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Sep. 7th, 2006 | 03:50 pm
location: Bloomsburg.
mood: complacentcomplacent
music: skye boat song (the real mckenzies)

I miss my American literature teacher. I never thought I would say that I did in earnest, but I do. I realize now that I learned more in his class than I have in all my other English classes combined.

Because I've been considering doing so for a while now, I am going to post another short story that I have written. This was written about four months ago for a creative writing romance assignment, and despite the fact that I hate Mrs. Casteel and her class, this is probably one of my favorite pieces that I've written. It's very Scottish because Highland romance was the genre of romance I picked to write. However, it's not really a romance story, I don't think. It is a story with romance in it.

It's officially called "Layla" because I lacked a better idea at the time (and still do), and because it served as a triple-reference to stories that all fit. The first, is, of course, the song "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes. The second is the story for which that song is named, Layla and Majnun, which is a Persian epic about a man who goes mad with love for a beautiful woman. The third is the story behind the song "Layla," which is of Eric Clapton being in love with George Harrison's wife, Patti Boyd. See, I know my classic rock.

This piece was heavily influenced by three songs that I happened to have on repeat at the time, and because of that, I'm sharing them with you, too. Because I like to do stuff like that. The first, of course, is

"Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes.
Then, two pieces of Scottish music (of very different bands):
"Skye Boat Song" by the Real McKenzies
and "O Tha Mo Dhuil Ruit" by the Rankins.

(They're all very good songs, by the way.)

Though this is probably one of my favorite stories I've written, it's by no means perfect and hasn't even been edited much by anyone besides myself, so you'll have to excuse that. I've made some changes from when those of you who have read it (veniceatsunset...?), but they're minor. All of that said,


Violet arrives at Urquhart College by motorcar, a rumbling new Citroën that her Inverness cousins had imported from France, after a long train ride through the Highlands. It is the first time that she has been allowed to travel from Elderslie to Inverness on her own, more than time enough, she thinks, as she’s in her final year at Urquhart. After the car stops, her mother’s brother Malcolm steps out, well-shined shoes glistening in the bright late summer sun, and pops open the boot. Two of Urquhart’s kitchen boys come forward across the lawns, taking her glossy pine trunk out, to transport it to MacDougall Hall. She follows Uncle Malcolm out of the Citroën, tossing her long black hair over her shoulder. She hasn’t changed into her uniform yet, and she feels out of place, not just because of her attire.

“Write to your mother,” Uncle Malcolm says, and before she knows it, he is gone, the Citroën is gone, and Violet is alone, clutching her small suitcase in MacDougall house’s tartan. She enters Urquhart College, running her hand against the monolithic granite, the cornerstone, 1878. Headmaster MacInally greets her at the door, sends her over to the small table where the head of MacDougall, a steely-haired woman called Miss Kerry and affectionately known as ‘Old Girl.’ Old Girl finds her keys and dormitory assignments.

“Wallace, Violet,” she says gruffly. “MacDougall 315, with MacGuthrie, Eilidh.” Violate takes her key from Old Girl and shuffles her feet north towards MacDougall Hall, observing her navy shoes and bowing her head. She is friends with Eilidh MacGuthrie, but she’s not Fearghas and never will be. It is difficult to replace one’s best friend since they were ten just like that.


A face appears on the landing of the first floor of MacDougall Hall.

“Simon,” she replies, looking at the boy who is peering out from the first privileged room on Floor One. He is tall, thin, and has a perpetually critical expression. “Simon MacKillican.” She wants to leave, not to talk to Simon, he’s a friend of Fearghas, he’ll ask her something. She begins to ascend the stairs towards her own dormitory.

“So, he’s joined up with the RAF, hasn’t he?”

Violet clutches the railing of the stairs in silence.

“He requested to be my roommate before he quit school officially. Does he have an assignment, location yet?”

“I don’t know,” she answers shortly. “I’ve not spoken to him.”

“Are you…” Simon beings to ask, but Violet has already disappeared up the stairs.

