166: Mail Calls

on February 27, 2008 in 06: A Period of Conflict

In Which Two Cuts Sooni Off

Once again, I had a nice gap between lunch and the rest of my Wednesday classes. I really thought about a nap, but then decided to finish the job I’d started during my last such long break on Monday.

“Hey, Two,” I said as we left the union. “Would you like to help me deliver my campaign letters?”

“Okay,” Two said.

“That’s a wonderful idea… I’ll see you guys at dinner, then,” Amaranth said, giving me a kiss on the forehead and then on the lips while Two received her accustomed tokens of affection from Steff.

When we got back to our room, I was startled to find two more of my grandmother’s letters waiting on my desk, along with the unfinished campaign letters.

Well, startled probably wasn’t the word. There was a moment I thought I’d been petrified.

“What the hell?” I asked, staring at the letters.

“I brought the mail up,” Two said. “You can get it Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I will get it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That’s fair.”

“Okay,” I said, wishing my heart would start beating again. For a moment, I thought my grandmother had actually started delivering her letters in person. I held them up. “Two, if I get any more of these, just have whoever’s on the desk vanish them.”

“Okay,” she said. “But… I can vanish paper.”

“You can?” I asked.

She nodded.

“Would you like me to vanish those?”

“Yes, please,” I said, handing them to her. For a moment I had a crazy image of her tipping her head back, opening her mouth extra wide and swallowing them. Instead, she just waved her hand over them and they dissolved into smoke.

“Thank you,” I said.

“Why did you not would like to read them?” she asked.

“Because there’s not going to be anything good in them,” I said.

“I thought they were letters from yourself,” she said.

I shook my head.

“Just make sure you vanish any more that show up,” I said. “Anyway, let’s get to work.”

I started quickly signing the bottoms of the letters and then passed them to Two to address, until we finished enough for our side of the hall, then I let her go deliver them while I finished up the rest.

A short time later, a letter slid under our door. Smiling at Two’s relentless completism, I went over to pick it up and saw that she had addressed it to both herself (with her name written in runes) and me.

I was standing close enough to the door that I clearly heard the sound of the next door over opening, and one of the Leighton twins saying, “Hey, what are you doing, messing around with our door?”

“I am not messing around with your door,” Two said. “I am putting letters under it. Could you please close it again? I have two more letters that I need to…”

I opened my door just as the Leightons’ slammed closed. I hurried up to Two to give her support, but she simply said “Thank you!”, crouched down, and slid the other two letters under the door. They came sliding out almost immediately, followed by another one, which was crumpled up.

Two was already on to the next door, absolutely untroubled.

“That’s real mature, guys,” I said through the door, picking up the letters.

“Dork!” the two girls said, not quite in concert.

“Seriously, did you guys go straight from fifth grade to college?”

“Who is that?” one of the twins said. “I’m looking out through the peephole and I can’t see anybody there.”

“Maybe she’s standing too close.”

“Maybe it’s one of the gnomes.”

“Or the kobold.”

“I am not that short,” I said.

“Hey! I hope you know we wiped our ass on that letter!” one of them said.

“Tara did that, actually,” (apparently) Sara said. “That was all her.”

“Only because you’re such a prissy little wuss about everything.”

“I am not a wuss!”

That was followed by a sound of impact and simultaneous exclamations of pain, and then what sounded like a miniature brawl.

It was no wonder they were in counseling. I shook my head and headed after Two.

“I was going to pick those up after I finished with the letters,” Two said, pointing at the discarded letters. “We’re not supposed to leave trash in the hallway.”

“This is actually Twyla’s letter,” I said, looking at the one that the Twins had apparently defaced. I held it by the edges, though there was no obvious sign they’d actually put it to the use Tara had claimed. “I’d really like to get it… well, a clean copy of it… to her, but I don’t think the Leightons are going to make that easy.”

“I can fix this,” Two said, taking it from me.

She concentrated on it, moving her lips in the silent recitation of a spell. The crinkles in the paper smoothed themselves out as she stared down at it, her forehead furrowed.

“There,” she said when it was once again completely flat. “It’s restored.”

“Thanks, Two,” I said. “Um, would that have cleaned anything off it?”

“Yes,” she said, nodding.

“That’s good,” I said. “Now I just have to figure out how to give it to her. I hardly ever see her around the hall.”

“You could put it in her mailbox,” Two said.

