Villager of the Day: Aisle

I’m gonna blame this dude for me being away for so long. I just couldn’t bring myself to draw Aisle. Yeah. That’s what it is.

To be fair, he is really creepy looking. I was gonna blame it on him being a cub, which means he has a really big head and a teeny body and his proportions are EXTRA weird (in a series full of weird proportions), but then I realized my favourite character in all of Animal Crossing is apparently a cub, so there goes that theory.

I think it’s just those cold eyes. And the fact that his catchphrase (which, to be fair, only appeared in Japanese) is “aaa”… It all just kind of screams serial killer to me. If he moved into my town, I think I would burn it down.

Unfortunately, the next villager is a horror show too. So, yeah.

Word of the Day: Reverie

 

January 25, 2018: reverie \ REV-uh-ree \  noun;

1. A state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing.
2. A daydream.
3. A fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea.

 

The wind played fitfully with Andrew’s perfect brown curls, always leaving them placed elegantly on his face to draw attention to his piercing green eyes, his aquiline nose, his perfect soft lips. Katherine smiled softly as he held out a hand–a perfect hand, his fingers long and agile and always warm–to pull her up onto the back of the unicorn behind him. As soon as she put her hand into his–

“What the hell?” someone demanded loudly, shaking Katherine rather abruptly from her reverie.

She glanced over at Andrew, trying not to let her cheeks go red and give her thoughts away, but he was staring right at her and it was impossible.

In fact, he was staring at her rather incredulously. And his hair looked rather more windswept than she had remembered. And… did he smell of horse?

“I said, what the hell, Katherine?” he repeated, staring at her expectantly.

Katherine blinked. She hadn’t been staring at him, so there was no way he could know what she had been thinking, but he looked rather irritated and she noticed that his nose was running now.

“Oh, fantastic. I’m allergic to horses, you know,” he told her tetchily, wiping his nose on his sleeve in a gesture that she would very quickly erase from her memory. “And apparently unicorns.”

She stopped breathing. What did he mean, unicorns?

“Aren’t you even going to say anything?” he asked, raking his hands through his brown curls, trying to get them under control. Everyone in the lunchroom was staring at them now, and the warmth in her cheeks told her they were maybe the brightest shade of red they had ever been.

“Sorry?” Katherine asked quietly, glancing around at all the eyes fixed on them before returning her shy gaze to Andrew. He still looked really annoyed.

“Is that it? ‘Sorry?'” he asked in a mockingly squeaky tone that made her cringe.

“I’m just… not sure what you mean…” Katherine said quietly, wishing he would be a little quieter and everyone would stop staring at them.

“Oh yes? Then why was I on the back of a bloody unicorn a moment ago with the wind ‘fitfully playing with my perfect brown curls’?” He demanded. “And what the hell does ‘aquiline’ mean?”

Katherine’s blood went cold. “What?”

“I hate to break it to you, but I’ve got terrible circulation as well. My hands are always cold,” he grumbled.

Katherine just stared.

“Inaccurate narration aside though, what the hell was that?” Andrew demanded, wiping his still-running nose on his sleeve again.

“But… it was just a daydream,” Katherine said quietly, tightly gripping her legs under the lunchroom table, waiting for this all to be some kind of joke or dream or something.

“You daydreamed about me?” Andrew demanded, looking at her askance.

“It was more about the unicorn,” Katherine insisted, knowing her cheeks were getting even more red by the moment.

“But why me? I’m always awful to you,” Andrew still looked incredulous.

Katherine opened her mouth to answer but before she could, Andrew was talking again.

“Hang on, that really doesn’t matter. How did you do it?” He demanded, as if he has only just realized that what had just happened to him was more incredible than mousy Katherine being interested in him.

“I didn’t do anything!” Katherine insisted.

“Clearly, you did,” Andrew countered flatly.

“I didn’t, though! I was only daydreaming!” Katherine said, trying not to sound like she was whining and not succeeding as much as she might have liked.

