Archive | July 2017

Chapter 33: Leofric

Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Leofric doodled idly in the margins of his history notes, trying not to think of being stuck in Eriko’s room as boring. It helped a little to think of it as being grounded; it made him feel more like a typical rebellious teenager, and not like a horrible, awful, worthless, why couldn’t he do anything right

The tip of his pencil snapped, rolling gently off the page and landing on the floor with a quiet tic. He watched it go, then pulled out a pencil sharpener from his backpack and started sharpening his pencil for the third time. Not that he needed it sharpened, since he’d already finished his homework. But he hadn’t been ordered to stay in his mistress’ room until he finished his homework; he’d been ordered to stay there and finish his homework. So now he was only under orders to stay in the room, and he had nothing to do. Continue reading

Interlude: Luke

Monday, December 11, 2000

He thought he might hit something.

He was certain he was going to hit something.  The question was whether or not he was going to manage to wait until he was out of Regine’s office.

“I know.”  He spoke very carefully, because if you got “emotional” around Regine, she stopped listening.  “Emotional” meant that you weren’t being “rational,” and that meant that she could discount any and everything you said.  “I’m aware that the Student Council interfered in the matter of Zita.  But they don’t see the same things as we do, and they’re — they’re biased.” Continue reading

Interlude: Ambrus

Monday, December 11, 2000

It felt like the air was too heavy.  Ambrus wandered the halls, feeling like there was something pressing on his throat, feeling like there was something sealing his mouth shut, feeling like he was wrapped up in mummy-wrappings so tightly that he couldn’t move at all.

He leaned against the wall and felt a frission of misery and anger.  That was not any better. Continue reading

Chapter 32: Cynara

Sunday, December 10, 2000

“I need to go to the library for a couple hours.  I’ll be home by bedtime.”  Cynara held up her bookbag by way of illustration.  “Homework.”

“All right.”  Dysmas had the lazy, sated look he had after he’d fed.  “Be careful.”

“I always am.”  

She slipped out the door before he could give her any more orders that pulled and tugged at her mind like imperfect stitches, leaving little rows of discomfort she’d re-position herself to avoid.  She left before she had to look at Leo, or at Eriko, and remember to hide everything she was feeling.   Continue reading

Chapter 31: Abednego

Friday, December 8, 2000

“I keep saying that wasn’t me, it wasn’t him!  It’s not how these things work!” Rafe had been arguing with Joff on and off since the – the thing.  The demon, Abednego called it in his mind, even though he’d been through enough history classes here to know that demon was usually another word for faerie.  Close enough, in his estimation.

“Look, it might not have been you, but – things have to change, Rafe.  What are you doing to the kid?”

No, not this again.  The last time they’d had this argument, the demon had come.   Continue reading

Chapter 30: Arnbjörg

Saturday, December 2, 2000

Arnbjörg stumbled out of Jaya’s room sleepily Saturday morning to find the whole crew-plus sitting around the TV.  She checked herself compulsively: yes, she was wearing pajamas, yes, they covered everything, yes her hair was tolerable.

“Late night?” Sheba asked.  “Jaya said you were out at the dance forever.”

Arnbjörg looked away.  “Jaya wasn’t having fun.”  She noticed Jaya wasn’t saying anything.  “But I was having a good time with the cy’Luca boys.” Continue reading

Chapter 29: Leofric

Friday, December 1, 2000

Leofric sat cross-legged on top of a washing machine, munching on a Snickers bar and feeling more cheerful than he had in ages. There was a kind of freedom in being intentionally bad; he didn’t have to worry about whether he was going to mess up again, and as long as he didn’t think about the consequences, he didn’t even feel too guilty about it.p

Eriko really didn’t like it when he ran off, he’d discovered, and she’d given him a whole bunch of orders confining him to the suite. But it wasn’t until leaving Japanese class that he figured out a loophole: classes. She hadn’t given him any orders about skipping class. Presumably because, from what he heard, that was the one school rule you absolutely could not break.

So he was skipping class, of course.

Continue reading

Chapter 28: Cynara

“I don’t understand.” Cynara leaned forward over Professor Drake’s desk.  “There are a lot of things I don’t understand, but this one, this one seems too strange.  If this is the Law, why put something like that in there?”

Professor Drake sat back and smiled at her.  “I have often wondered that myself,” he admitted.  Cynara was finding that she really enjoyed talking to him, and not just because he, of almost everyone in the school, seemed to actually see her. (The thought filled her with several flavors of guilt, but she was getting very skilled at ignoring those.)  “So, firstly, as we understand it, the Laws were created back in the days where those Ellehemaei on Earth were the gods themselves and their wayward children.  Those children were often very powerful and just as often very difficult, very recalcitrant.” Continue reading