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Warm November Nights

“Father, Why doesn’t Brother Lapis sleep?”

I was surprised Father was awake in the middle of the night too, and dressed in only his nightshirt. It was one of those nice warm nights that happen right before it gets really cold for the rest of the year. The weather was so nice, and there was music too, so I got dressed to go outside. Brother Lapis was down in the inner yard playing his guitar to himself, and we were up on the balcony outside the dorm room I had to share with the couriers.

“Oh, I suppose he is just that way, Anton. Some people are blessed to need only an hour or two a night.”

I knew he was  lying to me. James had overheard them arguing in the study the week before, something about a proof he had been working on.

“Is that why you are mad at him?” I  asked pointedly.

Father rocked on his heels for a minute or two. “I suppose there is not much that escapes James’ fine hearing, is there.”

Well, no, there isn’t. James is a lapine, and lapines can hear almost anything. I was embarrassed to feel the heat that rose in my face and betrayed James as my source. I hoped Father would not notice since it was so dark out, but his voice said otherwise.

“When Brother Lapis was a young man, he opened a Pandora’s Box in his mind.  That is why he does not sleep like you or I.”

I waited for him to continue, but that seemed to be all he was going to say. I hate it when he treats me like a child.

“I imagine Brother Lapis was quite the arrogant young man. Quite like Martin is, I would think. He chose to study a questionable school of geometry against the advise of his proctor. I am told he was very solitary in his studies. Perhaps he might not have come out so badly if he had had a friend to work with, as Martin has in you.

“Mr. Lighthouse has returned,” Father Pizzaro continued.  “You might arrange a social call to see if Mr. Lighthouse has any news from your friend Martin.”

Not only was he insulting my best friend, he was trying to blow me off. I decided to it was worth pressing for.

“Is that why Brother Lapis is not afraid of the giant worms?” I asked.

Father Pizzaro raised his eyebrows and stopped rocking. I had him.

Adults are so weird.


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  1. Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein November 17, 2011

    Ah me, if only the brothers were more open to those not of the order… Seems Lapis and I have a similar problem… 

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