Chapter 6:

Tuesday Part 6 (Rebuilt from the ground up and improved in order to not be too absolutely garbage)

Jolly Good, My Dear Jimothy-Kun

- Hey Morris…Bookmark here

My friend speaks as bristles scratch a pattered floor. I sweep broken ceramic into a pile. Bookmark here

- …I have a friend I’ve been worried about recently.Bookmark here

I look up to the green eyes of Jimothy—them leaning against the counter. He blinks; I blink; and then I speak:Bookmark here

- A friend? Who is it?Bookmark here

- Well, it’s less of a friend and more of an acquaintance.Bookmark here

- Never mind that. Says I, breathing. Their name?Bookmark here

Jimothy rustles their hair, blonde and tall; they look up at the blank ceiling and blink. Bookmark here

- Gary.Bookmark here

A voice echoes at the tip of my tongue. Reverberation. It rings at the edge of my mind. An itch of familiarity. My back all but tingles a hazy thought. Pins and needles: uncomfortable. I readjust my seating. Pinching by the collar, I pull over my obsidian suit. Hair in the way; I brush it aside. Washing over the mess: tide of broom. And wipes it does, the sandy horizon anew.Bookmark here

An imaginative thinker. Yes, that I am. Talent wasted: I stand still, broom held close. My oak boots—distant from the dirtied pottery—step back, furthering me from the pile. Bookmark here

I let go of the broom with one hand and try to scratch my back; but reach I cannot.Bookmark here

- What does this Gary need help with? I ask, taking back the broom’s hold. Bookmark here

My friend folds his arms.Bookmark here

- You’re a teacher still, right?Bookmark here

- What do you mean still?Bookmark here

- You’re good at helping people, I mean.Bookmark here

- Depends, wavers I, what do they need help with? Bookmark here

Jimothy interlocks his fingers; and with a soft sombre, he speaks.Bookmark here

- At the moment, they’re likely going through some tough times. He fidgets his fingers and adds on, could you help them out?Bookmark here

- Well. I take in a long, deep breath, if this is what I think it is, I don’t think I can help.Bookmark here

My friend lulls their eyes a low, sinking into the counter. Opening his mouth, he stops, promptly closing it and opening it again.Bookmark here

- Oh.Bookmark here

I sweep some more. Jimothy blinks. Resting his head sideways, he averts his eyes. The pile of shards spread out. I look down at it, tapping my finger on the broom.Bookmark here

- Hey, so, he speaks up, do you not think you could try?Bookmark here

- Afraid not, unfortunately.Bookmark here

- I see... droops Jimothy, well, it’s best to ask, I guess… Bookmark here

A thought leaps out. My eyes widen.Bookmark here

- Oh!Bookmark here

Jimothy jumps up, cat spiking in flare. Hiding a chuckle, I speak:Bookmark here

- I might be able to talk to a colleague—Bookmark here

- Really?! Echidna slams the table.Bookmark here

- Y-yes—but I am unable to promise anything, so keep that in mind.Bookmark here

- It’d be a great help—honestly.Bookmark here

- Well, what am I here for: to not help?Bookmark here

His sharp hair lets down and softens in light. Closing his eyes, he takes a deep breath and opens his sight again. Jimothy shrivels his lips: and with golden glee he bursts out in roar.Bookmark here

- Hahahah! Not wrong there; no, not at all!Bookmark here

- Do I look wrong? I seem very correct, from my angle.Bookmark here

- What, a right angle? He asks mathematically.Bookmark here

I avert my eyes and scoff.Bookmark here

- Just because you are correct, I point my finger, does not mean you are right.Bookmark here

Jimothy-kun perks up. Unlocking his fingers, he sifts through his heads forest.Bookmark here

- Fate tells me I am.Bookmark here

- Lies. My finger points once more.Bookmark here

- Lies you say?Bookmark here

- Yes, lies indeed.Bookmark here

- On what grounds? He pushes my finger away.Bookmark here

- The same as you.Bookmark here

- Which?Bookmark here

- Fate.Bookmark here

- Ah, proof by contradiction. Bookmark here

- I was never good at maths.Bookmark here

- And that’s where the two of us stray—right James?Bookmark here

- Righty so, Jimothy-kun.Bookmark here

My friend walks over to a cabinet, affixed above the sink, and pulls out a silver cup.Bookmark here

- What’s this fate of yours then? He asks, waving around the grail-like thing.Bookmark here

- Unlimited.Bookmark here

Cracking a smile, Jimothy-kun burbles a cackle in cheerful chorus. Caws in laughter given flight.Bookmark here

- I disagree, says he, placing the grail back.Bookmark here

- What for?Bookmark here

- Well, it’s not unlimited.Bookmark here

- Not unlimited?Bookmark here

- Not in the slightest.Bookmark here

- Then?Bookmark here

- Quite simple, James.Bookmark here

- Humour me.Bookmark here

- I will.Bookmark here

- One minus one.Bookmark here

- Fate/Zero.Bookmark here

- Correct.Bookmark here

Putting their hand to their chin, Jimothy-kun stops for a moment.Bookmark here

- Actually, that reminds me: what time are you staying to?Bookmark here

- Where did this come from?Bookmark here

- Stay night.Bookmark here

- No.Bookmark here

I chuckle and continue.Bookmark here

- In all seriousness, likely to around 8... or 5 if you don’t wish me to stay for tea.Bookmark here

