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Jelly Donut Mishap: Pyre is sitting on a bench in the park when something unfortunate happens
Posted by Douglas, Nov 21, 2008. 2405 views. ID = 2025

Jelly Donut Mishap

Posted by Douglas, Nov 21, 2008. 2405 views. ID = 2025
This post was written in 50 minutes.
This post has been awarded 19 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 9 of a writing series titled Kindle.

Despite Herald's wild suggestions about manifesting to his project, Pyre would never have willingly, or wittingly, allowed Becca to see or interact with him. Never. It was against the rules, and Pyre was not a rule breaker. It wasn't just fear of consequence and punishment that kept him on the straight and narrow; Pyre was a Kindle who believed in what he was doing. The human race was improved and enriched because of the work he did. He would never risk that, and he would never violate the trust the Pierides had placed in him. Never.

"Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?"

Pyre nearly choked on his jelly-filled donut. A squirt of strawberry jelly dripped down the front of his shirt.

The woman chuckled, but with more apology than malice in the laugh. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."

Pyre was sitting on a bench in the park, watching Becca paint. Except, in his blue funk he had allowed his attention to wander and he had dropped his guard. With a cheap paper napkin that was too used and crumpled and shredded to be of much use, he dabbed at the jelly on his shirt. His hand trembled. He didn't look up at the woman, because he recognized her voice, and for a fleeting moment he reacted like an ostrich: If I can't see her....

But of course that was absurd.

"Please," he said, motioning for her to sit beside him on the bench, but still avoiding her eyes.

"Thank you," she said, then let out a long sigh as she sat. She slouched down just a bit, stretched her legs out in front of her, and hooked her elbows over the back of the bench. "Oh, it's nice to rest the back and legs after standing all afternoon."

Pyre said nothing, kept his head down, and considered his options. He hadn't deliberately manifested, and while he might get some sort of censure, the Muses would certainly understand that this was not a purposeful violation of their trust. The smart thing to do would be to simply un-manifest and leave her wondering why she hadn't noticed him leaving.

That would be the smart thing. He was just about to do it when she spoke again. "You come here often, don't you?"

"Whu..." he stammered helplessly.

"Yeah, I've seen you here before, haven't I? I come here every day to paint." She motioned toward her easel which was set up just a few feet away. Modestly, she added, "I'm really not very good yet, but I'm trying. Practice makes perfect, you know." There was a note of frustration in her confession, and Pyre wanted to tell her that she was a great painter, a true genius.

Except - what if that wasn't what she needed? What if the thing she really needed was not someone to tell her how good she was, but to be her critic? What if by saying, "You're a genius," he doomed her to always painting at the same level of mediocrity? And what if, by critiquing her work, he turned her frustration into despair, and she trashed all her hopes?

Pyre could easily understand, now, why interacting with a project was strictly forbidden. Everything was so real, so present, so visceral. Every word had potential consequences, and Pyre did not have the immortal perspective of the Pierides to see the consequences of each word.

And none of this brought him a bit closer to understanding how or why he had let this woman - this project - see him.

"You don't talk much, do you?"

Blood rushed to Pyre's cheeks - a frighteningly human response to embarrassment - and he said, "Sorry."

"Tell you what," the painter said, "Let me buy you another donut, to make up for the one that's on your shirt."

Dumbly, Pyre turned to look directly at her, for the first time since she sat down. She must have taken his expression as an answer, for she stood up, and waited for him to follow.

Now is the time, Pyre thought, Time to get out of here.

He stood, and followed her.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 19 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 9 of a writing series titled Kindle. The next part of this series can be found here: Duncan.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version

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