Ten for One

“What is the deal with French fries?”

She knew her brother was trying to get her attention away from her phone. Yet another topic to make her look across the table at his order. “Uh huh.”

“It’s… a salt potato. What a miracle.”

Her high score was coming up. She just needed to concentrate.

“You like them.”

She felt the fry poke into her cheek, then fold over immediately. Not a crispy fry, but one still soft. Her favorite. She opened her mouth.

“Thought so.” He prodded the corner of her mouth, but didn’t place it in. She tried to move her head a little, without turning her eyes.

Then she got ten fries. She coughed. “Really?”

Her brother shrugged, but her high score remained untouched.

Either about writing or life, pick your choice

As if to remind me that I’m still paying dividends
to an unknown force for the use of this process,
it appears when I least expect it,
accept it,
well at least when I least suspect it
The clash of myself and this efficacy
tends to favour me a little less
and will always inject it,
connect it,
well at least I can’t eject it
But it’s not all bad, because without the fear
this thing uses in its desire to oppress,
I would neglect it,
or object it,
well at least try to correct it
but at most I can respect it

Didn’t lie, but it wasn’t so bad

Vidvan was settled back at his station when Iqbal came to him. He was tugging at his perfectly groomed beard, making it less perfectly groomed. Vidvan didn’t know why he bothered with it if he was going to mess it up in public.

Then Iqbal grabbed Vidvan by the ear. “Ow! I’m not a child anymore!”

“Are you not?” Iqbal hissed, dragging him from the station. He let go of Vidvan’s ear by the time they reached the hallway, but Vidvan knew better than to do anything but follow him. All the way to Iqbal’s chambers. Which was when he turned on Vidvan with the words he dreaded to hear the most. “You left?”

Vidvan felt the blood drain from his face. “I-I…”

It occurred to him that he should have lied, but now it was too late. “You know what will happen if someone finds out?”

Vidvan blinked. “Someone has found out,” he managed to say without stuttering.

Iqbal pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Stop being an idiot! It doesn’t matter that you are the Master’s favourite! He will still have you sentenced to death!”

Well, he knew that was always a consequence. “But you aren’t reporting me?” Iqbal smacked him with the palm of his hand, right into the centre of his forehead. “Ow!”

“I can’t believe you’re supposed to be so intelligent!”

Vidvan rubbed his forehead. But his panic had subsided. Funny, he wouldn’t have thought that Iqbal liked him enough to protect him. But as he had, Vidvan couldn’t doubt it. Not at all.

Interested learning

Golden​ shouldn’t have felt so interested, but there it was. “What is all of this?”

Fletcher didn’t stop what he was doing, arranging the instruments on the table. “I teach the young baron in his spare time. While I can’t teach him magic, which is my specialty, I can still show him the things I have seen from all of my travels.”

Golden sat on the other side of the table. He should have left, really. Well, that was only how he felt about it. What about that one? he wanted to ask, but the fact he had already asked a question stuck on his tongue. He felt more like scoffing and walking out. He struggled against it.

“Once this is put together, it will show an outside representation of the sky.”

“What?” The question left him before he could think about it. Golden continued to not think about it. “None of that looks like the sky.”

“And it won’t, from what we see down here. It took me long enough to come up with a physical representation…” Golden wasn’t sure what he was talking about now, but eventually Fletcher got back on track. “Would you like to stay and watch?”

Then the Baroness’ son would know. Golden got up and left the room. If Fletcher said anything after him, he didn’t listen.

Parvena’s last

“Of course… my dearest Zamir.”

Parvena liked him. For what reason, Zamir didn’t know. He had never done anything to try to gain her affections more than anyone else in the family. The whole fact she made him uncomfortable was part of that reason. He was simply a good son, a good grandson. He hadn’t put more effort into it than that.

“I am here, gramma.”

“I know. You would be here.”

He sat down next to her bed. She reached out for his hand and he managed not to balk in reaching out to her, letting her do so. “As our one God would wish it.” As he was supposed to say. As was true. Something about it still didn’t feel right.

“Everything will be for you.”

Time for dinner

Because his boyfriend was an artist, he had become used to a few different things. Like paint, ending up somehow on the table. Calling out into a house he knew wasn’t empty, for no answer. Deciding to clean up the paint this time, then go check and make sure the artist was not lost in thought, not passed out on the floor.

“When did you last eat?”

This room was a disaster, but this room was allowed. Even if the artist needed the occasional reminder to clean up.

Being this close grabbed the other man’s attention. He sat back, looking over his shoulder. “Once after the last time you asked!”

Well, that was better than yesterday. The artist was very absorbed. With a smile and a shake of his head, he went to get dinner.

Susan: Finder

​”Okay. What is it that you’ve lost?”

The little girl stared at her with big eyes, not responding. Susan tried again.

“In order to find it, I need to know what was lost. What have you lost?”

The girl swallowed. “My… my backpack. It’s blue.”

“A blue backpack.” The teen nodded, once, twice, then looked down at the little girl again. “What is it?”

“You have a bird on your shoulder.”

Susan would have shoved Death off her shoulder, but saying in front of a little girl that Death was the name of the big black bird seemed like a bad idea. Death chuckled in her ear.

“Um, yes. Blue backpack. Got it.”

She rushed off to find the backpack before lunch was over.