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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, '11, 1:19 pm
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This is a story about Lohengrin Corg and Dee Estiano set a year after the events of the first chapter of "The Savage Silence."

Mrs. Kemmerley pushed a button on the keyboard on her desk, prompting the large telescreen in front of the class to flicker and then go white. Letters began to appear at random on the screen for a couple of minutes until five fully-formed word problems were visible to all of the students in the class.

The early thirty-something lady wiped a strand of silvery-grey hair out of her eyes and smiled. “Okay, I’ll give you until recess to do the problems on the screen. You can work in up to groups of three if you want. Remember, you have to show your work and I want to see your names and registration numbers at the top of the page, plus the date. Anything less and you get a zero.” There was something of a sweet mercilessness that followed her last remark.

Silence was soon replaced by uninhibited murmurs and other noise as the students scrambled to form groups with their best friends, some of whom had to walk to the opposite side of the class to sit with their pals. Mrs. Kemmerley busied herself at the monitor in front of her, paying no heed to the endless chair shuffling and background chatter. It took almost five minutes for most of the class to get situated and soon everybody was in some group of two or three.

All except for Lohengrin Corg.

The skinny, fair-skinned boy of medium height remained at his place and quietly took out a sheet of paper from his notebook and started copying the problems on the screen. He was used to it. Nobody ever worked with him anymore, not since last year when he went from being the class weakling to the odd, shifty-eyed athlete in literally a couple of days. Not that being an athlete helped him; his quiet disposition and sudden, unnatural affection for animals of any type only made the kids kick him down the social ladder from “dork” to “freak.”

Once in a while, a few kids that had known him since before the fourth grade would venture over to his desk and ask to be in his group. They were usually the lazy freeloaders; those who thought that Corg would guarantee them a good grade on whatever the assignment was. Corg usually struck a bargain with those kids: if they wrote, he’d dictate. They usually accepted, but this was a rare occurrence indeed.

Corg was already writing the third problem out when the class settled down. He barely noticed what was going on around him; his eyes were either fixed on the screen or on the sheet of paper he was jotting the questions down on. His concentration, however, soon found itself the subject of interruption.

“Are you sure you belong in the fifth grade?” asked a squeaky feminine voice behind him.

Corg turned and saw a short girl, maybe a little over four feet, looking at his paper. Her brown eyes looked to be about two sizes too big for her head, as did her mulberry hair, which flowed down to the small of her back, ending in black curls. It was Dee, a girl who had been in Corg’s class the year before.

The young boy scratched his brownish-blond-that-had-considered-being-red hair and stared at her in a confused way. “Huh?”

“Your handwriting, silly,” she chided. “There’d be no better place for it than the doctor’s office that my mom takes me to. It’s about a legible as Dr. Fahgundes’.”

Wit. There’s something Corg hadn’t ever heard at school. Most of what passed for humor in his class was put-down jokes, not a few of which were directed at him. Corg had never heard any of the students say anything as witty as what Dee had just said. If he could, he would’ve lifted his eyebrow in approval. He remained speechless and stared at her.

Dee looked around the class and then back at him and smiled. “You’re going to have to fight your potential study buddies off with a stick, aren’t you?”

This time, Corg caught on to the joke. “I prefer a laconian staff for undertakings such as group work candidate thinning.”

The little girl chuckled. “He speaks! He even has a sense of humor. Well, Lohrengrin—“ She was silenced by the kid’s uplifted hand.

“Please, just call me Corg.”

“But you have such a neat name,” replied Dee, grabbing his shoulder and shaking it. “How about this, why don’t you give me special—“ she shifted her eyes back and forth and lowered her voice, “—classified permission to use your first name in emergencies.”

“You? Use my first name?” Corg was so unused to such attention that he didn’t know what to say. Pursing his lips, he then smiled and said, “Only emergencies?”

Dee nodded with a grin and held out her right pinkie. “Only emergencies.”

The two locked fingers and Dee soon pulled up a chair and sat next to Corg. They spent the next twenty minutes working on the percentage problems that Mrs. Kemmerley had placed on the telescreen. Although Dee didn’t really get the mathematics behind percentages when they started the first problem, by the time they were on the third, she was doing most of the calculations by herself, not to mention the writing. They finished about fifteen minutes before recess.