News comes the next day that Hilter has invaded Poland. Eilidh is reading The Inverness Courier when Violet awakens that morning, her feet propped up on her desk and a cup of tea in her lap.

“We’ll declare within a week,” Eilidh says casually, almost forgetting Violet’s anxiety, for half a moment. Seeing the headline (GERMANY INVADES POLAND), bleary-eyed Violet promptly becomes wide-awake, and she snatches the Courier away from Eilidh and tosses it in the wastebin.

Urquhart is different without Fearghas, Violet spends almost all of her time either alone in the MacDougall common room or with Eilidh in their dormitory. Simon joins her sometimes, sitting next to her as they both read their assignments for Old Girl’s Pre-Industrial Scottish history class. She looks sad and tired, and he doesn’t bother ask why. He knows she’s always been his. Violet realizes this.

“You should smile more,” he says when he sits by her.

“You don’t smile either,” she points out, tickling the tip of his nose with a strand of her long black hair. He brushes her away and remains straight-faced.


September fades slowly into October, and the only indication of any war besides Eilidh’s daily Courier readings at Urquhart College is Violet’s worry over Fearghas. A letter comes from him on the second of the month, nearly thirty-one days after the start of the war.

“He says that he’s training, and that he had to pass a mad number of exams, and they almost didn’t let him in because his eyesight isn’t really 20/20,” Violet tells Simon at breakfast in the dining hall, crossing her argyle-socked legs and spooning porridge into her mouth, careful not to drip it onto her letters.

She tries not to worry. She tries not to let other people realize how worried she is. She tries to keep Fearghas’s letters to herself, and she isn’t sure why. She doesn’t want to share him, he’s hers, she thinks. Her hands always shake as she opens them up, her eyes always have to glance over the words on the page several times before meaning comes. Perhaps she is just being selfish. Perhaps she doesn’t want to admit that Fearghas’s letters are boring, that they tell of little actually going on and don’t even include sentences like “I miss you.”

Urquhart is monotonous until a chilly Saturday morning when Eilidh jerks Violet out of a warm and blissful sleep.

“They’re here!” Eilidh whispers, voice tight with frantic anxiety.

“Come again?” Violet is trying to rub the wooziness out of her eyes and focus on her roommate’s pale face.

“The Germans, you stupid fuck! They’re here in Scotland!” Eilidh says, waving a copy of The Inverness Courier in front of her face that her eyes refuse to focus on.

What?” Violet shouts and tumbles out of her bed and onto the floor with a loud thud. The jolt wakes her up entirely, and already she can feel her muscles aching. “They’re here? At Urquhart – how did, when did this happen?!” She is trying to scramble up off of the floor.

“No, hush and listen.” Violet’s eyes finally focus on the headline of the Courier. GERMANS COME TO NORTH SEA. “There was a naval battle in the Orkney Islands. We sank a U-boat in Scapa Flow.”

Violet begins struggling to disentangle herself from her bedsheets and get off of the floor. “But… the Orkneys – Simon…”

“Vi, calm down,” Eilidh insists, helping her off of the ground and back onto her bed. “Simon’s here, remember? He’s fine.”

“Oh.” Violet doesn’t know why she panicked at the idea of Simon in Scapa Flow, being fired upon by the Germans. He is at Urquhart, but the idea of Nazi bastards firing on his homeland still disturbs her.


“Is stationed in France,” Violet finishes Eilidh’s statement. She lets out a long sigh of relief.

Everyone feels that the war has already come to Scotland, but Simon is the only student so distraught. No one else hails from the Orkneys, and his family is alright, but his homeland. He has fished and swam in the waters of Scapa Flow. So, unsurprisingly, like Violet, he retreats to his schoolwork. The younger, more optimistic and war-hungry students of MacDougall, the ones who don’t know people like Fearghas, don’t understand why their senior male prefect is slacking, quitting the rugby team while Campbell is about to overtake them completely in competition for the House Cup. Violet misses the way in which he would cheer her while simultaneously making her angry by telling her to smile.