“That’s a good idea,” I said. “Unless the twins check the mail first. I guess I could put it in an envelope, though. If I had an envelope.”

“I have envelopes,” Two said. “Would you like me to do that?”

“Sure… wait, no,” I said, remembering the copy I’d made of Twyla’s angel drawing. This would be a good chance to get it to her. “Let’s do it together, after we get the rest of these delivered.”

“Okay,” Two said. “I did all of these doors so it’s only fair if you do the others, but I do not mind keeping you company.”

I smiled.

We started at Hazel and Honey’s door. Two crouched down and took the marker board off and started writing on it while I slid the letter underneath. She bent down and reattached the board. I stepped back so I could see what she’d written.

Hi, Hazel. How are you? Mack’s delivering campaign letters and I’m helping. Goodbye.

-Two.

After that, it felt like I was going into hostile territory. The next door down was Hissy and Belinda’s. I strongly considered skipping them, given the letter’s references to the events of the weekend, but Two prompted me to act when I stood frozen in front of the door.

“Mack, you’re supposed to be delivering letters,” she said.

“You’re right,” I said, taking a breath. I crouched and slid the letters under the door, quickly moving on to Sooni’s room, and then the nekos’.

I hadn’t even stooped down in front of the next door when it opened and Leda the swan maiden almost crashed into me on her way out of her darkened room. I stared at her, startled.

“What?” she said. She had bags under her eyes and her accent was thickened, making it sound like “vhat?”

I held out her and Rocky’s letters. She snatched them out of my hand without giving them a glance. Her eyes were fixed on me. She stood uncomfortably close, and it hurt my neck to look up at her.

Somehow, it didn’t occur to me until just that moment that I could step back.

“You are friends with Steff?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said, remembering how Steff’s problems had seemed to start after the encounter Dee had told me about. “What happ…”

“I don’t remember,” she said. “Tell him, neither does he.”

She slammed the door in my face. I stared at the wood, a strange fury building up inside me.

Steff claimed not to care how people referred to her, but the way she latched onto me thinking of her as a girl said otherwise. I wondered how much of her current problems could be chalked up to a world full of people who’d treat her as a freak or a confused guy… it sure couldn’t have helped things.

“Steff’s a she!” I yelled. “And what do you mean, you don’t remember?” There was no response. “Hey! I’m talking to you!”

The continuing silence infuriated me. I knocked on the door. Well, I pounded on it… kind of gently, though.

“Come on out here and say she’s a she!” I said. “Hey, I’m talking to you, you…” Words escaped me. “Stupid!”

The door opened, and I opened my mouth to give Leda a further piece of my mind… and choked on my words when I saw it was Rocky, with her sword out.

“Give me an excuse,” she said. She had the campaign letter in her other hand. “You think anybody’s going to vote for you? You may have some people fooled with your helpless little nerd act, but I know what you are.”

“Do you have any idea what Sooni is?” I countered.

She shut the door. I let out a frustrated grunt through my closed mouth. I was getting the sick, shaky feeling I seemed to get after violence, even though nothing had actually happened.

“Come on, Two,” I said. “Let’s go get Twyla’s letter taken care of.”

“But you have two more letters to deliver,” Two said.

“No, I don’t really feel like tempting fate any more today,” I said, since those letters belonged to Puddy and Mariel. “Let’s just do Twyla’s and call it a day.”

“Okay,” Two said, though she sounded slightly disappointed at the thought of leaving the task uncompleted.

“Well, I guess we could put theirs in their mailbox, too,” I said.

“Okay,” Two said, more sincerely.

That was probably a better idea. My days of trying to please Puddy were over, but she might feel hurt if she thought I’d intentionally left her out, and that could lead to bad things. I wouldn’t kowtow to Puddy, but I wouldn’t do anything to provoke her if I could avoid it.

Two produced three envelopes when we got back to our room and started addressing them. I’d just planned on asking whoever was at the desk to put the letters in their mailbox, but she hummed as she filled them out so I let her do it.

“Don’t put a return address on Twyla’s,” I reminded her, after seeing her do the ones for Puddy and Mariel.

I scrawled a quick note on the bottom of Twyla’s campaign letter, explaining that I’d scribed off a copy of her picture in case she decided she wanted it later, then folded the picture and letter up and sealed them while Two did the other two.

