Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lumpy, Bumpy, Irregular

The asteroid belt.  Spike sighed, crossed out yet another opening line on the parchment.  It, like so many others, looked so good, and ultimately led nowhere.  After sitting for her Astronomy OWL last term, with all of the commensurate excitement of nearly failing it at midterms, only to pull off a nigh miracle at the last possible minute, astronomy the class was proving to be somewhat less . . . interesting.  Perhaps I should have sat for History of Magic first . . . then she reconsidered her plans for the next term, assuming her OWL passed muster this term.  No, there are no boring OWLs.  "Too bad the same cannot be said for classes," she grumbled. 

Sascha looked up from the game he was playing in the corner with a rubber ball and mouse skulls.  Spike had seen him at it before, a game of speed and dexterity.  Plus it helped to have enormous hands.  "What the problem is?" he asked, scooping up the full dozen in one grab and pocketing them.

"Oh, it's just hard to get inspired over a bunch of lumpy rocks floating around in space."  Spike picked up her quill, spun it in lazy circles, then dropped it again.  "They're  . . . lumpy, bumpy, and irregular.  They fly around like rocks, tumbling over and over.  They're BORING."

"Huh.  So make something lumpy, bumpy and irregular, yah?  Crumple up de page so --" he demonstrated with the parchment and its struck-through lines, disregarding Spike's squeal of outrage, "--mebbe tear it some around de edges --"

"Sascha!"  She grabbed for it, but he held it up out of reach.

"--and add a leetle color." He splashed it with wine, mustard, and balsamic vinaigrette from the dinner tray the elves hadn't whisked away yet.  "Now.  Lumpy, bumpy, irregular.  Do you essay on dis."  And he walked away, humming something under his breath. 

Spike looked at the stained, ragged, crumpled parchment in despair. I can't write on that.  I can't turn something in on that!  I can't . . . but this is also a school of magic.  What do I have a wand for, after all?  She squared her shoulders.  I can use this idea.

At class the next day, the professor was forced to concede that Spike's submission did indeed exhibit all the characteristics of the asteroid belt. "That is, lumpy, bumpy, and irregular.  Nicely played."  Spike smiled, thinking about how after class, she would show Sascha how it also flew, much like the stones of the asteroids.  Best work on your ducking speed, Sascha.

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