Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sending a Message

Spike was sitting in the back row, listening with half an ear to the teaching staff explain the homework for this month. *Divination! Bah! Even the teaching staff can’t stay awake for this subject.* She smirked, watching Professor Randall's head loll slowly, sinking onto her chest as Professor Gore droned on. *I can find out all I need to know with a black cockerel and a sharp … what’s that?*

“A great force came into the House, marking three walls alike and the fourth…”

*Crumbled into dust beneath its weight*, Spike thought, finishing the line automatically. *But how does Professor Handbasket know that?* She sat up straight in her chair, riveted to the proceedings.
“Just as the great Force manifested, a flock of birds swooped by overhead, wheeling and turning and forming a shape in the sky of…”

*Crosses that dissolved to noughts. She’s reciting the Book of Fuligin Oncethmus … in her sleep, no less-- but the sole surviving copy is in Grandpere’s library. Locked to the shelf, and gagged. How and where could Professor Randall have seen or heard its words?*

Later that night, Spike waited until well past midnight for the rest of the House to settle down, then slipped yarn and hook out of the basket by her bed. Quickly she worked up a square incorporating the colors of bleached and crumbled limestone and the shapes of crosses and noughts.

The next morning, she tied the square to one of the school's owls with a hastily scribbled note about how she was doing so well in her favorite class, Divination!  Requesting that they set this sample of excellence in the practical applications of prophecy aside for her hope chest, to be added to her other work completed during her studies.  *"Hope chest" was certainly appropriate here*, she hoped that anyone intercepting the bird would take it for nothing more than what the cover note indicated, and send it on its way.  *Can't let the absence of a communique from a filial student to her doting family raise alarurms and cause excursions, right?*

*Dark times indeed,* thought Spike, watching the owl take to the air with the textile clutched in its talons.  Just the fact that she was writing to Grandpere Murklins should be enough to raise the guard.

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