“Haven’t you ever daydreamed before?” Andrew demanded, incredulous once again.

“Of course I have!” Katherine yelled back, the first thing she’d said above a whisper since the entire conversation had started. Several people who had long since lost interest in the conversation turned to look at them again, and Katherine hunched down awkwardly in her seat until they stopped staring.

Andrew gave her a long, considering look.

“Have you recently suffered head trauma? Or been bitten by anything radioactive? Or stuck your head in a microwave or something?” he asked.

Katherine gave him a cold stare.

“Don’t look at me like that! One minute I’m about to eat some spaghetti and the next the wind is whipping me around on the back of some bloody pink horse,” Andrew grunted.

Katherine did not stop glaring at him, and Andrew was quiet for another long moment.

“Look, it’s really flattering–” Andrew began.

“Don’t!” Katherine yelled again, and again people in the lunchroom were staring at her. “Just, let’s not talk about it, okay? I promise I will never daydream about you again.” She looked down at the table and tried very hard not to throw up.

Much to her surprise, Andrew didn’t say anything. When she finally looked up at her again, he was giving her another considering look.

“Now, let’s not be too hasty,” he said.

“What?” Katherine demanded, eyes widening, fingers clenching tight on her legs again.

“No more unicorns, for damn sure. But if, for example, you were to daydream us onto a beach in Fiji during next period, I certainly wouldn’t complain,” Andrew said, and then quickly added, “but with like a wall or something. I don’t need you narrating my masculine features while I sunbathe.”

“So I’m supposed to daydream about you sunbathing behind a wall?” Katherine demanded incredulously.

“But without the narration,” Andrew agreed.

Katherine gave him another cold stare and began daydreaming about giving the clod a swift punch in the jaw.

“OW!” Andrew exclaimed loudly, staring wide-eyed at Katherine and holding his jaw.

Very slowly, a smile began to form on Katherine’s lips.

 

Note: I’ll get caught up one day! Ah ha ha! In the meantime, whatever this is. (It has a unicorn, so I like it.)

Word of the Day: Silver-Tongued

 

January 12, 2018: silver-tongued \ SIL-ver-TUHNGD \  adjective;

1. Persuasive; eloquent.

 

When she won the oration exhibition, she had been proud. More than proud. It was proof, they told her, that she was silver-tongued. Which, of course, was a great honour.

When they had guided her off the stage amidst the still thundering applause, she was embarrassed to admit she had been a little disappointed. She had wanted to stand in and soak up that adulation a little longer.

When they had taken her through the building, to a small, sterile looking room with a large mechanical chair under a spotlight, she had been confused. She should have been more scared.

She was scared when they strapped her into the chair, and she demanded to know what they were doing.

Giving you your prize, they had said, all smiles. One of them even congratulated her again, as he stuck a needle into her arm.

When she awoke who know how long afterwards, she was stiff. It took her a moment to recognize her own bedroom, her own bed. Her mouth felt numb and strange, so she reached over for a glass of water, and tried to take a sip, but something was wrong.

Pushing herself out of bed, she stumbled downstairs to look for her husband. He would know what was going on.

When she reached the living room, she been doing all she could to throttle down the growing sense of dread. It didn’t help to find her husband, sitting on the couch, staring at the mantle above the fireplace with abject horror.

When she finally saw it, she wished desperately she had never honed her silver tongue. For there it sat, on her mantel piece, plated and filigreed and monstrous, light reflecting off each little ridge and bump.

And she cried a wordless cry.

 

Note: A super quick foray into what I hope is horror? I’m not sure I built the mood enough, but I still like the basic idea, so I may revisit it again and drag it out a little more. I sort of desperately want to write some horror, so this was a lot of fun — hopefully tomorrow’s word conjures up imagery so quickly for me. Weeeeee.

Villager of the Day: Agnes

As promised, the queen of the side-eye, Agnes. She is one of the “uchi” visitors which is apparently like a big sister type that combines snooty and peppy and “normal” types. I would have gone with snootpep myself, because it sounds way cuter.

