Short Stories


Before you read, I should preface this that, yes, Christianity (or a version of it) exists in the LAPH world. I did say this was a rather self-indulgent world with shenanigans and no plot. And, thus, Christianity exists and Robert is an adherent and whoever I feel like is an adherent is also one. I do have vague ideas on why it’s a thing but they aren’t really important for the intro plot. That said, this is the 10th LAPH story! And it’s actually one of my more favorite ones. XD…I just enjoy library stuff.

April 28, 444 EoP. Sunday 12:49

While Robert had promised Jovan to give his classmates and this school and his Combat teacher a chance—that was way too many promises—and he’d found out that this “chance giving” wasn’t entirely awful, he still found that he missed his old home. Or, more specifically, the Sunday service from his old home.

Of course, he and Jovan had had a quiet service in their shared room, but after that, the day became free way too early.

Not that I ever enjoyed going…I liked the sermons but there were too many people all the time.

And having already finished his homework and shooed Jovan to do something “fun” with Finn Eridos (without any remembrance to the event they’d specified), Robert decided to stop by the school’s library—named Laconic Library, of course—and see if there was anything interesting in there to read.

Technically, there was, as Conception had come from there, but he hadn’t checked it out himself. The books had been given to the class via Mr. O’Lest, so it would be interesting to explore the building.

L.A.P.H.’s main building was eerily quiet when Robert entered and wandered through the white hallways, and it took a while to actually find the door to the expansive dome that held five floors of books and study rooms. But eventually, he found the automatic glass doors ushering him into the connected structure.

And to his mild surprise, there were quite a few people there.

Ah, right, Robert remembered as he ambled to the philosophy section. Midterms are coming up. And given that he’d joined school about a month after it had begun, apparently he’d been exempt, provided he made it up on semester finals.

He wasn’t too surprised, therefore, when he spotted a fellow classmate hanging out in the book nook of the LL, pouring over a mountain of books and looking way more stressed than he should be considering midterms had to be like…three or so weeks away. If memory continued to serve Robert correctly, the stressed-out guy with the mildly tanned skin, weirdly silver eyes shadowed with glasses, and dark hair was Gregory Borrit.

Isn’t he the guy who always buries his head in his arms for most of class? Huh…I guess he does care about studying, Robert thought to himself as he picked out a few books by Orilem, then froze for half a second. Ah, great, another one who subverts my expectations.

He wondered if he should join Gregory in the mostly empty book nook or hide out in the almost invisible reading space between the philosophy bookshelves. He thought he’d spotted a girl there, however, so…

“Oh hey!” Robert jerked his head to find Gregory whisper-shouting at him, silver eyes blinking.

Waving his books as way of return, Robert smiled. Cornered yet again, he sighed ruefully.

After a quick moment of self-debate—whether the greeting was enough and he should go or whether he should answer that hopeful look of invitation…

Stifling a sigh, his feet, as if protesting his anti-social nature, left the philosophy section to go and sit beside the tall boy.

“You’re Robert, right?” Gregory whispered, though there was no one else in the nook beside a boy sleeping on a textbook and Gregory’s pile of books.

Setting his own two books down and taking a seat on a dark blue cushion, Robert gave a slight nod. “And you’re Gregory Borrit?”

“That’s me…but you can just call me Greg.” The guy gave him a nervous smile and fiddled with his glasses. “Are you here for homework as well?” he added, his eyes shifting towards the two books Robert had placed on the table.

Tapping on the hardcovers of The Theory of the Multiverse and A Commentary on the Word down, Robert shook his head. “I’m just reading these since I’m done with homework.” His eyes blinked at the giant pile of books. “Is that all your homework?”

Greg winced and shifted on his pillow “Ah, no…well, some of it. But I’m studying for midterms.”

“Already?” Robert stilled his fingers. “I mean, I get checking out books to prepare…” Especially since most of my classmates don’t like note taking, but…

“Yeah…it takes a while for me to sort out my photographic memory.” Greg shrugged, as if he were ashamed of it.

