“How do they play together?” the Keeper demanded of me.
I murmured a quick thanks for the conversation before moving myself closer to the Keeper. We spent half an hour with the devices. This would hopefully keep the Keeper occupied, on and off, for the next several days. Weeks. Months. However long it would be.
“What did you do during school today?” the Keeper went on to ask.
I answered the question with as much detail as I could muster. I wasn’t fond of school, especially now. However, it was unfair to keep it from the Keeper, who obviously craved for that time. We moved away from the table in the centre of the chamber (remembering to take my bag) to the corner of the room where the Keeper kept all of their belongings. Shelving which had been emptied from the books which remained in here to in turn be filled with the trinkets from life before and the life during. As always, I could see each of the gifts I had brought them in the forefront. The newer, the more accessible.
When he think about what he must do again
It is a little irritating
What about the time he did it the first?
Is that time now gone to the ages?
Whittling away at the little he has let
Ignoring what was gained from the first attempt
When the physical must be redone
Inexplicably the experience always remains
“What did you bring today?”
I should not have jumped. I knew we were not alone. The older man sat where he always sat, in the corner. I could see the magic on him. A part of me found it to be show-offish, but I knew this was the only place left he could do that. Let the magic shimmer over his hands, leaving trails through the air as he moved his fingers. It may have been a display, but it was a display for himself.
“Those little electronic pocket pets,” I told him. “From back before they had more than black pixels. Back before they had all of those online capabilities.”
The old man chuckled. “I remember those! Four of them, too? That couldn’t have been cheap.”
I glowered, but thankfully the Keeper did not seem to be listening to us, focused in on their latest presents.
Rebecca had meant to scream when she saw the body, but her lungs failed to provide her the necessary breath to follow through. Instead, she swallowed and said the only thing that came to mind. “Appointment?”
“Fowler, nine thirty.”
She knew that. It was a weekly appointment. The man wasn’t usually dead on arrival though. “Very good. I’ll let her know you’re here.”
With a nod, he went to sit down. No one else in the waiting room budged, eyes glued to the corpse.
Rebecca picked up the phone. “Doctor… Fowler?”
“Is there something wrong?”
She swallowed. “Your nine thirty is here.”
For a good moment, Doctor Fowler said nothing.
“What do…. what do I do?”
“Um,” said Doctor Fowler. “Call the police, but send him back.”
“I brought you something!”
The Keeper looked at me with hunger, something I never used to see on their face, but now hardly saw them without. I moved over to the large table in the middle of the chamber. The surface was strewn with the tomes of this hidden place, of the tools of their and their father’s trade, shut away here out of sight. Much like the Keeper.
There was some empty space, plenty of it, across the long end which faced the only way in and out to the library. I set my bag down there, pulling out the pocket pets.
The Keeper’s eyes went round. “You know you’re not supposed to bring electronics in here.” Their voice remained rife with desire.
I shot them a smile. “It’s old. It doesn’t have all of those hook ups. The only things it connects to,” I pulled a couple others out of my bag, putting all but one on the table, “are others which press up against these sensors here.” I tapped at the top of the small device. “Your dad gave me the go ahead, I asked to make sure. These ones are yours.”
They leaped upon the devices, examining them with relish. I sat down, keeping explanations to myself. After all, the longer it took them to figure it out, the more they had to do.
Fearing heights is the preemptive emotion of what will come
All it takes is a moment when it is no longer high
Listening to the air passing by as a thrum
Laying down together, in pieces, dependent on the sky
“What took you so long?” The Keeper spoke with impatience. I never used to hear that from them, but now it had become more common.
“I had school.”
With those words, I felt freer. Free, trapped within this place. I tried to hide those feelings, because I knew how the Keeper would feel about them. But here, I could say anything and it would be all right.
The Keeper would always be able to say what they wanted, because of this place. The corner of their lips twitched down, then up. They folded their arms in front of their chest. “Oh, right. It’s Monday, isn’t it?”
“Tuesday,” I corrected. “We didn’t have school yesterday.”
“I miss school.”
I wasn’t surprised. I did think it better to change subject.
Another month, come and gone. Was it a success? Depends on how you look at it. I wrote a lot, that is for sure. But now I feel it is time to focus more on the quality than the quantity of my words. They are down on paper now, so that is a good start. I have gotten a lot of that pesky Writing out of the way. Time for some edits and more preparations for publishing!
Continue reading “Can’t spell August without an A. It stands for “ah”.”