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Challenge #01187-C092: Panning For Golden Moments

The patter of rain on the old stone walkways. The scent of wildflowers emerging in the nearby fields. The distant sounds of explosions from some student mispronouncing an incantation on the other side of the school.

It’s the little things that get you through the day. -- Anon Guest

Kel sighed. Damn her roommate for spiking her sleep potion with Abstract of Melancholia. There was no remedy but time, and staying off of sleep aids for a week.

It was going to be a bad bloody week, she could tell.

Her advisor recommended she focus on the good things. The things that usually made her smile or giggle. They wouldn't reach as far under the influence of Melancholia, but they would help her make it to the evening.

Everything was hard. Her limbs felt heavy. Her body felt heavy. It was if she were wearing an invisible coat of heavy, impeding, and filthy slime. Something no-one else could see, but she could certainly feel.

It felt twice as heavy as she was. Long, like a royal robe, so it dragged behind her like a ball and chain. Slowing her stride. What she wouldn't give to just be able to slink off to some distant hole and wait for death...

And today was only her second day of dealing with it.

Good things. Yes. For a start, her dipshit roommate was suspended pending a thorough examination and inquiry into her motives. Secondly, the first years were doing Incantations in the Re-enforced Studies Building. So named, of course, because the students could blow things up and the building could remain standing.

And the self-repairing roof and windows were a definite bonus, too.

The distant percussive noise as each student, in turn, fluffed the pronunciation, put the ghost of a smirk on Kel's face. God, that was a painful year. The first spell she really learned to incant properly was Heal Burns. There was a vested interest, after all, in not standing in the Big Queue with half of her skin stinging in agony.

Funny in retrospect, really.

The rain made a slightly discordant cacophony on the Tuned Stone walkways. A low-level drone as a background to her own footfalls plunking out a series of notes at her own, slackened speed. Rumour had it that if one skipped from north to south along a particular, tuned path, you would hear These Endearing Young Charms. Kel was most definitely not in the mood to skip. And skipping in wet weather was a guaranteed meeting with road rash.

An abundance of Sootheblossom was starting to emerge in the landscaping. It's scent should have been the herald for student panic[1] as they bloomed close to exam season, but they did their job well. Calming all who smelled them and allowing said students to carry on studying with rational minds.

They did their job very well, as their perfume lifted most of the Melancholia's influence. She wished to carry a posy of them, but the advisor said that Sootheblossom was potentially addictive. Kel didn't know if it really was, or if the stresses of life became more noticeable in its lack.

Either way, picking those flowers was definitely not allowed.

Good thoughts. Things to exist for.

Well. If she survived any more dipshit roommates for the rest of the year, there was always Krakken Beach and the festival there. Yeah. Lots of potential fun at the end-of-year festival. Music, junk food, diversions, and loads of bright, shiny objects.

She'd get there. One day at a time.

[1] Rather like Jacarandas in Australia.

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