Intermission: Neighbors

<< Revenant Faith and Foreign Pilgrimage

The hall was empty.

The hall became occupied by an uplifted gentoo penguin, going by the name Gishgish, who held a large bean-shaped plush-toy under one flipper. The penguin waddled on over to one of the apartments. The penguin had a bit of a drawling accent to his singing voice.

I don’t know why, I cannot cry, I’ll surely die without your love! It’s just so dry, can’t satisfy, make-

He stopped singing in front of the door.

“Hey! Mr. Richard! Eihks!” he didn’t quite yell at the closed entrance.

“Hey, dead guy!” got no apparent response.



“Get out here now, or so help me Dlg there will be consequences, and not the nice kind!” he shouted, in that pique which only penguins can manage.

He won a prize. That prize was failure.

“Fine, not home, whatever. I’ll ask your literary opinion some other time.”

Gishgish paused, having hoped – regardless of recent controversy – to meet with the man once more, and just hang out.

“Or not,” he added in a tiny voice, before waddling off. “Not like we have a lot of time on our hands.”

The hall was empty.

The hall became occupied by a rust-red cat, and a human woman named Sammin Berksdottir fast-stepping along behind the cat with worry-fuelled speed. The latter had a pencil stuck behind her left ear and a soup spoon stuck behind the right. The former had little booties on its feet to keep off dust and protect them from trauma.

“Please give me food,” the cat said to the closed door.

Neither the door nor resident nor doorkeeper spirit nor eidolon replied.

“Chutzee!” Sammin called, hurrying up to the feline. “Come back! Don’t bother Mr. Richard, please! He’s such a nice man. Oh, why…”

“Want food,” the cat said. “He has food.”


She stooped and gathered the cat up.

“Don’t bug him, sweetie! He’s probably busy, or he’s off making sensories about some strange place! Come on, I’ll get you some food. You should have just told me you were hungry before you ran out.”

She walked off, rubbing her chin on the back of the phlegmatic-looking cat.

“Food,” the cat postulated.

The hall was empty.

The hall became occupied by a relatively small black-quilled executioner, called Frost-Rimed-Sunflower. Two hooves clip-clopped down toward the entryway, and stopped in front of where there might have been a doormat under other circumstances. Two solid coal-colored eyes considered the solidly closed frame.

“Oh,” the executioner said, trying to ping the doorbell function and getting a simple “out of the house” response. “I’ll just leave this here, then.”

Two clawed digits picked up an interpolation paper sheet from a messenger bag, and with a very, very well-practiced motion slid it into the box for holding the residence’s physical mail. It fell on top of one similar piece of interpolation paper, with dusty spaces where numerous other such pieces of interpolation paper had – until recently – resided. “‘A King Among Students’ – early script” was written at the top of the document. “Thanks for your earlier feedback” was written near the bottom.

Frost picked up a similar medium from the outgoing mail bin, reading the places where “‘I Held the Only Card Which Mattered’ – early script” was annotated. A happy executioner frown greeted the sight of rough but has potential; unpack the supporting cast’s feelings more near the middle. The rather expensive material slipped into the messenger bag, and a satisfied executioner halted, horns canted to the side.

Another document was left behind. This one merely read, “We believe in you.”

The hall was empty.

The hall became occupied by a man named Bjill.

“Hruh,” Bjill growled, after trying to tickle the security of the apartment, and failing. The fact that he’d expected no less failed to rouse any measure of happiness.

He had held at least minor hopes that he could tail his mark and pick up some actionable dirt. Then, he could start leveraging the man in whatever way Leiaren Ad-Horsig Drjemear, Fifth of His Name, thought best. Part of this was because he wished the best for his liege; part was because he had pride in his professionalism. Part was because that woman with whom Leiaren had been hob-nobbing of late made him nervous, and he wanted a stop put to that post-haste.

Part was the simple childlike joy found in breaking things.

“Time to ask more pointed questions,” the winter elf muttered.

The hall was empty.

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