“Simon?” She stands by the table he is working at, clutching her maths text against her stomach, trying to hide her vulnerability.

“Violet?” he turns to look at her, thin face unwinding slowly before her.

“Help me with my maths homework?” she stammers, letting it out, where it hands in the air.

“I – I don’t take maths anymore, Violet,” he answers, and she can’t quite tell if the emotion in his voice expresses regret or immense sadness.

“Oh. Oh. Sorry to have bothered you.”

He wishes she would bother him more often.


They begin studying together, even though it feels stupid and stereotypically geeky. Like something lovers at the maths-and-science house Campbell would do. They sit at the small table in the far corner of MacDougall’s common room, alone. Pouring over A Revised History of the Clans for Pre-Industrial Scottish History, Violet decides that being a student in MacDougall is hard. She knows too many names, too many dates. She hates school, she hates Urquhart, and she wants to light all of her history books on fire.

“Old Girl’s failing me in this class,” Simon says, dejected, as they try to memorize the differences between the Barra and Colonsay MacNeill clans.

“Me too.”

For a fraction of a second, their calves brush as they simultaneously readjust their studying positions. Violet’s leg jumps away instinctually. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she’s aware that he’s watching the way that she moves, the spill of her dark hair onto the page of her history text, the bare skin of her neck and chest. After a slight pause, he moves his leg again, and this time their thighs are touching. She doesn’t move.


Winter comes and she finds him kissing her. She’s perfectly aware that he wants more than the little gestures against her forehead, her hair, her neck. She doesn’t mind, but she feels sad, very sad. The first snows come, and he finds her sitting in window seats, staring out at the blank landscape and the freezing loch.

“You should smile more,” he tells her.

“Shut up, Simon.” Her voice is excruciatingly tight, he can feel the muscles in her throat constricting the air between them, and can’t help but picture different kinds of constrictions.

Her long black hair is plaited and she is wearing not her school uniform, but a pair of khaki trousers and a MacDougall tartan scarf around her waist. He runs his hand along her calf, feeling the smooth skin through her trousers.

“And don’t touch me.”

Violet feels bad for allowing herself to say that the moment the words come out of her mouth. He’s too sympathetic in response. His soft blue gaze and the starkness of his freckles over paling skin make her feel sick.

“It’s okay to miss him, Vi. To worry. We all do. We don’t know what’s happening there in France and…”

She hates how he’s being so nice to her. Simon was never a nice person until Fearghas wasn’t here to be “the nice one” and “the popular one” and “the leader.” Did he ever care for her before now? She finds herself shouting.

“Shut up! You don’t know anything! Why do you pretend that you understand when you don’t!”

Proper Scottish lasses don’t shout and they don’t swear, but Violet is close on unleashing a torrent of obscenities on Simon. She forgets that Fearghas is his friend, too. It surprises her that he shouts back.

“Why are you so fucking arrogant, Violet? Why are you under the convoluted impression that no one understands your pain, that you are the only person who ever cared about Fearghas Tonnochy? Get a hold of yourself, Violet!”

“You never cared for him except that you thought he made you popular!” Violet screeches in reply. Fucking arrogant, indeed. Fucking arrogant her arse. Fucking arrogant to the moon and back. She is glad that he found her in a secluded area so that no one can hear their shouts.

“Because you just worshipped him, I know, Violet,” he counters, lower lip shaking like a tumbling toddler. “I know that you love him – like him – whatever the fuck you have with him more than me, and I’m not trying to replace him, but why can’t you let me care for you?”

She jumps off of the window seat, and approaches him. Simon stands far taller than her, but when Violet is angry, her fury is intimidating. He steps a bit away from her, he already knows to expect ear-piecing screams.

That, Simon, is what you are never going to understand!” she hollers. She is becoming pink in the face. He has never seen her so angry in his life, and yet he can’t put his finger on what it is exactly that has made her so enraged. “Fearghas – I love Fearghas with all of my heart. But he is my brother. He is exactly like my brother. And that is why I am never going to let you care for me. Because you either cannot understand or accept that.”