Agnes’s catchphrase is “snuffle” which mostly makes me worry that she has seasonal allergies.

She has one of the best starting shirts in the game, for sure. (Lookit them cute colours.)

Tomorrow (or Monday?) get ready for AN ABOMINATION.

Word of the Day: Jannock

 

January 11, 2018: jannock \ JAN-uh k \  adjective;

1. British, Australian Informal. Honest; fair; straightforward.

 

As she twisted the lockpick in the sturdy lock she had to admit, even among thieves, this wasn’t, as her very Australian great aunt would have said, jannock.

It was one of her great aunt’s favourite words, in fact, and one she rarely used when talking about Aubrey, so it stuck with her. Especially since her sister, Tabitha, was the epitome of jannock. Once she had joked, in front of her great aunt unfortunately, that Tabitha even had great “jannockers,” and she had been sure her great aunt was going to have a stroke the way she reacted.

“Giving you a bit of trouble?” Tim asked anxiously from his place at the corner, under the broken streetlight.

Aubrey grimaced. Now was not the time to be getting distracted, no matter how sour what she was doing was making her stomach. No matter how sure she was that her great aunt would just flat out keel over if she knew what Aubrey were up to now.

“Nope, got it,” Aubrey said as a satisfying click punctuated her success. She glanced over at Tim, who looked just about as triumphant as she felt, which was not very.

This was a definitely a terrible idea.

But if they were going to strike out on there own, this was the only way they were going to do it. She was tired of being Geoffrey Tennant’s “lock whisperer” when all it got her was a pat on the head and barely a tenth of any of the scores. He had actually literally patted her on the head once. Without irony. In front of other people.

It was starting to feel like a better idea again.

She gently turned the knob and pushed open the door to the antique shop.

Antique shop, antique lock, she snickered quietly to herself.

“Don’t giggle, Aub, it makes me nervous,” Tim said as he slid past her into the shop, chewing anxiously at a fingernail.

But everything made Tim nervous. She wasn’t sure why she had even brought him along. Only he was tired of being treated like a pet too (except for him it was even worse because at least Aubrey had magic fingers, all Tim had were a decent set of eyes), and Aubrey was too scared to try and break away from Geoffrey on her own.

And anyone else I had talked to would have turned me in to Geoffrey for a pat on the head.

Apparently everyone else was really quite happy with Geoffrey’s pats.

“Are you coming?” Tim hissed, sticking his head out of the shop to stare incredulously at her.

And he was right to — what was she doing out here? She nodded and followed him into the shop, closing the door gently behind her. As she let her eyes adjust to the darkness, she took a deep breath, trying to quiet her mind. Now was not the time to obsess over Geoffrey Tennant. Now was the time to act like the professional she knew she could be, to snatch the book out from under Geoffrey’s nose, and then make a break for it.

Geoffrey had told her about the book last week. He had actually been giddy about it. She wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but very few things made Geoffrey giddy. And the things that did made him cautious. So he was still making plans to scope out the little antique shop while Aubrey was formulating her plan to steal the book and disappear.

“Now, where’s the book?” she whispered quietly, half to herself, and half to Tim.

Tim shrugged and Aubrey reflected that maybe Geoffrey’s methods weren’t entirely overcautious — a quick trip to the store to find the book before tonight probably would have made things a little easier.

Too late now. Put it in the book for next time, Aubrey told herself, and began slinking around the shop.

“What’s it called again?” she whispered to Tim, who shot her another incredulous look in the dark. “What? I’m nervous too.”

Tim had been the one to dig a little deeper when Aubrey told him about Geoffrey’s glee and had managed to ferret out the name of the book. So really, she supposed, he did deserve to be here just as much as she did.

“It’s called Socrates on Wedlock,” Tim told her, “a rare Dickens thing or something.”

