Swamped Chapter 45 Page 9

“Did you read anything by other Marshguards?” you ask. “Over at our base, we had a book of unimpressive scary stories that a Marshguard prisoner wrote… I think his name was Pepper.”

Rivers starts to frown even more severely than usual.

“Oh, gods, yeah, I remember that one. You were lucky, you didn’t have Pepper around prodding you about your opinion when he saw you reading it. Those stories were so damn stupid. The worst part is, I had real stupid nightmares for nearly a week afterwards.”

“Now that you mention it, I had a nightmare the night after I read that, too.”

“Anyhow, I think he’s the only one at our base who’s written anything,” Rivers continues. “Well, under a Marshguard name, anyhow. Who knows who might have written a book before running off to the swamp and going into hiding.”

“Apparently my father did,” you mutter, mostly to yourself.

“Good for him. Anyhow, that’s how I passed most of my time. At least until Starling started hanging out around me, then she just kept telling me about animals. And I didn’t really have anything better to do than listen, since I’d run out of books by then.”

Something strikes you.

“Rider had a whole shelf of books. You never thought to ask if he had any you could borrow? Or if anyone else did, for that matter?”

“Unless you donate them for general use, books are personal effects. We don’t go pryin’ into that sort of thing in the Marshguards.”

Huh. You never would have thought of asking about books as prying, but apparently it is.

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Oh no! There’s no prompt! I don’t know what to suggest for anymore! It’s chaos! Anarchy! We can do anything we want now!

Uhh uhh quick cut to Tom 9th playing the guitar – no wait, move to Shorty trying to figure out how to sweep up this massive hole in the wall…no hang on its Simone pretending to take a nap – nonono Lisa Black is arguing with Penelope no long cut, starwipe to a fancy salad, slow zoom out revealing a young woman in elegant garb nope, that’s not interesting, massive zoom out planet wide, rezoom on Clancy swatting back bitebugs quick cut and

Back to Rivers and Marshall, they’ve been chatting for the last hour about life and mundanity. It’s been pleasant, and Marshall decides it’s time to open up about what happened to his arm and magic stuff – which of course is overheard by the female prisoner as she’s being transferred.