The Three Calamities That Befell Erim Yazar On A Cold Monday Morning
Erim Yazar strolls out of the music-room and through Ochre. For someone like him, who is steeped in song and tale, whose magic is rythm and dance, music is easy. He has the teacher eating out of his hands!
Strange though, when Aristomache Soalikos sent him here as a punishment, he expected… more punishment. Sure, Fallowfell is a dingy little shithole of a town which can’t be compared to Luleå, one of the biggest cities in Norrland, but still, there are things here that can be admired.
A couple of hot girls pass Erim by, and he can’t help but give them an appreciating look. Yes, he tells himself, there are good things in Fallowfell. His class for example, is filled with an majority of girls, and some nerds, although one of them seems to be together with that hot Asian chick. Then there is the scarred one, the one with the eye-patch, who glared at him. That one, there is something wrong with his soulsong, Yazar reckons. Each person has one soulsong, well, except some undead and other lesser critters, but that dude has two. I am going to have push his digits and see what happens….
Erim passes around the corner, and he spots a tall woman with legs that just won’t end. As their paths cross, he glances covertly at her ass, creating a fantasy involving it and a very large bottle of lotion. Because he is too busy staring, he doesn’t notice the woman’s hand, nor the powder she throws at his face, not until he’s on the floor, screaming, clutching his eyes.
Sight– he can’t see, everything is dark, with lightning flashing beneath his lids. The pain causes his senses to blanket, and the sound of soulsongs dimnish.
“What the hell did you do to me?! You bitch, you fucking-” His splutter comes to an end when the woman places a heel on his throat, denying him air. “Listen closely to me, Erim Yazar”, she begins in a clear voice,” if I ever find you staring at me or any of the girls here at Ochre the way you just did, I will remove one of your senses. Right now you can’t see. This state of being will not last, but let me assure you”, and now her voice picks up volume,” THAT IF YOU EVER STARE AT A GIRL LIKE SHE IS A PIECE OF MEAT I WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU NEVER SEE ANYTHING, NEVER FEEL ANYTHING, NEVER HEAR ANYTHING, EVER!”
The sound of heels pounding the red sandstone of Ochre fills his ears, and at the same time he can make out her soulsong’s dimnishing noise, telling him that she is gone. “That fucking bitch”, he mutters, attempting to reorient himself towards one of the bathrooms. “I am going to fucking get her for that”, he growls, moving slowly along the walls, using his hands to steady his walk.
Erim stares into the mirror. Red striations have expanded like a web through his eyes, and his skin is paler than it should be, no thanks to that psycho. She is too old to be a student, and a janitor wouldn’t wear heels, so by process of elimination, she have to be a teacher.
Erim steps out of the bathroom stall, only to be greeted by steel. A blade, impossibly sharp, draws a thin line of blood from his neck. He cranes his head a centimeter or two back to get a better line of sight of his attacker. A one-armed man with deep brown eyes and long blonde hair is looking at him in the same way one might look at an rodent. “I don’t know what is you said to upset Perenelle, but it stops, right here”, the man says.
Perenelle…. Erim deduces the identity of the thrower. The Black Alchemist. The monster who refined the Black Plague in revenge for the death of Nicholas Flamel. She actually touched me. The thought makes him feel disgust, pure and utter disgust.
“…. are you listening?” Erim’s eyes are drawn to not-so-unknown man. If that was Perenelle Flamel, then he must be…Richard Lionheart. In the world of supernaturals, honor has a tendency to wither, to die. Age after all, is the great killer. But not for Lionheart. He’s been a Boy Scout since long before there even was a word for it. And if it’s Lionheart holding the sword, then the sword itself must be Hauteclere. Hauteclere which can cut anything. The skin of an ancient vampire, the hide of a senior member of the Flight and air itself. And that sword is at his neck.
“I am listening”, Erim squeezes out. “And I read you loud and clear. It won’t happen again”, he promises. Lionheart takes his measure with a long look, before resheating Hauteclere so quick that the motion can’t be seen. He nods, and exits the bathroom. Erim kneels on the black bathroom floor. “Insane”, he says out loud in the silent room. “The people here are insane”, he reiterates.
The rest of Erim Yazar’s day passes. Nurse Merith gives him a large band-aid with the word ‘moron’ on it. His next two lessons, Social Studies and German passes by without mention. He sighs, grateful that the day is over. He adds his things into a bag, slings it over his shoulder and makes for one of the exits, slowly.Because he’s on his guard now, listening for nearby soulsongs.
He makes it out of Ochre, across the Crimson Bridge, and having done so, he starts to relax. He walks through an alley—
— and suddenly invisible hands grip him. He tugs on his arm, only to have it bent backwards, at an angle that makes his eyes tear up. Erim becomes aware of two soulsongs atop the ceiling of a nearby building; soulsongs moving closer. Three girls jump down, landing centimeters from him. It’s Shirin Vahedi, Stella Rakaya and Amanda Skog from his class.
The three of them stare at him. “Well what are you waiting for”, he finally asks. “When you looked at Nevena, and said you liked ‘big girls’, what exactly did you mean?” It’s Rakaya who is asking.
“Nothing in particular. Geez, I was just flirting”, he says, irritated. “You have an odd way of flirting”, Shirin says in a small voice. ” Some of the girls in the music-class say that you ogle them like animals”, she adds.
“I would never”, Erim lies, before continuing,” I think alot of people exaggerate…” He stops as Amanda closes the distance between the two of them, her face close enough to kiss. “You lie. I can smell it.” Her soulsong swells, sounding for a moment like a chorus of…. wolves. “It doesn’t matter in the end. Boys lie. I simply had Stella stop you here for another reason.” “Yeah?” He licks his lips.
“Nevena is my friend, and if you hurt her feelings I will tear out your heart and eat it raw”, she promises in a blistering voice. Erim, wisely, keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t contest her claim. His head rings with truth of it.
And more… he realizes that he can’t hear Shirin’s soulsong. The thought gives him shivers. She could be standing at nook of his bed, and he wouldn’t hear her coming.