“Charles Dickens? I’ve never heard of a Charles Dickens story called Socrates on Wedlock,” Aubrey said, quirking an eyebrow at Tim. He hadn’t mentioned the author before.

“I guess that’s what makes it rare,” Tim hissed with an aggravated shrug, and returned to searching through the shop.

Aubrey grimaced. She was going to have to remember not to talk to Tim during these kinds of things if they were going to continue to be partners in crime. Being nervous made Tim an absolute dick. She cast a quick glare at his back to make herself feel better and then resumed looking through the shop herself.

Unfortunately, it was what she would have called a rather typical antique store in that things were piled high with no sense of rhyme or reason that she could guess, so finding the book might take a while. She glanced anxiously at her watch, knowing that every minute they spent in the shop was another minute closer to discovery when Tim made a strangled squeak from the other side of the store.

Aubrey stood up abruptly. “Tim? Are you okay?”

Tim poked his head around a haphazard stack of old rocking chairs and nodded emphatically, motioning her over frantically.

“What’s the matter?” Aubrey asked, making her way carefully through the shop. When made her way around the rocking chairs, her eyes widened and she knew exactly why Tim had made the noise. There, in the bookshelf in front of them was a copy of Socrates on Wedlock — clearly Tim had tried to pull it out, since it was sitting askew, at an impossible angle. Because Socrates on Wedlock wasn’t what they were here for. But whatever was behind the secret door they had opened when they moved the book, was.

“After you,” Tim said, motioning to the small door that had popped open next to the bookshelf.

“Such a gentleman,” Aubrey grunted sarcastically as she got down on her hands and knees and started crawling into the passage.

 

Note: Really? Jannock? I come back to jannock? I’m not sure how good a job I did incorporating it, but then, I’m not really sure what kind of criteria I’ve set up for myself beyond, you know, using the word. So in that case, good job, me! You even made a boob joke using the word of the day.

I am, however, eminently sad that I managed to miss “stardust” on Jan 8, “horsefeathers” on the 7th, and “denouement” yesterday, so I may have to go back and try to catch up. On the other hand, I did manage to avoid “boustrophedon” on the 6th, so we’ll have to see. 

Villager of the Day: Agent S

And then I got the flu, so Agent S had to wait… but here she is!

(I don’t think I knew she was a girl, despite having met her in game before, and now I like her even more, because she’s this peppy little hero squirrel girl. Her catchphrase is even “sidekick,” which is like the first good one (of a whole gigantic total of three). In French, her name is apparently Ninjette, and I can’t decide if that’s cooler or Agent S is, but they’re both pretty great.)

She’s part of the ridiculously adorable squirrel family of animals (seriously, like 90% of the squirrels are outrageously adorable in Animal Crossing) and was a nice bird break. Tomorrow, another non-bird! It’s gonna be the side-eyeing pig, Agnes!

Word of the Day: Moira

 

January 4, 2018: moira \ MOI-ruh \  noun;

1. (among ancient Greeks) A person’s fate or destiny.

2. Classical Mythology. ( initial capital letter) a. The personification of fate. b. Moirai, the Fates.

 

Stewart arrived at the bar early, which according to all the articles he had read and all of his friends, was his first mistake. “If you’re hot enough, women will wait for you,” his best friend Chad had said.

Why was he even friends with Chad? Chad was always saying things like that that made him sound like a complete asshole. Actually, Chad kind of was a complete asshole.

And Stewart definitely wasn’t hot enough for women to wait for him. So he arrived at the bar early. He found himself a table with a view of the door, and spent five minutes carefully arranging his copy of the Odyssey that would signal to his blind date that he was, in fact, the Stewart of lore and legend (and the dating website they both frequented). First he laid it flat, but he worried she wouldn’t see it, so he tried standing it up, but it kept falling over, and then he tried resting it against the salt and pepper, but they were no match for such a hefty tome. Eventually he settled for pretending to read it, his eyes peaking above the pages, taking in every woman who walked in, checking to see if she had a matching copy that would signal to him that she was the mythical Deirdre.