Simon begins to turn abruptly, he cannot bare to look at her sharp and angry face any longer. He prepares to storm away, but she grabs his arm.

“He has nothing to do with us.”

He jerks his arm out of her grasp. “What ‘us’?” he asks before disappearing down the hall.

Violet packs for the Christmas holiday after reading a short letter from her mother. She knows that is going to be spending the next two weeks alone.


Simon returns to Urquhart trying to be angry with Violet and continue to not seek her out despite how much he wants to apologize to her. It takes her a whole week to track him down, even though he knows that she’s memorized all of his places as well as he has hers.


He’s sitting and trying to study in an empty maths classroom – he figures that if any teacher were to come in, they won’t know who he is. He can feel her eyes roving over him, his rumpled school uniform and the fact that he hasn’t combed his hair yet today. It’s a Saturday, why bother?

“Are you going to just ignore me when I finally track you down, and make your avoiding me complete, then?”

“I haven’t been avoiding you,” Simon tells her flatly, closing A Revised History of the Clans.

“What would you call it, then?” Violet’s hands are on her hips, her lips are pursed, she looks hurt, not angry.

“I just haven’t wanted to study with you. Old Girl’s still failing me and you distract me.”

A slight intake of breath hisses through the room. “I don’t care about that anymore,” she proclaims boldly.

“I know you don’t.”

“Then why do you?”

“Campbell’s going to win the House Cup,” Simon tells her. His voice is flat, as if he can’t quite bring himself to care about things like prefecture, Old Girl, House Cups but can’t bring himself to completely give up the façade.

“Who gives a fuck about the House Cup?” Violet is trying her best not to get angry again, she doesn’t want to shout. She doesn’t want to shout.

“Vi…” Simon beings to say, but she cuts him off.

“I’m sorry.” The words rush out of her mouth too quickly, she stumbles on them.


“I’m sorry,” she repeats. Christ, she thinks to herself. It was difficult enough the first time. She is desperately hoping that he is sorry, too. If he’s not, she just doesn’t know if she’ll be able to bear it.

“What for?” he asks tentatively. She can feel the caution in his voice, it makes her even more nervous.

“For shouting. For accusing you of caring. Of not caring. For whatever it was – those awful things that I said before holiday.” Violet can feel her shame at her own actions, even more for having to apologize for them. His caution is a kick in the ribs.

“Me too.”

They wait only a fraction of a second before they come together as if a force is pulling their navels towards each other. Simon’s arms feel warm, safe, he presses his hands against her upper arms, pinning them to her sides. He mutters her name once, twice, three times… god. Christ. Fuck. A long series of expletives follow, and he finds himself pushing her against the wall of the classroom, breath ragged, though he can’t quite find it in himself to kiss her.

“Simon, please.”
His breath hitches just a little, and he presses a hand against her waist, pushing up her sweater and dragging his fingers along the aquiline ridge of her hip. She tilts her head back slowly, back arching up towards his chest. She’s swearing, loudly, as he runs his hand higher, along waist and up to her breasts, heaving as though the air is heavy.

“God. Oh God.” She’s making soft whimpering noises as if he’s doing something more than grazing her stomach with his fingertips, shutting her eyes as if she’s in agony, but he knows this doesn’t hurt her, not physically, at least.

“Violet, I…” He pulls away a little, so that she’ll stop whimpering, but she obviously doesn’t want him to stop. He wonders if she begs this much when she’s with Fearghas, distantly in the back of his mind, but can’t bring himself to give the matter full consideration.

She says his name again, over and over and over, and it’s an aphrodisiac. Her voice is intoxicating, the pressure of her hands against his skin as she untucks his shirt is like swallowing a mouthful of champagne, her lips taste like clean. The back of her hand slides against his stomach and he can feel a hot, poisonous bubble of lust erupting beneath his skin. Her fingers find the zipper of his trousers, and he can feel the gentle tug of the longest unzipping of his life.

