A Day in the Livesby Zephir
Entire Fiction (2004)
Morning. The sun rises over the eastern plains and casts its light along the town below, neatly tucked in the corner of a peninsula on the southern continent, and awakens the twins from their sleep. Palom stirs from his rest and stretches, yawning widely and loudly.
"Ohhhhhhhhhh, morning already?"
Porom sits up across from him and yawns, too. "I'm hungry."
"You're always hungry."
"Nuh uh!" He snaps back defensively.
He hops out of bed and sticks his tongue out at her, then goes over to his dresser and grabs an armload of clothes. She does the same, and they both make their way to the bathroom to wash up.
The chef sniffs the food carefully, wafting fumes towards his face. His eyes close as he takes in the savory aroma, then open again as he scoops up a spoonful and tastes. He lets it roll over his tongue for a moment before swallowing, smacking his lips, then snaps his fingers and nods. "More salt."
He adds a dash of it in just as the twins walk through the cafeteria door. "Ah, kids! Come on over, breakfast's almost served!"
"What are we eatin' today, Chef?" Porom asks jubilantly.
"Sartl and eggs."
"Awww, not again?!" Palom exclaims, frowning.
Chef just laughs and turns around with two filled plates, placing them down in front of them with mock grandeur. "Breakfast... is served."
The twins frown and take the plates, then go over to an empty table and sit down. Soon after they settle in and take out their silverware, another boy joins them, setting his tray down noisily. "Hey guys."
"Hi Jonas," they both say at once.
"So..." he starts, picking up his fork. "We gonna do it?"
"Do what?" Porom asks.
"Know what?" Palom asks.
"You know, Miss Kelin!"
"Yeah, we know Miss Kelin," Palom says.
"No! The THING with Miss Kelin!" Jonas says, raising his voice.
"Oh, the THING!" Porom repeats.
Jonas nods enthusiastically. "Yeah!"
"Hey, kids!" They all turn and face Chef. "Keep it down, will ya? People're tryin'a cook here!"
"Sorry!" All three say in unison, then they all turn back around and lower their voices.
"You got the lizard?" Palom whispers to Jonas.
"Yeah..." he says, pulling it out from his pocket gently. "Shh! Don't scare 'im."
Porom makes a face and pinches her nose. "Ewwww... he smells!"
"Here, lemme see..." Palom asks, taking him gently into his palm. He holds him up and watches him skitter around, then holds him out to his sister. "Here, wanna hold him?"
Jonas giggles while Palom insists. "C'mon, just for a sec?"
"Girls... heheheh." Jonas chuckles.
Palom persists. "Not even for a second?"
"You hold him!" she exclaims, backing away.
"Hey, what's goin' on over there anyway, kids?" Chef asks.
They all answer in unison again, "Nothing!"
He watches them for a second, then smiles wryly and shakes his head as he turns around, returning to his work. Yeah, they're up to no good, all right, the little rascals.
"Put him up, put him up!" Porom whispers to her brother.
"Okay, just a minute..." he whispers back, handing him over to Jonas quickly.
Jonas takes him and slides him into his pocket clandestinely, making sure that no one's watching. He starts to begin eating his food when Porom asks him, "You gonna eat your eggs?"
"I haven't even started yet!" Jonas whispers shrilly.
"So you're not?" she asks hopefully.
"But you haven't started yet..." Palom observes.
"Then why haven't you?" she asks.
"Stop bugging me!"
She giggles and goes back to her food, leaving one amused Palom and one irritated Jonas to eat across from her.
Back in class later that day -- in Miss Kelin's room, specifically -- they sit at the back of the room and wait for their chance.
"Any white mage has to learn how to control their anger, and never let themselves harm another, except in self-defense. The White Mage's Oath exists because it's not our place to hurt other people, it's our job to heal them. You have to understand this before you can begin to understand--"
Pretty much everyone in her class starts to nod off because of her droning, monotone speech, and because she starts off every day with the -- same -- exact -- lesson -- about the stupid White Mage's Oath. Palom's eyes shut and he starts to nod off when he feels a nudge on his shoulder. "Psst! Psst!"
He removes his head from his palm and looks up at Porom with sleepy eyes. "Hm?"
"She's about to go!" Porom whispers.
He looks over at her desk and sees that she's right -- Miss Kelin's about to leave the room, like she does every day, to get some supplies. He sits up straight suddenly and waits.
"Okay class, I'll be right back." She then leaves through the door, adding on her way out, "Don't touch anything!"
They wait for the door close, then snicker and hurry over to her desk. The class stirs while watching them go up there, some asking, "Where ya going?"
"Hey, hey, what ya doin'?"
Jonas whispers "Shh!" at them while Palom tells them, "Shh, just wait!"
