By Katrina Alexis
This morning, I was informed that we had a new addition to the Story Project – a professor from the Lem Institute. It sounded safe. After all, Adam, our genteel host, is a professor there. But then again, Stuart runs the place. I should have formed my bias immediately based on that fact alone.
The professor teaches physical education … at a scientific research center. Not only that, but his name is Lance Valentino. How appropriate that he should arrive in February. I mean to find out this clown’s true name.
The day got worse. It always does that. “Lancelot” occupies the room next to mine. At the time of his arrival, I could not be bothered to meet him with the others. When I stepped into the hall a few hours later, there he was coming out of his new quarters. Young and extremely aware of himself describes him well. When he saw me, he stood stock still looking me up and down with a muted whistle on his lips. It only lasted a minute. Then he offered his hand as though he thought I’d appreciate the courtesy.
“You must be Lancelot,” I said, not returning his gesture.“Lance,” he said, smiling widely. He must have thought himself very gallant.
Yes, well, Lancelot, I thought. “Has Cassandra given you the rundown?”
“Ah, Miss Talbot was extremely gracious, but she failed to mention you.” I wonder, does he not realize how very like drippy mucus his voice sounds?
“It’s Ms.,” I said. He blinked. “Ms. Talbot. If you’re going to be formal, you’d better use the correct title.”
“Oh, and what shall I call you? Ms. Charming-to-the-Core?” He was being sarcastic. It did not improve him.
“Call me Kat, and keep your false chivalry to yourself,” I told him, abruptly locking my door and continuing on the mission from which I’d been interrupted.
I shall keep my door locked when I leave the room from now on.