The suburbs where Oriana and her friends lived were a relatively new addition to the city. Twenty years ago a change in the tax rate of the neighbouring state created an opportunity for energetic companies to uproot themselves and move across state lines. The city’s population swelled from 50,000 to 100,000 in just five years before the government of this state decided to raise their taxes too and stifle the economic boom taking place.
As a consequence the city has divided into two distinct architectural zones: that of the factories and sprawling suburbs that housed their workers, and those surrounding the hospital and the old city centre. The latter were old high density town houses that while small were aesthetically more pleasing to the discerning eye. The limited size of these residences did not limit the prestige and cost of living in them. It was a status symbol to live in the old suburbs and Syndi, who considered herself an artist, would never allow herself the disgrace of living in a cheaper roomier suburban house.
Syndi was poor, however, and the seemingly perpetual stipend of student allowance she received for never succeeding to complete a degree was insufficient to pay her rent. She had however two additional streams of income, neither of which included selling any of her ‘artworks’. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 33”
Paul typically wore jeans and jumpers whenever he was out in public, however, today he felt his lunch date, if that was what it was, with Deaspara required something a little more formal. He was dressed in a white shirt with a red tie and a pair of his father’s pants, which were noticeably too short for him. He arrived at the restaurant, and was guided to a table for two and commenced waiting for his date to arrive. Although, he wasn’t entirely sure if it was a date, he was sure he had seen a wedding ring on her left hand, but was it perhaps on her right hand and he had gotten confused? He would definitely check today, and besides, even if it isn’t a date, the soup van desperately needed some more money to pay for the food. The demand for food from the homeless only grew bigger each year; it was already beyond what the small parish could comfortably afford.
Deaspara was watching him from the balcony of a neighbouring building with the single minded focus of a bird of prey. Syndi was not far from her cigarette in her left hand, and a beer in her right.
“Awww, the boy has dressed up for our little lunch date! I forgot how sweet these innocent young lambs can be,” snickered Deaspara.
Syndi burped loudly before responding, “You reckon you can break his faith in god? Telling him how scared you are of god probably didn’t get far with him last night.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 28”
Kelly walked into her Nutrition and Health Sciences class and quickly moved to claim her favourite workbench to set her books down on. The room was full of ovens, stove tops, and all the equipment needed for a chef to make anything they wanted. No sooner had she sat down than the teacher came up to her with a new student to the class. Kelly glanced at the overweight woman with purple curly hair beside the teacher and confirmed that she had never seen her in the college before.
“Hi Kelly, Jonathan your practical partner has dropped out of the class. Since he won’t be coming back your new partner will be Syndi here.”
Kelly politely exchanged hellos, “I don’t understand, Jonathon said nothing about wanting to quit, he wanted to be a chef as much as I do. What happened to him?”
The teacher looked uneasy and said simply that she wasn’t allowed to talk about it. Kelly continued, “But it’s week five into the course, isn’t that too late for some new to join?”
“Yes, it is rather late, so I am putting Syndi with you so you can help her catch up.”
Kelly shrugged her shoulders and started showing Syndi around the classroom. Kelly spent most of the class frantically trying explain to Syndi what they had to do. Syndi didn’t seem to care as much as Kelly thought she ought to, but she didn’t want to judge. Kelly was happy to be a helper. On the first break, Syndi leaned across and whispered to Kelly.
“I know what happened to Jonathon.”
Kelly immediately demanded to know. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 21”