MISC: The Girl Who Saved the World Part 55

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Thu Dec 29 22:19:55 PST 2016

The cats like regular warm lunches. Careful examination of the tails 
indicated that they were probably spending most of their time hunting in 
the fields and bringing dinner home. I sat with my legs over the edge of 
the perch, dropped a cat treat on each side, and waited not for very 
long. Soon I had a large cat leaned up on each side of me, both of them 
rubbing their heads against my arms as they waited for me to give them 
more treats or better yet a good combing. That went on for a solid 20 
minutes, at the end of which I was out of treats, the curry comb had 
been cleaned several times, and they were both purring loudly.

At the sound of horse’s hooves, I clambered back down the stairs.Usually 
I would just lean forward and rotate one-handed off the ledge.It was 
just seven feet, enough so I’d barely flex my knees when I landed. Not 
today, thank you; I was too beaten up.A horse’s lips nuzzled my hair. I 
pivoted happily. “Oh, Daffodil, you’ve really missed me, haven’t you?” A 
second Appaloosa came into the barn. “You, too, Snapdragon.” The horses 
really loved being hugged, especially at the same time, but my right arm 
was not going to cooperate. Not today.And only in late spring would the 
Golden Smoke daffodils and Peaches and Cream snapdragons make their 
appearance, their colors matching my ponies. I produced from the bag a 
pair of MacIntosh apples, and dropped them toward the newly-cleaned barn 
floor.The ponies greedily gobbled them up, and repeated when I gave them 
another pair of apples.I did hold the maple sugar in my hands, 
carefully. Daffodil and Snapdragon waited patiently for their 
combing.They also got a careful check of their hooves.There were no 
stones, no signs of other issues. Vigorous scratches behind their ears 
were clearly appreciated. “You want me to ride you, don’t you?” I asked. 
“I’m really sorry, but you’re both going to have to wait.”

What else needed doing? A slow walk around the house and barn, slow 
being the fastest I could manage, showed no weather damage, no sign of 
people attempting to force entry, no mark of anything else unusual. 
Keeping an eye open for approaching cars, I walked out to the mailbox, 
slipped open the rear door of the hopper, and pulled out everything that 
had been delivered in the past week. The nice thing about a hopper type 
mailbox is that the post man drops things in the front end, but has no 
way to tell how often the mail is being picked up. What did I find? 
Newsmagazines. Advertising. Three new bank statements. All of my bills 
were on automatic payment, so as few people as possible ever saw one of 
my checks. I realized I’d been out dealing with the barn and the cats 
and the ponies for several hours now. I don’t usually need nearly that 
long, but until arm and ribs recovered I was going to be a bit slow.

I left my barn cleaning shoes in the box at the back door, my barn 
cleaning clothes in the back closet, dropped all the mail on my desk, 
and went back to my room to shower and change. I’m sure if anyone else 
had been around they would’ve agreed I had a distinct smell of horse. 
The hot water felt very good over various bruises and strains.

Finally I curled up with a book, a history of the Grand Tradesmasters of 
All Leviorkianu, many of whom were real characters, to put it mildly. 
Stanford Smith was by far the most pleasant and sensible of the lot. He 
had made a vast number of westerns, films whose location is in dispute 
between Utah and Mongolia, and the esoteric, substantially 
incomprehensible motion picture /Casablanca,/ which is still said to be 
one of the greatest films made in the last several thousand years.//The 
history listed all the books that had attempted to interpret a scene at 
the end of the book, in which the Inspector throws a bottle of water 
into a trash can. The scene is so brilliant that no one can understand 
it. Smith was the sort of person you would like as an older friend, if 
he hadn’t died a couple thousand years ago.My den had a very comfortable 
sofa, and I had a warm blanket.At some point, several cups of tea later, 
I drifted off to sleep for half the afternoon, waking when I was 
ravenously hungry.Grilled steak, salad, and rice mixed with artichoke 
hearts and pine nuts and simmered in chicken broth, did quite nicely.The 
healing matrix insisted I break out more ice cream.It was burning 
through calories like mad to do repairs, and I had to eat enough to 
catch up.

Uncomfortable or not, I made a list of all the things I had to start 
doing. Living by yourself is a real chore.Schoolwork.Housework.Home 
improvement. Exercise.Okay, serious exercise waits until my ribs and 
shoulder finish reassembling. At some point, after I am completely 
recovered, I need to work up my nerve enough to deal with the 
Namestone.I had done the Maze, and now I had second thoughts about the 
next step. Yes, the Namestone was perfectly safe, sealed behind a 
quarter inch of Impervium, but in the end I have to deal with it.I 
really did have to finish healing first.I have to eb sure that I deal 
with it, and not it deals with me. First, I have to recover from several 
hand to hand fights, gifts carefully suppressed, followed by the League 
Elite Strike Team and the Screaming Skull vigorously trying to kill me.

It wasn’t that late in the day, the sun not yet approaching the winter 
horizon, and Medico spoke up for more moderate physical activity. I 
walked back and forth between the work shed and the family room, on each 
trip carrying a single bookshelf, painted two weeks ago, the enamel now 
being cleanly cured. Carrying a shelf under each arm was just out until 
my shoulder finished healing, and mounting the shelves one-armed would 
be tedious, but I could at least get the shelves into the right room. A 
solid hour took care of that chore.

Finally, it was time for real studying. Chemistry and astronomy were on 
the list for tonight.I felt terrible, but when I really focused deeply 
on what I was reading the pain faded. Chemistry and astronomy are fun. 
Up on the screen came my chemistry reading.A side panel reminded me 
about the classes I was neglecting.The answer appeared to be all the 
science, math, rhetoric,…everything except the topics I had crammed to 
prepare myself for the Maze. The good part: If I’d gone to a public 
school and taken a three month vacation ever year, that being no more 
than the three months Id skipped while cramming,  I’d be incredibly far 
behind where I am. The bad part: Studying is something you tend to 
forget how to do. I would be slow for a few days yet, but then there 
would be serious catch-up.Nonetheless, a while to settle down, and then 
I sort of forgot how uncomfortable I was in favor of the periodic table 
of the normal elements, and the electron orbits that made the table the 
way it was. After an hour and a half Medico interrupted, to announce 
that it was my still-early bed-time.I did what it told me to do and went 
to bed. Well, I did after fifteen minutes of peeking at the lesson for 
astronomy, this being the extended chapter on archeological explorations 
of the planets, moons, asteroids, and Kuiper bodies, much of which made 
no sense. It was only fifteen minutes, with Medico grumbling behind my 
back that I should go to bed. Yes, I have flown to some of the ruins 
myself, and I can’t explain them either.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.eyrie.org/pipermail/racc/attachments/20161229/13e7db43/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the racc mailing list