“Very subtle,” a voice said over Stewart’s shoulder and he jumped at least three feet in the air and dropped the book, which scattered the salt and pepper shakers and the napkin dispenser all over the floor. Stewart whirled around to see a young woman wearing a black t-shirt, an amused grin, and a name tag that said “Moira.” She was also holding a notepad, which she tucked into her apron and bent to pick up the mess Stewart had made.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have spooked you,” Moira said, placing the salt back on the table. “It was just after watching for the last five minutes, I liked that you went for the direct approach. You really can’t miss the book that way.”

“Sorry?” Stewart said, stooping to the floor to help Moira pick up the napkins strewn around his table.

“Blind date, right? She sees the book and knows it’s you?” Moira was grinning again.

“Oh.” Stewart glanced over at his copy of the Odyssey and scooped it off the floor, nodding a little. “Er, yes.”

“Interesting choice of book,” Moira said, stuffing the napkins into her apron.

“Oh, well, it’s a classic,” Stewart said as they both stood up and placed the last displaced item back on the table.

Moira stared at him with that amused smile.

“And I thought it would make me seem smarter,” Stewart admitted lamely, scratching at the back of his neck.

Moira laughed, and Stewart grinned himself. Somehow it wasn’t a mean laugh. It wasn’t making fun of him. It was a laugh that was meant for both of them. It was a laugh that made his heart flutter a little.

“Dude’s hearts don’t flutter,” Chad said in his head. What an asshole, Stewart thought back at him, and continued grinning at Moira.

“Can I say something a little crazy to you?” Moira asked, brushing a stray red curl behind her ear. She looked a little shy all of a sudden, and Stewart’s heart fluttered again. Chad would have groaned.

“Sure, yes,” Stewart said, putting his book down on the table.

“I just have this feeling that your date isn’t going to go very well,” Moira said, and Stewart’s heart dropped mid-flutter. Here had been thinking she was going to suggest they go skinny dipping or get matching tattoos or… he really needed to stop listening to Chad. He was pretty sure people didn’t actually do those things, they just sounded good in the kinds of magazines Chad insisted Stewart read in order to understand the female mind.

The cruel, pitiless female mind.

“Oh. Um. She probably hasn’t actually read the Odyssey either,” Stewart said after a moment, shrugging lamely.

“No! No, that isn’t what I meant!” Moira said instantly. “I just… get the feeling she’s not right for you.”

“Because you’re so obviously pathetic,” Chad said in Stewart’s head. Stewart feebly called Chad an asshole again, but he didn’t really mean it. Not when random waitresses who had just met him immediately recognized how pathetic he was. He couldn’t really argue with what he knew his best friend would have said.

“Oh. Sure. Thanks,” was all Stewart could muster, sitting back down at the table.

“I’m not saying this right,” Moira said, raking a hand through her curls in frustration. Abruptly, she sat down at the table, and pushed a chair closer to Stewart until she was staring straight into his eyes, inches apart. Stewart’s heart started to flutter again and he tried to distract it by noticing the way Moira’s mascara was clumping in her eyelashes, but it didn’t really work. She smelled like clean laundry and cinnamon, and her deep green eyes were staring right into his and despite how awkward it was, it was also kind of romantic.

“Stop falling in love with girls you’ve just met,” Chad said in his head, only that wasn’t quite right. That was actual good advice, and Chad wouldn’t have said that. That was all Stewart, and he knew it was true, but he had figured out that the cinnamon smell was coming from her lip gloss and it was making his heart flutter again. But then he realized he was staring at her lips, and that her lips were moving, and that she was looking at him questioningly. He blushed.

“Sorry, what was that?” he asked, feeling like an idiot for the hundredth time in the short span of time since he had met Moira.

“Do you believe in fate, Stewart?” Moira asked, her green eyes wide.

