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The Umlands
Well, this got out of hand quickly.
Tue Mar 14, 2017 15:01

John reached for his wand – still unfamiliar, he missed his old one, but he had practiced enough over the summer that he expected he could manage; the new one was not so temperamental as the old – as soon as he realized Joe was determined to hit him, but something else got in his brother’s rather disorganized path before he could. John would have considered this unfortunate in any case, but it got even worse when John realized what the interfering object was. He automatically grabbed the back of Joe’s shirt and tried to pull his brother back so he could place himself between Joe and said object, but his brother (though his expression clearly showed he knew he had just landed himself in deep organic matter) shrugged him off with an angry “get off me.”

“Well done, Joe,” said John under his breath when the object, commonly identified as a ‘Headmaster Brockert,’ demanded they accompany him to his office.

John had never observed the headmaster’s office before, so upon entering it, he momentarily forgot about what they were there for so he could evaluate it. It was generally interesting to see other people’s work spaces, see what books and personal effects they chose to display, and Brockert’s was no exception to this rule. He did not cease his scrutiny when he remembered a second later why he was there, as an office could also tell him a lot about a person.

What he saw indicated to him that Brockert was very possibly the last thing John would have expected him to be – possibly at least some degree of a kindred spirit. The models indicated either that he wanted to creep them out (something John did when he wanted or needed someone to go away) or that he just found historical forms of violence interesting. John didn’t find them appealing as such, but he had, as a boy, learned everything he could about medieval weapons and means of waging war just in case he ever went on an extended visit to the countryside and ended up spending a decade or so as co-ruler of a quasi-medieval alternate dimension inside some storage furniture. John had always assumed that most everyone viewed this as a perfectly reasonable use of time at age eight, but Joanie said it was really one of the reasons the other children had always considered him weird.

Either way, he saw no reason to try to fake being disturbed or indifferent, so he looked around with open curiosity and approached one model to look it over more closely. “Interesting,” he said. “Did these come with the office, or are you a collector?”

“Oh, for God’s sake, John,” snapped Joe, looking and sounding disgusted. John, annoyed, pinched the spaces just below his eyebrows and then opened his fingers further to rub his temples.

“That’s his’s way of saying he’s sorry he bumped into you…sir,” said John impatiently, not bothering to try to sound polite. Joanie said he sounded as arrogant as a time-displaced nineteenth century imperial commander with a hyphenated surname giving Parliament a speech on the need to manage the inferior classes when he didn’t go out of his way not to. This manner of speech tended to annoy adults, which would distract this one from Joe. “If you don’t mind, we’ll go somewhere and – now that he’s sorry, we’ll discuss our disagreement in a more civilized way.”

“Discuss our disagreement?” snapped Joe. “You nearly die and then you disappear in the middle of the night – “

“ – It was five in the morning – “

“And send us a two line note from the other side of the continent and now we’re going to discuss our disagreement?”

“Joe,” said John between his teeth. “Shut up.”

“Mom and Paul and Julian have been going crazy because of you,” said Joe, ignoring this very good advice. “And me, and Dad, and Steve, and – everyone. We didn’t – we didn’t even know – “ Joe rubbed his eyes, too, in a near-mirror of John’s earlier gesture. “Mom sent you some sweaters and a hat for winter,” he added, now just irritably rather than enraged. “Remind me to give them to you later.”

“I’ll do that,” said John. He looked at the headmaster. “Can we go now?” he asked.

  • Not anymoreHeadmaster Brockert, Tue Mar 14 11:40
    Mortimer had been in his office working on preparations for the new year when he decided he needed a break. To stretch his legs. While he'd never been fond of exercise and thought sports were about... more
    • Well, this got out of hand quickly. — The Umlands, Tue Mar 14 15:01
      • It certainly did.Headmaster Brockert, Wed Apr 5 11:55
        Mortimer couldn't help but warm slightly at Mr. Umland's enthusiasm for his torture instruments, not thinking for a second that it was anything but an innocent academic interest like his own. The... more
        • Most of Joe’s brain was still caught up in a confusing whirl of anger toward his brother and dread about the immediate future, but enough was still functioning that there had been an element of... more
          • You are not.Headmaster Brockert, Sat May 6 12:27
            Okay, this was precisely why Mortimer didn't like dealing with the students himself and instead,preferred to pawn them off on another staff member. Teenagers could be such utter twits. Just as he was ... more
            • We suspected as much, but thanks for confirming.Joe and John, Sat May 6 13:57
              Now that the headmaster put it that way, Joe supposed it did sound pretty stupid. He had included the details while trying to yell their collective way out of trouble, but apparently Brockert only... more
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