The pride of success

Both Hauke’s and Kya’s hair had been completely mussed up. They stared down at the vent between them and then at each other.

“Did we make this work?” Hauke asked, both nervous and enthralled.

Kya blinked slowly. “Well, we don’t look like idiots for nothing now.”

He laughed, standing up and staring at the ancient site. “We’ll get it to work! I knew it! They said- forget what they said! Finally!”

While he enthusiastically rejoiced in their success, Kya pushed her hair out of her eyes. The rest of it still went everywhere, but she didn’t care much about that. “Finally,” she agreed.

Deep down, the rumble of the old engine commenced.

He doesn’t have any

“If I left this here, you wouldn’t leave it until the end of the day.”

Robin looked at Jay, then at the wrapped cake Jay had placed on the desk. First of all, he didn’t understand what the point would be. They were going to eat that later. Waiting until the end of the day was anticipation for no reason. “Is this a dare?” Robin asked.

“No, it’s a statement.” With that, Jay picked up the box. “I’m moving this elsewhere. Don’t follow me, Robin. We have a client coming and all three of us will have this. Please show some restraint.”

Robin scoffed. “You act like I have none!”

Jay rose an eyebrow, but didn’t comment. He took the dessert and vacated the room. Robin watched him go.

Unfortunately, Jay had learned well, because Robin could not find it no matter how long and hard he looked.

Why is it always trespassers in these situations?

He poked his head out just a tad to see his targets. Drawing in a deep breath, all that came out was a low moan. No, that wasn’t right. Tobiasz had tried a low moan, but this one was barely audible. After all, there was no one startled. No one had even flinched.

“We’ve searched for hours and found nothing,” one of the women said.

“Probably because you’re too loud,” her friend retorted.

Tobiasz was certain they were looking for him. Which was why this presentation was very important. He couldn’t recall the last time people had come to visit him. The last time he had been too worried to come out and see anyone. Worried he wouldn’t make a good enough showing. Now was his chance. If only he could muster the courage. He readied himself again.

Then a beam of light trained on him. He gasped and fell back into the wall.

“Did you see that?”

“See what?”

“There was something over there.”

Their words became muffled as Tobiasz floated down and away. Maybe he would take a few more minutes to prepare. They hadn’t seen him, not really. He hadn’t ruined his debut. Sinking beneath the floorboards, he prepared himself once more to scare the people in his house.

After

He was dying.

He was old, so that made sense. He hadn’t expected to live this long in the first place. He had expected to die of old age though, as lucky as he’d been with the dangers of the world. Vidvan hadn’t been waiting for some unnatural cause to claim him. Now here he sat in the cell, knowing no one could come from him, and feeling the magic eating away at his life.

He was dying. Really unfair. Mainly, he felt indignant that his research would be taken and completely messed up. If only he could have sent it away. He would be better off burning it. On the other hand, destroying his notes… He couldn’t do it.

He sighed and closed his eyes. Opened them. Closed them. Couldn’t open them again.

And then, he had.

When he realized he wasn’t dead, or that the afterlife was very similar to how he had felt fifty years before, he was almost put out. Vidvan picked himself off the floor. He looked down at his not dead body and, satisfied it functioned better than it had before, decided that maybe he could get his notes out after all.

He rattled the bars to claim that someone had thrown him in here accidentally. No one would know how, but he certainly didn’t look like Vidvan now.

I want to spell unfazed with a “ph”

“Why do I have to wait with the ride?”

Shui should have been the last option, if just for the sake of his traveling companions. They had to know how annoying he’d become when he didn’t have a chance to blow off some steam. Which literally had nothing to do with the smoke he was blowing out from his cigarette.

“It’s not as if we’re worried about someone messing with it. You’re a fucking dragon. Who’s going to mess with that?”

The dragon stared down at him, likely unfazed. Then, with a single snort, the cigarette was ripped from his fingers and hit the floor.

“Goddamn it.” Kun would tell him he deserved that and that dragons had an odd way of deciding when they should be insulted. “You should agree. You’d totally prefer anyone else to wait with you. We barely get along.”

