“Pssst. Wot!” **
Wot peered up and down the hallway of the University, blue eyes scanning warily for the source of his name.
“Wot! Over here!”
After a moment he spotted Ben, the other squire’s sandy brown head poking out from the entrance to Arrens and Aely’s apartment.
“How… how did you get in there?”
“I asked Aely for the key, told her there was something Bricu needed for the wedding. Get in here.” Ben’s lanky form disappeared into the apartment. The other side of the door rustled loudly.
“Are you sure… are you sure that’s ok? Isn’t that their private apartment?”
“Yeah, but I need the keys to his motorcycle shed!”
“You’re going to steal his motorcycle?” Wot’s eyebrows shot up, settling somewhere around his hairline, as he stood in the doorway.
“Of course not, why would I do that! Someday he might even let me drive it! I’m going to decorate it. You know, for the wedding!”
“Dec… decorate a motorcycle?” Wot stepped very tentatively into the apartment, leaving the door half open.
“Sure, haven’t you ever heard of that? You fill the panniers full of rice and put streamers all over it and bells and a big sign that says JUST MARRIED so everyone that sees them can yell and celebrate too!” The rustling noises moved over to the bookcase, where Ben was pulling random books off the shelf, opening them, and then closing them again.
“No, I’ve never heard of that on a motorcycle. Though I think I saw it once on a horse buggy. Why are you … what’s in the books?”
“Looking for a spare key, I know he has one in here somewhere.” Ben moved on to a row of variously sized canisters, finding in one a collection of bookmarks and paper clips, and in another, nothing but some dust and a dead silverfish. He crowed as he opened the third – “Finally! Ok, let’s go.”
“Go? Where are we…”
Wot followed after the exuberant Ben, who bounded down the stairs three (or maybe four) at a time, headed out to where the Professor kept his beloved motorcycle. By the time he caught up, the taller boy had managed to get the padlock unlatched.
“Don’t you think he’ll be… upset? When he sees it?”
“Nah, he’ll be too happy to be married. Haven’t you seen them together?”
Ben opened the door to the shed with a whoop and disappeared inside. Wot stood looking at the door suspiciously. A few moments later Ben poked his head back out again.
“Well? Are you going to help me or not?”
Wot hesitated. “You’re sure he won’t be mad?”
“Of course he won’t be mad. We’re not going to hurt it. Just make it all festive for when they leave from the party tonight.”
He glanced around the University green, making sure nobody else was around. “All… alright. Sure.”
Wot followed Ben into the shed, looking admiringly at Arrens’ blue and gold motorcycle. He’d obviously had it cleaned for that evening’s getaway. Mr. Bricu had a motorcycle too. Maybe someday even he would have a motorcycle. Some paladins did drive them…
Ben’s voice startled him out of his momentary daydream. “WHAT?”
“What’s something that’ll make lots of noise if we tie it to the bike. These stupid bells are too quiet. That goblin said they’d be great for a Festive Winter Holiday, but I don’t think he planned on a gas engine.” He was carefully tying a sign to the back of the bike; it was painted with the words “JUST MARRIED” in bright red.
“Noisy… Uh.” Wot thought for a moment. “What about… Didn’t Mrs. Reynolds make soup last night?”
“Yeah, so what? What does soup have to do with anything?”
“Broth cans. Tin cans, I mean. Will that work? It should be really noisy on the cobble streets.” Wot shrugged.
“Hah! Tin cans. Perfect! Go see if she’ll give you any. If she asks, tell her we’re working on a project for the Crusade.”
“But… for the Crusade?”
“Just go, it’ll be fine.” Ben went back to attaching the sign.
Ten minutes later, Wot returned, carefully carrying an armload of lidless tin cans. The motorcycle was almost unrecognizable, decked out in white streamers with red and green tinsel. Ben had found some kind of soap to write on the windshield and had drawn little lopsided hearts all around the edges.
He was visibly pleased with Wot’s delivery just long enough to pick up a can and look at it. “Ooh! These are great. Ok. Uhh… how do we get them on the bikes?”
Wot grabbed a pair of hammers off of the workbench, handing one to Ben.
“What’s this for?”
“Take a big nail,” he pointed at the neatly labeled jars of nails on a shelf, “and put a hole in the top of each can. Like… like this.” Wot punched a hole in the first can. “When we get a bunch, we can… can tie them together like a … a ….”
“A tin can bouquet?” Ben grinned.
Wot grinned back. “Yeah. A really noisy tin can bouquet.”
** Ben and Wot are Aely and Bricu’s Argent Squires, respectively. Really, they should’ve been assigned in opposite…
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