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Grayson Wright, Serious Adult
On craft, love, politics, and - where’d those come from?
Mon Mar 12, 2018 22:21

So far, the day had been peaceful. Gray thought he would have been happier about this fact had he observed it at some point after breakfast, but he was willing, in light of recent events, to take what he could get and be grateful for it.

The students getting the very devil in them, he could understand - it happened, though he really wished it would happen slightly less often in his class. He supposed that if it came to it, he’d rather have the incidents that had happened in his class all happen again than be the adult in what had evidently been a hell of an Intermediate Potions lesson a bit ago, but still - he had expected to spend his time quietly trying to break the habits of years and years of his previous career so he could become a Serious Literary Adult Novelist. He was now sufficiently interested in hearing what the latest school disaster was that he barely thought of anything fictional at all except when failing to fall asleep. Of course, the fact there was a fever going around didn’t help him with that problem - one had to figure out make-up lessons, particularly for Mr. Sparks, and also just worry about it, as was Gray’s habit. He did not want to get ill, but being crammed in a box with most of the school’s population every single day meant he didn’t think much of his chances. And then there was speculation over what on Earth had happened in the staff room and who had done it and how it had been done….

Admittedly, Gray could see the upsides of that, but he still did wonder how it had been done and how the culprit had gotten away with it. He had a few theories, but the problem was, he had refused to write that kind of thing even when he’d been a composer of children’s shows. Everyone who handled such material had a storyline where students tried to one-up each other with pranks, usually as part of stratagems to get so-and-so into bed or to the Valentine’s Day Dance, depending on the age group the show was aimed at. Gray supposed it was no coincidence that his favorite thing he’d ever written had been almost entirely about non-humans, though he had enjoyed the Valentine’s episode the network had forced on him one year more than he’d expected. Writing about people flirting over chess had been strange and alien, enough that he’d farmed some of that out to others and feared that at least two former colleagues might have thought at the time that he was somehow making passes at them, but he’d found it amusing writing about the woes of the Knight who was sworn to champion the White Queen but had been besotted with a Rook.

Naturally, the network had had a very eloquent response to that bit - apparently someone had thought he was trying to make some political commentary, with some people thinking the pieces in question were supposed to be gay and others thinking it was something about intermarriage between Purebloods and others and others still thinking it had been a cheap shot at Purebloods who married a bit too closely within a circle of in-laws for comfort, and it had been quite the week at the office, all while Gray had been sitting there very confused because one of the characters in question was a sapient siege tower and what, precisely, did that have to do with anything that was currently controversial? The last he’d checked, sieges had been out of style for quite a while now.

Of course, much the same could have been said of people in Gray’s age group having a liking for juice boxes, but those were definitely a thing about the outside world that he missed. He poured himself some apple juice at the table, missing the simplicity of not really having to worry about spilling everything down his front if he didn’t pay enough attention to what he was doing while reading his newspaper.

He began, as usual, with politics, figuring he’d get the stuff he wanted to write really unkind things about out of the way and then proceed through other people’s Opinions (to remind himself why he didn’t write opinion pieces) and then go to the funnies to cheer himself up again. In turning the page to Opinion, though, he fumbled the juice glass and the newspaper, with the result that the latter dipped into the former a bit.

“Pancakes,” he muttered irritably, having picked up somewhere that the Russian words for ‘damn’ and ‘pancake’ were the same - how reliable his source was, he had no idea, as he didn’t speak a word of Russian beyond ‘do svidaniya,’ itself something he’d picked up from a musical - and adopted the English version for occasions when he was mildly annoyed. He separated the two...and stared in confusion at the sight of a straw lying in front of him. And another straw lying in front of that one. And a whole pile of straws lying on the table, covering the width of it, before that one.

He knew he’d been mildly pleased with the uneventfulness of the day too soon into it.

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