Huh…photographic memory. That is incredibly cool; but then wouldn’t it be easier to sort things out with notes? Despite his thoughts and not wanting to assume (wait, no definitely wanting to assume), Robert smiled at Greg. “So that’s your power? Photographic memory?”

It was sort of a joke, but Greg surprisingly nodded. “Yeah, that and some minor illusion powers. It’s not a big deal, honestly, but my photographic memory means that I have the ability to remember everything I’ve experienced with the five senses and every thought I’ve thought.”

Oh, okay…never mind. I get why you don’t take notes now…sort of?

Robert’s eyes widened briefly. “Oh, wow…that sounds…” He didn’t want to say horrible. But to remember everything that the human mind took in for a lifetime…

As if sensing his thoughts, Greg hunched his shoulders and started tapping the desk with his fingertips. “It’s not that bad…or it wouldn’t if I learned to control it better or filter or organize my mind better, but, as it is, that just means earlier study time for me.”

Curious, Robert leaned his back on the radiator behind them. “Don’t know if I get it all…is it weird to ask how your photographic memory works?”

Truth be told, with that audible sigh of relief and brightened smile, Greg seemed happy for the break from all the books.

“Sure, no problem.” Pushing aside his books, he joined Robert in leaning back on the radiator. “So, you know how humans usually filter out memories their brain deems insignificant?”

No, I did not. But he nodded anyway.

“Cool, so my brain doesn’t do that at all,” Greg said, tapping his temple with a nervous smile. “It’s actually developed enough by my powers so that it can take in anything that would overload it…which actually has benefits if I want to pull an all-nighter. I’ve managed to lower its sensitivity in retaining information dealing with ordinary things, so that they’re stored in the further recesses of my brain, but for things like school and cooking and just remembering, it’s…kind of chaos.”

Narrowing his eyes slightly, Robert studied his classmate. “So…basically, you’re saying despite remembering everything, you have to work on bringing up the right memories?”

Fiddling with his pencil, Greg hunched his shoulders and chuckled. “Yeah, that’s basically it. It’s why I can never answer the question in class, even if we just learned it. Remembering everything does not equal mental speed, after all. It’s there, but…there are also other things in there, noises, sights, a lot of new things. And it’s also the reason why I try to avoid taking notes and just mentally reread what I’ve already read and heard. I’m just glad I didn’t have this power as a baby, since I had to relearn how to talk when I…and I’m oversharing. Sorry.”

Tilting his head to warm his hair on the radiator, Robert frowned. “You’re fine. But…can you not forget anything?”

“Not really,” Greg laughed, though it sounded closer to a sigh. “I can push it back and organize it, but I’ve always had trouble focusing. I tend to either focus too much or not at all. Mostly, I can’t seem to think properly or just function properly without feeling as if my head is too crowded.”

Well, now I feel bad for bad-mouthing you guys. Right. I hate it when Jovan is right, Robert internally assented. The dangers of talking to people…

Out loud, he tried to puzzle Greg’s mind out. “But why can’t you take notes and just memorize those while pushing the rest of the stuff back?” he suggested carefully.

Fortunately unbothered, Greg readily replied, “I tried…but I really and literally can’t.” Out came another sigh from the chestnut-haired boy. He studied his pencil gloomily as the warmth embraced the boys. “I mean, I hear everything our teachers say, but my mind is also busy filtering the things they’ve said before, so when I do take notes, it’s usually a weird combination of things I remember the teacher saying in other classes and disjointed sentences.”

“That sounds tough.” And how do you not have a headache?!

“It’s not that bad…the fact that my mind can’t get physically overloaded helps. But it does take a lot just to organize the facts that I’ve learned in my head, and the library is usually so quiet, the extra information that does come in from here is like background music.”

Wait, what about your room? That should be—oh, right.Student flats. Roommates…I forgot about that. Well then, Robert decided as he picked off a cloud of dust from his green half-zip fleece.

“Wow, I’m pretty impressed,” he said, glancing up at Greg, who smiled uncertainly. A thought crossed his mind. “Wait. Aren’t I a pretty big distraction, then?”

