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Getting to Know You

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Hi Dad!

OH MY GOD YOU DON'T HAVE TO TEXT ME EVERY FIVE MINUTES. Seriously. I have classes. This is part of what college is for, okay? Me not answering for a half hour does not mean I'm dead and if you call the cops on me I will be SO MAD. Chill out and go bug Mom or something.

The room is fine. It's a dorm room, it's not exciting, it's a big square box with two loft beds with desks underneath. Nothing's rotten, there's no bloodstains, I'm pretty sure it's not haunted, there are no indications that demonic rituals were held here and my computer is working like a boring computer should and isn't at all acting like an evil force is possessing it. I am totally not going to find a young priest and an old priest and exorcising it. I don't even know where to find priests. Altho there's probably one in the interfaith chapel. But I'm still not exorcising my room.

Mr Bun is hiding under my pillow. I don't quite trust Hobbes not to start roaming the halls while I'm asleep. How did you stop him from doing that?

I think I'm going to have a hard time with Math and English, because Math is hard and so far my English teacher is like Grandad on a bullshit tear EXCEPT HE'S SERIOUS so I'm gonna have a hard time not heckling him from the front row.

I think my new roommate's dad is a supervillain. Or used to be a supervillain. I am almost a hundred percent sure I heard her mom talk about having a lipstick taser. Her name's Edith, she's got a this knit hat welded to her head. She warned me that if I touched her stuff it might explode or poison me. I warned her that if she touched my stuff she might be attacked on the astral plane and driven mad by an angry rabbit spirit and have all her electronics break (did Grandad ever get that computer to work again?) and generally have more bad luck than ten broken mirrors.

Then we sort of nodded at each other. I like her music. She likes that I'm willing to share my mini-fridge. I think we can do this.


Love love love



MAKE DAD RELAX. I am afraid I am going to wake up and find him outside my door because he had a bad dream about me being attacked by crows and couldn't stand not to drive all the way here to check on me. I'm FINE. I will be fine!

Classes are okay. My roommate is kind of weird, though. When she mentioned about all her stuff being booby-trapped with explosives she seemed serious, and she seemed to take my threats of astral plane retribution for messing with my stuff seriously. On the other hand it looks like we understand each other on that front, so I guess it doesn't matter if she's weird as long as we can agree on common standards of behaviour.

She's Edith, like I told Dad. She's the middle of two sisters and has a LOT of family photos. Like, a lot. She's kind of decorated her half of the room up beside her bed with them. I'm pretty sure she's adopted, because she and her sisters look kinda alike but neither of them looks like their mom or dad at ALL, but I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of thing you just ask somebody.

I think she's hiding a sword under her mattress. I don't get a serial killer vibe (and DON'T TELL DAD) so I'm not worried, but I'm pretty sure that's not allowed and she's going to get in trouble with the RA. But that's totally not my problem.

The frying pan fits great beside the mattress and doesn't need as much room to swing anyway.

. . . Seriously Dad just texted me AGAIN can you PLEASE calm him down? I know I was really hard to conceive and everything, but right now I really wish you'd had another baby so Dad would have something to distract him.

I'll call you tomorrow. I'm totally fine for money.

Kisses, B. XXXX


margo: u settled in ok?

edith: your text-speak still hurts me. like, physically.

margo: OK fine, YOU settled in ok?

edith: totally fine. the transmitters are all set up, the secure server's running and all the guard traps are set. and nobody caught me bringing in my sword and now it's got the cloaking device on. how's agnes?

margo: I may never forgive you for wanting to go to university. seriously it is like non-stop waterworks here.

edith: I bet mom could make THEM pay for therapy if she threatened to write a tell-all memoir again. or if agnes threatened to write one.

margo: you are such a pain.

edith: separation anxiety is something we all have to deal with sometime. besides, you're at home again. because you HAVEN'T gotten back together with jerkface. because if you did I'd have to hop a plane and come slice him up. right?

margo: no, I'm not even taking his phone calls but no, you're not slicing anyone up. how's your roommate?

edith: I can't tell if she's got a really dry sense of humour, if she's crazy, or if she actually thinks her ugly-ass raggedy stuffed animals are fetish bundles with magical powers.

margo: wow.

edith: kinda leaning towards the last one actually because I think I walked in on her talking to them last night.

margo: you know she might be right. I mean we never isolated the source of the weird phenomenon in the Rochester haunted house.

edith: her dad texts her all the time. ALL THE TIME. she keeps threatening to turn her phone off.

margo: dad would totally text you all the time if he couldn't monitor your biostats from the lab.

edith: have the minions fixed my bike yet?

margo: first years aren't allowed to have motorized vehicles.

edith: why have cloaking devices if I can't use them? anyway, it's class time.

margo: CALL AGNES.

edith: yeah, yeah.


"No," Susie said, without even looking up from the file on her desk. She didn't have to look up. She knew what Calvin's face would look like, arrested in the motion of opening his mouth, one hand on the doorframe and now a betrayed expression blossoming across his face.

"But her roommate's dad is a supervillain!" Calvin wailed.

"I'm going to get you a dog," Susie told him, still not looking up. "And it's going to be your job to turn it into an international agility star because God knows, you need something to do that isn't worrying about your daughter."

"But - "


"But -!"



With a sigh, Susie reached down to her bottom drawer and pulled out her supply of paperclips. Calvin fled before she'd even shot ten of them at his face.


At ten o'clock, Lucy brought Agnes some hot chocolate so thick you could have drizzled it on ice cream and called it sauce. She sat down on the bed beside her daughter and handed her what looked like a perfectly ordinary iPhone.

"I made an app," she confided, leaning in to wink conspiratorially as Agnes let it scan her retinas. "It's linked into the monitors down in the lab. It'll let you see where Edith is and what her heart rate's like and whether she's bleeding internally or has any open wounds. I thought it might make you feel a bit, you know, less anxious."

Agnes tried for a brave smile. "Thanks," she said. Then she leaned her head on Lucy's shoulder. "We've never been apart for more than a couple weeks before."

Lucy stroked her daughter's hair and said, "It'll be okay, honey," because honestly sometimes that's all moms could say - and, for that matter, what kids really wanted. "Besides, you know Edith can kill anything that threatens her, so the worst that'll happen is we have to send some minions for her stuff."