(Just another reposting here. Somehow some of my stuff has magically vanished from the blog, so here it is again. This is a response to The Road Trip Challenge and involves the story that I’ve been working on for Camp this month)
“Martaaaaa. I’m booooooored.”
“Honestly, Neo,” Marta huffed from behind the stack of papers balanced precariously on her lap. “You’re a professor at a highly prestigious institute and one and thirty years of age. Please refrain from behaving like a schoolboy for once in your life.”
“But Marta – “
“Tell me again why I agreed to attend you both on this farce of a journey?” Matthias interrupted, his amused half-smile betraying his true lack of annoyance. Sighing, Marta returned her eyes to her notes in an attempt to ignore her companions. The silence would not remain for long, however, as Neo’s inability to remain quiet caused further discussion.
“How any person could travel so often, even on such an excellent vessel as the Starcraft, is beyond me,” he mused, gazing out the rounded window beside him. The Starcraft, the newest in a fairly impressive line of luxury zeppelins open for public use for the first time, lazily floated along, providing them with a splendid view of the Channel. Admittedly, it was faster and easier travelling by air, but Marta found she preferred her own magical means. Matthias had yet to reach the appropriate skill level for such a feat, however, and Neo was more likely to build himself a personal bubble reinforced with steel than use magic, so she was forced into the air. At least it was an improvement over the water.
“It isn’t so bad, really,” Matthias replied, stretching his long limbs out before him. “Mother, Father, and I used to go to the Continent quite often when I was young. It simply takes practice.”
“Says the man with magic,” Neo grumbled as he shifted in his seat for the dozenth time since they left. Marta scowled, groping her ink pen in her fist angrily as the entire bench the two of them shared sagged from the motion. The man never could sit still, even in the very classes he taught, making any trip longer than an hour near torturous. Praying to whatever God might hear, Marta attempted to complete her work despite her obvious irritation. Neo, however, would have none of it.
Prodding her with a single bronzed finger, he whined, “Martaaaaaa. Where are we? How much longer? If I am forced to remain in this stifling little cabin much longer, I fear I shall explode!”
“You wouldn’t be the only one, I suspect,” Matthias chuckled over his book, amused eyes darting between the two. Marta leveled a glare at the young man before snatching her arm away from Neo’s grasp.
“Obviously we are airborne, floating halfway between England and France, seeing as we are travelling from the former to the latter. I have no bloody idea how much longer we have, since I am obviously not the captain. And if you do not refrain from pestering me every five minutes, I swear to you that there will be no one to give a speech because the University will receive your tongue in an elegantly crafted silk box!”
They continued to bicker back and forth, Marta’s irritation rising with every hint of Neo’s simpering. Eventually the sound of a long suffering sigh brought each to a halt, their glares turning to the nobleman.
“You’re impossible, the both of you,” Matthias remarked, snapping his book closed. He stood and nodded at Neo, gesturing at his own seat. “Come, stop bothering her and let her work. For both of our sakes.”
Muttering darkly to himself, Neo stood and took the proffered place. Matthias lowered himself beside Marta, gently positioning himself into a comfortable seat and reopening his book. Though he was a far more pleasant bench companion, Marta found herself even more distracted, unable to focus while the young man lay so close. Almost undistinguishable humming came from his direction, surprisingly pleasant rather than annoying. She shook herself forcefully, berating herself for her further distraction and attempting to convince her thoughts that it was merely extended time in such an enclosed space that caused it all. Matthias, meanwhile, seemed to completely ignore her, cone more engrossed in his novel.
Neo, it seemed, had kept quiet for as long as he could. Oblivious of Marta’s discomfort and Matthias’ ease, he abruptly barked out, “MY GOD, ARE WE THERE YET?!”
Marta lurched to her feet, her magic pulling Neo to his own. “NEO NATHANIEL SALLOW, WOULD YOU PLEASE. JUST. SHUT. IT!”
“I believe that would be my cue to interject,” Matthias remarked, jumping up between them. Just as he did so, a masculine voice came over the intercom overhead.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Starcraft will be landing in Paris momentarily.”
“Oh, thank God,” Matthias muttered as his companions huffed angrily at each other. “Come, children, we’ve a student body to impress.”