Maybe if he hadn’t had Chad’s voice in his head saying, “that is the worst pick-up line I’ve ever heard,” he might have paused to consider how she knew his name was Stewart, or why she looked so nervous all of the sudden, or he might have even seen Deirdre enter the bar, craning her neck around to look at him. But all he really registered was that this was definitely a pick-up line, that Moira was definitely trying to pick him up, so he just grinned.

“Definitely,” he said.

“Then come with me,” Moira said, and held out an open hand to him.

 

Note: I feel like I’m probably being unfair to people named Chad, but the name Chad is just such an asshole name in my head. I’m sorry to all non-asshole Chad’s that may ever read this. I’m sure a lot of you are super cool people.

(This is the weird stuff that’s going to happen when I make myself write every day. I bet asshole Chad is going to pop up again too, because now I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for asshole Chad. Good job, inner writer. You’re weird.) 

Villager of the Day: Admiral

Today’s villager is Admiral, who, I am ashamed to say, is not a duck. He is, infact, a bird, the Animal Crossing wiki tells me. As, I think, all the “birds” characters are — nondescript avian creatures of some sort. I was right about the grumpy part though.

Admiral’s catchphrase is “aye, aye” which is a little better than Ace’s, but not much.

Apparently, he likes fishing and admires both lazy and snooty villagers, which is funny because he looks like the kind of bird who has absolutely no time for those kinds of shenanigans. You learn something new every day, right?

Get ready for the first non-bird tomorrow! How exciting!

Villager of the Day: Ace

I love Animal Crossing. I love the villagers and making friends with them and ruining their houses with all the furniture that isn’t good enough for my house. So I’m going to draw a villager a day. And at that pace, it’ll only take me a year and three months to get through them all. Assuming they don’t put out anymore games. X3

So here’s the first one: Ace, whose narcissistic catchphrase is… ace. Good for you, ace.

Tomorrow, the world’s angriest duck, Admiral.

Word of the Day: Patrician

 

January 3, 2018: patrician \ puh-TRISH-uh n \  noun;

1. A person of noble or high rank; aristocrat.

2. A person of very good background, education, and refinement.

 

Iris shifted awkwardly in her seat, wishing she had chosen something a little less fashionable and a little more comfortable to wear. But then, a meeting with the patrician wasn’t the time to break out your flats and summer dresses, so her aunt had said. So instead she sat sweating in the summer heat, nearly swallowed in mounds of taffeta and silk, hoping desperately that she hadn’t annoyed the patrician enough that he’d keep her waiting in his sweltering sitting room for too long. As the seconds ticked by, though, she became more and more sure that she had clearly displeased the patrician somehow or she wouldn’t be so close to melting. Because the patrician, her aunt told her firmly, was a paragon of politeness — he would never stoop so low as to directly insult anyone — but he certainly wasn’t above letting them stew in their own juices while they awaited an audience with him.

Iris was just thinking about taking off her voluminous pink hat when the man in question finally appeared. It couldn’t be anyone else, he looked exactly like the portrait that hung in her aunt’s drawing room. She was so shocked that it was him and not a footman that had arrived that she sat staring at him with wide green eyes and didn’t say anything at all for what she would later recollect had to be at least a full minute.

“Oh dear, are you quite all right, Miss Wellsbee?” The patrician finally broke the silence, his brow creased with worry.

Iris sprung to her feet clumsily, only just maintaining her balance on the four-inch heels she’d selected to impress the patrician, and offered him a somewhat frazzled smile. “Perfectly, patrician. Only a little dazed.”

“The heat is beastly,” the patrician agreed, pausing a moment to let his eyes run up and down her form, taking in the piles and piles of fabric that made up Iris’s very chic outfit. “I can’t imagine all of that is helping much. You needn’t have dressed up on my account.”

The patrician smiled inscrutably at Iris and she could only stare in shock, quite on the edge of bursting into tears. Needn’t have dressed up on his account? Who in their right might would dress up like this on any other account? He must be winding her up, there was absolutely no other explanation for it. Because everyone knew that you presented your best self to the patrician or you found your place in society suddenly much less comfortable.

