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Stupid and Brave

My sleep patterns are all out of wack, which is why I was asleep at 8pm and am awake now. I woke up to the sound of shouting and a touch of thumping, here and there. It was a man and a woman yelling at the top of their lungs at each other.

I considered calling the police. There was my phone. I grabbed my phone. My computer screen was in front of my face. This was what the thousand essays had mentioned. This was time to put my body where my mouth was and follow through. I grabbed a jacket to throw on over my lurid pink nightgown. I stuffed my feet in my fluffy black slippers. I fished my 3 D-cell Maglite from under the heap of cloak and scarf and sweater on the floor across from the front door. I stepped outside and scanned around with my ears. I thought it would be the troll and his girlfriend yelling at each other again, but it wasn't; it was coming from the next apartment: across the way and to the west. "GET OUT OF MY FACE!" she was screaming. He screamed back.

I marched up to the door (as well as you can in fluffy slippers) and knocked firmly, aware of the phone in my fist and the flashlight cradled in the crook of my arm. The yelling stopped. He opened the door, wearing a backpack. Average build, short (not registering as taller than me (which means he could have been by at least three inches, as I'll consider myself the height of a six foot man)).

It was dark inside; I spied her, standing, upset and apparently unhurt, shorter than both me and him. "Are you all right, ma'am?" I asked.

She said something that indicated that she was.

"Maybe you'd better go cool down a bit," I told him then, firm and cool and implacable, as if there was a Vulcan standing in my awkward body and absurd slippers. "Go for a walk or something."

Perhaps he'd already been leaving, but he walked out as I stood by, and she shut the door firmly.

"Sorry for disturbing you," he said as he disappeared into the night.

I popped back in my apartment and started shaking. They have police for these things. I could have put her in worse danger by noticing. He could have had a gun. I should have paused to offer her comfort. I should perhaps make a police report in case there's a history. I have no idea if there's a history, and if so, who's inflicting more hurt and who has more power. I came to IRC for comfort. They took a few moments to listen and counsel me, then went straight back to the boards, dragging me with them. The night's been nearly silent since then, though I kept my ear out for any sound that might have been his return.

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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