Day 4:

“Ah, you are awake.”

“Greybeard, I...”

“You’ve just been through a trauma, so I will forgive that lapse.”

“This is the hospital.”

“You continue to impress me with your mastery over the obvious.”

“Py!  What happened to Py?”

“The young man is in the next room over, asleep again as you too will be when I’m finished here.”

“But I… Is he okay?”

“He is badly burned, but he will retain the use of both of his legs, and his life for that matter.  He seems most adamant that he has you to thank for it.”

“It was my fault.”

“You could not have predicted Py’s injury.  In truth, using the pilot light on a damaged flamethrower to set the zombie aflame was probably very clever.  It likely saved both of your lives.”

“But that wasn’t…”

“Then dragging Py out of the fire and using your own body to smother the flames.  I’d almost be willing to give you some credit for your bravery.  In fact, I think I will.  You, Rianne, are a disappointment in every sense, but you are a truly courageous disappointment.  Does that make you feel better?”

“If Py is okay, then you can belittle me however you like.”

“Then I shall get to work on new insults at once.  In the meantime, you will rest, exempted from your shift on the wall this evening.  Though I’m not certain why you’d need the break.  You were hardly burned, after all.  Your doctor said you were incredibly lucky.  She said that, if she hadn’t known better, she’d have guessed that you shielded yourself against fire.  You obviously could not have, though, since such a ward would have brought the wrath half the docks down upon your heads.”


“So I shall have to assume that your present exhaustion is just the result of shock… or perhaps laziness.  Either way, I’ll expect you back at your lessons tomorrow.  I’m removing the awareness ward.  Have a nice nap.”

The End

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