Taylon profiles Emma Williams from Rita Webb's Playing Hooky.
Subject: Emma S. Wiliams (I wonder what the S stands for)
Address: Anchorage, Alaska, in a dorm apartment on the UAA campus
Hair: <s>blonde</s> pink with purple streaks
Clothes: Jeans and sweaters (size 4) and some odd undergarments (humans are strange creatures)
Favorite activities: Unknown
Mating habits: Unknown
Eating habits: Discovered the remains of something called "pizza", refrigerated storage unit also contains several units of "ice-cream" including one labeled chocolate mocha chocolate-chunk (truly amazing food——I wish they had some of that in my world). The lower compartment contains several biolife habitats and tin cans marked Mtn Dew (tastes horrible and the fizz burned my nose)
“Taylon, what are you doing in my kitchen? It’s the middle of the night.”
I pull my head out of the fridge, but my eyes have to adjust to the dim light before I can see the girl, standing in the doorway of the kitchen and rubbing her eyes. Emma, the human girl I’m studying. I’ve never met a human until she came to the circus a week ago.
I’ve studied chimera and dwarves and faeries, but humans are … exotic. None of my people have ever documented anything about them before. I’m going to be the first.
“This is terrific. It’s better than ambrosia.” I hold up the ice cream container.
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“That belongs to my roommate. She’ll kill me if she thinks I ate it, and you don’t need anything else to make you hyper.” She takes the items from me and puts them back in the fridge. “Seriously, what are you doing here? How am I going to explain an ELF in the kitchen if any of my roommates wake up?”
I open a cabinet and peer inside. Plates, cups, bowls——just like we have in our world. “Gruff sent me. He said to tell you that if you wanted to ride a unicorn as promised, you have to come visit us this weekend. The Ring Master will be away.” I open the coffee canister and sniff. Ugh. Awful. “Do you really eat this?”
“It’s coffee. We brew it with hot water and then drink it.” She takes the canister, puts it back in the cupboard, and firmly closes the door, standing in the way so I can’t open it again. “How did you get away from the circus? I thought you were all collared.”
“Oh please, the magic spells on the collar are so primitive I had it disabled after the first week. I can sneak out anytime I want. At least, at night when the Ring Master is sleeping.” There’s a door in the lower cupboard near the sink that won’t open——locked shut——and I can’t figure it out.
“Then why do you stay? You could be free.”
“I’m a rebel! Isn’t that what all the rebellious teenagers do? Join the circus?”
“A rebel without a clue,” she mumbles.
“What does this do?” Aha, a latch at the top releases the door. I flip open the door (it oddly falls down rather than opening to the side) and roll out a top drawer. More dishes inside. How odd. “Why do you keep dishes here and in the cupboard? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep it all in one place?”
She sighs. “It’s a dishwasher. We put the dirty dishes in and some soap, turn it on, and wah-la——clean dishes!”
“Cool.” I read in a magazine Jason gave me that humans say the word ‘cool’ to mean ‘really interesting’. Pulling out my notebook, I jot down the information about the dishwasher. “You humans invent the most awesome things. We get the gnomes to do the dishes for us. So what are your favorite activities?”
“Um, I’m studying to be a gymnastics coach. I like sports: mountain-biking, climbing, kayaking, hiking, swimming. You know Jason, my best friend, right? He and I used to spend all summer—” She peers over the top of my notebook. “Mating habits? Taylon, what kind of information are you compiling about me?”
Before I can stop her, she snatches the book away from me. “How did you get my clothes size? How do you know about my undergarments?”
My face burns and I try to grab my notebook back from her. “When examining a new species for the first time it is imperative to observe them in their native environment. As your undergarments were strewn all over your environment..."
"You went through my dirty clothes."
"I might have ... b-b-but only for the sake of higher learning.”
“Emma, why are you shouting in the middle of the night?” A sleepy voice says from the hallway. Footsteps approach.
Emma scowls at me. “Now you’ve done it.”
“Oh, you have company.” The girl studies me, her eyes traveling over my blue hair, plaited into three braids, my wizard robes, and my pointed ears. “What’s with the ears?”
“Sorry, Maggie. He dropped by for a visit, but he’s just leaving now.” Emma grabs my arm and drags me to the door.
“But wait. I have another question.”
“You can ask me anything this weekend. I have class in the morning, and I need my sleep.” She shuts the door, and I’m alone in the hallway.
I jot down, “Territorial, and definitely not nocturnal,” into my notebook as I walk toward the exit, nearly tripping on the stairs on my way out.
I can ask her any question. I’ll need to make a good list. Hmm, how do those strange undergarments work? I couldn’t figure out how to put one on, or why anyone would bother. What is gymnastics? Why is she best friends with a half-blood? How can I get more ice-cream?
About the Author:
Leaving the house to go to school, I had schoolbooks spilling out of one hand, the other holding my place in a Nancy Drew novel, and bunny slippers still on my feet. My mom was a wee bit upset.Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads
I haven't changed much. Still always have a book (or two) in my hand or creating stories in my head, and although I don't have any bunny slippers, I love writing in my jammies and snuggly slipper socks.
When I grow up (maybe a hundred years from now), I'd like to be a superhero, but for now, saving the day, one page at a time, suits me just fine.
With my husband TJ (my own cuddly werewolf), I home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park.
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