3. CURSE WORDS ARE BEAUTIFUL

Allison slammed the door shut and took a seat at the long table. She was in a dark room, illuminated only byt he light of a single candle. At the other end of the table sat Fallow. He rested his skinny arms on the table, appearing to have no manners whatsoever as his elbows were most definitely not in his lap...

"Allison, what's up?" the Nighthawk Knight breathed after a moment of silence. "Is anything bothering you?"

The blue morpho girl stared at the table. She sat on the edge of her seat so as not to crush her delicate wings. Fallow, on the other hand, could lean back on his sturdy hawk limbs, and did so with a huge yawn.

"Are you feeling frustrated?...You seem very quiet."

"No shit," the girl muttered, and Fallow did not hear it as he did not seem to hear her mumble. Allison's pupils turned red in candlelight when she looked up suddenly. "I want to know why I'm here washing things...What's the purpose of it?"

Fallow sighed, and Allison noticed that his eyebrows were knitting more deeply than she had ever seen them before. He placed his palms on the table and left his seat. Pacing back and forth in front of the table, the man tilted his head back. Allison sensed an incoming lecture, even though she had hardly known Fallow long enough to expect one.

"Allison, you were put here to absolve past sins. It's a bad deal when you mutter curse words at your co-servants. There's no point in adding to your punishment. You dig?"

"Punishment for what?" Allison's eyes reflected fire.

"No one really remembers what they did wrong, when they find themselves here," Fallow said, his voice filled with sadness, "It takes time to remember. The hope behind this system of forgetfulness, kinda, is that by starting your life in a completely new and different direction, you can gradually come to terms with...with whatever your mistake was, as you begin to recall your past, and learn how to avoid it in the future. I mean, I'm just reciting from what I've learned from my time here and all..."

"Soooo...What you're saying is, I don't know what I'm being punished for, but I have to go with it, just because everyone says I'm a bad person."

Fallow shrugged. "Something like that."

"Well, that's fucked up and you know it."

Fallow froze, and Allison froze. Fallow's eyes had become pointed as nighthawk talons. Though not a bird capable of carrying off lion limbs, as the vulture, a nighthawk still had a great affinity for eating bugs. In this situation, Fallow was the nighthawk, and Allison the bug. Allison knew she had better listen, at least now, because a butterfly was least prideful when hiding from a predator.

"Watch your nectar-lapping tongue, Blue Morpho. I don't want to have to send you to Royce Belgrade. You're having a simple time washing dishes? Well, Royce Belgrade only looks after girls, like me. Unlike me, Royce has a knack for...making life difficult. Trust me, we want to work together, and normally I'm real laid back. But the moment oh, say, Eva Snow-Owl, or the Regent Cormorant catches a bad word? That's me on the hook, not you."

Fallow strolled to Allison's side, and offered her his hand. He helped her to her feet.

"So be good. If not for yourself, think of me. Anyway...I'm glad we could talk. Ready to go back to washing yummy vegetables?"

"Yes, Sir," Allison lifted her eyes to his, and was it her imagination or did he shoot her a casual wink...?

Back at her veggie-washing post, Allison pried apart celery to root out the limp brown leaves. Danielle kept snorting and shooting dark looks the blue morpho's way, and at last Allison slammed a carrot on the counter and demanded to know what was wrong with Danielle.

"You...you were talking to him," Danielle said, her eyes looking dark because of her black eyelashes and squinting eyelids. "Just now. Privately."

Allison's voice was timid, but her fists clenched. "Oh, you mean Fallow?"

"Yes I mean Fallow, what other men do you know around this place," Danielle scoffed and rolled her eyes, "Well, here's news for you. I'm going to tell you this right up front, just because I sort of like you...You stay away from Fallow. He's already taken."

"Taken...What do you mean?"

Just then the Cormorant man made his daily round, so Danielle and Allison scrubbed furiously at potatoes for a few moments until they were free to speak again.

"He's the only guy in this place," said Danielle.

"No, there's Royce, and the Cormorant..." Allison was fuzzy on Danielle's point.

"Hmph! Royce is a lech, and the Cormorant is too ugly and old," Danielle rolled her eyes with greater gusto, "No. Fallow is MINE. You stay away from him, from now on. I don't care if you've kissed or anything. Just know that, from now on, he's off limits."

"Anything else from now on?"

"No." And Danielle forced a fake simper of a smile.

Allison laughed as a pea pod slipped from her hands onto the floor. When the blue morpho knelt to retrive the veggie, she muttered, "Fuck off, bitch. I don't need a boyfriend." Thankfully, Danielle was too busy trimming green roots from an onion to hear, or really care about, what Allison said.

The day was soon done, and Allison padded off water with a towel. She laughed at the terrycloth, even called it a shithead for the sake of insulting something.

"Allie Blue Morpho," a girl with lavendar eyes and pale white moth wings approached Allison with a gentle smile. "You think you're just the golden shit around here, don't you?"

Allison dropped the towel to the floor and sized this girl up. She was a tall one, six inches above Allison, very-soft looking, and willowy, too, as her biege hair was feathery and her wings were fuzzier than butterfly wings.

"What's your point, bitch?" Allison replied cooly. Fuzzy wings probably meant a fuzzy brain. Allison wagered this girl who, given an opportunity, would pull hair at the very worst.

"My name's not bitch, it's Marina Luna. You have a preferred name or do you just go by Assface, like your mom and dad called you?"

"What kind of insult is Assface?"

Marina's lips twitched. Her frown appeared to be breaking. "Don't insult my insults. It's only manners...As if you'd know any, being raised in a brothel and all."

Allison giggled.

Marina giggled as well.

And then Marina's eyes darted, and Allison looked where her new friend looked. Allison stifled further lewd comments, as Fallow had entered the kitchen to hurry the girls along.

(A/N: Warg? What's this? No one reviewed this chapter...? How sad! Oh well, despite the lack of feedback this story still goes on...it's too much fun to abandon just cause everyone's too lazy to read and/or review. And doubly oh well, guess I have no reviews to return then! Pity, for I always return reviews. :3)