O ___ your guidance is incomparable! O ______ your patience exquisite! O ____ your scorn terrible! O ______ ____ _____ your appetite for clay and heat unending!
[written in Latin]
The club is being tested for the first time. My ‘compatriots’ are clearly more impulsive than I am, and I am still expecting rash behavior from them, but an agreement is an agreement, I have approached _______ about the dolls, and I will contact _____ tonight to inform her, as well. The former reacted reasonably enough. I wouldn’t have been surprised had he flown into some kind of rage or tantrum, but there was none. A promising sign. He did show me an astounding trick, a truly stupendous feat, which would come in handy in more scenarios than I can count. How fortunate that I have built some credit with him by staying true to my word! And how fortunate that the sight you lend me, O friends, allows me to see through his remarkable talents.
As for the _____, we will see. Lust and anger are volatile. Let her stomp and hiss. I will douse that fire if that need arises.
But there is more! Like attracts like, and so those who make congress with jinn, spirits, ghosts, and demons all find each other in the end. What strange friends I have made, with what strange habits.
I ran into Lexine and Mason again, who were arguing with Bunny, and watched as a rock rose up into the air as if by an invisible hand and hurled itself at Bunny. Shocking! But, O friends, you have inured me to what is shocking. I watched not the rock, but the players, and in so doing, learned something very interesting.
And that night, Lexine, probably after swallowing a surge of bile, decided to pay me a visit, and… and I don’t know what to think of it. The woman disrespects my home as an opening to serious talks about learning the information I may have; then doesn’t seem to understand why I’m annoyed, as if I should have to listen to her social commentary, refrain from answering her charges, and then be generous with my information.
And still, I was generous. I gave her her information freely and without expectations. But now I am tired of her assumptions and criticisms. I have had it with her talking to me not as an individual, but as if I am a specimen of a quaint group. She can go on thinking whatever she wants of we “richy riches” with our glittering hoards that we jealously guard. Who am I to argue?
My time is better spent coaxing people to my nest for your delight, my friends. Like Syd Sparks, the geology maiden. Riley made an easy task even easier, treating her with such overt condescension that I simply needed to be present and breathing to seem like the greater gentleman. Oh, Riley, with his precious notions of how classes should interact, so easily exploded. We are a long way from the days of the knights, who understood true chivalry. But far be it from me to teach chivalry to a knight. “Sir” indeed.
At least I can expect a visit from Syd, and we will see what she thinks of my earth and clays.
But then there is my new favorite individual, the neat, pretty little Ren. I am thrown by her maturity and her poise, and it excites me just to be alive around her, because everything means something to her, and she asks rather than tells, observes rather than describes. I’m not sure what the things are that whisper to her—whether jinn or genie, ghost or daemon—but they notice the nearly imperceptible. She knew I had tampered with the mood of the room. It seems to be something she can do as well, or something similar.
Oh, fair little Ren. So tidy and reserved. So concerned with cosmic balance. I would love to have her balance on my bed, but there is no hurry. She has invited me to her home, and I look forward to it. By the time she comes to my home, I will have the mattress of cherry blossoms, and we will lie together and discuss what is proper and what is vulgar, what is even and what is excessive.
And there is still the bet between _______ and me in my mind. I fully intend to win, if only I’m given enough time. Ren is just as unhurried as I am, but she has cracks in that porcelain skin—everyone does. Everyone has an orifice for the worm to crawl in. Lets see how your pendulum swings, little Ren.
Swing, swing, swing!