TwentyOneTimelords

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Hello, my name is Child of the one true King

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Untitled Science Fiction Novel | Chapter Two

October 10, 2020

FREE WRITING

2
    When I open the front door, Zabeod twists towards me in his chair, grunts by way of greeting, and turns back towards the holo screen in front of him. It's playing the same thing I saw in the pub, and I promptly forget about the visit to my past. I let the door fall closed and wince slightly when it slams heavily. Zabeod, uncharacteristically, doesn't say anything; he's engrossed in whatever they're talking about. I hastily take off my shoes and kick them towards the wall, walking quickly into the living room.
    "...parents say they have never been so proud. The competition begins in five days, and she will be picked up by a special committee the day after tomorrow. Now we go to a segment about the new crown Prince on Rameeria, but stay tuned for an interview with the lucky girl in half an hour! This is Ellia Price for PRN."
    The screen switches to a different reporter, who stands in front of the royal palace in Cunjad, the capital of Rameeria. Zabeod turns the volume down with a flick of his wrist and grumbles, "Did you get it?" He's still watching the screen and I make a face at the back of his head. I know he's going to be angry, but I decide I don't give two cinarri--it was worth it, even though I still don't quite know the whole story of whatever's going on. I'll figure it out one way or another. My head is spinning with information and I just want to be alone so I can digest it.
    "No," I say as nonchalantly as possible and start backing up towards the stairs. "I'll get it tomorrow, though."
    As expected, he turns around and finally looks at me, annoyance playing on his face. "Why not?"
    "I..." I stop and look down. Lying has never been something I enjoy, nor was it something I ever did before coming here. "There was a blockade on Suchar street. Construction. Couldn't get past it."
    "Right...construction," Zabeod drawls, happily watching me fidget. His voice drips with false understanding and sympathy; he doesn't buy it for a second. "Alright, then, you can can go upstairs. Don't expect any dinner." He turns back to the screen abruptly and I frown, knowing that's it. When he's in this kind of mood, he won't say anything else. On another night, he might have lost it, screaming at me and maybe even getting physical. Instead, he'll deal with it quietly. No dinner, probably no breakfast, and the most nasty and boring tasks he can conjure up for me at work tomorrow.
    That's okay. Tonight, I need time to sort out all the things going through my head. Solitary confinement in my room will suit me just fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It's after nine when I hear a quiet knock on my door. I smile. "Come in," I call, and the door creaks open.
    "I brought you dinner," Nani says. "That no good son of mine has no right to starve you. You're family, after all."
    "Slave is more like it," I tell her, and she gives a little wheezing laugh. I take the plate and fork from her and start eating, not even looking at the food first to decipher what it is. Jess, Zabeod's wife and my mom's sister, is nicer than her husband, but her cooking leaves room for improvement--something that Zabeod lets her know at every single meal. It's food, though, and it doesn't taste bad. It just usually all looks like a pile of mush, with that consistency.
    Nani sits down on the bed next to me and I scoot over a little. She's so small that the bed doesn't sink underneath her at all. "What did you do this time?" she asks with a grin. 
    "He sent me out to get a replacement part for the hydraulic core we got in from Oareena. I got distracted on the way and came home before I got it," I say, and shove another mouthful of mush in my mouth. "There was a news broadcast about the Academy and I wanted to hear what they were saying."
    Nani nods knowingly. "I saw that. They've been playing the same clips over and over all day--it's the biggest news in this city since that man accidentally blew up Taver mine ten years ago."
    I swallow before asking, "What exactly happened? I only caught some before Z sent me up here. Something about the Academy and someone's parents being proud. Did they recruit someone?" Recruitment by the Academy is a huge deal. Most people sell their entire lives in order to get their kid to be able to take a placement test. For the Academy to take notice of you and actually ask you to take the test, you've gotta be really special.
    Nani nods. "A girl from Ichols got their attention with her test scores. They said hers were the highest in our conglomerate this year, even higher than Prachtiir..." Her eyes sparkle mischievously and she laughs. "That last part might just be gossip. Are you finished?"
    I scrape off the last bite and nod, handing her the plate. "Thank you. So that means there's an academy ship coming here? To pick her up?"
    Nani gives me a side-eyed glance. "I know what you're thinking, Idraan."
    "Are you going to try to stop me?"
    She sighs and stands up from the bed, then opens the door. "No. I know how much you want this," she tells me. "The usual time at the usual place. Don't fall asleep."
    

 

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  • October 10, 2020 - 6:10pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • A Certain Type of Decisive

    This is getting exciting!! I can't wait for chapter three. If you're looking for feedback, you could be a little more clear on what the familial situation is-- Is Nani the main character's grandma, Z's mom, Jess's mom, or some combination? Is the main character term related to Jess or Z somehow? Why are they living together? I'm so intrigued!!


    5 months ago