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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 133: Takano 52
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Previous chapter: Beam 108
Pack on her back, Tommy was out the door ahead of Lauren, starting in the direction they had been going. It occurred to her that she could feel the other verser if she relaxed, but she was actually excited about her new hobby. With one can in each hand, the orange and the green, she made her doubled T symbol on the wall. She particularly liked this, because she used both cans at once and created something interesting very quickly.
She had bought six colors, which technically were the three primaries and three secondaries, but in very bright hues and shades and tints, or whatever you called them. She wanted them to stand out. She wondered how long they would last, but was starting with these two because the orange was probably the brightest and the green contrasted against it strongly. She could have contrasted the orange against the blue, which her recollections of school art class told her were opposite on the color wheel, but then she would wind up with the red and the green, which would seem too Christmassy to her. She thought that the red would go well with the blue, and she could use the yellow with the purple. She would mix them up differently eventually, but at the moment she could only really carry two cans at a time, and changing them required digging into her backpack.
She did another doubled T farther down the corridor, on the opposite side of the wall. Then she did a spiral, and wondered whether she could do a reverse spiral, but decided to wait until they were camped to experiment with new images. She continued making images until she ran out of orange paint (she made more spirals with it, partly because it was brighter, partly because it was in her right hand), then continued with a few more green spirals.
It wasn’t far after that that they broke for lunch. She threw the cans in the waste bin, ordered food, then ordered two more cans to replace those, but took the yellow and purple out of her pack so she could make a sunrise on the wall outside the restaurant.
They continued after lunch, the doubled Ts now purple and yellow, most of the spirals yellow with a few purple ones. With her new pastime Tommy hardly noticed the distance, and she was surprised when Lauren suggested they should stop.
“I’m not sure, but isn’t it early?” Tommy questioned.
“Well, yes, but it is a training day, I believe--unless you’ve given up self defense in favor of graffiti art?” Lauren smiled as if to suggest the question wasn’t serious, but Tommy wasn’t sure it wasn’t a valid question. She thought she could get pretty good at this spray paint artwork if she kept at it.
But then, it wouldn’t protect her from, well, anything or anyone. Not even art critics. She smiled at this joke, but gave the serious answer. “No, training and practice are important. What’s on for today?”
“Well, we’ll have to see what sort of facilities we have. Walk the back of another bench, do some more falling and tumbling practice. You’ll have to start learning some blocks and attacks, but I’m not sure what to teach you in that regard. I fight primarily with my weapons, but I don’t think we’ll find a kau sin ke lying around here. I helped Derek with his chain, which was a lot like my weapon, and his knife and frypan--”
“I’m sorry, frypan?”
“In one world a poltergeist threw a cast iron frying pan at him, and he dodged it, picked it up, and started using it as a shield and later as what they call a buckler, a small shield that is also used to strike opponents. It’s not very practical but he does use it. Anyway, he brought all those with him when he came to me, and had used them at least a little in actual fights, I think. I was able to figure out what to do with them. But you don’t have any weapons. That means I probably have to teach you to punch and kick and push and throw, which are all things I do and would teach you anyway, but since I generally begin with weapons I have to figure out where to begin. Probably blocks, though. And kicks, because blocks and kicks work well together. They’re also effective against non-humanoid attackers. Punches are less so, and pushes and throws, well, you have to be really good to throw a bear.”
Tommy laughed. “Have you thrown a bear?”
“Not yet,” Lauren said, “but the day is young.” She smiled teasingly. “Anyway, find us a campsite and we’ll order some dinner. And if you want to order more of that spray paint, you can put a dozen cans in my cart. That way you don’t have to carry them and when you run out you can get to them more easily without having to take off your backpack.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #405: Versers Converge. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: