The Five Accounts Part 5

I was anxious should someone discover the true nature of my octopus. Nonetheless, even this apparent mishap revealed itself as fortune. I was passing through the cafeteria during the lunch period, ready to take my lunch, as usual, on the lawn in the back of the school alone with Duane, and I noticed Clement standing over the table. In fact he was leaning on his hands with his torso hovering over the napkin dispenser. He was talking to Felice who was seated opposite him.

I sat down and pulled out my remote, thinking it good enough to ink two out of three. I was prepared to unleash my revenge, but I waited nonetheless, gambling on the possibility that Frankie might join them. My gamble paid off, since ten minutes later Frankie started to approach. Felice stood up to give her a hug. As they were facing the octopus but just before they had a chance to sit, I pressed the first button and the second in immediate succession.

My device worked perfectly. The first button opened it up and the two sides of the dispenser fell to the sides like an armed bear trap. Upon pressing the second button, the ink began to squirt. The sprinkler spun and a circle of ink spread simultaneously in all directions. Several large splotches of ink landed on all three of them at once, and, though they raised their arms to protect themselves and recoiled, the damage had already been done. Black dots great and small covered their shirts, faces and arms and they all looked dismayed and humiliated. Of course, everyone that was in the cafeteria turned to see them and there was a loud collective gasp of shock, followed by a bounteous laugh as everyone saw the sight of them.

Clement’s face grew red with anger and he ran out of the room, forcefully pushing aside everyone that might impede his path. Frankie appeared to be on the verge of tears as she fled the room. Felice remained frozen where she was, her annoying, perpetual smile wiped from her face.

It was a pleasure to see all three of them simultaneously deflated. They’d been robbed, at least temporarily, of all their arrogance and pretension. Though assuredly they’d all return to being conceited miscreants within days, perhaps even hours, or even minutes, they’d at least been knocked off their perches for a time.

The only thing left was to collect and dispose of the evidence. Inking them during lunch was less than ideal since the lunch crowds made it nigh impossible to remove the octopus without witnesses. I figured that when the bell for fifth period rang, everyone would rise from their seats and I could acquire it under the concealment of the crowd. After a long wait, the bell rang, and the room was turned into a chaotic mass of people. I walked up to the table, pushing through the crowds and swiftly swept the device into a plastic bag.

The table where the device had been was now stained in a characteristic pattern: a square in the center and the two wings from the sides of the dispenser remained untouched, but the rest of the table was splattered with the black ink in a radial pattern.1 I presumed that from hereon Clement and his allies would no longer be using the table.

My relish was put to a stop when a hand gripped hard on my wrist. I turned to look and saw the assistant principle, Mr. Tutela, latching onto it.

“My office, now!” he said, and dragged me there straightaway.

It would’ve been pointless to deny that I had done it. I was caught in flagrante delicto.2 I was, of course, resentful that I should be punished for meting out the punishment that the school had failed to deliver to these three delinquents for their crimes against me, but I admitted freely what I’d done as a man of honor, unembarrassed by it and prepared to face the consequences: what’s done is done, the dye has been cast, quite literally in this case.

1. Tutela actually asked me to try and clean this table. No luck with that. What Jed says about the ink is true. I just spray painted over it and moved it to another part of the school where someone could make use of a black-painted table. -Bob
2. Latin for “In blazing offence.” But really, you should know what this one means without my footnote. –Bob

The Five Accounts Part 4

Ginny was her name, and she was a classmate. I would later regret that I didn’t snap a picture then. Her right foot was on the ground while her left was stretched out and pressing against the wall of the stall, a pair of lacy pink panties dangling from her left ankle. Her skirt was hiked up around her waist and her legs were spread wide, wide enough that the lips of her labia minora were slightly parted. She had three finger on her clitoris and she was vigorously moving them in circles while her other hand was gripping her left breast through her white shirt.

It was clear she was enjoying herself, and her face was consumed in rapture when I opened the door. Once she noticed me, she stopped and looked at me annoyed. “Could you close the door? I can’t concentrate with you watching,” she told me. She didn’t appear embarrassed and made no attempt to cover herself: her fingers stopped moving, but remained in their place.

