Spirit Hunger – Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

Adi was upset. The conversation with Honi had started out so pleasantly and for a little while, she’d been able to forget her dreams. Of course it couldn’t last. When Honi had started talking about his nightmare, the images from last night had invaded her mind with such power that she stopped breathing for a moment.

Whereas dream images tended to fade by the morning, these felt more like memories. The pain was as clear in her head as if it had really happened. When she rushed out of the coffee shop, she had to suppress the urge to touch her eyes and forehead, just to make sure she was okay. Stupid. A dream shouldn’t have that much power over her. Unless it wasn’t an ordinary dream.

Adi shivered. She vaguely noticed the lecture room filling up and students sitting down to either side of her. Honi wasn’t here yet. Then Diepger walked in and pulled out his materials. When he straightened up, his eyes fell on Adi who was towards the front of the room as usual. His mouth tightened and forehead furrowed. He clearly wasn’t pleased to see her. Adi sighed. She couldn’t afford to turn him against her, given that exams were only weeks away, but it seemed it was too late. She hoped he would be professional enough to grade her fairly but she didn’t hold her breath.

Sure enough, he kept glaring at her during his lecture on German fairytales. Adi tuned him out after a while. When he started talking about the theme of the Big Bad Wolf in the Brothers Grimm’s versions, her mind began to wander again. She knew the original fairytales from her time in Germany. Her mom had read them all to her from an old book handed down from her mother’s mother. The pages were yellowed and smelled a little dusty, but the colorful illustrations were designed to entrance a small child.

Some of the stories were gruesome, she remembered. Modern sensibilities would probably cringe at wicked stepmothers being made to dance to death in red-hot iron shoes but she loved that the bad guys were punished. And that they died at the end was even better because then they couldn’t hurt anyone else ever again. As a child in her mother’s arms, she remembered snuggling down and going to sleep with images of princesses and princes and talking animals swirling in her mind.

“Ms Gutseel, would you like to share with the class what you find so funny?” Her head jerked up at the teacher’s icy tone. What had he been talking about? Wolves? She hadn’t paid any attention. Dammit.

“I’m sorry, I got distracted for a moment,” she admitted, hoping her apology would be enough. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

“Oh, so you think you know it all? You know Ms. Gutseel, it’s bad enough having to correct you in German class, even though you claim you grew up speaking the language, but now you’re too clever to pay attention here as well?” Sarcasm was dripping off his tongue and some students sniggered. Her face heated up and she could just imagine the flush rising in her cheeks.

“I’m sorry Professor Diepger, I was paying attention. I just didn’t get a lot of sleep last night,” she tried again, hating that she had to defend herself.

“Your personal ‘issues’,” – oh great, now he was using finger quotes – “are none of my concern. If you want to pass this class, I expect you to stop day-dreaming and put in some hard work instead of coasting on your family’s coat tails,” he interrupted her again.

What the hell? Adi sat up straighter, her whole body tensing as her irritation grew into outright anger. How did he know about her family? She carried her mother’s name Gutseel and nobody knew about her trust fund. She took a deep breath and mentally filed the information to be examined later. It wouldn’t do her any good if she lost her temper now.

Link to Chapter 1

Link to Chapter 12 

Link to the next chapter will be up Monday!

Link to Chapter 14