“So, what do you have planned for recess?” asked Dee with a chipper voice.

Corg shrugged. “I dunno. Just walk around and think, probably. Maybe if Mrs. Kemmerley lets me, I’ll just stay inside the classroom and doodle.”

“Pish posh!” exclaimed Dee. “You need to have fun at recess!”

“I’m sorry, but being good at kickball doesn’t make up for the crap I have to listen to while I play,” he complained.

“Who said anything about kickball?” Dee hit him playfully in the arm. “What do you like? What are the passions of the silent, almighty Corg?”

Nobody outside of his parents had ever expressed interest in him before. “Uh…er…insects?” Corg ventured, applying the stereotypical colander of people.

“And in other news, water is wet,” she said dryly, without the slightest hint of disgust. “What else?”

“Action movies.”

“Good.”

“Reading…?”

Dee chortled. “You sound as if you’re not sure if you like it or not.”

“Just…er…testing the waters.”

“Don’t worry, the half-shark gill creatures don’t show up until after the water is fully tested,” she jested. Then she observed, “I noticed—by notice I mean I looked at the teacher’s monitor when she wasn’t looking—that you have good scores on your history papers.”

Corg nodded blankly. Dee didn’t look like the troublemaking sort. Nonetheless, with each sentence she intrigued him more and more.

Dee went on. “I like history—tell anyone and you’re a goner,” she threatened sarcastically. “Why don’t we do some historical re-enactments at recess?”

A girl? Inviting Corg to play at recess? What was next? Photon energy didn’t actually exist, but was the product of everybody’s imaginations? “Uh…sure…” he stuttered. But aren’t you supposed to hang out with the other girls and gossip or whatever girls do?”

The purple-haired girl chuckled. “And waste a good twenty minutes hearing them talk about which sixth grade boys are the cutest, despite the fact that most of them have the IQ of mulch? Nah.”

“Yes of course,” agreed Corg in bewilderment.

In a few minutes Dee and Corg were standing out on a grassy field, away from some of the more involved sports going on at the time. The game they (Dee) had decided on was the story of Alis Landale. Dee was obviously going to be Alis. Corg, with a little bit of coaxing, took on the role of both Nero, Alis’ brother, and Lassic, the evil dictator of Palm.

Corg made some convulsing movements with his body, to imitate being shot by the evil robot guards.

“Nero!” yelled Dee, feigning sadness. “No! You can’t leave me!”

“I…I…I couldn’t defeat Lassic,” croaked Corg. “You must avenge me, Alis.”

“You’ll live! You’ll live! We’ll get you a doctor. Just hang in there,” said Dee, with a playfully frantic voice.

“Don’t forget me, Alis. Ever.” Corg closed his blue eyes and let his body go limp.

“Nero!!!!!” screamed Dee, shaking her fists at the heavens. She got up and walked a few steps away.
Corg caught up and looked down at her. He started laughing with a stilted maniacal laugh. “So, young Landale. You have come here to share your brother’s fate!” he said, trying to feign a deep, booming voice.

“Villain! Scoundrel! I shall let you taste the blade of my sword!”

The two spent the rest of recess play fighting in the grass, swinging their arms as if they were wielding swords and scepters or making sound effects to simulate photon techniques, until the loud blare of the alarm meant the end of play time. As all the students in the school started hustling into their classes, Dee stopped Corg in his place and made him wait while she wiped the grass from his back.

“Can’t have you coming into class looking like you got back from the country,” she said with a wink.

“Oh, that would never do,” he replied, winking back.

“One more thing.” The little girl gestured for him to bend over a little. She then threw her arms around him and hugged him. “Thanks for teaching me how to calculate percentages.”

“Uh…y-you’re welcome.”

Grabbing him by the arm, she ran in the direction of their classroom. She couldn’t see it, but Corg was grinning all the way back to the class…and for the rest of the day.

Last edited by H-Man on Wed Jun 15, '11, 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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