Iris swiftly plastered another frazzled smile on her face, hoping the patrician hadn’t noticed her shock and said, “this old thing? Not a bother at all. It practically floats.”

The patrician only a quirked a brow at her. After an awkward moment, he inclined his head in a nod and motioned towards the door before making his way out of the sitting room himself. Iris staggered after him, daydreaming briefly about throwing one of her four-inch heels at his head.

“I appreciate you coming on such short notice,” the patrician said over his shoulder as he guided her out to the luxuriously appointed main hallway.

“Not at all, not at all,” Iris assured him with a tight smile.

“How long have you been in the city, Iris?” the patrician asked, glancing at her as he ducked through a large oak doorway into another hallway.

“Only a fortnight,” Iris said, trying very hard to keep her huffing as dainty as possible — did the man not realize what an effort keeping up such a pace on four-inch heels required? Probably not. The patrician wouldn’t be used to having to set his pace by anyone. He was the patrician, after all, as her aunt would have reminded her.

“Yes, you only just arrived before we were forced to close the gates, didn’t you?” the patrician asked, continuing his trek through the mansion.

“Only just,” Iris agreed, her effort forgotten for a moment as she wondered whether it would be proper to ask what the closure had been about. No one was quite sure. The gates of the city has simply shut two weeks ago and hadn’t been opened since. No one in polite society really talked about it.

The patrician mumbled something to himself and before she could think to stop herself, Iris said, “I’m sorry, what was that?”

The patrician stopped abruptly and turned back to her and for a horrible moment, Iris thought she had crossed some boundary of politeness and infuriated the patrician. But abruptly she realized he was smiling sheepishly, and looked rather more embarrassed than infuriated.

“That was terribly rude of me, my apologies. I said…” he paused and took a breath. “What I said was, ‘thank goodness.’ Which I imagine must strike you as a little ominous.”

It did.

“You see, he was threatening to close the gates for at least a month, raving about it, even. But the time was never right, that’s what he kept saying. Until abruptly, two weeks ago, he stormed into the assembly hall, shouted, ‘about time! Close the gates!’ and that was that. We’ve been trying to puzzle it out and finally we realized that maybe the last person through those gates might know something, only it took us a whole week to track down who that might be — a lovely young lady in ridiculous travelling attire, coming to see her aunt.” He at least had the courtesy to blush when he realized that he’d called her ridiculous, but barreled ahead anyway, “and so when we at least found you, we asked you here immediately.”

Perhaps what should have bothered Iris was being called ridiculous, but what did bother her was the patrician spouting all of this at her as if she should have the faintest idea of what any of it meant. And perhaps if she hadn’t been kept waiting a full half hour in the sweltering sitting room before the patrician fetched her, she might have been able to keep a better hold of her irritation. But as it was, she was hot, tired, and just about through with putting up with all this nonsense just because this man was the bloody patrician.

“I hate to disappoint you, patrician, but I have no idea at all what you’re talking about, least of all who ‘he’ is,” she said, rather more loudly than she meant to, her cheeks now a shade of pink that rivaled that of her enormous hat.

The patrician winced apologetically, “of course.” He cleared his throat. “Of course.” He started off down the hallway again, leaving Iris with nothing to do but follow him, exasperation mounting, until he finally stopped in front of the most ornate set of doors she’d ever seen.

“He,” the patrician began dramatically, pushing open the doors at precisely the right moment, for effect, “is the patrician,” the patrician finished, and there, sitting in a plush bed under a pile of blankets was a man who looked exactly, down to the very last freckle, like the man standing next to her.

“About time,” the patrician said grumpily from his bed.

“I don’t suppose you know what that means?” the patrician at the door asked, looking hopefully at Iris.

Iris just glared at them both.

 

Let’s try this again, and see where it goes. 😀 Let’s do this, 2018!