The uncertain edge disappeared as Greg shook his head. “Not too bad, actually…everyday sounds and conversations were one of the few things I learned to organize. Mostly. And anyway, after your whole fight with Miss Harintan, I kind of jumped at the chance to talk to you.” Greg grinned sheepishly, now fidgeting with his pencil. “That was impressive…”

“What?” Robert blinked at Greg and edged from the radiator. Starting to get hot. But what was so impressive about losing and not wanting to die at the hands of that scary woman?

Greg just grinned at him. “Trust me, everyone’s been wanting to talk to the powerless boy in Class 7, but no one ever can find you after school.”

That would be because I run away to play video games or read. He cleared his throat instead, suddenly feeling slightly self-conscious. There goes my career as an invisible high schooler…but I’m pretty sure the novelty will wear off. It’s only been less than a week, anyway.

“Ah, yeah…” he casually rejoined, propping his elbows on the table. “So…basically, you’re saying, conversations and everyday noise is okay, but studying is way too much new information that needs a good heads up in organization?”

“You got it,” the boy said with a sharp nod. “It’s not as bad as it sounds…I’ve always managed to ace my tests, even though it feels a little like cheating. But at least in high school, a lot of the tests are essay-based, which means it’ll be more of a challenge. Still…”

As Greg kept talking, Robert couldn’t help his growing respect for the awkward, nervous boy. Okay, I definitely misjudged…how many is it now? Four members. Yep. Four members of my class. Fine, Jovan, you win. I still would rather read Orilem but fine. I can’t hate this school anymore because of you.

“Anyway, how about you? How do you study for midterms?”

Robert had been half-listening to Greg’s detailed explanation of his study methods and had to quickly review what he’d heard in his head before replying.

“Well, I just look at my notes, try to apply some critical thinking, and learn the important parts,” he explained, glancing at the books on the table. And then get cranky when it’s all multiple choice and essays… he silently added. “I can’t memorize all the facts myself like you can and organize them in my head, so I just do a revision.”

It didn’t sound that impressive to Robert, but Greg blinked at him. “I’m so jealous.”

What? Well, that doesn’t sound right…. Of all things, he should be jealous of the powered kids here (maybe that was better than hating them? But Robert wasn’t the jealous type, so he vetoed that idea). Thus, he just raised his eyebrows briefly at Greg, who moved from the radiator to laugh.

“I’m serious…I’m so used to just memorizing and organizing my head, I forget to critically think, sometimes…a lot of times. Which is really important for superheroes or anyone involved with them.”

Seeing how gloomy Greg had fallen, Robert tried to assure him. “Huh…it’s really not that hard. And you have to have mastered it to get in here, right?” He glanced from Greg’s pencil, still being abused by its owner, then to the table, scanning it until his eyes fell on a notebook. “But if you want, I can write you down some tips for you to review later, and some revision sheets…people have their own method, but there’s always a starting point.”

Given Greg’s wide eyes at the offer, Robert realized he’d just have to take the Orilem’s books to his room as he was now stuck talking to this admittedly nice guy.My classmates are really distracting, apparently, he internally snorted as Greg handed him a spare pen. But I guess it’s not that awful…

Gregory/Greg Borrit has to be one of my favorite characters in the LAPH world. He is a sweet bean who suffers from his powers but still pushes on in spite of them.

I know this might’ve been a bit expositiony, but I did love this story cause it made me decide, “Yeah. Now all of Robert’s classmates are getting personalities.” And after developing a few of 15 other backstories and futures for the classmates…I love them. Even the irritating ones.

And, as someone so commented last week, “MAKE FRIENDS, CHILD!”

Anyway, hope NaNo is going well for you all! See you next Thursday! ;D

P.S. As you can see, I really have done away with my “biography.” Who needs professionalism when you can just ramble.

©Lemon Duck, 2021. All rights reserved.

11 thoughts on “Biblio-fun!

  1. very coolio! also interesting that he refers to photographic memory as a power… I want to see him use it like a superhero! Maybe he can remember every bad guy and villain’s moves and track them down?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re still in school, though, sadly. And indeed. The photographic memory combined with illusion powers can be TERRIFYING

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing about shenanigans is that it depends on who the writer is as a person. Do you know what I am like? *more evil laughter*

      Liked by 1 person

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