Spook looked up from her Latin book. She was bored - completely and utterly and mind numbingly bored. Latin lessons were her own personal idea of hell on earth. What did she have next?
Ah yes. Technology. That could be interesting. They were studying the idea that humans had of the ‘Periodic Table’ - in the way that historians study backward cultures, for being only pitiful Men, the humans had missed out so many vital elements.
Like Ink, thought Spook, as she continued to translate the passage, “The Day I Fell down the Toilet.”
For is it not Ink that holds our whole world together? Her pen flashed a message at her: New Cartridge Required. This caused a slight distraction, while she rummaged in her automatic pencil case for the right colour of Ink Cartridge.
Our world, yes, she realised as she fitted it into her pen. But not theirs. For theirs is a world without any stories.
“Spook of Night!” her teacher said sharply. “Are you concentrating?” Spook’s head jerked up. The Cartridge slipped from her hand and splattered ink all over the table. Much of it went onto the screen of her Latin Textbook, and she hastily wiped it off before the circuits fizzed out.
“Yes, miss!” she said hastily, knowing that she was only making everything worse. “I was just thinking, about … about this word.” It was a lie and Spook knew it. What’s more, her teacher knew it, and Spook knew that she did.
“What line are you on?” Miss Noble rapped out, demanding the iron discipline that so characterised her lessons.
“Thirty miss,” said Spook. This was in fact true, because when she focused Spook was capable of working extremely hard. After all, I can do Latin, it’s just that I don’t want to, she thought.
“Humph. Well, keep going.” Miss Noble rarely smiled, and although Spook was sure she must have a personality under that hard shell somewhere, she never showed any sign of it.
“You’re on line thirty?” hissed Ritu from behind Spook. Spook turned and looked her friend directly in the eyes.
“Of course I am. It’s not hard - you just have to concentrate.” Which would have been perfectly innocent words, had the people around them not known of Spook’s passionate dislike for the Latin Language and all of the grammar that it contained. Ritu’s eyes widened.
“What’re you …” she began, but stopped when Spook’s Gift came into play. With a self-satisfied smile, the girl turned back to her work, knowing that the other student would soon have caught up with her.
“Silence!” called Miss Noble, and Spook got on with her translation, still wishing that she was at home.
Bet Anna doesn’t have to do Latin, she muttered mutinously. As a matter of fact she was wrong. Anna did take Latin, because it was compulsory at her school. But her pen-pal didn’t know that, and so suffered under the impression that she was the only one.