Just A Malfunction



Scene Title Just A Malfunction
Synopsis Just doing some reading.
Date October 14, 2018

As the weather gets colder and colder, Huruma tends to stay inside if she has the choice. Fires, heaters, or thick sweaters are easy ways to keep her in one place; October may not be January, but she can still prefer the contentedness of being warm when the world outside is cold. The change in temperature here always makes her remember certain things- - the winters during the war, the massive storm years before, where she had found Kasha, the Ferry finding quiet solace in wintry commune, trekking through Canada and Alaska- - the bite at her fingers and nose tend to take her back the fastest. Some memories are nicer than others, of course. Smaller ones seem to become more treasured. Cold holidays with her ‘adopted’ families, visiting someone and kicking up a fire to sit beside, hot tea and a book.

Most people wouldn’t peg her for the type to get sentimental about such small things. Maybe once upon a time they’d be right, but now? It’s what fills spaces with meaning. Those she is closest to know this about her. Perhaps they do not know all of the reasons why she is so drawn to them, but what they do see is a person who missed out on those small things for much of her life- - and has apparently chosen her own tribe to catch up on them with.

The crackle of the fire is at a simmer, made of coals and a couple splits of log that are sheathed in embers. It warms the room, yet despite this Huruma has pulled a blanket over her shoulders in the chair she occupies. Feet tucked under, a book in her hands and an oil lamp allowing her to read.

It is nothing she needs to learn, but it is everything she needs to see. The creak of wood draws her attention upwards, senses reading a discomfort up above. She reaches out with a calming aura, almost passive in its presence. A subconscious sort of effort. Her natural reaction, anymore. Eyes turn back down to Wolves of Valhalla in her lap, thumb flipping the page forward.

Huruma reads through several chapters before there’s something else; her thoughts are not going whoever is on the floor above, but something about the volume she holds. She marks her place and examines the edges of the pages, flipping back through what she has already read.

Perhaps printing processes are not quite what they once were. Letters periodically pool bold amongst the others, as if the machine had needed alignment it was not getting. The error seems to extend through the entire book on closer inspection, including the appendices and the title pages.

“I should not be surprised.” Huruma murmurs to herself, sighing through her nose. Now that she sees the misprinting, she can’t unsee it when she starts back on her chapter. Halfway into the tale of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge incident, she stops again, rubbing a fingertip along the inside of the spine. Reading about the Vanguard takes a brief backseat.

Wriggling out from under the blanket on her shoulders, one arm reaches out to take the oil lamp down from its perch and bring it closer.

Another faint sound upstairs distracts for just a moment, and Huruma is stillso as to not disturb anything, just in case. Pale eyes move down to the pages again, a frown twisted light on her lips.

“…It’s the same.” Her words are barely a breath, spoken so that they reach her own ears in a reassurance that she is not imagining things. Huruma folds the book closed and sets the lamp down, sliding from the coziness of the chair to locate a pencil— she of course heads right back, curling back against the blanket, feet up and book pulled to her knees. Tick, tick, tick… the golden pencil twitches in the grasp of dark fingers, patiently marking the errors out. They do repeat. Inside of different words, though. It is not a perfect repetition, as a machine might make.

Huruma moves her hand to the top margin, pencil tracing out capitalized letters.


She frowns again, hesitating and glancing up as if she might get caught doing something silly in the dark.


“What…” The familiar weight moves slow and familiar across the nape of her neck, and she jerks her head around to find nothing but the near distance of curtains drawn over window. Huruma stares down the plain drapery for some time, considering the tricks her mind seems to be playing. She continues, after a minute or so.


Mykotoe? Huruma’s neck and face heat with the flush of embarrassment. That’s not a word at all. She grumbles and growls at her own paranoia, marks her place, and slides the book onto the coffee table as she stands. The lamp gets snuffed, and the blanket gets hooped up over her shoulders and bundled over her head. The book and pencil gets one more scathing look before she creeps upstairs.

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