Chapter 24: Cynara

Thursday, November 9, 2000

“I don’t know, I think that if we were going to be superheros, we’d need a better plan then ‘let’s attack everything that’s bad.’  I mean, for one, you have to define bad.  Evil?  Didn’t pay their parking tickets?  Bad fashion sense?”

“Oh, well, if all of those are our qualifiers we might as well attack everyone.”  Zita smiled that sharp, strange smile she had.  “Which could be fun…”

“Now, ah’m sure not everyone is bad,” Howard offered.  “Ah mean, lots of people, of course.  But even down here, there’s some good ‘uns.” Continue reading

Chapter 23: Abednego

Thursday, November 9, 2000

If Abednego could figure out what he’d done to get Rafe pleased with him, he would have taken notes, because he definitely preferred this to what had become his new norm.

He was sitting on the floor in front of the couch, reading his literature homework and taking notes – lots of notes, because Professor VanderLinden paid an uncomfortable amount of attention to him in class, something he assumed he could probably thank his brothers for, like everything else in this damned place.  He was to the left of Rafe, leaning against his Keeper’s leg, finding the presence actually comforting. Continue reading

Chapter 22: Arnbjörg

Friday, November 3, 2000

“What I don’t get is how that’s supposed to help anything!”

Arnbjörg and Jaya – Jamian, whatever – had been arguing on and off for days.  It had started with Jamian’s spare genitalia, but it everything that bothered Arnbjörg about this place had just been coming out, in whispers and hisses and shouts, every time she saw her Keeper.

Today, she’d run into an argument with Sheba without even meaning to.  She’d been in the kitchen, working on dessert, when Sheba had commented on her jacket.  It had escalated from there.  Sheba’s ears had gone back and she’d hissed at Arnbjörg – which had just barely missed leading to violence.  Continue reading

Chapter 21: Leofric

Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Leofric studiously took notes as Professor Pelletier wrote another equation on the board. Physics was a good class for not thinking about what was going on. And even if some of it had been pretty cool — he was growing antlers, Dr. Caitrin said, and now he had some kind of awesome electricity powers — most of it was… Well, he was trying not to think about it.

He’d gotten the worrying thing sorted, at least, after spending a few days convincing himself that a desire to help was not worry — and if he had to abatu his hugr every now and then, well, nobody had told him not to do Workings on himself. And using magic to destroy the feeling was the only reliable way to stop worrying that he’d figured out.

Continue reading

Chapter 20: Cynara

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

“Ugh.”  The lights flickered out with a crackle.  “Leofric!”

Eriko’s expression needed no light.  Cynara could see the tired twist of her face already, the exasperated way she looked when she dealt with her boyfriend.  She could see Leo’s cringing apology too, the way his shoulders would shrug forward and he’d try to make himself smaller.  It made Cynara want to hug him; it made her want to punch Eriko.

“It wasn’t me,” Leo protested weakly. Continue reading

Chapter 19: Abednego

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

“Abednego.”  Professor Valerian’s hand landed on his shoulder.  “I know Professor Cayenne is your mentor, but I’ve noticed you’re having quite a bit of trouble focusing in my class, and I’m not sure she can help with that.  Would you like to come to my office and discuss it?”

Abednego swallowed.  “I, no, that’s okay, ma’am.  I’ll figure something out.”

“How are you doing, anyway?  Kids aren’t giving you trouble, are they?  I know your brothers…” Continue reading

Chapter 18: Arnbjörg

Sunday, October 15, 2000

Melchior had been visiting for hours.

At first, Arnbjörg had been happy to see him.  Melchior being around made Jaya happy, and it made severyone else relax.  He’d even dropped his Mask for her once, which made her understand both why he Masked all the time and why everyone treated him like a mascot.

But Magnolia had broken out something she called “prime hootch” that smelled like a perfume factory truck had run into a vodka truck, and everyone had started drinking.  And the more Melchior had started drinking, the more he draped himself on Jaya, who just petted him like it was cute. Continue reading

Chapter 17: Leofric

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Eriko was busy doing her homework. For anything else, it would’ve been a bad time — it was a bad time, if he was being honest, but it was almost impossible to find a good time when it was just the two of them. And Leofric really wanted this to be a private conversation.

Leofric had chosen a spot on the floor that was clearly visible from her desk (but not in the way; he didn’t want to be in the way, she didn’t like that) and knelt there. He didn’t want to interrupt her; he couldn’t interrupt her, even if he wanted to, not since that one time he had and she’d ordered him not to. So instead, he settled into his spot and waited.
Continue reading

Interlude: Zita

Written by Wysteria.

Zita watched her hands making dinner. She had claws now, and she loved them. A lot of the others seemed to be Changing and learning to wear a Mask as soon as possible, but Zita hadn’t. Between the shark-like teeth and the tiny (cute) claws, she felt like someday she’d be a big cat, not the kitten someone had called her on Hell Night.

Continue reading

Interlude: Doug

“Your daughter…!”

Doug looked up from his book, feeling his Masked stubs of wings flaring out in response to his father’s obvious anger.  “Niassa?”

Of course Niassa.  He only had one child at the school at the moment – his second, which made two more than his father’d had here so far – and of his three children, only one of them was a daughter.

Continue reading