Some days, everything went exactly how one wanted it to. On those days, one would wake up before the annoying alarm went off, have their favorite unhealthy food for breakfast, and sail through the day, excelling at everything, failing at nothing.
Holly Short was not having one of those days.
She’d overslept, stumbled into the kitchen only to discover that she had forgotten to buy groceries the previous day, and had gone to work hungry, sleepy, and more than a little annoyed. At work, she had been immediately roped into listening to a long lecture by Foaly about his latest invention, something that was meant to protect the remaining ‘hot spots’ from the Mudmen. Holly wasn’t entirely sure as she’d stopped listening after the second incomprehensible word the centaur had uttered.
And as a result of her lack of attention, she was now at Fowl Manor, asking Artemis for help on how to fix Foaly’s invention before he returned from that conference and found it in pieces after Holly’s misjudged attempt to use it.
Urg, Holly thought, turning her eyes up towards the ceiling, as the young boy across from her went on and on about chemical reactions and whatnot. Really, would it kill Artemis to stop showing off his knowledge and just explain in simple English?
“…and the result makes it highly volatile.” the young genius concluded, setting the folder containing the blue prints to Foaly’s gadget onto the table. “Simple really.”
She resisted the urge to sigh and roll her eyes. What had possessed her to come to Artemis of all people for help? She should have searched for someone who did not posses an unhealthy love for lengthy, arduous words.
“Meaning what, genius boy?” she said instead while making sure to keep her confusion off of her face. The mud boy was even worse that Foaly at times. At least with Foaly, one could call Root to intimidate him into speaking plain English. With Artemis, all one could do was keep asking for a simpler explanation and hope for the best.
“Meaning…” Artemis said, folding his hands together and leaning his chin on them. His eyes were utterly serious, his face unsmiling, as he uttered his next words. “ It’s the end of the world.”
Holly blamed her lack of sleep on her reaction to those words. She also blamed her grumbling stomach and Foaly’s mind numbing speech. In short, she blamed everything but herself.
“What?!” she all but screamed, slamming her hands onto the table while jumping to her feet, completely ready for action. Sometimes, her body moved quicker than her brain. Oh, how she wished later that this was not one of those times.
“Relax,” Artemis said, half smirking, half smiling as spun his chair slightly away from Holly to pick up the folder again. “I’m joking. We merely require a new motor.”
Holly fell back into her chair, her cheeks a flaming dark red. A vein pulsed in her forehead as she fought the urge to punch the egotistical genius’s smug face.
“You…” she muttered through gritted teeth.
She was embarrassed beyond compare at the moment. She had completely fallen for the joke without even expecting it, though, to be fair, it had never occurred to her that Artemis had changed to the point where he made jokes.
She looked Artemis whose smirk had evolved into a mug half grin and wondered for just how many years Artemis’s would gloat over this.
Suddenly threatening the Mud Boy with bodily harm was more than appealing.