Ah, the sweet insult of choosing teams. What school experience would be without it? Jada really wishes hers was, but clearly, she’s not that lucky. Continue reading
Between Dayspring College, Emerald University and UVA’s Mayfield campus, Mayfield was safely and comfortably withing the bounds of being a ‘college town’. This meant, among other things, that local businesses evolved slightly different approaches to priorities than they would in other places.
Delivery service was suddenly much more important, as were late hours and discounts for students. A relaxed, casual atmosphere helped, and being within walking distance of a campus was the crown jewel.
Not having the kind of money it took to rent floorspace in a prime location, Midnight Black’s owner, Lucy Black, had missed out on that crown jewel. Instead, she’d settled for being in a nice, visible spot on the edge of the Devonhurst business district. At time, she hadn’t paid any mind to the fact that she was three blocks down from the mothballed property that John T. Liedecker intended to become a school for psionics before he was spectacularly underbid by the Psionics Training and Application Academy.
Imagine her surprise when, as the result of the PTAA folding amid allegations of kidnapping and abuse, the formerly dead campus next door was suddenly reanimated as the John T. Liedecker Institute; not just as a high school … Continue reading
The main lobby had been transformed over the course of the day into an impressive stand in for a ball room or concert hall.
There were rows of tables along the walls, illuminated by strings of red, green and white lights as well as hanging lanterns that threw out snowflake patterns. In one corner, a small stage had been set up where a local cover band, Miracle Six, was taking requests, and off to the side, an impressive spread was being catered the owner of a nearby cafe that had become a popular hangout for the LI students and staff.
Everyone’s miniature trees served as living decorations, placed as centerpieces on the tables, or on makeshift pedestals along the edges of the room. Voting slips had appeared under everyone’s doors that morning so they could vote for the best one.
Central to everything was the ‘official’ tree, the enormous white pine donated by none other than Vincent Liedecker himself. It stood in the middle of the room with plastic bins altered by Kura to look like gift boxes beneath it. Those contained dozens of ornaments and garlands, plus multiple types of tinsel, all provided so the party-goers could all have … Continue reading
“…discussed, the Red Scare actually refers to two separate periods in the twentieth century, both of which had serious socio-economic and cultural consequences well into this century despite neither period officially lasting more than a decade.
The second Red Scare led directly into the Cold War. Actually, I have an interesting anecdote about the Cold War involving my great grandfather…”
Mrs. Melissa Winnifred, a middle aged woman with an unusually high pitched voice and no compunctions against using it, was going into another of her stories. Standing in front of the class and trying to keep an eye on the digital projection on the wall, she didn’t notice the subtle shift in attitude among the students.
They were all familiar with Mrs. Winnifred’s tendency to distract herself with her own anecdotes. With the right questions and requests to elaborate, she could and would talk through the entirety of class, realize this too late, and assign what she should have covered in class as reading instead of actual homework.
It didn’t hurt that most of her stories were actually entertaining as well. Entertaining, that is, if one actually listened to them.
Steampunk didn’t. As per her usual, she was using the … Continue reading
“Rita!” Betty’s voice carried across the common area that separated the boys’ wing from the girls’ wing. She was sitting on a sofa with Hightower. “Ready to go?”
Mindful of the discussion she’d just had with Joy, Rita stood there, waffling for a moment. “Er…” She managed. “Is it just going to be the three of us?”
“Might be.” Hightower shrugged. “I’ve seen a few other kids around here that might be able to hang with us. But you can never tell.”
Betty’s laugh started somewhere genuine and ended just south of vindictive. “I know, like that guy from this morning?” She turned to Rita to explain, her hair lightening as she remembered the altercation. “This guy came up to us at breakfast and tried to trick us into thinking he had a really shiny power, but it turns out it’s nothing but a psychic carry-all.”
When Rita didn’t laugh right away at such an obviously unfortunate power, she decided to continue. “So he’s not prelate material at all, he’s just a packrat.” This time, her laugh didn’t stop at vindictive, it went right on across the border to cruelty and set up camp.
With extreme effort that was completely … Continue reading
Eddie’s proclamation caused Arkose to falter in her swing. It wasn’t as if she entertained the slightest consideration that it really was the extremely bad pick-up line it sounded like; she not only didn’t, but actively hoped it wasn’t. But it was just so awkward in its delivery that it seemed to ricochet around in her head until her concentration broke.
She fixed him with a glare. “I know you aren’t hitting on me—“
“What? No! You’re definitely not my—“ Eddie stopped himself from finishing that one. Nothing good could come from saying those words to any girl, much less one made of solid rock and wielding a wooden sword. He backpedaled with a nervous laugh and rubbed the back of his head. “I mean to say; that wasn’t hitting on you; that was failing really badly at asking you to be friends.”
“People stop randomly asking each other to be friends somewhere around kindergarten.” Arkose informed him coolly.
“Hence the thing I said.” He persisted. “An icebreaker. You know, telling you something about my power…”
“That you’re lucky.”
“Yeah. That I’m lucky.” Eddie slipped back into his easygoing smile. “I know it doesn’t sound as cool as being make … Continue reading