We took them downstairs. Moeli the hobgoblin was on the desk again. Oru the goblin was sitting on the counter, picking cheese off a convenience store hamburger and talking to him when we approached. He put a hand almost as big as Oru’s head up to her when he saw me.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hi,” I said. “Um, I don’t mean to interrupt…”

“It’s okay,” he said. “You got some mail to go out? I can put postage on it for you.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “It’s actually intra-campus.”

I handed him the envelopes. He looked at them, then looked at me.

“These are all on your floor,” he said. “Can’t you just stick them under a door or something?”

“Could you please just take care of it for me?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said. “I’ll do it now.”

He lumbered off behind the row of mailboxes. I gave Oru a shy smile.

“Hi,” she said, a little snippily.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi!” Two said.

“You know,” Moeli said, returning to the counter, “if you ever do have any outgoing mail, if you make sure you come by when I’m on duty I can totally take care of the postage.”

“I don’t think you’re supposed to do that,” Two said.

“Thanks, Moeli, really,” I said. “But there’s absolutely nobody I’d want to write to.”

“Not even your pen pal with the red envelopes?”

“Especially not her,” I said.

Oru was glaring at me.

“Come on, Two,” I said.

“Tonight is bingo night,” Two reminded me on the way back up the stairs. “My friend Hazel is going and her cousin Honey might, too. Do you think you will go?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “We’ll have to see how I feel.”

“Do you mean because of your period or because you do not like bingo?”

I smiled.

“Bingo’s okay,” I said. “It’s just not my favorite thing. I’ll think about it. Ask me at dinner.”

“Okay,” Two said.

When we got back upstairs, I received yet another shock: Sooni was hammering furiously on my door.

“Um… can I help you?” I asked.

She turned on me, her face a snarling mask.

“Just what is the meaning of this?” she demanded, the letter clutched in her hand.

“It’s my campaign letter,” I said.

“Hi, Sooni,” Two said.

“How dare you insult me like this?”

“I gave one to everybody,” I said, thinking she must have thought I’d singled her out or something.

She stomped her sandaled foot. I jumped, feeling an odd tingle for some reason.

“Well,” she said, “you had best start getting them back before anybody else reads them!”

“When somebody says ‘hi’, you’re supposed to say ‘hi’, back,” Two said.

“What exactly do you object to in my letters?” I asked Sooni.

“I’m not giving you any more cookies if you won’t say ‘hi’.”

“You should probably let it go, Two,” I said.

“Listen to what you wrote!” Sooni said. She began to read, tossing her head back and forth and speaking in a mocking sing-song. “‘I hope that you all will vote for the candidate you think will do the best job, not the one who is the more socially acceptable race.'”

She finished and glared at me, a triumphant smirk on her face as if she dared me to deny I’d written such damning words.

“Uh, yeah?” I said. “So?”

I am the more socially acceptable race!” Sooni raged.

Was that some kind of insult, to her?

“In a lot of people’s minds, yeah,” I said.

“That means you think people should think you are the best candidate!”

I stared at her, trying to figure out where she was going… and eventually figured out she’d already arrived.

“Well, that’s why I’m running, Sooni,” I said. “Because I think I can do a better job than you.”

“Ooh… you take that back!” Sooni said, stomping again. I stared at her foot. She had such tiny, delicate feet and she wore such big, clunky sandals. She said something else. I started to form a reply and then I realized I hadn’t quite caught exactly what she’d said.

Did she paint her own toenails, or did one of the cats do it?

“You… aren’t… even… listening!”

“What?” I said, looking up just in time to get smacked in the face with a wave of green energy.


Tales of MU is now on Patreon! Help keep the story going!

Or if you particularly enjoyed this chapter, leave a tip!


Characters: , , , , , , , ,





7 Responses to “166: Mail Calls”

  1. BMeph says:

    C’mon, Sooni, could you keep it down a little?
    Mack’s trying to develop a foot fetish here, and you’re totally spoiling the mood… ;þ

    Current score: 7
  2. Brenda says:

    Ooohhh, here it comes…

    Current score: 1
    • Erm says:

      She. Here she comes.

      Current score: 2
      • Ryzndmon says:

        And the webby for best comment on an ongoing fiction series goes to Erm!

        Current score: 0
      • Leila says:

        I doubt she’ll come until after she realizes she’s turned on.

        Current score: 0
        • zeel says:

          She won’t realize she’s turned on untill the orgasms give it away…

          Current score: 0