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The Library Is The Power House Of The Student; open
Topic Started: May 25 2016, 01:03 PM (960 Views)
frogue
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
[Georgia Lee Day continued from Go Home, Georgia Lee]

People were yelling in the library. It wasn't even that people weren't trying to be quiet, which in and of itself was frankly inconsiderate. People were actually trying to be louder. They were going out of their way to disturb their fellow students. They sat, in a peaceful, quiet space meant for individual reading and silent study and thought, presumably "oh this is lovely, let's ruin it."

Georgia Lee glanced up from her book, Monsters of the Dark Continent: The Fauna of Africa, toward the source of the racket. It was a girl, tall, whom she recognized from the year above her, though she couldn't think of her name. Naturally she was the height of a small building, and naturally she weighed about as much as Georgia Lee's book. Perhaps she'd met Fiyori, shopping for clothes at whatever shop sold clothes for NBA players, and they'd swapped tips on how best to aggravate Georgia Lee. Perhaps when one gets to a certain height and a certain skinniness, it just became too hard to get blood to the part of the brain that made one considerate.

Georgia Lee leafed through her book briefly, to see if she was anywhere near the section on Giraffes. She wasn't, and Georgia Lee was loath to skip ahead. A pity, she thought. It would be interesting to see whether Giraffes were also thoughtless and horrible toward their peers.

The tall girl was talking to someone now. Just to really make sure that person was thoroughly disturbed, no doubt. Why take the chance that her shrieking hadn't completely derailed everyone's train of thought, after all. At least the girl was thorough in her commitment to ruining the study space for everyone else, Georgia Lee supposed.

She debated whether to say anything. On principle she should, she knew, but it had not, in past, worked well for her. Getting into some argument with this girl would not aid her study in any way, and would only distract her further. Not to mention, it'd give her and Fiyori something to talk about when they were grazing on the leaves of trees together, or... doing whatever else it was that Giraffes did. Being mascots for Toys 'R Us. Giving birth to enormous young. That sort of thing.

No, it was best to keep to herself in this, Georgia Lee decided. She settled for simply giving the girl the dirtiest of dirty looks and then returned to her study, trying to focus herself. If the girl felt the need to be distracting others, it was no doubt because she herself was failing, and wanted to drag her peers down with her. Georgia Lee refused to take the bait.
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frogue
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Georgia Lee returned to her book, fanning the pages along the spine, as one would a deck of cards, feeling the gaps where pages had been torn out, like open wounds. She'd gone to the librarian after discovering the vandalism, outraged. There'd been only one another person who'd checked the book out before Georgia Lee, and she'd pointed to all the missing pages and demanded action, only to have been laughed at.

"You can thank Soaz for the missing pages," she'd been told.

"Suez?" It wasn't a name that was familiar to Georgia Lee. It certainly wasn't the one written neatly in the index card of the book, listing everyone who'd checked the book out. Some student who simply tore pages out of books without even getting the book out? It seemed so much worse, somehow.

"SoAZ. The State of Arizona. People donate these books, y'know, but when they're illustrated, sometimes it isn't appropriate for students. This one there were people in, ahh, a state of nature. Naked, y'know. But it's a beautiful book, very old, so we don't want to just throw it away. The pages get taken out, the book goes back onto the shelf, and..." The librarian had shrugged, seeming sheepish.

Georgia Lee hadn't been quite sure how to react to that. It was a beautiful book, but that seemed to her like all the more reason not to destroy it. Better, surely, for it to be elsewhere whole than in the library in pieces. She wondered what had happened to the pieces. Perhaps one of the janitors had found them. Perhaps they were holding them now, and they were right at this moment wishing for the book that they fit into.

Probably not, she decided.

Her focus went back to the page. It was yellowed and the font was small and delicate, making it hard to read, but at the moment she wanted to be distracted. She needed something to absorb her, to stop her from snapping at the tallest land mammal in the world.

"In the evening of the eighteenth day, we came across the city of the apes. Here the trees were packed more densely with the beasts than any London thoroughfare, and both my companion and myself and myself were quite taken aback at the many sets of eyes that we found alighting upon ourselves. Abasi, who by that time had taken the role of our chief guide, sensed our discomfort and set to put us at ease.

"Worry not, my friends. These creatures do not seek your harm. Theirs is the way of peace, and if you do not disturb them, they shall not disturb you."

We were heartened at this, and - "


A cackle, like a cartoon witch, interrupted Georgia Lee's reading. She looked up and yes, there she was. Fiyori Senay. A human praying mantis, but worse. At least with a praying mantis, when it bit your head off you first got to... no, that was vulgar. Georgia Lee dismissed the thought.

It seemed inappropriate that Fiyori could enter the library silently. There should have been thunder rolling, Georgia Lee thought. Birds dropping dead from the sky, wolves howling and babies screaming. Ride of the Valkyries playing, perhaps, or the evil song from Star Wars. Maybe her shrieking little laugh was Fiyori's way of letting everyone know they were in the presence of the devil. She was doing people a favour, perhaps. Georgia Lee tried to put the giant insect out of her mind.

Then she laughed again.

