Jolly Good, My Dear Jimothy-Kun
- Hey Morris…
My friend speaks as bristles scratch a pattered floor. I sweep broken ceramic into a pile.
- …I have a friend I’ve been worried about recently.
I look up to the green eyes of Jimothy—them leaning against the counter. He blinks; I blink; and then I speak:
- A friend? Who is it?
- Well, it’s less of a friend and more of an acquaintance.
- Never mind that. Says I, breathing. Their name?
Jimothy rustles their hair, blonde and tall; they look up at the blank ceiling and blink.
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.
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.
I let go of the broom with one hand and try to scratch my back; but reach I cannot.
- What does this Gary need help with? I ask, taking back the broom’s hold.
My friend folds his arms.
- You’re a teacher still, right?
- What do you mean still?
- You’re good at helping people, I mean.
- Depends, wavers I, what do they need help with?
Jimothy interlocks his fingers; and with a soft sombre, he speaks.
- At the moment, they’re likely going through some tough times. He fidgets his fingers and adds on, could you help them out?
- Well. I take in a long, deep breath, if this is what I think it is, I don’t think I can help.
My friend lulls their eyes a low, sinking into the counter. Opening his mouth, he stops, promptly closing it and opening it again.
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.
- Hey, so, he speaks up, do you not think you could try?
- Afraid not, unfortunately.
- I see... droops Jimothy, well, it’s best to ask, I guess…
A thought leaps out. My eyes widen.
Jimothy jumps up, cat spiking in flare. Hiding a chuckle, I speak:
- I might be able to talk to a colleague—
- Really?! Echidna slams the table.
- Y-yes—but I am unable to promise anything, so keep that in mind.
- It’d be a great help—honestly.
- Well, what am I here for: to not help?
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.
- Hahahah! Not wrong there; no, not at all!
- Do I look wrong? I seem very correct, from my angle.
- What, a right angle? He asks mathematically.
I avert my eyes and scoff.
- Just because you are correct, I point my finger, does not mean you are right.
Jimothy-kun perks up. Unlocking his fingers, he sifts through his heads forest.
- Fate tells me I am.
- Lies. My finger points once more.
- Lies you say?
- Yes, lies indeed.
- On what grounds? He pushes my finger away.
- The same as you.
- Ah, proof by contradiction.
- I was never good at maths.
- And that’s where the two of us stray—right James?
- Righty so, Jimothy-kun.
My friend walks over to a cabinet, affixed above the sink, and pulls out a silver cup.
- What’s this fate of yours then? He asks, waving around the grail-like thing.
Cracking a smile, Jimothy-kun burbles a cackle in cheerful chorus. Caws in laughter given flight.
- I disagree, says he, placing the grail back.
- What for?
- Well, it’s not unlimited.
- Not unlimited?
- Not in the slightest.
- Quite simple, James.
- Humour me.
- I will.
- One minus one.
Putting their hand to their chin, Jimothy-kun stops for a moment.
- Actually, that reminds me: what time are you staying to?
- Where did this come from?
- Stay night.
I chuckle and continue.
- In all seriousness, likely to around 8... or 5 if you don’t wish me to stay for tea.
- You have tea at 5?
- Rounded it down a bit. I add. You like maths do you not?
Jimothy-kun holds his chin; his fingers point out to make a right-angle. Correct.
- It’s usually 6 or 7 for me, he tells me.
- Seems a bit late in the day; do you not get hungry?
- I often wake up late.
- What time would you call late?
- Dear goodness!
- It’s not that bad, is it?
- I mean keep in mind, I get up a bit before 6. What time do you work at?
- Oh, workdays? I wake up at around 6 then.
- So, you wake up at 10 on weekends and the like?
- I would say so.
- Would say so?
- Well, I did say on workdays.
- For 10 or 6?
- Don’t go huh, you were supposed to say 8.
- We were counting.
- Counting what?
- Ah, why that makes all the difference.
- Thank yo—
- I was joking.
- So was I.
- Which part?
- Both the numbers part and the thank you part.
- No, the numbers part was a joke. The other was sarcasm.
- To add onto this list of questions answering questions, what’s this other thing you speak of?
- The thank you.
- You’re welcome.
- Apologise: you are frying my brain.
- Arigathanks gozaimuch.
- No problem, desu.
Straightening my posture, I pull a straight face and take a deep breath.
I jump up.
- Nyah. I pose stupidly, like a catgirl.
Jimothy-kun, out of instinct, also poses stupidly—in his case menacingly.
- Now that I realise it, likely not the smartest thing to do with broken pottery next to us, eh Jimothy-kun?
- Good point.
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.
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.
Black and red glee.
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.
Ah, now I see! It must have been butchered with a stapler—like Arararagi.
- You alright there?
- Ye, Jimohy.
- You sure?
I hold my finger up and clear my throat.
- Yeah, just bit my tongue.
- No, it was on purpose.
- I stuttered.
- So, you didn’t bite your tongue then?
- No, I did.
- I but flubbed my uttered stutter of buttery flutter.
- Buttery flutter?
- Are you going to elaborate? Jimothy brings over a dustpan.
I clear my throat.
- Well, you see, I used a mix of consonance, assonance and overall rhyme through phonology to—
- Quiet you.
- Kyahaha! I sweep the broken pottery into the dustpan and breathe. In actuality, I could not think of anything else that rhymes with stutter.
I look up at Jimothy-kun.
- Is that blush that I see?
- Tsundere service.
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.
I cast my sight left to the red tulip, sitting in the glass table’s vase.
I sneer and throw away the pottery.