing. “How much time will we spend on this?” She looks each person at the table in the eyes, testing their resolve. “I hope you guys realize that this isn’t something you can abandon midway. This is an obligation you’re taking on. A serious obligation-” “And that is why it’s worth doing”, Rozin interrupts. “Anything worth doing is hard, and so I am in”, she counters.
The four of us stare at Eiddwen. I become aware of a clock ticking in the background. Tick, tock, tick, tock. “Argh”, she roars, shaking her head. “Alright, alright, I am in. “But”, and now she raises her finger. “I want my own office. And a cooler title than enforcer because this sure isn’t a game of hockey. And a badge… yea I want a shiny badge…”