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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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Latanna had a tendency to lay out bait for him, little barbs or peeks at her more typical-Kingman worldview she knew would set fire to his blood and get him to bite not unlike a fisherman casting a line. Or perhaps a schoolboy tugging on a girl's pigtails unsure how else to get her attention, given how often she seemed to be after a response of some kind. Maybe she just got a kick out of pissing him off. It had been Latannas and their ilk that committed genocide against his ancestors and even today tried to erase everything about their culture. That the Navajo language and people still existed was probably an unforgivable affront to some. "Five Civilised Tribes" was rich coming from the people who had raped and murdered and burnt until almost nothing was left of this land's true owners.

His thumb pressed hard against the base of his pencil, almost hard enough to snap the instrument in half. Not now, Roderick, keep your head in the game, he told himself. He couldn't afford to snap at someone so close to his day of redemption. He couldn't give Latanna the satisfaction this time, even if she knew exactly what would set him off. It was probably just his nerves and all the stress recently, all the expectations being placed on his shoulders. He wasn't a rampaging monster after all. They were discussing and writing about history, objective facts. What had happened had happened.

He would be training today, that would let him dispel the flash of anger that caused the buzzing in his head and blurred the words on the paper before him. He reminded himself of the fact, sent a little "I heard that" sort of grunt Latanna's way, continued his work. What was there to say on this front they hadn't said to each other tens of times before anyway?

The buzzing continued and continued and continued not unlike machine guns at the Somme. Then he looked up.

It was not his head but his phone, left on the table and set to vibrate. The number on the screen made his expression somewhat resemble a deer about to catch a semi-truck going a hundred miles an hour right to the face. Why now? People knew when he was and wasn't available. It went to voicemail and he knew he'd have to call back soon.

No sound existed in the world. He stared at his phone for a few long seconds as if mortified, then slowly brought his gaze back to his study partners. Startled, embarrassed, apologetic.

"I'm going to have to take that, sorry," he volunteered while packing all his things away again, hurried but efficient movements clearing his space. Amateur mistake, Roderick Kanuho. Screw up like that at Prescott and you're done. "Don't worry, I'll get my essay done. Let's meet up later?"

Their responses, whatever they were, got a little nod but not much else. Everything was gone, phone was in hand, he pushed the seat back in once he stood. He turned to go, took one last look over his shoulder.

"If either of you'd like to go, I think the team's still giving out tickets for the tournament. And hey, let me know if you change your minds on the whole dance thing."

He was off in the space of a thought, almost before words could be comprehended. Just a little note for two people who, like himself, seemed like they really needed to take their noses away from the grindstone and get a little fresh air, just every now and then.

((Continued elsewhere))
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


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16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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