Her hand feels cold, but he’s hot. It’s so hot that he can feel his molecules disintegrating. The steam of their breath is fogging his vision, everything is muggy, blissfully, scorchingly muggy. Her fingers are like daylight, smooth, and bright and hot. Before he knows exactly what’s happening, he’s clouding over and it’s raining.

Vision coming back into focus, he sees her crouching a little, rubbing absently the bare skin between her skirt and her kneesock. He wants to rub until he’s completely a part of her.



It becomes the most important word in Simon’s life, he can’t stop hearing it, everywhere he goes. Don’t stay out past curfew, don’t skip your homework assignments, don’t breathe so deeply, don’t look at me like that, don’t touch me. He’s not sure where it went wrong, somewhere between the here and the final oh my god. He tells himself she’s scared, because moving away from Fearghas is hard, but sometimes, he doubts this sentiment. He’s not afraid, and she shouldn’t be, either.

He watches her carefully (don’t look at me like that), and her posture is tight. Legs crossed, arms tucked against her sides, jaw clenched.

“Violet,” he asks her on the thirteenth, one day before Valentine’s Day of rose-flavoured promises. Six before she turns eighteen. She’s sitting at a table in the common room, he can see the stark white lace of her brassier through the softer white material of her blouse. “Help me with this English essay? ‘My Love’s Like A Red, Red Rose?”

“Don’t lie, Simon,” she replies in a tight voice, not looking away from the maths homework she’s working on.

“Don’t do things just to make me want you, and then turn me away.” He’s imitating her again, clutching his essay against his stomach, mimicking the hardness of her jaw in admitting vulnerability and the slow, high rise and fall of her chest. She regards him with anger and disdain, cheeks smoldering, for a fraction of a second, and then snaps her head away.

“Don’t assume that everything that I do has anything to do with you.”

“I don’t.”

The next day, she comes down to a bouquet of English violets in the common room. Simon watches as she reads the note enclosed, from some literature-studying MacGregor house boy, and already knows what it says. Let me treat you better than they do. Even the blindest of naïve form one students have noticed that there is “something going on” between them. Simon doesn’t care.

She notices him watching and says, “If you really wanted me, you’d have had me long ago.” Her voice sounds bored, but he can’t register if it’s him or the MacGregor boy she’s bored with.

“Don’t assume that I want you,” he says as he stands up and exits the common room.


She disappears from his sight for two weeks, refusing to spend any time in public places. She stops taking meals and ducks out of classes as soon as they end. He wonders at how and why she is avoiding him so well, assumes it has something to do with being sick of being told that she’s not wanted.

She corners him on the new month, somewhere between the library and the MacDougall common room. “Why won’t you say it?” she practically screams at him, obviously infuriated that he hasn’t gone to more of an effort to track her down over the past fourteen days. He doesn’t admit defeat easily, he’s too proud, too fine, too used to being alone. It was easier to let her be angry than it was to admit anything to do with wanting her when all she does is reject him.

“Because I wouldn’t mean it,” he tells her, shrugging. The color is so bright and high in her cheeks that it looks unnatural, unflattering, blotchy. Enraged, she shrieks.

“Don’t lie, Simon, why do you lie?

He shrugs again. “What do you want, Violet?”

Salt streams are pouring down her cheeks, catching in her dark eyelashes. She’s grabbing the collar of his shirt again, throwing him against the wall of the castle, looking desperate and deranged. “The truth, Simon. I want the truth.”

He wants her so acutely right now that it’s physically painful, and she realizes this. He’s surprised she doesn’t capitalize. Panting slightly, he says, “When did you start caring about the truth? You’ve told me enough lies in the past. If we have nothing to hide from Fearghas, why am I your dirty little secret?”

“I don’t lie to you, Simon. I’ve never told you anything but the truth.”

He can feel her anxiety between them, the emotion is tangible, and he thinks distantly of Fearghas again, and if she had to beg him, too. She’s pulling him down against her, entangling him in a kiss slippery with tears, sliding her leg between his and hitching up her skirt.