- You have tea at 5?Bookmark here

- Rounded it down a bit. I add. You like maths do you not?Bookmark here

Jimothy-kun holds his chin; his fingers point out to make a right-angle. Correct.Bookmark here

- It’s usually 6 or 7 for me, he tells me.Bookmark here

- Seems a bit late in the day; do you not get hungry?Bookmark here

- I often wake up late.Bookmark here

- What time would you call late?Bookmark here

- 10?Bookmark here

- Dear goodness!Bookmark here

- It’s not that bad, is it?Bookmark here

- I mean keep in mind, I get up a bit before 6. What time do you work at?Bookmark here

- Oh, workdays? I wake up at around 6 then.Bookmark here

- So, you wake up at 10 on weekends and the like?Bookmark here

- I would say so.Bookmark here

- Would say so?Bookmark here

- Well, I did say on workdays.Bookmark here

- For 10 or 6?Bookmark here

- 6.Bookmark here

- 7.Bookmark here

- Huh?Bookmark here

- Don’t go huh, you were supposed to say 8.Bookmark here

- Why?Bookmark here

- We were counting.Bookmark here

- Counting what?Bookmark here

- Numbers.Bookmark here

- Ah, why that makes all the difference.Bookmark here

- Thank yo—Bookmark here

- I was joking.Bookmark here

- So was I.Bookmark here

- Which part?Bookmark here

- Both the numbers part and the thank you part.Bookmark here

- No, the numbers part was a joke. The other was sarcasm.Bookmark here

- To add onto this list of questions answering questions, what’s this other thing you speak of?Bookmark here

- The thank you.Bookmark here

- You’re welcome.Bookmark here

- Apologise: you are frying my brain.Bookmark here

- GomenasorryBookmark here

- Arigathanks gozaimuch.Bookmark here

- No problem, desu.Bookmark here

Straightening my posture, I pull a straight face and take a deep breath.Bookmark here

I jump up.Bookmark here

- Nyah. I pose stupidly, like a catgirl. Bookmark here

Jimothy-kun, out of instinct, also poses stupidly—in his case menacingly.Bookmark here

Bizarre. Bookmark here

- Now that I realise it, likely not the smartest thing to do with broken pottery next to us, eh Jimothy-kun?Bookmark here

- Good point.Bookmark here

And so, unlike most isekai, we return from fantasy, dropping our silly stances to bring back the head of the demon lord. Suffocation. That gets me chuckling. Perhaps the demon lord was not dead after all. Indeed, suffocation by laughter.Bookmark here

Golden glee. Bookmark here

Or perhaps not golden; suffocation seems a tad too dark for that. Black and red instead then. Oh, but the alliteration is gone now. My how troubling. Then again edginess is less of a description and more of a lifestyle—the same lifestyle as wearing a fidget spinner for clothing.Bookmark here

Black and red glee.Bookmark here

Feels butchered—not with a cleaver of course. A rusty chainsaw. Black and red glee just does not roll off the tongue. Like a rusty chainsaw. Must hurt to have that on your tongue. Bookmark here

Ah, now I see! It must have been butchered with a stapler—like Arararagi.Bookmark here

- You alright there?Bookmark here

- Ye, Jimohy.Bookmark here

- You sure?Bookmark here

I hold my finger up and clear my throat.Bookmark here

- Yeah, just bit my tongue.Bookmark here

- No, it was on purpose.Bookmark here

- I stuttered.Bookmark here

- So, you didn’t bite your tongue then?Bookmark here

- No, I did.Bookmark here

- Then…Bookmark here

- I but flubbed my uttered stutter of buttery flutter. Bookmark here

- Buttery flutter?Bookmark here

- Yes.Bookmark here

- Are you going to elaborate? Jimothy brings over a dustpan.Bookmark here

- Yes.Bookmark here

- Now?Bookmark here

I clear my throat.Bookmark here

- Well, you see, I used a mix of consonance, assonance and overall rhyme through phonology to—Bookmark here

- Quiet you.Bookmark here

- Kyahaha! I sweep the broken pottery into the dustpan and breathe. In actuality, I could not think of anything else that rhymes with stutter.Bookmark here

- Fool.Bookmark here

I look up at Jimothy-kun.Bookmark here

- Is that blush that I see?Bookmark here

- Tsundere service.Bookmark here

- Cracking.Bookmark here

I bring myself up with the dustpan. Jimothy-kun points me to a proper looking bin. Same white as the rest of the kitchen. As always, sticking to theme. Bookmark here

I cast my sight left to the red tulip, sitting in the glass table’s vase. Bookmark here

I sneer and throw away the pottery. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Lifeless.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.