Lesson 5- Deadly Politics

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            Lily, Angela, and Julia watched Brook come out of her etiquette class with worried eyes. The kind, gentle girl had appeared an hour and a half earlier on the verge of tears, refusing to tell them what had happened.

            Brook walked out of the classroom door, carrying herself with grace and indifference, but the moment she said goodbye and gently closed the door, Brook sped off like a robber fleeing from the police.

            The confused trio caught up with her in front of Barbara’s room three stories below moments later, stumbling onto the scene of their future mistress scribbling in a random notebook she found with a calligraphy pen.

            Brook’s eyes glinted with malice as she tore through the ivory pages, brows furrowed and a deep aura of hate swirled around her like a hurricane.

            “M-Miss Aver-” Julia stuttered after a silence filled with pen scratching and page flipping. Brook’s head snapped up and glared at her, the pen still writing like mad on the paper as if it was doing everything on its own.

            “Brook,” Julia backpedaled hastily, “what are you doing? Did something happen?”

            Brook’s ink stained hand stopped writing, and she angrily flipped back the pages, admiring her handiwork with an evil grin. Angela was about to repeat the question when Brook flung the book onto the ground and laughed at it.

            “I CURSE YOU, YOU BONY OLD HAG!” Brook shrieked as she pointed at the abused book with an accusing finger. “I’D CURSE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN, BUT YOU’LL DIE A SINGLE, UNWANTED WOMAN!!!”

            It took a few heaves and wheezes before they could understand Brook’s words. Lily stared as Brook ranted on about Victoria looking like a shriveled up prune. She imagined an old lady with a “nose pointy enough to cut fabric” and beady, red eyes.   Brook’s story brought images of a croaking, gray haired beast with a ruler in hand, and soon, Brook had captured her audience with tales of four forks on the left and walking with dictionaries on her head.

            “Yes, well, it’s a great story, Brook, but we really should get on with the lesson,” Odette sang, her head poking out through the door. Brook jump in shock.

            She stuttered apologies without tearing her eyes away from the woman identical to her piano teacher. When the door gently closed shut, Lily exchanged relieved smiles with her new friends. Brook was back to normal.

***

            “Um,” Brook asked tentatively as she took a seat in a black, leather swivel chair in front of a large glowing blue screen in the wall, “Where’s Barbara?”

            The room seemed complete in every sense of the word. It had white washed walls perfectly balanced with the black furniture, and lights organized symmetrically dotted the flat ceiling. Two windows were covered with blinds on opposite sides of the room, one peering over the grounds below and the other into another room identical to the one she was in. The room was relatively empty, but it didn’t seem vacant.

            Two flat black desks without any particular design sat in the corners of the room, each with identical glass paper weights on piles of blank copy paper next to small gray printers. The only thing that didn’t have a double was a sleek black laptop, perched on the desk to the right, displaying an aquarium tank screen saver.

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