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Viewing Single Post From: Sing A Song Of Sixpence
General Goose
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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Ah.

The sweet gratification of a sore overreaction. Bradley revelled in it. It was not out of sadism, no. Bradley never wanted to inflict distress or actual harm. No. He saw himself as more of a crusader, against oversensitivity and whining demands for mollycoddling. A character-builder. A champion against the stifling prudishness of political correctness. It was almost idealistic at times, though Bradley was not so egotistical to fully buy into that self-righteous crap.

No. He gained enjoyment out of it. That wonderfully intoxicating cocktail of catharsis, self-satisfaction, and vainglorious thrill that always accompanied a successful provocation was almost addicting. Bradley heartily believed that. It was a rush, a wave of adrenaline coursing through his veins, an excitement at so thoroughly revealing the true thin-skinned nature of his fellow student.

And it was harmless, really. Aiden's beaky nose wasn't an inch out of shape. Nah. He was just flustered. Offended. And so what? He'd be fine. Maybe stronger out of this whole experience. And yes, Bradley gained a LOT of fun out of this, but it was all harmless, really. A bit boisterous, yeah, but Bradley was ultimately harmless.

If only Aiden appreciated that.

Eh, best he didn't. Otherwise, Bradley wouldn't be developing this brilliant memory.

It was almost endearing how he tried to enforce restraint, how Aiden tried not to rise to Bradley's expert gadfly tactics. He was shaking, and trying with admirably futile determination to try to stop it. Guy was like a volcano on the verge of erupting. It was bloody hilarious. If Aiden were forty years older, Bradley'd be a bit worried the guy was on a verge of a heart attack, so tumultuous was his shaking and so volatile his current state. Any observer would quickly deduce that, once again, Bradley had worked his magic, oh so wonderfully.

And of course, he had to speak.

His words were like music to Bradley's ears.

Yet Bradley remained stoic. Now was not the time for gloating. No. Now was the time for mastery. Patience was a virtue Bradley much admired, as was self-restraint. He resisted the urge to chime in with a cutting remark in every pause in Aiden's little tirade. He could have delivered some zingers, but the opportunities lost were prohibitive. No. He would be slow. Methodical. Utilise timing, the comedian's greatest weapon.

He waited until Aiden had finished, and from the way his lips curved ever so slightly, from the little hint of glee in his voice, it was apparent his current mood of calm respect was but a facade. A comedic device, if you will. Bradley did not give Aiden any explicit reason to be angry in the first sentence he spoke. But there was an awkwardness to it that betrayed it was but a setup, to a far crueller punchline.

"Yeah, we wouldn't want you doing anything you might regret."

He could not resist the smile.

"Your family wouldn't like that."
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Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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Sing A Song Of Sixpence · Memories from the Past