Ginny was far from the most beautiful girl in the school: her body was soft and out of shape. Her flabby stomach was now jutting out over her skirt, and she had a toothy smile and wiry hair. A large nose filled her narrow face and made her look to me like some colorless toucan. Nonetheless, she wasn’t ugly, and if I was honest with myself, I had to admit that I didn’t have the freedom to be selective. She had a certain sultriness and allure to her, and I couldn’t say that seeing her in such a position didn’t excite my libido.

It was an opportunity to apply my seductive powers. Fortunately, Duane was there to help me overcome my natural shyness, and he urged me forward, inspiring my replies as he backed away to give me my privacy. I said to Ginny with a charming smile, “Wouldn’t you rather like some help?” following it with a wink.

She looked at me skeptically and replied, “I think I’ll be fine on my own.”

I was undeterred. Duane had told me that I needed to be aggressive and that women loved a bold man who seizes what he wants. Thus, I continued my approach. I closed the door behind me and said with another smile and wink, “You’ll be more than fine in my hands.” I leaned in for a kiss and she didn’t resist. When I pulled down my pants, I was already erect, and I thrust forward towards her vulva and guided my penis expertly inside her vagina.

She gripped me at the thrill of the sensation of my entrance, letting out a gasp of pleasure. The feel of that warm, soft skin against my naked skin was something novel and delightful. I pushed my penis deeper inside aiming for the anterior fornix erogenous zone in the back of the vagina, which I understood to be particularly pleasurable. I adjusted my angle of entry until I found that sweet spot, and once I found it, I pressed that button again and again until she was squealing with pleasure.

She pulled me close as I pleasured her, breathing into my ear and perspiring heavily. I ejaculated inside her vagina to our mutual satisfaction. She relaxed on the toilet where she was sitting, her head falling back and her raised foot dropping to the floor.

For her added satisfaction I decided to give her an extra dose of cunnilingus, bending my head down between her legs. Her pubic hair was completely shorn and it made it easy to lick her labia and clitoris with my tongue. Her pubococcygeus muscles were still involuntarily contracting from her orgasm and she moaned with pleasure when I licked her.

The moment, though, was ruined when my semen started leaking out of her. I don’t know if it was the muscle contractions from the orgasm or the simple pull of gravity, but the white fluid began pouring out of her and right onto my tongue. I could taste it immediately. The pungent sweetness of her vaginal fluid was tainted by the bitter saltiness of my semen. I left the stall and washed my mouth out with water to rinse away the taste. Ginny appeared to find the whole episode amusing and discharged a laugh.

Unfortunately, I had to leave Ginny behind at that point since I recognized that the third period was almost at an end. I kissed her goodbye and told her I would love to see her again. I left the bathroom alone trying to act nonchalant, even though I was ecstatic with post-coital gratification.

The downside of this encounter was that I didn’t have time to collect the octopus and had to leave it there during my fourth period history class.

The Five Accounts Part 3

Thus, that third period, I had to exercise circumspection when I put the fake napkin dispenser on the table, since I couldn’t know if Clement might interpret even me just briefly approaching his private table as an infringement upon his inviolable property. I hastily walked to the table, grabbed the napkin dispenser on it and switched out my fake one, looking around while I did this to ensure that I went unobserved. I sat down with Duane on the other side of the cafeteria and pulled out my remote, readying my finger above the button.

Everything at first appeared to be unfolding as I’d imagined it. Clement arrived first. He was a tall, muscly blonde that strutted like a marionette and had a narcissist’s smile always fixed across his face. He walked up to the table and sat on it with his back to the octopus and his feet on a chair. He appeared to be rather finely dressed in a bright white shirt and slacks this day, which seemed particularly fortunate for me. I saw Felice and Frankie approaching together soon afterwards. Frankie was the fashionable one, always wearing an expensive new outfit, like the spoiled rich girl she is, and pointing her nose up towards the ceiling as she walked. She was now wearing a brand new blue-striped dress, which sensually hugged her comely curves. Besides her Felice was cheerful and sunny as ever, her blond hair bouncing as she gleefully bounded forward in her colorful outfit.

