Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Episode Eighteen

Episode Eighteen

Chapter Two

To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those things that lie beyond.

   The flower between them quivered slightly as Holon's charcoals slid over his sketch book. With a sigh Esther took out her own sketch pad and supplies. Wincing at her still healing finger, she pried open the tin. The top popped off with the clatter of a cymbal that echoed through the quiet room and she yanked it to her chest to quell the sudden noise.

   "This is due at the end of class. We will review your work later this week." Audler set the basket along the windows and moved to the flat faced CD player on her desk. Titanic's soundtrack filled the classroom.

   Esther selected an abused charcoal from the tin and glared at the flower. She set her sketch book flat on the table and traced the line of the steam several times with her eye before lowering the charcoal.

   Holon's sketch book hit the table. The flower jumped, leaves rattling. Esther's charcoal skittered off mark as did her gaze. Holon clutched his left hand in his right, fingers pressing into the bandages. Fresh red dotted the white.


   He stood carefully, eyes on his hand, and walked towards the over sized sinks to the right of the classroom. Esther watched him roll up his sleeve and dip his arm up to his elbow into the basin. She caught a glimpse of white unraveling. He turned on the spigot, washed his hands carefully then took several paper towels; dabbing them across his hand. The movement stopped. He straightened slowly and turned towards the bank of windows on the opposite.

   Setting his feet up on the pushed together desks, Tobie crossed his arms over his chest. "He should have just taken his flesh."

   "There was no way to take it without spilling blood," Vanessa Dupont insisted, glaring up at him from the large poster board they were all suppose to be working on.

   "Don't get the Duke involved. Just take it. Would have been too late for semantics after it was all finished."

   Vanessa's hand lifted from stenciling the old English script across the top of the poster reading:
Shylock. "And be an even bigger villain."

   "They all resorted to trickery and plots at the end. They had to trap him with loop holes and lies. So whose really the villain?"

   "Wanting revenge like that is what got him there in the first place," Eloise Mason retorted, smoothing down a strip of magazine clippings that spelled out:
A villain made with a pound of flesh in alternating letters ala a ransom note. "It’s like...having a criminal catching a criminal. It evens out."

   Tobie smirked. "So you agree Antonio is a criminal."

   "I didn't say that. I said it was like that."

   "Same thing," mumbled Jacob, squinting up at her, head pillowed in his arms.

   "We took a vote," Vanessa said, standing.

   Tobie rolled his eyes. "Just because majority won doesn't mean I have to agree with it. I just have to do it."

aren't doing anything!"

   "Haven't asked me to."

   Eloise quickly took Vanessa's arm before she could respond. "Come on, lets get more magazines." They walked through the labyrinth of desks, Venessa glaring over her shoulder, for the supply cabinet.

   "Man she's annoying," Tobie scoffed. Jacob gave a feeble chuckle, then put his head on the table. "Office has your meds, right?"

   Jacob nodded, turning his head towards Tobie. He grinned. "Wanna bail?"

   Tobie mirrored Jacob's grin and flagged down Dr. Callaway. Two minuets later he and Jacob were headed for the hall, Tobie with a very convincing hand on Jacob's back, both leaving two stunned and infuriated group-mates behind.

   "Thanks man," Tobie said as they rounded the hallway of classrooms for the English building's main hall. "I couldn't take much more of that."

   "Think Callaway will give us the grade?"

   "Who cares. He needs to hurry up and get to the good stuff. No more boring comedies."

   Jacob stumbled, hands at his temples. "Just a sec, man. Ugh...this sucks." They stopped in front of the line of arched windows framing the lawn leading towards the art buildings.

   Tobie let his hand fall to his side as Jacob shut his eyes. A chill ran down his spine. He turned to the window.

   "Man. I wish they let me just keep the pills on me." Jacob rubbed his forehead. "These things just come outta nowhere, ya know?"

   "Yeah..." Tobie mumbled distractedly. He stared into the garden, watching a thin wisp, like a denigrating vapor trail, float towards the Art Gardens followed by a small, and familiar, young girl. "Outta nowhere..."

   Holon stared at the long windows. Esther turned in her chair.

   In the little clearing out passed the garden was a young girl in the Wilton Conservatory uniform. She sat against a large oak just beyond the metal sculptures.

   "Back to your seat Mr. Huges," Aulder called from her desk.

   "There's a girl in the garden."

   "Come again?"

   Holon causally slipped his hand behind his back, turning to Aulder as she came around her desk.

   Aulder stared down at the child. "What on earth..."

   "I...I think that's Jacob's little sister," Esther said, gazing out the window. "I saw him bring her here this morning."

   Audler peered over her glasses. "She's been here since morning?"

   "I think she went down to Wilton Conservatory. I saw her walk off..." Esther squinted at the girl. Something like a heat haze clouded the area just in behind Layah, like a halo of muddled fog.

   "You know her brother?"

Esther hesitated.

   "Jacob Linbert," Holon supplied. "He's in Shakespeare with Dr. Calloway."

   "Alright. Mr. Huges, take the hall pass. Go to the English office and tell them Mr. Linbert's sister is on the premises. I suppose I should go collect her."

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