Chapter 2: When Life Gives You Measuring Tape...
Fuck, running out of buffer. Updates will start being random soon.
Everything I've said before still applies.
Everything I've said before still applies.
“And yeah, my teacher forgot the date,” said Grisia quietly, perched on a windowsill. Lesus chuckled, the laughter reverberating through the bathroom.
“You’re so mean about him. He can’t be that bad,” Lesus answered.
“Trust me, he is. I swear your teacher must be a saint to put up with him!”
“Eh, not a saint,” Lesus said, stretching out his legs, “just organised. Apparently we’re going on Dies Lunae at about Tierce.”
“So...” said Grisia, counting on his fingers, “that gives me 2 days to sew in a false bottom, add hidden pockets, make up a concentrated body mask mixture with chemicals that are almost certainly lethal if handled wrongly, add a preservative which is even more lethal to stop the mixture from going off and stinking like the pits of Hell, stash my wine and beer under the false bottom, and pack clean clothes. Whew.”
“A bit much, don’t you think?” Lesus asked. “I just have to pack my clothes and some notes.”
“Oh, did your teacher give you notes as well?” said Grisia.
“Just some stuff about family law which I packed for myself,” Lesus shrugged. “It’s complicated, so I thought I might look over it to get a better grasp on some of the points. Why do you ask?”
Grisia reached into his pockets and took out a very large, very crumpled set of sheets of paper. “The God of Light blessed me with a good memory, but I’m finding all this difficult to remember.”
“Let me have a look.” Lesus took the notes, frowning as he tried to make out what they said. “Grisia, does this say ‘student’ or ‘chicken’?”
“About that...” Grisia laughed nervously.
One inordinately long note-deciphering session later, both Lesus and Grisia were utterly exhausted.
“If you want,” Lesus said, “I’ll help you sew the pockets and make the false bottom.”
“...You don’t trust me to make them myself, do you?” smiled Grisia, his good mood brought on by friendship and more than a little tiredness.
“...Not without making a hash of things, at least,” Lesus smiled back.
“You know me too well,” Grisia laughed. “I’m off to start packing.”
“Oh, hell no.” Lesus folded his arms and knitted his brows together threateningly. “I’m coming along with you, or your trunk will end up resembling a demonic horror.”
“I’m not that bad, am I?”
“...Do I have to answer that question?”
“This is utterly ridiculous,” Grisia sighed as he tossed the knotted bedsheets out of the window. “No matter how many times we do this, it still makes us look like idiots.”
“It works, doesn’t it?” shrugged Lesus as he began scaling the walls, clinging fiercely to Grisia’s bedsheets all the way.
“Just about.” With a terrific yank, Grisia pulled both Lesus and the bedsheets into the small room, and both boys collapsed on the hard wooden floor. Lesus couldn’t help but laugh, and soon his laughter infected Grisia, and soon the two students, entangled in dirty, knotted bedsheets, were dissolved in giggles as the sun sank down.
It was Lesus who stopped first, his mood shifting abruptly. “We’ll never get anything done if we don’t start now,” he said seriously. “Do you have the needle and thread?”
Grisia rummaged around in the chest-of-drawers by his bed, at last coming up with a small package which he handed to the other boy.
“And the cloth?” Lesus asked.
“It’s in there,” shrugged Grisia. “So, if you sew the pockets while I go down to the cellar...”
“I am not letting you get wasted while I do all the work!” Lesus growled.
“I was only going to pick out my favourite wine...”
“Grisia, do you really think that excuse is going to work on me? I’ve known you too long.”
If Grisia hadn’t been the future Sun Knight, and more to the point, if he hadn’t been a 15-year-old male, he would have pouted. As it was, he just glowered in a rather elegant fashion.
“It’s your luggage you’re sabotaging,” Lesus pointed out.
“...I’ll fold clothes.”
“Grisia, you’re completely missing the point!”
“Here, take this.” Lesus tossed Grisia a roll of measuring tape. “Go and measure the inside of your trunk – and if you’re going to write down the measurements, for the love of the Light God please make your handwriting legible this time.”
“...Not the false bottom!”
“Did it take you that long to work out?” Lesus said, stitching the pockets.
“So the trunk measures 35 inches and 4 lines by 19 inches and 7 lines, then it’s about 4 inches and 3 lines deep, and a wine bottle is 3 inches in diameter...why must they make trunks in such odd shapes?” said Grisia. Lesus was busy taking notes, notes and more notes with a worn-out old pen.
“Hmm,” Lesus mumbled, seemingly ignorant of Grisia’s peculiar fascination with odd trunk shapes. “Hold the tape up so I can see how deep it is.” Grisia duly complied, and Lesus scratched a mark next to the three-inch line. “Now at all four corners. Do you have some board and glue?”
“Do I look like a hardware shop?” Grisia asked.
“Yes, yes you do. Do you have some board and glue?”
Grisia knew Lesus’s moods, and he knew that Lesus was not in the mood to argue. Sighing, he went off to look for the materials, and (after much rummaging and un-Sun Knight-like swearing) returned laden with scraps and foul-smelling chemicals.
“This was all I could find,” he explained.
“O...K.” Lesus wrinkled his nose. “It’ll have to do.” Grisia promptly put the mountain of things down and began looking for scraps of board.
“Some of them have string and wires attached...” With a distasteful expression, he picked a board up by a dirty, worn piece of string.
“It’ll be fine,” Lesus shrugged. “We can tie the bits of string together and make a partial false bottom, see?” He traced a line around the inside of the trunk with one finger. “You glue half the board scraps to one end, then string the rest together and you can roll that half up to put things in.”
Grisia nodded, wide-eyed. “I’ll tie if you glue.”
And so a great proportion of that evening was spent gluing, tying, knotting, stitching and otherwise fiddling around with luggage. Grisia spent far too much time in the cellar “testing” the wines, and yet more time drunkenly arguing with Lesus over how much to put in.
“You’re going to have a massive hangover tomorrow, you know?” Lesus sighed. “And you’ve put in far too much wine. You won’t have enough room for your clothes or your body mask mixture.”
“...” Grisia, lying on the bed, said nothing.
“I’m at fault as well, I guess. I’m going to have a hard enough time getting up in the morning, but at least I don’t have much to pack.”
“Grisia? Grisia, are you all right? Are you even listening to me? Are you sleeping?”
For Grisia, intoxicated by the wine and exhausted by the great mental effort of packing, had fallen soundly asleep.