“Get off of me, Violet,” he says, disgusted, and she cries more, but as he backs away from the wall, shaking his head.

“Simon, please.”

He feels frustrated, angry, he’s sick of her tears and her begging. Grabbing her waist, he imitates her, throwing her against the wall with bone-splintering force. A weak sob escapes from her chest, but that doesn’t stop him from giving her what she wants.

He doesn’t want to rip her or tear her, he doesn’t think of it that way. He thinks of the act with the letter p. Passive. Puncture. Pointillism. Perverse. Perfervid. He can tell that she’s crying, but he doesn’t care. He’s given up on caring for her, because she can’t decide if that’s what she needs or not. He knows she’s protesting, too, but doesn’t care about that, either. She ceases telling him to stop after a moment, anyway. If she didn’t want this, she shouldn’t have asked for it.

The fact that she’s sobbing means that he returns to his dormitory knowing it will be his turn to avoid her.


April is the cruelest month.

Violet’s previously erratic behavior becomes increasingly eccentric after her encounter with Simon. Her argyle knee socks no longer match, her hair goes uncombed, she hums under her breath. She has stopped doing her homework and now she spends most of her time outside, walking around outside of the school, counting paces between windows.

One night, Simon is up late writing an essay for Scottish literature class, flipping through passages of Ivanhoe and really not bringing himself to care when she stumbles into the common room, wet hair illuminated by the glow of the lamp he has on to do his coursework.

He says her name; her clothes look damp, too. “What the hell? You’re soaking wet…” He rises towards her, but she motions him away, using her MacDougall tartan to shake droplets of water out of her hair.

“Don’t bother. I was just swimming.”

There is a half of a pause. “Swimming?”

“Yes, I was swimming. You know, when you take off your clothes and jump into a body of water and move around.”

“I know what bloody swimming is, Violet,” Simon snaps. “Where were you swimming?”

“Why, the loch, of course,” she says, as if this is completely obvious. He opens his mouth to say something about what utter madness it is to swim in Loch Ness in April when it’s a two mile hike from Urquhart College, but by the time that he has formed the sentence in his head, she has disappeared.

The next day, she walks out of Old Girl’s Pre-Industrial Scottish History class with no explanation. The head of MacDougall house doesn’t seem to have it in her to tell her to get back in her seat, and everyone whispers that Violet Wallace has gone crazy. Staring at the newly-empty seat next to him, Simon feels an impenetrable loneliness.

She is lying on her bed that night, reading over the first letter that Fearghas sent her from France when Eilidh storms into the dormitory, looking unreasonably angry.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she demands, slamming down her beloved Courier and a copy of The Revised History of the Clans.

“Nothing is wrong with me,” replies Violet flatly as she folds Fearghas’s letter and slips it back into its envelope.

“You came in at three in the morning last night and walked out of class for no reason. Everyone’s talking up a storm.”

“Let them talk.” Her voice is so serene as she returns the envelope to the hat box under her bed where she stores all of her letters that Eilidh’s eyes nearly pop out of her head.

“Just because Fearghas is gone doesn’t give you an excuse to act as if you’re completely nutters. Everyone else is keeping a hold of themselves, why can’t you?”

“Everyone else isn’t me.” Another cool reply, and Eilidh looks even angrier. Her voice begins to rise, and Violet knows as soon as she starts to speak that everyone on the third floor of MacDougall is going to be privy to this conversation.

“What the hell do you mean, ‘everyone isn’t me,’ Violet? You pretend as if you’ve some right to be more upset over Fearghas not being here than the rest of us. Just because he liked you better than everyone else doesn’t mean…”

“I don’t act like that!” Violet retorts quickly. It’s completely true, of course. Every time she is accused of eccentric behavior, of being self-centered, of slacking off, she blames her actions on Fearghas’s leaving, and fails to accept this excuse from anyone else. But she can’t bring herself to admit her own selfishness and lack of understanding for other people’s feelings.