Just as I was ready to have all three of them in range, Frankie stopped, said something to Felice, and turned around and left. I thought I might have to settle for two, but just as Felice arrived at the table and set her books down, Clement left. Clement had the annoying custom of greeting friends by pointing at them with both fingers and shouting, “Hey, it’s Bob!” or whatever their name was. Right then he started pointing across the room at a friend and shouted, “Hey, it’s Paul.” They approached each other, shared a friendly hug and started talking, well out of range of my device. Only Felice was close enough. She read a book while she listened to music and cheerily bobbed her head back and forth, in her annoyingly cheerful way. She remained seated for several minutes, but she left the table to visit the lavatory just as Clement arrived.

That was the closest my plan came to fruition the whole period. Clement left for good after a while and Felice after him, and at no point were the two of them together, and Frankie only returned after they had both departed. I was cursing my luck and decided to try and fetch the dispenser, so that I might prevent it from being discovered until a later attempt could be made, but Frankie remained at the table studying.

I decided to visit the lavatory and return for it at the end of the period. I refused to use the lavatory in the cafeteria, since there were always people present. I didn’t wish for anyone to be within earshot when I relieved myself; thus, I hiked to the smaller east lavatory, which was usually empty at this time. 1

What happened in that room was the most surprising turn of events the whole day. When I stepped into the lavatory, I noticed, to my chagrin, that one of the stalls appeared to be occupied. I was about to leave and try the toilet in the locker rooms, when I realized that the breathing coming out of the stall was not normal. It sounded like the erotic breathing of women in pornographic movies. I looked under the door and saw only a single foot on the ground. It appeared to be only one person in there, which suggested he was masturbating, and apparently hadn’t noticed me enter.

I pulled out my phone and readied its camera, in anticipation of an embarrassing-photo opportunity. I knew how to unlock a locked stall from the outside. The simple tumbler lock was exposed on the exterior of the door and could be opened if one could grip the round metal plate and turn it. Gripping the piece between my fingers, I twisted it and, opened the door. I expected to find some red-faced freshman gripping his penis, but instead I saw a female, a female I knew.

1. Young children and people of prudish sensibilities should probably skip the next 13 paragraphs. In fact, these people should probably also skip Account 2 entirely, just to be safe. -Bob

The Five Accounts Part 2

The best part was that this octopus was encased in a metal box that looked just like the napkin dispensers from our lunchroom. Of course, I constructed this box from one of those very napkin dispensers, which I borrowed from our lunchroom for the task. It was an upright dispenser with two spring-loaded, retracting plates to load paper napkins on either side. In this case, I had removed the interior spring mechanism and used rubber bands to hold the metal plates in place. I’d stuffed a few napkins on either side so that it appeared to be full. Once I put the octopus inside, it disappeared into its camouflage. My crude mechanical device was screwed to a small square of wood, which locked in place at the bottom when I placed the device within the napkin dispenser box.

Even better, I was able to initiate the squirting from a safe distance. I had meticulously cut the napkin dispenser into two pieces and created a clever radio-controlled clip to hold it together so that when I sent a radio signal, the napkin dispenser fell open. A second signal would then spray the ink. I had created a small remote with a few buttons on top for this purpose. The case of this remote was taken from an old stereo system remote. I had to rewire it since it had communicated to the stereo via infrared light, whereas I preferred to use a radio signal. Infrared requires a line of sight and a relatively short range to work. I’d salvaged parts from a wireless router we weren’t using anymore and wired two of the buttons to be functional. One of the buttons opened the napkin dispenser; one sprayed the ink.

I met up with my friend Duane1 before school this morning and gave him an extensive preview of how this mechanical device functions. I explained its inner workings and showed him how it worked. I pressed the first button and the napkin dispenser opened. I didn’t depress the second button, since that would have made an enormous mess of my room, and I wanted to save the mess for my enemies.2

“Three dear, sweet enemies of mine will be inked,” I told Duane with lurid glee while he nodded silently, “‘Nemo malus felix,’3 as they say. The only downside is that they won’t know who did this to them and why. When one has one’s revenge, it’s nice to have the malefactors know they did wrong and the reason for it. If I told them, even anonymously, why it was being done, they’d know who did it, and if they knew who did it, they’d do horrible things to me. Unfortunately, I’ll have to settle for being the only one who knows that justice has been served.”

Since it was time to leave, I packed up and went downstairs, while Duane followed. Duane and I ate a hearty breakfast together, departed together, and biked together, with me peddling and Duane on the handlebars.