The dragon began to groom a wing. Shui was being ignored. He grit his teeth, picking his cigarette back up. He looked out into society, aware of everyone who looked over to see a dragon. That actually garnered him a lot of attention for doing nothing. He picked out quite a few attractive ladies – and some of them weren’t even nervous because of the dragon.

Though someone could change that at any moment. “Look, I’ll make you a deal,” Shui said. “We’ll go and get an entire… what do you want? Some cattle? A fat, tender piece of…” Now he was hungry. “We’ll do that, if you behave. I don’t even want you to do anything you wouldn’t normally do. Just pretend I’m Kun and behave for me, okay?”

He wished he could tell if the dragon had agreed with him. Smoothing back his hair, he got ready. As long as nothing too crazy happened, he could handle this.

Then, after a loud yawn, the dragon laid down on top of him.

“Oh, come on!”

But it was where he would be pinned until the other three returned.

Normal is an opinion

She saw him on the dance floor. Not sure when, but it had to be early on. There was no meeting of eyes. He had been around, she had been around, and at some point they were dancing together more often then not.

It was the most fun she’d had here in ages and they hadn’t exchanged a single word. When the police burst in and suddenly ushered him away, it left her feeling very confused.

“Typical,” her friend snorted. “You start to like a guy and the cops take him away.”

“I… don’t think that’s typical.”

A matter of belief

There was something about how Salimah had completely given herself over to a higher power that Temperance wished to understand. Not that she was religious or wanted to be. She knew which gods existed and appreciated that, but to be a part of a temple closed off so many other options she had always wanted to keep open.

“Did you always want this?” she asked her friend, sitting down at the table across from her. They were alone in this common room, their companions not here.

“Want… this?” The soft smile, the complete patience and compassion that Temperance lacked. It made her wonder.

“Yeah. What you have now.”

“Part of it was always my duty. However… yes. I wanted to take this task on from my mother. I wanted to be able to sooth the hurts of others. For that, I was lucky.”

Salimah said it so matter-of-factly. “Giving yourself to a single god?” Temperance asked.

“It is nice to know that my faith for one thing will always be rewarded.” Salimah smiled. “That’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it? My selfish reasons?”

That made her flush. “I-I didn’t mean it like that.”

“No, it’s fine. I understand. We all have those reasons. And what I said is true. Having one thing in life I can never doubt is reassuring. But not for everyone. One doesn’t need something so all-encompassing to be devoted. Don’t doubt yourself, Temperance.”

She sighed, feeling so see through. “Thanks.”

“Of course, Temperance. Of course.”

It is her house

She stared at the monitor and watched the events of downstairs until one of the subjects faced the camera.

“I know you’re up there. Can you stop doing that? You’re creeping me out.”

She bit her lower lip and turned on the intercom. “What are you talking about?”

“Watching us. All the time. It’s creepy.”

“It’s my house.”

“Not only yours and I’m not here to see only you. Do you have to watch everyone all the time?”

It was a good question. She liked people watching, that was true. And she had the right to know what was going on in her house. No real need for this much security, maybe, but it was her house and everyone who lived here and agreed to that. “You don’t have to come here to see us, you know.”

“Goddamn it, Phyllis.”

Satisfied she’d made her point, she turned off the intercom and watched as the man rolled his eyes and followed his friend into the other room. Then she turned the channel and left the two of them alone.

Actually, it’s to save you from insanity of seeing an otherworldly being

The being descended down before him with majestic light. “I have come bearing you tidings, mortal.”

The mortal squinted. “That’s nice, but could you tone it down a little?”

As that wasn’t the usual reaction to seeing an angel, the otherworldly being wasn’t sure what he was talking about. “To what do you refer?”

“The majestic light. It’s a little too bright to be really majestic. It just makes you seem like some guy that has a spotlight behind them. I mean, the descending from on high was great, but maybe there are wires or something? I dunno. In any case, you look like a silhouette and I can barely even make that out.”

The angel paused. A very slight pause, but a pause nonetheless. “Do you doubt my origins, mortal?”

“I guess? What are you claiming to be?”

Peering through their own light, the angel focused on him. “I do not believe you are who I am waiting to talk to.”

“What?” the man said. But the angel had already decided to peace out, realizing the truth of the matter. The light was too bright and they’d descended down before the wrong person with a less than majestic light.