Writing 2014-03-01



Birkegeistezeder gestures Larrikan to follow and takes him to a secluded spot in the rambling building where they can talk.  Once there, she asks Larrikan some questions about how much he can read now, and makes a plan for him to learn.  She tells him that she and a couple of the instructors work with students who need this kind of help, and tells him when he should come back.

He thanks her and asks, “Will it take long?”

“Everyone is different,” Birkegeistezeder tells him, “but it can take a while.  If you study two hours a day, it can take a year or more.”

Frowning, Larrikan replies, “That long?  I’ll have to work harder.”

Birkegeistezeder tells him, “Come when you can and we’ll work on it.”

“I’ll be here often,” Larrikan tells her.  “Can we start now?”

Larrikan works with the dryad until evening.  He leaves hungry and tired in ways he is not used to.  He grabs a quick dinner in the dining hall, and is reminded he gets to help there tomorrow.  He will remember.

Back at Barrow Hall, he finds Rafe in the common room with Thim.  Haoys is sitting in a corner, reading and taking notes.  Rafe says to Larrikan, “Is it true, furball?  You can’t read?”

From Rafe’s tone, Larrikan can tell this will not go well.  He can’t think of any other reply than, “That’s true, yes,” though, so that is what he says.  He adds, “I’ll just have to learn.”

Rafe sneers and says, “So, your people really are a bunch of wild animals, huh?”

Before Larrikan can reply, Thim asks, “Is it true that you people will screw anything that moves?”

“No,” replies Larrikan evenly, “and of course not.”

Both of the boys laugh, and Rafe says, “Sure.  Tell yourself that.”

Thim heads towards the door, saying, “Later, Rafe.”  As he walks past Larrikan, he punches Larrikan in the arm and says, “It’ll be fun to see how you fail in class tomorrow, furball,” and laughs at his own joke all the way out the door.

Larrikan watches him leave, then turns and leaves, too, vanishing into the forest.

In class the next day, Larrikan is quiet, listening to all the discussion.  Coldwillow opens the discussion by asking, “What did you make of our discussion yesterday?  Let’s hear from Thim first.”

Thim smiles, and is able to give all the names and types of matter discussed yesterday.  He looks quite self-satisified.

Coldwillow asks, “How do you explain the apparent contraditions between the quints proffered in ancient Greece, the Great Emporor’s lands, and those of the United States of Nippon?”

Thim replies, “One of them must be wrong.”

The look Coldwillow gives him suggests that isn’t an answer she approves of.  “Haoys?”

Haoys knows she hasn’t got an answer.  She digs through an unruly pile of notes, and frustratedly says, “I tried to align all the different variants, but could never make them all relate without a contradiction.”

Coldwillow says, “Any thoughts, Larrikan?”


Leave a Reply