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jamjar: (christmas!)
The Death of Rats pushed the parcel forward, tentatively. "Thank you," Susan said, making no move to touch it.

It squeaked at her and gestured with its scythe.


Susan had a very serviceable voice, a pleasant if unspectacular alto, and excellent rhythm. She could keep time and always, always knew the words, and had a good ear for wrong notes. Furthermore, she had a great deal of experience controlling small children.

This all explained why she loathed being called upon to take part in the annual Hogswatch carol service at the university. As big as the University choir was -and it encompassed several generations of wizards- the choir lacked any natural choirmaster, and had very few sopranos, with the exception of some of the younger students and the Bursar's rather good falsetto. Susan was called upon to fill in the gaps.

"And in the winter, comes the sno-ow..." she sang, bracing herself for the answering bass.

"Ook oook, ook oook."

"So all the children wrap up wa-arm,"

"Ook ook ook ook oook." The Librarian's voice rang out over the other wizards. Although the carol, "Little Children In The Snow (See how Blue Their Fingers Go!)" did not have a solo part, the Librarian clearly felt otherwise and had made his opinion very well known.

"No. It's bad enough that you get the words wrong," she told the Librarian. "And yes, I can tell, especially when it doesn't even scan. The rhythm is all wrong."

"Oook!"

Susan folded her arms and glared at him. "I don't care if apes have natural rhythm. Look this just isn't working. Maybe if we--"

"SQUEAK."

Susan turned around to where the Death of Rats stood, holding a score hopefully. She frowned. The Death of Rats shuffled its feet in a disturbingly bashful way. Susan crossed her arms sceptically. "All right, let's hear it."

It coughed into its bony paw once, unrolled the song and began. "SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEA-EAK..."

Susan gave a reluctant sigh and waved it into the choir stands. The Death of Rats had a surprisingly good soprano.
jamjar: (Cake or Death!)
Johnny sighed and moved his bishop. "Check," he said.

His opponent moved a pawn. "MATE."

Johnny nodded and started to clear up his pieces. "Guess you win again. I've got--"

"BEST OUT OF NINETEEN? I THINK YOU ALMOST HAD ME THAT LAST TIME."

It helped if he just thought about him as a--

Actually, it helped if he didn't think about him, except maybe as another Alderman or a Mrs Tachyon, just cleaner and more solid and thinner. He wasn't like that at all, because those people were definitely people, definitely human, and this one wasn't, but...

His Grandad had taught him to play a few months back when he was off sick with the 'flu and it's not that Johnny didn't like chess, because it was pretty good for a game without any special effects, but he didn't know other people liked it as well, until he showed up with a board and a worryingly hopeful expression.

"NO-ONE EVER WANTS TO PLAY WITH ME," he'd said. "AND I ALWAYS ASK." And he'd looked so hopeful…


Almost like he did right now, in fact. "Okay," Johnny said, sitting down. "But this is the last time, really. I've got school tomorrow."

"FINE. YOU CAN BE WHITE THIS TIME."

end.
jamjar: (Default)
"You mean, Miss Susan?" Angua said in surprise. "White hair with a black streak. Pale, thin, dresses in black. I see her in Biers sometimes. She's a teacher, I think. She drinks like one, anyway."

Vimes raised an eyebrow. "She goes to biers? You don't know why, do you?"

"For the alcohol, I assume." Angua sighed. "But you mean what. I don't know, exactly. Just that she terrifies the bogeymen."

~~~
"Your grace," Lord Rust said, bowing slightly.

"Miss Susan," she corrected him. "In this room, I am Miss Susan. Or Miss Sto Helit, if you'd prefer."

"Ah," Lord Rust said, temporarily thrown off track.

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October 2017

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