Late-Evening Refreshment

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Thunder Cascade
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Late-Evening Refreshment

Post by Thunder Cascade » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:08 pm

One of these days, you’re going to pull something, and someone’s actually going to get hurt. Casey recalled the dispute as he appeared in the middle of the unoccupied dorm room. He figured on having at least an hour this time, with a virtual guarantee of no interruption. And if he was interrupted, it wouldn’t be as bad as last time. Probably.

Adam might show up. But he’d probably get a kick out of it anyway. Casey felt a little bad about invading his space without asking, but it wasn’t like he was here uninvited. He checked the room over briefly. The turtle guaranteed that this was the room, and it was easy to tell whose area was whose. There was a lingering feel of everyone in the air, and he’d gotten to know Bobby well enough he could pick him out. It was a subtle, mystical thing. He couldn’t remember when exactly he’d picked it up, but certain people he just knew when they were around, and could limitedly get a lingering sense of whose stuff was whose. Plus he could smell pomade on one of the beds.

He traced runes in the air with either hand, and the mattress appeared out on the balcony. In another moment, the box spring followed. The sheets, left behind, sagged. This was going to be the tricky part. Fortunately, a fifteen-dollar roll of thin wire fence should deal with that, as long as Bobby wasn’t paying too much attention when he got back. What happens if he falls backward too fast and hits his head? The fencing would stop that, ideally. It should cushion the impact, disperse it evenly, and then collapse. If his legs aren’t wrapped too tightly against the frame, he should land pretty evenly on his back.

This time his accomplice was waiting precisely one hundred and ten yards away, shrouding herself and their tools with illusion to keep people from noticing what they were up to. He drew a few runes in the air, and summoned the roll of fence, which sprang open a bit, since he had left the wrapping behind. He picked it up, crawled under the bed, and started taking measurements.

Twenty minutes, a tape measure, wire cutters, and a few twist-ties later, the sheets looked much as they had before the mattress had been removed. Casey looked at the bed carefully, then nodded. If he couldn’t spot anything immediately wrong with it, it was likely that Bobby wouldn’t either. Now for the fun part.

Childrens’ swimming pools generally run about thirty dollars. He’d gotten this one cheap, because it had a crack in the side. A test-run showed that with several layers of duct tape, it would hold water overnight and not leak through. It had been prepared with a good half roll, which should guarantee that the floor wouldn’t be wet until after the trap was sprung. It fit neatly under the bed, and with the sheets down, it wasn’t obvious what was there. He flipped one side up. You can’t seriously think someone could fall backward into this thing and be okay, can you? He’d done it himself three times, just to make absolutely sure. Filled with water, it hadn’t hurt in the slightest, and he’d fallen from more than three feet off the ground, to be on the safe side.

Bags of ice typically run about five dollars apiece. A few days, a dozen ice trays and a few garbage bags saved most of that, but they’d had to pick up a couple from the gas station to make sure they had enough. He ported the trash bags first and poured them out. A few of the cubes were already stuck together, and he bashed those apart first as quietly as he could. The store-bought bags were next.

Water, with a proper container, was pleasantly free. Distilled water jugs started to appear, and he emptied them into the pool until it was about two inches from the top. That should be enough to keep from actually getting hurt, and the ice was floating along the top layer. The water had gotten a little warmer than he would’ve wanted, but it was cooling fast. He checked his watch. Almost half an hour just for the water. Well, that was the important part. He needed something to fall into that wouldn’t hurt, and wasn’t flammable.

He flipped the sheets back into place, checked the room over one last time, then nodded. If all went well, Bobbifer would get home, kick his shoes off, and sit unwittingly on a relatively secure trip to a refreshing swimming pool. And if he flipped out, the closest thing would be water and soaked sheets.

How much are you spending on this, anyway? All told, it was probably about fifty dollars to get the whole thing moving. On the plus side, he could potentially sell the video.

That, of course, prompted him to turn toward the desk Ty had pointed out to him yesterday. He logged in using the account made for exactly this purpose, and set up the software that would be recording. The video would be pretty big, but he was sending it to Arlina’s laptop, over the network, and saving a copy to Ty’s hard drive, so even if something went wrong, they should have one decent copy. He turned off the monitor and did one more quick check of the room.

It looked good. It wasn’t great. But it was something to do. And if Bobby got him back, that was a bonus. A few more runes, and he disappeared, the water jugs popping out after in his wake.

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Katabatik
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Re: Late-Evening Refreshment

Post by Katabatik » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:50 pm

That was some darned fine thinking, Mr. Park. Darned fine thinking indeed. Bobby mused to himself as he strolled through the front door to his quad with a bounce. He was energized by his latest performance at the school's most recent geography bowl prep meeting--so energized, in fact, that he'd stayed out much too late, celebrating over cheese fries and orange soda at Shenanigans and rehearsing the geologic history of Southeast Asia with his teammates. And he'd even managed to avoid the nuns on the way home.

But we're going to have to really push ourselves on South America this time. He kicked his shoes off in the dark. It looked like his roommates might have already been asleep, though his eyes were still adjusting to the dark of the quad. Remembering their defeat in the regionals last year, he shuddered. São Paulo. His Caporetto. He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes, looked at the pile of work that he should have been doing sitting on his desk. He couldn't really make out the book titles, but he knew what was there, waiting to be read and studied and dissected. But it had been a long day, and sleep would do him good. He brushed his teeth and undressed quietly for bed.

Starting in Central America makes the most sense. We'll go from Mexico down to Cape Horn. Bobby flopped onto his bed.

But, to his sudden surprise, there wasn't a bed. And then there was cold! Wet, horrible cold!

"Agohoah!" He flailed, gasping as the shock of freezing water hit his body through his tee shirt and boxers. A gout of flame burst unconsciously out of his skin. It singed the dry parts of his tee shirt, but the water stopped any real damage from being done to his sheets, the furniture, the walls, or the carpet.

He struggled to right himself, but in his confusion it was a wet, messy challenge. He didn't quite compensate for the slippery plastic of the tub, because, holy Moses, why would his bed have been replaced by a tub full of cold water?! He managed, after splashing out a few gallons of frigid water onto the carpet, to jump up and out of the pool, where he stood staring, uncomprehending, at the place where his bed used to be. Fat droplets fell off his body onto the wet floor with loud plip, plopping noises as the sound was partially absorbed by the sodden carpet.

Oh, somebody was going to pay.


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