Field Trip

Filinie muttered as she packed for the field trip.

Dear gods, don’t let there be scorpions.

She rolled her brushes up in a sheet of canvas, tucked it in by her boots.

Or snakes.

She shuddered and began gathering up her paints. Cad orange. Lots of it. Ochres. So boring. The smell of turpentine calmed her somewhat but she was still peeved.

Why can’t we go somewhere civilized? Or at least different? A beach would do.

But the professor dragged them all to Thousand Needles every term to make another boring orange painting, to get sunburnt and dusty and uncomfortable. At least the paintings sold well.

The valise slowly filled.

Trying to make up for lost time, Filinie raced through the city streets to the gryphon master. She was last to arrive, but the professor didn’t even notice her; he was busy glaring at the gryphon master. It seemed he was a gryphon short.

“…Academy pays you an usurious sum to reserve–”

“Out of my hands, sir. I said we had none for hire, but Alliance offic– Oi! There!”

Filinie looked where he pointed and saw a dark speck grow closer. The gnome on the gryphon was wearing leathers covered in grime, pink hair the only spot of color on her. As Filinie watched the gryphon approach to land, the gnome leaped off from an improbable height, waved to the gryphon master, then ran for the harbor.

Filinie groaned. With her luck she’d be sitting in that filthy saddle in a few minutes time.


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