On Loan

10 months, 19 days ago
10 months, 19 days ago
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Chapter 2
Published 10 months, 19 days ago

Mina and Sardari are adult friends.

And by "Adult", I mean if a year passes without them talking, that's fine.

This is a year or five before "Noncompetitive".

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Chapter 2

Mina, of course, could not really trust the time stated on the letter, even if she felt safe with the date. Which meant... she had to get up early. Porridge, hot. Tea, hot. Loom, doing it's usual thing, back and forth, back and forth. No radio.

Because, obviously, she had to listen.

A truck went by - sputtering but alive. Came, some shouts of greeting, and went. A woodpecker was getting aggressive - rattling just who knows where.

The sun cleared the windows shades. She didn't bother to open them. It would not be a cool day, keep what little shaded air in until afternoon.

And then- another engine. Cleaner, but louder than it should be. Driving by slowly.

She put down the silk-wrapped shuttle, but didn't bother to stand up - Mina had plenty of ways to look without doing so. She closed her eyes - to to concentrate on the sound, but to reduce the disorientation - her left arm bunched up for a moment, skin folding like the leg of a pair of trousers discarded for the evening - be fore smoothing to a normal length.

And her fist opened to reveal - well, her face from the perspective in the eye now located in her palm, three fingers still cupped above it to act like the eyelid it had been forced to abandon. Yes, she looked fine enough for her visitor, but that wasn't the point of the exercise. The palm turned to the rafters, the connecting arm thinning behind it, to gain a secure vantage point to the road outside her door.

A Black Car. Fine. Shaded windows.  Bangladesh plates. One of those taller cars that did not have a truck bed.

A driver? And a guard beside him. The motor was left running as the two got out - the driver surveying the area, while the other turning towards the back door. They both wore some sort of military uniform, but she couldn't make out any identification - not that there wasn't any, but one of many disadvantages of doing this was not having her glasses available. And It would be quite odd to have a single-lensed glass for your hand.

She could invest in a monocle. Were those still things people made?

But just what was Sardari wearing? There was a hole in the thigh - the inside of the thigh. Over one shoulder was a saree looking thing,  but - it just barely covered a shoulder. Some sort of jumpsuit? The hair - well, straight, that hadn't changed, the bangs, the braids - that bit of eccentricity she remembered, being a little eccentric in her role made sense. But. The rest of the outfit.

Oh, right, keep the loom going. Mina picked the rhythm of the petals back up. Keep the noise up a minute longer, even if she'd have to re-wind it a bit latter.

A firm knock. Mina's extended arm quickly reeled back through the rafters, scruncing for a crutial moment before bouncing back to a normal set of dimensions. She blinked her restored pair of eyes. Ok, her vision was clear enough to not to quickly grab a different pair of glasses.

She did turn back on her kerosene burner - full tea kettle sitting ready on it - before answering the door.