Duane, as I should explain, is my best friend, actually my only friend. We fortunately have all the same classes together at Elmville High, where we’re both seniors. He’ll usually sit beside me in class, if a seat’s available, help me out with classwork, feed me answers and check my work for me, and I do the same for him. We do far better in class together than either of us could do alone.

My octopus revenge was scheduled to be executed during the third period when I and my three targets had a free period. The three of them, Clement, Frankie and Felice, would always congregate during that period at the same table in the cafeteria, a circular table in the center that Clement had de facto reserved for him and his friends.

Clement had made certain that everyone at school understood that if any person but he and his friends should sit at that table at any time, that person would be painfully disciplined by Clement and some of his more brutal companions after school.

1. I changed the names of all the characters to protect their identity, even of Duane, just for the heck of it. -Bob
2. And for the janitorial staff who has to clean it up. -Bob
3. Latin for “No peace for the wicked. -Bob

The Five Accounts Part 1

Editor’s Preface

During my after-school, trash-emptying rounds on October 2nd in a public high school where I work, I found the following five accounts in the desk-side trashcan of room 103. The accounts, written by five different hands on eighteen sheets of lined paper, had been ripped up into fragments. I knew that Mr. Malek had overseen detention in that room that afternoon and that he generally demands autobiographical detention-time assignments. I thus believed that the labor of reconstructing these ripped-up sheets of paper would be worth the rolls of tape and reels of patience it would cost. In particular, I knew that one of the students in detention that day had ended up in the hospital and another had been expelled. Information on the ground about what had happened concerning the incident was sparse, and I was hoping these accounts would complete the story.

The accounts are anonymous and unsigned, but it is obvious who wrote which.

The too-too-honest style is due to the stories being written under the impression that they would be completely anonymous and would be destroyed immediately without another eye seeing them. I have changed nothing from how I found them, except to correct grammar and spelling errors and to change the names of the students and of the high school. The order is simply the order in which I reconstructed them.1

I also added three other documents that I recovered the next day from three other oh-so-inviting trashcans. They fill in some of the information otherwise missing.

I hope the reader will forgive this breach of privacy. As I said, I changed all the names, which means this could have taken place anywhere in any school in this country. It just so happened that it took place here.

-Bob, janitor

Account 1

Summary of my Day
Malek ordered us to write a chronicle of the day. “Describe in as much detail as possible the events of your day. Particularly those that contributed to you being assigned to detention this afternoon,” he said, or something to that effect. In fulfillment of this task, here it is, in full detail, without embellishment or abridgement.

I will begin ab initio,2 at the point when I woke up early this morning. You see, I woke up looking forward to school today. I had just completed and perfected my “Octopus” the previous night, and I was eager for an opportunity to put it to work.

I had created the octopus for the purpose of revenge upon certain persons who had wronged me. It had an ink well at the bottom, a clear plastic bottle with accordion sides, and an old sprinkler vane placed above the ink well. The sprinkler vane was a small, spinning, metal piece shaped like a mechanical fan with six angled blades that I’d taken from a sprinkler hose attachment. It is useful for watering one’s lawn or, as was the case this time, spraying ink onto one’s enemies. It was designed so that when the ink was forcibly ejected from the ink well, it would hit the sprinkler vane, causing it to spin and cast the liquid out in all directions. Anyone within about five feet of the octopus when activated would be covered in ink.

I made sure to select the ink carefully. I used a fast-drying, dye-based ink, notable for its dark color and permanence. It won’t wash away no matter what you do. I know from handling it. Even if it lands on your skin, it’ll leave a stain there that will last for several days. The sprinkler head itself was stained a deep purple color from the multiple test runs I’d made.

1. In other words, the order is random. The third page of Jed’s account happened to be the first page I pulled together all the pieces for; so it became Account 1; and so on with the other accounts. -Bob
2. Latin for: “At the beginning.” Not the time for experimental, non-chronological storytelling, I guess. -Bob

D’s Table Completed

So, that was the last piece of D’s Table. I’m going to take about 2 weeks and then come back with a new story starting on the week of the 23rd. I think this next one will be a really short one, a novella. But the writing will keep on coming after that.

