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Pen Your Pride

II. Sailors Take Warning

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Martin Freeberg rose when the sun broke the horizon.  This was a bad part of sleeping outside, one's rest depended on the sun's cycles.  Martin sat up.  His broken body groaned in protest.  His eyes opened, breaking apart the sand sleep had formed.  And then, he saw, for first time, the fresh day.

"Red sky at morning, sailors take warning," Martin muttered an old rhyme.

That old saying held no meaning anymore, not with the advances that allowed weather control.  Nevertheless, it felt good, to Martin, to observe a sentimental saying, though he knew not where it came from.

Martin breathed in the dirty smells of the slum.  He thanked God for the abilities to bend weather, even though he did not control them himself.  Martin knew that predictability, no matter had boring it could be, was the key to perfection.  Art had elements.  Writing had grammar.  Music had theory.  The world had rules and patterns to follow.  If one chose to disobey those unwritten laws, misfortune would come upon him.

Yes, predictability, and order, were Martin's friends in life.  They held the guidelines that illuminated an Entertainer's path to follow.  Chance remained Freeberg's enemy.

Chance never brought people places.  That was why Martin had never met a man who earned his riches through gambling.

Chance was the raffle that sent him to the Work Farm, the place that ruined his career, his livelihood, his hands.  Chance was the broken weather station and those storms that tore apart his friends, the crops, his dreams.

Martin looked down at his gnarled hands.  Yes, chance brought those and took away the ability to play his violin.

Tears formed at the painful memorises chance brought.  He blinked them away.  Reminisces and tears never did anything anyway.

He placed both deformed hands to his sides, with the intention of hoisting himself up.  But, a sharp prick launched his right hand up.

"Ouch!"  He took a look at his finger.  They on abrasion was a red dot.  He glanced down.  There, glittering in dawn's light laid stars of glass fragments.  A small stain marked where oil had run.

Just then, Martin remembered that clumsy girl he yelled at the night before.

"Damn woman," he grumbled.  Chance had brought her, too, and had infected his finger with glass.


Timothy Perkins watched through a two way mirror an interrogation being conducted by one of his colleagues.  The woman he arrested the night before sat there, taking the bombardment of questions.

The whole process bored Timothy.  He did not have access to an audio, and he was ordered to not take his eyes off the scene.  Timothy sat on guard for the rare case the interrogator sent out a distress signal.

The young guard smirked.  If any one needed a distress signal, it would be the poor girl.  Her eyes shone wide with fear.  Her long slender hands never found a resting place.  Kenten Caffrey grilled his victim with questions.

Timothy polished off his fifth cup of coffee.  An urge to relieve himself aroused inside his bladder.  He tried to push the feeling back.  He could not leave the post, the punishment would come harsh. 

He poured himself another cup of coffee in an attempt to get his mind of his need.  He found the wrong distraction.  The urge intensified.

He took a quick glance at the girl.  She posed no threat.  She would not try to run. 

He inched out of his chair, careful to not make a sound.  He moved to the door way and peered out.  The coast was clear.  A couple doors down waited the restroom.

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