!wV79//1ryE 2011/02/16 (Wed) 20:01 No. 22726 ▼
File 129788647889.jpg - (4.12KB, 150x113 , Coffee_is_the_life_of_Man.jpg)
The bread things crunch pleasantly as you eat, providing a nice contrast to the cheese and meat, and you find that some of them have a different taste, some kind of seasoning, or something, that compliments the taste of the other two items. Suddenly, you realise. You don't actually know what cheese is, beyond 'these little yellow things.' You look down at the food in your hand, and cock your head, considering the cheese from a new angle.
It doesn't even smell like anything you've smelled before, either. You hate to admit it, but you probably can't figure it out on your own.
"So..." You begin, hesitantly, "Just what is cheese, anyway?" Your question seems to come as a surprise, to him.
"Oh?" He pauses, to consider his answer. "It's made out of ferme-" he stops, and you can see his mind working, briefly, "...it's made out of cows. Like...beef." Oh! So that means...
"It's like meat?" You ask, wide-eyed with surprise. It doesn't look like meat, but it is very tasty, in a way you can't really explain. "Whoa..."
"Well, sorta." He nods, before popping another one of the toasted bread things into his mouth.
"...What are those?" You ask, gesturing towards the bottles lining the top of the far wall with the hand not currently occupied by food. It's been bugging you, and since this is apparently a good time to talk, you figure it couldn't hurt to ask.
"Hm? Those? Those are bottles of olive oil." He doesn't even need to be prompted to continue. "Olive oil is a...well, you can call it a seasoning, I suppose, and each of the things inside the bottle flavour it a certain way. Those red things, for example, are a type of pepper, and they make it spicy. There are all kinds of different olive oils. Even the place that it's made in can contribute to the taste." He begins to explain at length about different varieties of olive oil, and the assorted uses that the substance has. ...He's apparently a big fan of the stuff. Or at least, from the direction he's going with his explanations, the food that is produced with it. You, however, are...a bit less enthusiastic. When he pauses to eat one of the last little snack-things - are they really almost gone already? - you take the opportunity to ask another question.
"So, you told that lady you were a writer, but I thought you were a human! What's a writer? And that little rectangle thing you had, what's that? Is it like chocolate?" You make your curiosity known, and guess at the rectangle's nature, likening it to the only other rectangle you can really think of. He blinks at your question, and takes a moment to process it, before laughing. Behind you, you can hear someone entering the restaurant and speaking to the odd human who meets them at the door, but you pay them no mind. Settling down, your human begins to explain.
"No, no. Being a writer is a profession. It's how I," He pauses, considering the phrasing of what he was about to say. "Earned my food on the outside." Something seems to click in his head, and his gaze suddenly sharpens, staring at you with great intensity. "Wait. Do you mean that you don't even know what writing is?" You cock your head at the strange word.
"...Writing?" His head drops to his hands.
"So I assume reading is foreign to you as well." It doesn't sound like that's a question, but you respond anyway.
"Well...i-it's just human stuff, right? Why would I need to know…whatever it is?" His face runs through a series of expressions, so quickly that you can't identify them, before finally settling into a determined mask. He leans forward ever-so-slightly, and speaks slowly and quietly.
"I will teach you to read. And you. Will. Learn." You can't help but nod. He seems so serious about it! But suddenly the serious cast to his features is gone as though it were never there, replaced by a gentle smile. "You'll like it. Reading is a great thing, and always useful, even in this world."
He's interrupted by the arrival of more food, two dishes piled high with meat covered in some kind of sauce on top of...well, not worms, but worm-like...things. The red is heavily seasoned, with a number of unfamiliar spices and flavours. You aren't quite sure how to eat it at first, but your human demonstrates the tools that help eat this strange meal, and sets to work mixing together the assorted components of his meal.
"So. That 'rectangle,' as you called it, was a book. My notebook, specifically. That's where I do my writing, and when it's finished, it is edited - that is to say, cleaned up, and prepared - and then printed...well, basically replicated in large numbers, I suppose." He considers this for a moment. "Well, it probably won't get printed, here. But that's alright. And Rinnosuke has a number of notebooks, so I guess I won't have to worry about running out." He takes a bite of his 'pasta,' he called it, and chews thoughtfully. This stuff is very good, you have to admit. There's a lot of meat in the sauce, which is nice, and the 'pasta' part adds substance. Oh! But there is one question you'd almost forgotten.
"Earlier," you begin, unsure of how exactly to put it, sensing, perhaps, that this is a delicate topic, "earlier, you mentioned the outside, and...." Another pause. You look away from him, "I, I mean, it isn't l-like I care, or anything, but...you looked...Sad. I didn't - well, that is...Why? Isn't that your home?" He smiles at you, gently, and a bit sadly.
"Yeah. It was my home, but...the world out there...it's changing. People are drifting away from each other, interacting less and less. Everything is moving faster and faster, and people are losing sight of the little things. No-one really just...takes it easy, anymore. If you're in no hurry, you'll just get trampled by the rush." He chuckles. "I know that the world I dream of never has been. And it isn't likely to ever appear. But...what can I say. I'm nostalgic for times that never were." He goes on to tell you about the wonders of the outside world, the way food can be cooked in minutes, or even seconds, how humans build massive hive-buildings that scratch at the sky, and all manner of strange things. Some things he seems to like, and others, he talks about how people have changed because of them, and he sounds sad again.
You notice, finally, that both of you have run out of food. The strange man is back, bringing strong-smelling brown stuff in cups. Your human thanks him, and adds some white stuff from a little lidded bowl thing to his liquid.
He calls it 'coffee,' and explains that it is somewhat bitter, but if you add 'sugar,' the stuff in the bowl, it tastes better. You try drinking some. It's hot, but more importantly, really, really, bitter. You quickly put it down and make a face, adding some of the sugar, like you saw your human do. Three spoons, just like he did. You stir it around a bit, imitating him, and try again. It's better, but...you don't like it. Bleh. He laughs.
"It's not for everyone, I suppose. Don't worry about it. At least you tried, right?" Well, you guess he's right. Ah, well. The man comes back, and accepts some money from your human. As the two of you walk out, you hear someone else standing up from a table. That person from earlier, probably.
You’ve returned to the comforting shade of the forest trees. Your human is humming softly as you walk, and you’ve drifted to walk by his side, at about arm’s length. Walking can be good too, sometimes, you’ve come to discover. There’s a sense of relaxation that comes from a leisurely walk that just isn’t the same as when you fly.
You are, however, slightly annoyed. Someone’s watching you. You can feel their eyes on you. Your human, of course, is completely oblivious - after all, he is just a human. You aren’t quite sure where they are, yet, or what their intentions might be, but you can feel the tension increasing. Whoever, whatever they are, they’ll make their move soon.
[ ] Find them first. Preemptive strike!
[ ] Warn your human. Best to have him ready for this.
[ ] Call them out. Ruin the surprise.
[ ] Wait. Make your move when they make theirs.