D’s Table Part 68

Jay was the one to discover Wynn’s body. He heard the sound of something heavy hitting the ground, as well as the hollow sound of a metal container dropping at the same time. It stirred him from a peaceful nap he’d slipped into while working on plans for a new machine he was designing. He entered the bathroom and knocked on Wynn’s door.

“You okay in there, Wynn?” he asked.

He heard no response, and he cautiously pushed open the door. When he saw Wynn on the floor, his first thought was that he was dead, and he shouted an expletive. Then he noticed Wynn was breathing. He stepped forward and felt Wynn’s warm skin and felt the heartbeat and saw the glassy eyes. It was just like Lola. He shouted out an expletive again.

Jay made a public announcement to the whole house that they needed to come up to Wynn’s room. Soon everyone was there at the door, and Jay let them in.

“He’s alive,” Jay said to the people who arrived, “He’s just like Lola. Nothing’s there. You can see. His nous is gone.”

Some gasped when they saw the body; some cried; some grabbed others for support. Their recent experience with Lola had not numbed them to the shock of it.

“What happened here?” Dee asked calmly.

“You’re seeing what I’ve seen,” Jay said.

“Is that the container he’s been gathering spirits in?” Em asked, “It looks like it’s empty. It was pretty stuffed before, wasn’t it?”

Dee reached down to the container and, noticing that both gates were opened, he closed them, for no other reason than as a force of habit. “Definitely empty,” Dee said.

Dee went over to the body and touched his skin and felt the breath out of his nose. “Decades without such an incident and then two within mere weeks of each other,” he said.

From there, he noticed a small slip of paper sticking partly out of one Wynn’s pants pockets. It looked like it had been placed there deliberately to be found. Dee extracted the piece of paper, which apparently had been hastily torn from one of the books in Wynn’s room. On it, a short message was written in Enochian. It conveyed two basic ideas: first, it had the stern but polite command, “Return me to my family”; this was followed by a definitive promise, “I will return here with Lola,” phrased in such a way as to leave no room for doubt that this was an absolute, binding vow. The words flashed in Dee’s mind as he read the note, and the whole house understood what it said.

“So, it was deliberate,” Em said, “He did it on purpose to go out and find Lola. That’s… brave, I suppose.”

“Brave isn’t a strong enough word,” Jay said, “You ever thought about what it must be like to be out there, your nous floating with no means of control, slowly starving to death. It’s crazy. But noble. If that kid ever makes it back, we’ll throw him the biggest Welcome Back party ever. He deserves it.”

“Do we respect his wishes?” Em asked, “Return him to his family?”

“Yes,” Dee said, slowly nodding. “Not immediately,” he added, “Let us give ourselves an opportunity to prepare for his departure, and perhaps we can train him in some of the rudiments before throwing him upon the Davidson family.”

Many people assented in agreement, and the plan was put into practice.

As these things were being discussed, Wynn’s free-floating nous barreled through the void, flexing and reshaping itself to regain control, like an airplane trying to right itself after a sudden dive. With each moment, he was learning, learning of this new world and how to navigate within it. After a long, seemingly endless journey through the void, Wynn gained control and brought his nous to a stop. He realized how different the rules were here when he spontaneously sprouted a set of wings at will. He used them to guide himself through this lonely, empty place and began his initial search, his search for something, anything that might anchor him in this new place.

In the process, he realized that it wasn’t so lonely here as he’d thought. There were beacons of light all around him, like a city at night, and he pursued them. He had an objective complete—he had people to find.

END

D’s Table Part 67

Wynn soon started gathering spirits. He had a small collection net that he’d pilfered from the closet, along with one of the storage containers he’d found there. He was mostly gathering imps, but the truth was, he was on the look out for anything he could find, though most of what he found were imps. He travelled around the house carrying the small, metal box, seeking out the faint outlines of spirits floating through the air or passing through the walls. He would open his net, lure them inside, and then add another to to the storage container that he kept stowed in his room. Each time after he finished, he would touch the container, feeling for warmth and vibration. Then, he would then journey further in search of more prey. He ventured outside, touring the grounds, through the forest, down the hill. He even travelled down the elevator to visit their garage and up into the attic, wading through the piles of old furniture and other discarded items.

