Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Black Letter Law Origin--Part 8: Naomi

I went back to the library and sat down with my head in my hands. Some first year I didn't know came up to ask to reserve a study room, and just kind of stood there for a little while until I noticed. I think he was afraid to say anything. One of the study rooms was mysteriously un-reserved. So I gave him that one and reminded him about the two hour time limit.

My brain started whirring so fast that it kind of shut down. I had a final the next morning, and I needed to study, but had to write those memos. If my GPA drops, I lose my scholarship. If I don't write either of those memos in a most excellent fashion, I lose my scholarship. I might lose my scholarship anyway, so maybe I shouldn't bother with the memos, but that would be disrespectful to the Dean and would probably land me in more trouble. I was in my second year, but I really didn't want to have to take out loans. My parents always told me loans were what sink people financially, and you should only take out a loan for a house or car, not even for an education.

When Maryanne showed up, she looked wound up but weirdly cheerful. She peeped at me from several different angles.

“You don't look so good...” she began.
“I don't feel so good,” I answered.
“What happened with the dean?”
“You don't want to know.” And I scowled.
“Actually, I really do. And I have more information you might think is interesting.”
“Ok,” I said wearily. “Who goes first?”
“You, of course.”

I couldn't tell if she was being nice or pushing me. I decided to decide she was being nice, allowing me to get it over with, and maybe she could help me.

“The dean is mad that I didn't follow library safety protocols and talked to Sandy before I talked to the police. The fact that I called and couldn't get through doesn't seem to matter. And my scholarship is on the line because of it. He wants two memos due tomorrow morning, one on library safety and the other on why I should keep my scholarship... you're better at sucking up. Can you help me?”

“Heck!” Maryanne never cursed when we were in law school. That started afterward. “I won't write it for you, but I have some ideas.”

“I figure I'll lose it one way or another. The question is which way looks the best... or the worst.”

“Come on, you can't think like that! If everyone did that, we'd all be dead.” And she stopped as if she'd just been slapped.

“You ok?” I asked. I was usually the one to have sudden thoughts and space out.
She snapped out of it real quick.

“You know Tanya Capton?” she asked, in what I considered an abrupt change of subject.

“Uh, maybe. Blonde, preppy, your quarter, too much makeup?” I ventured.

“Well, that describes about half of them, but yes.”

“What about her?”

“She was in the library last night, and she knows something.” Maryanne sounded frustrated.

“What do you mean?”

“She said Nick or I is a conduit.”

“Wha--” I began.

“Someone who can channel or direct ghosts or other... things.”

“Isn't that... something from the X-Files, or something?” I was incredulous.

“SHE seems to think they're real.”

“And she doesn't seem like the sort to make that kinda thing up. Or even believe in it.” I finished, and thought for a moment. “Nick won't believe us,” I told her.

“I'm not sure he has much choice. We need to find out what's going on, and if Nick has or is some kind of key, we need both him and me together.”

“So I'm supposed to observe, or help, or what?” I asked.

“First, you're supposed to finish those memos and study con law. Isn't Nick in that class?”

How did she know my schedule better than I did?

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