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Chapter 7A: The Abstract and the Concrete


October 14, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie’s mind was in the Library, but the rest of her had to be back in classes.  She sat next to Taikie and doodled her way through History, cups of coffee filling her margins.  If they were puling books from the Library, she was going to need some other way to find the information.  She couldn’t ask Lovdyo.  Maybe Taikie and Saydrie would have an idea.

“Study in the stables tonight?” she asked as casually as she could.  “We haven’t made it out there in over a week.”

“Sure!” Taikie’s smile seemed a bit forced.  “I’ve been meaning to ask you guys for some help on the History homework.”

“Oh, good. I’m entirely lost in Biological Systems. Again.”

“I thought you got top marks in the last exam?”

“Yeah.”  Enrie chewed on her lip.  “I did.  But I’m starting to look like you were in Philosophy a couple months ago, Taikie.  He’s saying words but they’re just not folding together into any sort of sense.”

“He likes to say everything in jargon first and then repeat it in what he thinks is plain English,” Saydie offered. “You have to sort of listen twice.  I write it down, then write it down again and diagram it after class.”

“He couldn’t just talk about in simple language,” Enrie grumped.  She didn’t feel fair complaining about Instructor Kaasmasik too much, not when he’d coughed and ahemed his way through her last exam.  “Can I see your notes, Saydrie?”

“Sure.  I like helping, too.”  He smiled brightly.  “The classes are getting easier, it seems.”

“Mmm.”   Enrie thought it was probably the language getting easier for Saydrie and not the classes.  “Some of them are getting more fun, at least.”   Their stall was still open; Stable-master Korten seemed to keep it open and swept just for them now.   Enrie flopped down on a saddle-blanket with a pfff. “I’m not sure they’re getting easier, though, at least not for me.”

“You’ve been spending a lot of time in the Library.”  Tairiekie frowned. “Is it all for the paper on Empress Otyeriotanerio?”

Enrie swallowed.  She didn’t want to lie to Taikie – lie any more to Taikie – or to Saydrie.  “No, I’ve been looking up… something.  Actually.”  She shifted uneasily for a moment.  “I could use your help.  I’ve been looking into something in the Library, something I…”  She leaned closer and dropped her voice to a whisper.  If there had been anyone near, it would have been a dumb move.  Nothing draws attention closer than trying not to draw attention.  One of her mother’s aphorisms, one she’d repeated over and over again when Enrie was a child.   But there was nobody to observer them except the goats.  “I think someone doesn’t want us to know about.  The person I heard about it from is spooked and won’t talk to me and I think they’re taking the books on it out of the Library.”

“Signing them out?  That’s perfectly acceptable.  A little annoying, perhaps, when you’re in the middle of studying about it…” Taikie flapped her hand dismissively.

“No.”  Enrie shook her head, her braids bouncing against her back.  “No, I mean pulling them from the shelves. Removing them.”

“That’s awful!”  Taikie’s voice rose up to almost a shout.  “How can they do that?”

“Well,” Enrie said, trying to keep her voice quiet, “they are in charge.”


  1. Mark Mandel says:

    Hoo boy.

    • But there was nobody to observer them except the goats.
    -> observe

  2. Marina Brave says:

    Oo wait the librarian?

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