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High jinks

 
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Sushuri Madonna
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Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:37 pm    Post subject: High jinks Reply with quote

The Story so Far...

Shin-cheri and Mengxia-cheri made their way back down the pipe.

"I think we should tru retracing our steps back to the kitchen window," said Shi-cheri. "I imagine you must have dropped Jin-Jin along the way."

"No, really, miss," said Mengxia-cheri, "I know\I had her when we started climbing. It was quite awkward to manage her and hang onto the pipe as well."

"Hmm. Well, you didn't drop her while you were climbing or she would be on the ground here."

"There she is!" Cried Mengxia-cheri pointing upwards. I remember now, I put her on the top of the lower sash-window as we were getting into the room. I needed my hands free, you see, and then I was so surprised by that big brunette it went right out of my head..."

"That is all right," said Shin-cheri reassuringly. I'll just pop up and fetch her."

Wit the speed of a small monkey, Shin-cheri was up the pipe again almost before the words were out of her mouth. Mengxia-cheri climbed more slowly behind her.

"I say," called back Shin-cheri. "She seems to have a fin stuck in the window. I can't move her. Oh there you are. You didn't need to come back up too."

"Well, she is my fish, miss. I thought..."

"The window is stuck. I think that brunette has wedged it. I'll have to get her attention."

Shin-cheri knocked at the window several times before the wedge was pulled out and the sash thrown violently up.

"What do you want now, you young lunatic?" demanded Diana angrily.

"You wedged the window, miss..." began Shin-cheri.

"I did it for a good reason. To keep you out."

"Yes, miss. Very understandable. But Jin-Jin got trapped in the window."

"Jin-Jin? That little blonde Estrenne?"

"No, miss. Jin-Jin the stuffed fish."

"Merciful Dea..."

"But it is all right, miss. She is free now. We shall be on our way. Rayati, miss."

"Rayati," said Diana, closing the window firmly and re-wedging it.

"Downy-ho!" cried Shin-cheri ro her fellow drainpipeer.

"Do you think we should, miss?"

"I think we'd better."

"There are a mistress and two very big girls down there, miss."

Shin-cheri looked down. "I say, so there are. This is an emergency. We shall have to appeal to the better nature of that rather irascible brunette."

She knocked on the window again.

It was flung up even more forcibly.

"Now listen to me child," said Diana. "You may be unfamiliar with the ways of Westrenne schools and that is the only reason I am not putting you in House Detention right now. But let me tell you something and be assured that I shall not say it twice.

"We Westrennes may not have all the strict protocols that you people have, but there are certain unwritten rules. And one of those rules is that chinnies of your age treat their elders and betters with respect. They do not come visiting at windows. They do not even come visiting at doors unless they have an extremely good reason. They do not treat their elders and betters as equals. They know their place in the Golden Chain of Harmony. Surely that makes some kind of sense to you."

"Yes, miss..." began Shin-cheri.

"Good." said Diana and closed the window with a bang.

"What shall we do now, miss?" Asked a tremulous voice from below.

"I would appear," said Shin-cheri, "that the only way is up."
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Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was another window above Miss Diana's. The room inside looked dusty and unused and the window was firmly locked. Above that was only the roof.

The roof held no terrors for Shin-cheri. She scrambled over the guttering, then leaned over and half-pulled Mengxia-cheri after her. Mengxia-cheri found herself on slippery slates at a 45-degree angle with a vertiginous view over the college grounds. She felt slightly queasy.

"Are you all right?" asked Shin-cheri.

"it's a bit - high - isn't it?" said Mengxia-cheri uneasily.

"Well that's roofs for you," replied Shin-cheri. "look at the slates, not the ground, if it bothers you."

Mengxia-cheri looked at the slates. They looked shiny and slippery and steep.

"Up and over, I think," said Shin-cheri. They'll spot us on this side if the look up. Follow me. hands and knees please. And don't stand up and wave yourself about." Mengxia-cheri had no intention of standing up and waving herself about.

Shin-cheri scrambled silently up the slates. Mengxia-cheri managed to follow her, terrified of slipping, terrified of making a noise and, above all, terrified of falling.

As they came over the apex, Mengxia-cheri had a giddying view of the drop on the other side. Shin-cheri had Jin-Jin by a fin between her teeth and helped Mengxia-cheri over.

They slithered down till their heads were invisible from the other side.

"There. Safe," said Shin-cheri. Mengxia-cheri felt anything but.

"What now, miss?" she asked quietly.

"Well the obvious thing is to get down a drainpipe on this side - but I have to warn you that getting down over the guttering onto a drainpipe is harder and more dangerous than getting up over the guttering onto the roof. Do you feel up to it?"

"I'm awfully sorry, miss, I am not sure I do. I'll try if it's best."

Shin-cheri studied Mengxia-cheri's white face. "Well, perhaps not," she decided.

Mengxia-chei was now considering the prospect of staying on the roof forever - or at least for a very long time.

"What about getting down the chimney like the Star-Fairy?" she suggested rather forlornly.

"Hmm..." Shin-cheri studied the chimney. "We'd have to get that pot off, and I don't know how they work inside - I mean how climbable they are. We should certainly get black with soot. No, I think we should leave chimneys to the Star fairy. You see, she is made of Air - we aren't."

"Then what can we do, miss?" asked Mengxia-chei.

"I think that skylight looks like a better prospect."

"But they only open a few inches, miss."

"Not if you now how to unhook them. The main problem is to see if the coast is clear down there."

Shin-cheri slithered easily across the slates and peered into the window, being careful not to cast her shadow over it. She looked cautiously and then more boldly. Then she waved Mengxia-cheri over.

As Mengxia-cheri shuffled inch by inch across the roof, Shin-cheri pushed her slender forearm into the gap under the skylight window and fiddled with something under there. As Mengxia-cheri came near, she threw back the window triumphantly.

"There! We're in!" she said. "Aren't you here yet, Mengxia-cheri?"

"Just here, miss. But we aren't in yet."

"Oh yes we are." Shin-cheri hauled and lowered her through the skylight and then climbed monkey-like after her, pulling the window on top of her as she came.

They were in a tiny room with a tiny fireplace and washbasin, a small bed, a battered trunk and a maid's uniform hanging on a hanger in one corner.

Mengxia-chei sat trembling on the edge of the bed. "I am never climbing a drainpipe again," she said.

"Never is a long time," said Shin-cheri, sententiously repeating a phrase grown-ups had used to her. "At your age a month seems like forever. But you can hardly go through a whole life without climbing a drainpipe occasionally."

As Mengxia-cheri pondered that thought, the handle of the door began to turn.
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