June 28, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
The tap on her shoulder came between classes. Tairiekie turned slowly, ready to answer, yet again, about the goats.
She noticed stunning green eyes first, and then the grey, teal, and blue uniform. She swallowed. The Alchemy student from orientation. She hadn’t seen him since then; she hadn’t even caught his name.
“You’ve been having a fun time in House Akaizen.” His voice was still gravelly; idly, Taikie wondered if being in Heikya House meant a lot of shouting.
“I suppose it’s been fun,” Taikie answered cautiously. “Parts of it were horrible, of course.”
“And then you put a goat pissing over the side of Onano House.” With him, it was so very clearly not a question. “Which, of course, means you climbed up there, but everyone is ignoring that part.”
“My parents jumped from tower to tower, I’m told. They must have gotten to the top of a tower first.” Tairiekie smiled, forgetting for a moment to be cautious. “And everyone forgets that part.”
“They say you’ve been quite active. Or difficult.” He raised his eyebrows at her.
Tairiekie looked away. “They say a lot of things about me. I’m sure some of them might be true.”
“If you did put the goat on top of Onano House — and I say if for politeness’ sake — you are, they say, quite the engineer. I wouldn’t know, of course. But I’d say anyone who can study humanic aether – whether or not it’s supposed to exist — is quite an interesting person.” He bowed to her, deeply. “An interesting person for either House Akaizepennen or House Heikyoana.”
He turned and left in a swish o shirttails and and braids. As she watched him depart, it occurred to Tairiekie that she still didn’t know his name.