Aventurine was the type of stone that made one think of adventure. Unless one only looked at it, of course. The pale green didn’t actually scream to hit the road and find something new.

It did offer some semblance of protection to someone who had a uniform that didn’t allow for green on this day. This one day, of all days.

Her friend scowled. “When I finally thought I’d catch you.”

She smiled back. “You touch me without permission, I cut you.”

You’re not supposed to say that at work, but apparently she got away with it today.

Too young to know

Learning was quite easy. Vidvan enjoyed it. Which meant when his master wanted him to do more than simply carry out errands for the household and put him to work learning, Vidvan was ecstatic. Which unfortunately tended to make him a little more talkative than he should have been.

“You might be favoured by him, but don’t you start thinkin’ that means anyone here will be going easy on you.” The maid’s scolding would have meant more if Vidvan wasn’t already examining her. “What are you looking at?”

“I was trying to determine what you served master for lunch.” Vidvan pointed out the small stain on her apron, otherwise clean of anything but dust.

The maid scowled and swatted the back of his head. “That will only work for so long, little one. Keep your tongue in check. Eyes too.”

Vidvan wasn’t sure what that meant, but decided to get out of dodge before she could start to consider that he was running afoul of either of those things again.

To be one of them

What Golden should have done was say no.

“Here we are!” the heir to the barony exclaimed, throwing the doors open. Or trying to. He didn’t have enough strength to make it impressive, but the large door still creaked open enough for the five of them to get in.

Winter kept her sister under the most amount of control that seemed possible. Why was Golden here? He would leave as soon as the others entered the room. Winter bit her lower lip. Summer followed suit. “This is…?”

“Where we have our lessons.” The Baroness’ son moved in. “Or do other things. If I wait for him here, he usually shows up before long.”

He gestured for them to come in. Or, mostly, Dahlia to come in. Dahlia skittered forward, eyes big (as normal). Winter and Summer followed.

“Coming, Golden?”

He could leave now. But there was something about being called Golden and knowing that no one knew to call him otherwise that made him think he could stay a little bit longer.

And so Golden did.

At least the building isn’t on fire

Sitting outside of the building, listening to the commotion that could still be heard from within, he felt like he had somehow entered insanity. Even though he’d just left it. It had come with him.

The wheezing laughter of Raz might have irritated him before, but he didn’t have enough presence of self to become annoyed. His heart beat too fast still and he didn’t know where his jacket was. He felt bowled over. Somehow, the last thirty minutes had happened.

“Still got yer wallet, Vest?”

At the very least, Zamir still had his wallet. Because Raz had told him to make sure it wasn’t in his jacket. If Zamir hadn’t been as flustered, he might have accused Raz of planning all of this. He ran his hand over his vest.

As it stood, he would accuse him as soon as he had stabilized his breathing.


There was a train on the track. James retied his sneakers. Mercedes stood next to him, hands on her hips.

“What. What even.”

The way her nostrils flared out with every irritated snort was something that was more pronounced in this cold weather. It was Mercedes idea that they be a bit more active. Not driving everywhere active, but really active active. It was James’ idea that they run the track to make sure they get the minimum in ever day.

Like most of James’ ideas, somehow it was ruined. Today, it was by a train.

“When did that get there?” Mercedes demanded of the passing penguins.

One of them honked. James squeezed the bridge of his nose. “We could go and run up and down the river instead?”

“And have the wind make fun of me? Last time it called you fat. The wind’s a jerk.”

“The wind doesn’t have sole possession of the riverside.”

As far as Mercedes was concerned, it did. They had to find somewhere else to run though, rather than the track. The train wasn’t theirs to move, after all. That was up to the triceratops who wanted their vote.

Getting up

He sat on the couch before he realized his mistake. The remote sat in front of the television. He had forgotten to get it.

He sat there for some time before his friend entered the room. “Decided not to watch anything?”

“I forgot the remote.”

His friend looked at him, then at the television. “It’s… right there.”

“Can you get it for me?”

Walking over there, his friend picked it up. “And you couldn’t have done it… because?”

“Too hot.”

The other rolled his eyes. “You see, this is why your wife kicked you out, dumbass.” However, his friend wasn’t his wife, so he handed his friend the remote and moved on with his life.

Childhood friend

He pulled the cat from his father’s shelf. It was a greyish colour, probably some sort of tan once. The glass eyes had a few scratches on them, one eye looking clouded. There was the barest sound of something inside of the stuffed animal that had once sounded like a purr, but whatever mechanism inside that made the noise when it moved had muffled into the barest sound, more like a very quiet grumble.

The boy clutched the toy to his chest and ran off to find where his father was doing laundry.

“That was mine when I was a kid,” his father said, folding the boy’s shorts. “Took it everywhere with me. She was the cat I never really had.”

The boy absently pet it while his father spoke, the muffled sound continuing with each motion.

“Want her? I’m sure she’d be thrilled to go around the block again.”

The boy beamed.

“Careful with her. Sassy’s not as spry as she used to be.”

The father watched with fondness as his son and Sassy ran off to play.

Looking up

There is a reflection when you look above-
into the effluvium, the world with no light,
but for the tiny ruptures within the glove
that cradles the sight
and creates the wonder of the surface that slips over the night.
When the haze from you is concealed from view,
when you’ve fallen from the shame,
screams are useless. Not even you,
the first one that came,
can make up for the loss of self when you threw away the name
no one else knew. Yet the light continues to await
your return and there is nothing forever lost.
To deny what others cry as fate
is the cost
of a freedom, of your return, to the above carpeted in frost.