Elroy recognised Kaya by the feel of her presence before he could see her, naturally. As they exchanged greetings and she slipped into the seat across of him, he noted the changes she had made: red-haired, pale and freckled rather than black haired and olive-skinned, and she was a good head shorter than she used to be. The butterfly tattoo near the corner of her left eye was also gone. She apparently liked changing vocations every couple of decades.
"What are you up to now?"
She showed him an anchor tattooed on the inside of her wrist and grinned.
"Yes. I figured as a ship-spirit, I'd get around more than being assigned an area for psychopomping, or a charge as a muse or guardian. Maybe it'll hold my interest longer.” Her eyes flicked towards the faint shimmer of his wings. "How's your current charge?"
She chuckled. "Or you wouldn't be here?"
"Yes; he's not doing well at the moment, so I better pay attention." He caught himself before saying more than he should and dragging the mood down. "What about you? Do you already have a ship?"
"No, but I've been scouting for one." She grinned self-satisfied. It was more unusual than having one assigned. "There's an oceangoing freighter on keel that hasn't been claimed or assigned yet, and I put in my application early. Means I'll have to idle for a while, but it won't blur me."
"You could always read up on old cases."
"Not too old. The age of sail may look romantic in hindsight, doesn't help much with a modern ship, though. Besides, you just want to lure me to a date in a library."
She laughed, and Elroy felt himself unwind into comfort. Guarding meant little direct interaction with anyone, not even his charge. Taking a break had been a good idea.
People think I’m crazy, usually even when I try to explain to them why I like getting shot out of a cannon. Sure, the rush of acceleration when the propellant explosion hits you is a huge rush of excitement, too. But the best part is the high point.
See, something shot from a cannon travels in an arc, and between the way up and the way down there is a moment of weightlessness. Everything just seems to stop, and I can take a long second to enjoy the view.
Bloody good aim is important, sure. Can’t miss the net once.
Combining the prompts "Zenith" from Aldersprig and "Zany" from Tara Tyler.
Maddie closed the door to her flat and leaned against it, grateful it locked out the traffic noise.
Close deadlines stressed her, turned the music and chatter, clatter of keyboards and humming of fans into tiny buzzsaws cutting into her spine.
After a few minutes of trying to unwind surfing the web, she switched the computer. Too loud. She paced, pulling plugs to kill humming power sources, switching off the heating to mute its shell-to-your-ear swoosh.
Wrapped in a blanket and feet up on the sofa, she sighed.