Sister Loxely was beginning to contemplate how Brother Lapis was perhaps correct, she did need to get out and socialize more. She took a sip of her hot espresso which their gracious hostess of The Gangplank, Miss Junie Ginsburg, had provided for her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a figure move closer, Lox turned to see that Brother Lapis was openly staring at the pie-eating Brother Scorpio who was seated beside her. Puzzled, she began to pay closer attention to Brother Scropio as well.
“Are you feeling alright, Scorp?” Brother Lapis questioned Brother Scorpio.
Brother Scorpio nodded in response. However the nod changed into a strange circling, “Oh yes. Very alright.”
Sister Loxely widened her eyes. That was not a typical response.
“Did you sleep last night?” Brother Lapis asked. It was a common question among them.
Brother Scorpio then suddenly moved his head left, then right, staring at Brother Lapis. “Your moustache thing follows me. Why is it doing that? Please tell it to stop.”
Brother Lapis said, “Riiiight.”
It was plain to Lox that Scorp was in some strange state of mind. And she could not help but find it a little funny. She coughed to try to cover up a laugh and grabbed Scorp’s arm, “Are you tired, Uriah? Needing to get some rest?”
Brother Scorpio kept moving his head, trying to shake the moustache, “Uh, tired? Ask the ‘stache….” He whispered back loudly at Lox, “It KNOWS!”
Sitting on a barstool behind the counter, Miss Ginsburg raised her eyebrows, “What’s up with him?”
Lox looked at her, then at young Brother St. Germaine down the bar. Scorp was making a scene and there were a fair number of witnesses. Things needed to be remedied as soon as possible. “Ooookay, Uriah. I believe it is time to get you back to your bunk.”
“Good idea. No moustache there. You are pretty smart, Loxikins,” Brother Scorpio nodded solemnly. There was a snicker from behind the bar.
Lox coughed again and pulled Brother Scorpio up, supporting him while she placed coins on the counter and grabbed her small package which contained a slice of pie to go. “Thank you for the hospitality, Miss.”
As he stood up Scorp said loudly, “Whoa! I was flying! So were you, Lox! Didja see that?!”
Lox gently bopped him on the head and ushered him out of the door. She called behind her towards Brother St. Germaine, “Do not stay out too late, Claude.”
As other farewell greetings were exchanged Scorp yelled back from outside, “See ya! Watch out for the moustaches!”
Doing her best to quickly pull Scorp along, poor Lox was nearly exhausted once they reached City Hall. She sat Scorp down on a bench and took a seat beside him, trying to catch her breath.
Scorp’s head was still unnaturally bobbing back and forth, his eyes wide and fogged over, “The moustaches…they are following us, you know…”
Lox knew better than to grace his nonsense with an answer. He was past help, at least for now. She leaned back on the bench and tried to mentally list the medications that she had been giving him. Perhaps she gave him an incorrect combination today? Lox sighed and looked down at the small package on her lap. “Might as well,” she said to herself more than Scorp. She opened the package and carefully broke off some cinderberry pie with her fingers. Tasting it she said, “Delicious is right. I should have perhaps bought a whole one for everyone to enjoy tomorrow.”
Scorp leaned on her shoulder, leering at her with a maniacal grin spread across his face as she ate her pie. “That’s some good pie, isn’t it, Loxikins?” Lox ignored him and thought about how she needed to get him back and how surprisingly scrumptious the pie was.
Then she saw them. An entire swarm, black and flapping as if they were bird’s wings. They were headed straight for them. “Ahhhh!” Lox screamed and jumped up, hitting Scorp’s jaw hard with her shoulder.
Scorp fell back on the bench, wincing in pain, his arms, legs and cassock flailing helplessly. Lox stared at him, her eyes now wide and crazed like his, “Get up, you lummox! The moustaches are going to attack!” She helped him up and took his hand, forcibly dragging him towards the Mnemonics Institute. As they ran Lox began to recite prayers and calculations, hoping they would somehow assist in their fleeing.
Once the stars had cleared from Scorp’s eyes he looked back over his shoulder and gave a loud, high pitched squeal, “Eeeeee!” He lifted Lox up by the hand and put her on his back, charging forward with the power of a bull. It took Lox a moment to understand where she had been placed but once she figured it out she began laughing uncontrollably. “Hahahaha! I knew getting you to exercise would pay off! Hahahaha!”
A small group of urchins and a few messengers saw them as they rounded a corner, quickly scattering to get out of the way. “Brother Scorp! Sister Lox! What are ye doin’?” “Blimey! Those Churchies really are mental!” “Look at ‘em go!” “Oooh, that musta hurt!”
Instead of opening the door and running inside of the dormitory they both had run headlong into the solid oak door. Scorp helped Lox up and they darted inside, bolting the door behind them. They both collapsed on the stairs and everything went black.
The following afternoon Lox opened her eyes to the sight of Brother Lapis hovering over her, a strange, smug look on his face. She moved and her head pounded. She tried to say something to him but only winced, then heard a groan beside her. No, not just beside her. In her arms. Lox sat bolt upright despite her pounding head and saw that she was wedged into her small bed with Scorp. Looking around quickly, Scorp saw the same thing and fell down on the ground in panic.
Lapis laughed and said calmly, “Let me guess. You both ate the pie?”