weekly (Another Nightâ€¦) – 12
â€œExquisitely thrilling as this riveting banter isnâ€™t,â€ Manadan prissed, â€œmight we please hurry it along?â€
â€œNevermind, Jimsa,â€ Gupti apologized, shrugging through the grate. â€œIt was a bad joke. Can we get our weapons?â€
Jimsa eyed him suspiciously for a moment, then seemed to give up and slid back behind the crate.
Manadan took a breath, but Gupti held his hand out to wait.
â€œCome on, Jimsa. We need our weapons. Weâ€™re late for duty.â€
â€œSo, weâ€™ve got to get moving. The captain is already angry at us for being late.â€
â€œAnd whose fault was that, again?â€ Manadanâ€™s stage whisper, full of snidely false curiosity, covered Jimsaâ€™s response.
â€œWhat did you say, Jimsa?â€
Jimsa mad a rough barking noise â€œJesâ€™ like I sprek. Body donâ€™t care.â€ His pale arm flopped above the crate and waved dismissively. â€œGan whicha.â€
Gupti glared at Manadan, but kept his voice quiet.
â€œJimsa, please. Iâ€™m sorry. Iâ€™m listening.â€
Manadan opened his mouth again, his eyebrows tight with frustration, but Gupti covered it with his hand. Leaning in close, he whispered very quickly and very firmly. â€œGo wait upstairs!â€ Then he turned the little man around like a doll and pushed him slightly less than gently back down the corridor.
Manadan did not reply, and he only paused slightly, before moving off the way theyâ€™d come, Gupti returned his attention to the grate and the reticent armorer.
â€œYes I am listening, Jimsa. Please, just give us our weapons and weâ€™ll leave you alone, okay?â€
â€œAlone?â€ Dry breath rattled in a dry throat. â€œAlone?â€ His face appeared once more beside the crate and his round eyes fixed Gupti squarely. â€œWeâ€™re never alone.â€
Gupti leaned back in mild surprise. Jimsa was not entirely squarely tied on, as it was said, but solitude was his one known pleasure. That was partly why heâ€™d been assigned here. He hated being bothered only slightly less than he hated doing what others told him to do. The only thing he hated worse than those two things, however, was not being able to complain to someone about them.
The other reason he was bound within these stony confines was an awe-inspiring knowledge of weaponry. Or a disturbing knowledge, depending upon oneâ€™s point of view. As the Kingâ€™s Guards had seen it when they had installed him some twenty years past, Jimsa was the perfect armorer. His background, whatever it had been, ensured that their weapons were always cared for, always prepared, and always lethal. As the local populace saw it, Jimsa was a bogeyman, an unseen hand whose works wreathed the barracks as a bristling reminder of an angrier past.