Georgia Lee looked up, and her eyes met Fiyori's compound ones, looking almost human behind her thick glasses. Georgia Lee blinked first, and hated herself for it. Why was Fiyori looking at her? Was it Georgia Lee that the other girl had been laughing at? She couldn't see what it was she was doing that would amuse the other girl. Perhaps for someone like that, the sight of someone actually studying was so novel that it provoked laughter. They said simple things pleased simple minds, after all, and Georgia Lee couldn't help but notice the complete absence of books in Fiyori's vicinity. But no, there were plenty of others reading in the room, so why it was her that Fiyori's gaze was fixed on her?

It was making Georgia Lee uncomfortable.

She closed the book, marking her page with a bookmark decorated with dancing puffins. Georgia Lee loved puffins. The book was precious to her, somehow, and the idea of having Fiyori coming and mocking it repelled her. She slipped it back into her bag, opening a physics textbook infront of her, instead. Another glance at Fiyori confirmed that yes, the other girl was still staring at her. Well, Georgia Lee would let her stare. Perhaps Fiyori might learn what actual study looked like.

Embracing her newfound role as rolemodel, Georgia Lee turned her thoughts to her study.
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frogue
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Fiyori was up in her face. The girl was so close that Georgia Lee could see herself clearly reflected in those enormous, coke-bottle glasses. The eyes behind them were cold, and malice almost seemed to shine out of those storm-coloured pupils, as if they were little evil torches. Georgia Lee stared back into them, trying to hide her annoyance. She could feel her hands trembling, and so she grabbed her bag and pulled it onto her lap, so as to bring them out of sight. It was clear that all Fiyori wanted was to get under her skin, and Georgia Lee didn't want to give her the satisfaction.

What was it about her that made people want to hurt her? There must've been something, for it'd been happening all of Georgia Lee's life. When she was young, her sisters had mocked her for being weak, for being dependent on their parents, for being devoid of talent or accomplishment. She'd treated that like a checklist, and fixed every one of those faults. She'd become perfect, and how did people respond? Now they insulted her for working too hard, for being too talented, too accomplished. Her success scared people: it made them look at themselves, and see how little they'd done, and how much they'd squandered their gifts and their time.

Still, plenty of the student body was weak and was talentless, and nobody seemed to rub their faces in it. There were other students who worked hard too, and who did well too, and Georgia Lee was sure that they were able to sit down to read for five minutes without being harassed. No, there was something about her, it would seem, that inspired this level of hatred from her peers. Some mannerism maybe, or perhaps a particular feature of her face. She was a magnet for resentment. She was a jar of honey, and people's petty insecurities swarmed about her like ugly, useless flies.

Of all the flies, Fiyori was by far the ugliest and most useless. Georgia Lee had asked about her, after their first encounter. Her grades were a joke, of course. A stoner too, of course, and probably a junkie as well. Georgia Lee glanced at the ridiculous billowy poncho that hung off of Fiyori's gangly frame, hiding the insides of her elbows. Why else would someone wear something like that? Perhaps it was some sort of drug-fueled mania that explained the girl's obsession with Georgia Lee too, because obsessed she clearly was.

The two of them couldn't be in a room together without Fiyori making some comment, trying to provoke Georgia Lee. All it would take was Fiyori setting her eyes on her for the giantess to lumber over and start picking on her. Presumably devoid of purpose and meaning in life, finding no appeal to studying or working hard or contributing meaningfully to her community, Fiyori Senay had instead made it her sole mission to aggravate Georgia Lee.

It wasn't fair. Georgia Lee wanted to scream at the girl, to shout in her face that she'd done nothing to her, that there was no reason for this, and to leave her alone. Of course that was exactly what Fiyori wanted, and Georgia Lee was perceptive enough to know that.

She could feel eyes on her. The other students in the library, watching her, waiting to see what she'd do. An audience for Fiyori's little show. Fiyori was grinning, her too-wide mouth splitting her face in half like a halloween pumpkin, her breath reeking of nicotine. Because of course it did. Georgia Lee breathed in, through her mouth.

Engaging Fiyori wasn't going to change anything. It wouldn't make it better, wouldn't make her stop. All it would do was encourage her, let her know that if she kept going, if she pushed a little harder, Georgia Lee would break. There was no way Georgia Lee was going to give her the satisfaction. Not in a million years, in a million libraries. Not if Fiyori interrupted the reading of every book Georgia Lee ever picked up.

She pushed the textbook away from her and stood, zipping up her bag. Georgia Lee was far from calm, but she had enough control of herself to at least passably fake it. She made sure her hands were steady, made sure her breathing was even, made sure she stood up straight. Lifting the strap of her bag onto her shoulder she looked Fiyori in the eye. Even with the girl's stooping, gargoyle-like posture, Georgia Lee still had to tilt her head back.

"Actually, I was just leaving." It was a lie, but she could study elsewhere. The library was her first choice, since it was the most peaceful, but there wouldn't be peace to be found here while Fiyori skulked about.

Still, there was no need to let that grotesque, hulking praying mantis know that she'd driven Georgia Lee off. Her little insect mind might have interpreted it as a victory, and that might have encouraged her, so Georgia Lee gave her a smile, crinkling her eyes to make it look genuine, and clasped the bicep of the girl's skeletal arm in a gesture of faux-friendship as she headed out.

She didn't spare her a backwards glance.

[Georgia Lee day, continued in Acid Rain]
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