He spent all of his free time on this project, continuing it for days without fail. Other members of the house suspected he was planning some grand project. When they asked him about it, he did his best to assure them that their suspicions were correct, that he was trying to fix up some old machines that he’d found locked away in storage. He had an old clock, a piston engine, and a heater that he believed, with a little work, could be made like new. Em, in particular, liked his ambition, though she counseled that his studies should take priorities and that he needed to complete those before he pursued any other independent projects. Wynn assured her that he was on top of his studies and that this was done entirely with his free time.

He’d never received an adequate answer from anyone about how many imps were equivalent to a seraph. They made guesses, which differed wildly from person to person—some estimates as low as twenty-five, to others as high as five hundred. Wynn decided to gauge the equivalence by touch. He felt the surface of the container in which his smorgasbord of spirits were imprisoned and judged whether it was about as warm and vibrated as much as that which had contained the seraph. It was imprecise; Wynn knew that; thus, he erred on the side of excess.

It took several day before he was happy with the storage container. The container vibrated like a plucked string, and it felt warm, like sunlight through the window.

By the time he’d completed this task, all thoughts of uncertainty and all desires to quit or turn back had long ago been expunged. Every reason that could be proposed against it had been submitted, considered, and rejected. There was nothing left than to do it.

That didn’t mean he wasn’t nervous. Wynn sat in his room with the small, warm, vibrating metal drum sitting on the floor in front of him. The vibrations were strong enough that when he placed it on his desk, the drum skittered about with a loud rattling sound. It made it seem as if the things inside were angry, belligerent, ready to pounce on whatever they encountered when they left.

However, Wynn proceeded with his plan. He took the metal drum in his hands, and he pointed the opening towards him, towards his head, towards the seat of his nous. He could feel the vibrations in his bones while he held it—they caused his arms to vibrate from within.

He first opened the inner gate. The pin at the top of the entry tube rose up violently and jittered. Then he opened the outer gate, and the spirits within poured out at him in a rush.

It was like suddenly opening a waterfall onto his face. They poured out in a streak of light and energy. And he didn’t keep his mind quiet. They could see his nous directly in front of them, and they attacked, jostling his nous from its perch—nudging and knocking and pushing against it in their mad dash to escape. Until, finally, his nous was untethered from its place, and his body collapsed to the floor, alone in his room, only a soft thud to alert anyone in the house that anything was amiss.

D’s Table Part 66

Over the course of the next several days, Wynn was quiet, even more so than usual, an attitude suited to his supposed state of mourning. However, the less he talked, the more he thought. The rest of the house was unaware of it, but he was planning something. In his mind, he was like a prisoner secretly arranging the details of his escape, and the day was approaching.

He also spent a considerable amount of time around Lola. She needed to be attended to at all times. Though more personal tasks were left to the women of the house, Wynn was able to help her with some things, like eating and guiding her while walking (she was taken on regular tours of the grounds of the estate for exercise). But he kept close not simply to be helpful, but also to investigate. He was better able to search the psychic space for her absent nous while near her, thinking perhaps that it would return to its home—though he didn’t know how. The possibility that her nous was completely adrift in that space, with no means of locomotion, was very real. But, perhaps, if she could figure out how to control herself and if she could thereby find her way back to her body, he certainly wanted to be there to meet her and to help her reconnect to her body, if this was at all possible.

That other part of Lola—the physical, tangible, nice-to-look-at part—seemed to be learning as she was receiving her assistance, learning how to eat, bathe, and dress herself, along with all the other innumerable little skills that she had apparently completely lost the mastery of. She was like a child, brand new to the world, but she was growing up. It gave them hope, since it betokened the possibility that she might become somewhat autonomous after a time, free from the constant attention.

In light of these facts, the decision the elders had made concerning her fate was to keep her here at the house and see how she was after a month, and then they would try to reassess it from there.

Meanwhile, Wynn had still to attend his classes on metallurgy, and Dee had began to show him some of the basics of forging metal. They had an old forge in an underground floor of the house, which they used to craft sheets of metal using some rather primitive methods. They had been reluctant to outsource this process to some large-scale manufacturer, since the metal they used was a unique alloy that they preciously guarded the secret of. They called it Blue Metal, though it wasn’t blue in color.

During this time, both during the forging demonstrations and during the metallurgy lectures, Wynn ceased to perform as the exceptional student he had been before, and Dee was visibly disappointed. Wynn was falling behind in his studies, was distracted in class, and had to be frequently reminded of concepts he’d already learned. He, somewhat like Lola, was not entirely there.

