Dialogue prompt: "Hushed exclamation of wonder!" "What?" "I said, hushed exclamation of wonder."
HAHAHA oh my god hold on, I got this.
“She tried to drink from the fountain in the quad,” Keisha says as soon as she enters the room. Her hair is sticking wildly out of her braids and there’s a certain desperation in her eyes that’s become rather common the past few days. “Again.”
The three other students gathered in the empty classroom, huddled over coffee cups and half-filled notebooks, groan.
“I’ll add it to the board,” Abir says. There are deep bags under his eyes and he’s got the most coffee cups piled up in front of his chair. He hauls himself out of his seat and to the front of the room. He uncaps the dry erase marker and writes Drinking from fountain to the bottom, right under BROCCOLI AND WHIPPED CREAM ARE NOT HUMAN FOODS.
It’s a long, long list.
“Maybe,” Catherine says carefully, “we should tell her. I think she’d be more aware if she knew we knew. You know?”
“Fuck off,” Gio says. “I’ve been awake for way too long to make sense of that shit.” He puts his hand back down on the table, seemingly uncaring of the coffee puddle his hair falls into.
“She’s worked so hard though,” Keisha says, dropping down into an empty chair. “She’s getting better, really. She doesn’t do the stalker-stare as much anymore!”
“Yes she does,” Gio says, not lifting his head. “She just does it when you’re not looking. Still creepy.”
“I think Catherine is right,” Abir says, dragging himself back to his chair. “She thinks she’s blending in because we haven’t said anything. The suits almost saw her scuttle up that big pine tree yesterday. That doesn’t exactly scream human.”
“Exactly,” Catherine says, slapping the table. “If she knows we know then we can give her more obvious pointers! And stop her from giving herself away to the Men in Black.”
“We don’t know they’re the Men in Black,” Keisha says. “Maybe they really are auditing the university.”
The four friends stare at each other, Gio deigning to lift his head, for a long moment. Then they all burst out laughing.
“Oh my god,” Abir says, wiping tears from under his eyes. “I asked them about their geiger counters. They told me they were calculators.”
Catherine slaps the table again. “Ha ha, holy shit. That beats when they followed me and Georgiana into the ceramics room for some records.”
“I think my favorite part might be their fake ass badges,” Gio says. “I googled an IRS badge and they don’t look anything alike.”
“They’re so bad at their cover,” Keisha says, “it’s sad.”
“They might actually be worse at pretending than Georgiana is,” Gio says, “and she’s, you know.” He raises his eyebrows. “Not from around here.”
That sets them all off again. And if the laughter, at one point, becomes somewhat closer to crying than laughing, no one mentions it.