“Oh, shut up, you do so! Everyone agrees that you laude it over us that he only has time to send you letters, and that he loved you best, and that you’re absolutely, positively ripping yourself apart over him being in danger over in France. Simon MacKillican thinks you’re positively awful, he’s too nice to say, but he does.”

“Simon does not think that I’m awful!”

“He does! You are awful, Violet! All the talk about Fearghas, how much you loved him and you were dedicated to him and the tears and the lauding him over us, and you’re obviously sleeping with Simon MacKillican! You’ve been gone for ages, where else would you be but with him? I can’t believe that he would do it. You’re such a whore, I can’t believe I’m sharing a dormitory with you!”

Eilidh shouting for all of MacDougall to hear that Violet is a whore is the last blow that she is willing to take from the world. With surprising speed, she jumps off of her bed. Her fist makes immediate contact with Eilidh’s nose, a delicate one inherited from her English mother.

The two girls are knocked to the ground. Violet is on top, but Eilidh struggles enough that she immediately rips the top three buttons from her blouse. Both are screaming. Eilidh scratches Violet’s cheek. Kneeing her roommate in the stomach, Violet punches again, this time in the mouth. Blood is gushing from Eilidh’s nose and teeth, staining both of their blouses and sticking in Violet’s unfashionably long hair.

“Don’t you ever say that to me again. Ever. I’m not a whore! You’re just an over-blown bitch who thinks she knows everything!” Violet shouts as she attempts to pummel Eilidh again. The other girl blocks her blow.

Coughing blood, she replies, “I bet you’re selling yourself to Headmaster MacInally so that you can pass all of your classes.”

This angers Violet so much that she picks Eilidh up by the collar off of the ground and slams her back down again. The thud seems to bring everyone finally running, and Simon, the prefect in charge, is in the dormitory suddenly. He drags her off of Eilidh, who is crying, limp on the now-blood-soaked ground. Violet didn’t realize it, but she’s crying, too.

“Violet,” Simon says quietly. The whole house is standing outside their dormitory. “Violet, Violet.” He wipes a single drop of blood away from her pale cheek.

Old Girl’s recommendation and the nature of Eilidh’s provocations contribute to Headmaster MacInally’s decision not to expel her. It was a close call. Violet is sure that, had they not all known that she has been missing her best friend, the administration would have expelled her. Students have been kicked out of Urquhart in the past for less.

Her hearing was the same night – matters such as these are always settled quickly. She emerges from MacInally’s office still-blood spattered, with her tartan covering her open blouse. Simon meets her outside. She isn’t expecting him to be there, as it’s late. The headmaster was displeased with the situation to say the least, being dragged out of bed at ten at night to oversee the consequences of a catfight.

“What the hell were you thinking?” he asks immediately.

Violet tries to push past him, but he grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her.

“What the hell were you thinking, Violet!”

She doesn’t know what to answer. Weakly, she says, “She said I was a whore, and that I didn’t love Fearghas.”

Simon howls with rage and frustration, shaking her again so violently that she can feel her eyes roll in her head. She’s not sure when he became so violent, and she’s not sure if it scares or excites her. Right now, she mainly feels angry.

“What if MacInally had decided to expel you, Violet? What would have you done? What would have happened to us?”

She tries to struggle out of his grasp, but his fingers are digging into her shoulders so tightly that it’s painful. In a vicious imitation, she spits, “What us, Simon?”

“Don’t you ever try shit like that again, Violet,” he replies, not expressing his hurt to her. He can’t bear to think that she would know how much she hurts him. “Don’t you ever jeopardize us like that again. With Fearghas gone and us separated, we’re nothing.”

His voice is louder than he realizes, and she cringes away from the force of his shout before exploding.

“Don’t you ever try to tell me wh

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Comments {2}

an ugly colour

(no subject)

from: runcible
date: Sep. 7th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)

I still love this so so so much.

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yes is a pleasant country.

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from: the_andorran
date: Sep. 7th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)


We need to catch up on IM sometime.

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