The three of them hurry to the front, but they can't help the two curious kids that get up and join them, peering over their shoulders. Palom gestures to Jonas for the lizard, who takes him out and sets him in one of her drawers carefully, the top one with her pens and papers and supplies. He closes the drawer carefully when one of the kids exclaims, "She's coming back!"
Everyone suddenly rushes back to their seats, making lots of scuffling noises as they do so. Miss Kelin steps in just as everyone gets settled in, and pauses with her hand still on the doorknob. Something strange is going on here...
All the kids are quiet. A little too quiet. And they're all looking at her. Very odd... nevertheless, class must go on! She steps away from the door and goes over to her desk, setting down her armload of things on her desk while looking around. "Okay, class... today we're going back over our spell casting technique for casting Cure."
One of the children groans. "Again?"
"Yes, again. Cure is one of our most important spells!" She sits down at her desk and opens her top drawer... but pauses, looking at her class while reaching in. "Without Cure, we'd never be able..."
Feeling something warm and squishy where her chalk should be, and seeing a couple of the kids start giggling, she arches an eyebrow and looks at them inquisitively. "Be able to..."
She finally looks down and freezes in place for a moment.
A lizard! In her desk! "AHHHH! AHHH!"
The entire class suddenly bursts into laughter as their teacher backs up and away from her desk, knocking her chair over. "OOOOHH! Who put this here?! Who brought this lizard in here?!"
She looks at the kids, pointing into her desk, then spots Palom and Porom in the back, laughing their heads off. She pauses and points at them deliberately, exclaiming, "You!"
The twins sit up and watch her, but can't help themselves and keep laughing. "I should've known!"
Palom swallows. "Uh ohhh..."
She goes over to them in a fit and grabs each of them by their shoulders, shoving them towards the door. "You two -- are going straight to the Elder!"
"But, but--" Porom starts.
"Don't 'but' me!"
Miss Kelin rushes them down the hall, giving them a tongue lashing all the way to the Elder's office and leaving Jonas and the others to laugh at their misfortune. They hurry through his lobby and door and go right into his office, interrupting him in the middle of some paperwork. He takes off his glasses and sits up, looking at them quizzically. "What in the--"
"These two are a menace! A plague! A disorderly pair of children the likes of which I've never--"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down now, Miss Kelin," he tells her, standing up and going around to them. "Now, what seems to be the problem?"
"They put a lizard in my desk!"
He raises both his eyebrows, appearing surprised. "A lizard?"
"Yes! And this isn't the first time they've disrupted my class--!"
"Yes, yes, I know, I've read your reports..."
"Uh, Miss Kelin?" Porom asks, raising her hand somewhat timidly.
"That was mostly Palom, those times."
"Was not!" he protests.
"Was too!" she retorts.
"Was too, remember the glue?" she asks, putting her hands on her hips.
"You made it for me!"
"You said it was for your project!" she exclaims, looking defensive.
"Yeah, the Glue-Miss-Kelin-to-the-Chair Project!"
Miss Kelin sighs heavily over their arguing and gives a tired glance at Elder. "You see what I mean?"
Elder seems to ponder this heavily as a thick silence falls over the room, everyone waiting for his ruling on the incident. They wait for what seems like minutes, when in fact only a few seconds pass. Finally, he removes his hand from his chin and looks at Miss Kelin. "Well, they're only children."
Her eyes widen and she looks at him with an exasperated expression. "So you're not going to do anything?!"
"I can't stop them from having fun... it would be wrong, y'know."
"But they're disrupting my classes!"
"Come now, surely you harassed your fair share of teachers in your young age?"
"That was different!"
"Well, no harm was done, so I don't really see any reason to--"
"But, but, but what about the rules of conduct?"
Elder shrugs and states, "Hey, kids'll be kids."
"Hey, Porom, look at this!" Palom says, wearing one of Elder's potion mixing bowls as a hat and wielding one of his longer, wider scrolls as a staff.
"Huh?" Porom asks, turning around to see him. "What--Palom, put those down!"
"I'm a Monk Wizard!" he says, twirling his "staff" around.
Elder's eyes widen, and he steps out with one leg and holds his hands out to him in an exaggerated motion, then hurries over. "Palom, don't play with those!"
"Uh oh..." he says, stopping to stare at the two rush at him. "Gotta go!"
Palom then leaps down from atop a box and runs about the room with a wide grin on his face, Elder and Porom following close behind. "Catch me if you can!"
"Palom!" she exclaims.
"Put those down!" Elder orders.
Miss Kelin half-smiles and half-sighs. "Now do you see what I mean?"
And such is a day in the life of the twins...
©1997–2023 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)
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