And, during this time, to several members of the house, he asked strange questions, such as: “About how many imps would it take to equal the strength of a single seraph?” and “Has anyone figured out how to move their nous, that is change its shape?” and “Do you know how the spirits navigate through the psychic space? Are there landmarks?” and “What type of sustenance do the spirits survive upon?” Dee and Em and Thorn listened to these questions and answered what they could, usually not to Wynn’s complete satisfaction. They were subjects and questions they simply hadn’t ever been interesting in answering before.

However, though they heard the questions, none of them put the pieces together; none of them gathered that Wynn had some grand goal in mind; none of them understand that Wynn was planning some bold rescue mission. Perhaps they would’ve tried to prevent him if they knew. He was planning something dangerous, and surely he was too young to decide on his own whether he could do such things. But instead, they ignored him and focused on their work, on their projects and their designs and the things that mattered to them while Wynn devised his plan of escape.

D’s Table Part 65

The chatter was light and disconsolate in the house that evening. Wynn didn’t participate. He merely sat in his room and thought. Unlike the rest of the house, he felt alive with energy. One wouldn’t describe this upbeat mood as happy so much as eager and excited by the possibilities that had been opened up for him. He wasn’t affected by the gloomy mood like the rest of the house because he did not look at Lola’s accident as a death. If she had truly died, he would’ve been in a state of mourning just like the rest of them, but no, she had not died. He was convinced of that. She had forged a path to some new place worth exploring.

Wynn didn’t have any class the next day. Dee wanted to give Wynn a chance to grieve.

Meanwhile, Dee and other senior members of the house gathered together in the dining room, all of them sitting around the large table and discussing what they were to do with Lola’s body. They preferred the term, “Lola’s body” (instead of simply“Lola”) because it made discussion of some of the more unpleasant options that were explored easier. Euthanasia was among the options discussed, as was returning her to her family, committing her to a mental hospital, and taking care of her here in the house. Each one had its advantages and disadvantages. Putting her in the hands of her family was considered to be good for the family, since they probably missed her, but it was also worried that they wouldn’t know how to take care of her. Keeping her in the house was considered to be the just thing to do, since it was the responsibility of those who’d put her in such a state to take care of her, but their lack of skills and resources to take care of her was something against this. The advantage of a mental hospital was the dedicated medical staff that could attend to her, but many of them were worried about the unpleasant conditions in such a place. Euthanasia was considered to be merciful, since according to the accounts that Dee was able to cite, there was no possibility that she would become anything more than a brain dead automaton. Dee, however, was also able to cite the record against this option, since euthanasia had never before been attempted in any of the previous cases, and, in truth, despite that they spoke of her as “Lola’s body,” the group had a difficult time overcoming the sense that this was still murder.

Wynn, as well as other junior members of the household who were not given a say in these proceedings, sat at the other end of the table and listened to these deliberations. As Wynn listened to these words, a sense of agitation spread throughout his body, and, for the first time in his life, an overwhelming desire to not be silent overtook him. It slowly increased in pressure, until it burst out, and he shouted at the group with heated emotion, “You’re all forgetting the possibility that we can restore her! I know it hasn’t been done before, but we can. We’ll try! I’ll try, even if none of you will. You won’t kill her; you won’t give her to a nuthouse (I don’t want her locked up). Whichever you want of the other two options, it doesn’t matter. Just keep her alive and ready.”

The senior members of the table stopped what they were saying and turned towards Wynn to hear him, and they listened politely. The whole house recognized that Wynn had been closer to Lola than anyone else, and they were willing to give him a bit more latitude and to treat him with a gentler hand than they would’ve for anyone else. Whatever he did, even if it was inappropriate, was simply regarded as some new facet of his grieving process, and they believed they had to let that process unfold if Wynn was to get better. Thus, they listened, and they nodded their heads, but after Wynn was finished, they returned to their conversation, still not entirely convinced euthanasia or the mental asylum were beyond the scope of consideration.

Wynn soon left the room in frustration, muttering to himself as he left. He went back to his room, and he again sat on his bed and thought, feelings of anger and bitterness swimming through his head, but that feeling of excitement at the possibilities opened up to him still rising the most frequently to the surface.