Paradigm - June 1997
The Excuse - Prologue to something - h-l
Avocado - karne
(page 1/20)

The Excuse - Prologue to something

You owe me an article for the fanzine," he said. She looked up, the sound of his voice jolting her forcibly from the realm of Lord Morpheus.
"Huh?" He sat down, close to where she was lying, curled up, in the corner of the library.
"I need you to write something. For the fanzine."

"But I can't write," she told him.
"Rubbish!" he exclaimed, eyes searching her face for some indication of a joke, "I've seen your lab reports!"
"That's fact," she explained, "not fiction. I can't write fiction."
He sighed, starting to get annoyed with her, despite his reluctance to do so.
"Then write something factual - I don't mind!" his words were harsher than intended. She pouted. Sighing again, he asked,
"Why are you being so hard on yourself - so self critical? "
She sighed now, running a hand through her hair.
"Three years in this place does that to you - I just don't have any imagination left," she said, somehow knowing as she said it that the words were a lie. She was aware of him saying something else, but somehow she was drifting away out of herself. She could see her body trapped on the ground, and in her imagination, floating like a plasma ball inside a steel cage, too high up to reach out and grab. Noticing the huge padlock that a decade of scientific training had placed upon it, she felt deflated, and fell with a cry.

"Are you all right?" he asked, sudden concern reflected in his expression. She blinked and smiled, seeing his true nature for the first time, reaching out to hold him. Warm hand met cold metal as she used the key, childlike on tiptoe, reaching up to rescue the ball. Throwing it and catching it, she saw his face through the plasma rays, uncertain, aware that something strange was happening, unsure what. Touching his shoulder, she pulled him into an embrace, scales on fur, watching his features shift from human to cat and back again. Laughing she brushed his fur with a claw, laughing again as his eyes darkened with confusion. Finally, he asked,
"So, you going to write something for me?"

Afraid of being hit he stepped back, but she was on her feet, staring at the ceiling,
"I guess I don't really have an excuse now," says the dragongirl as with a shrug she encompasses the entire libray with her wings. As behind her, everything changes, the books beginning their slow transmutation through scrolls and sacks of stones to bizarre futuristic devices. The open door creaks and we both turn to face the streaming sunlight.
"What are you going to write about then?" I ask, and beside me she laughs out loud,
"There's a whole world out there!" As then, wing outstretched to paw, we race together out into the sunshine and a million other stories.