"By feel or by recipe?" Ari inquired. He didn't know much about this so-called "alchemy," but it seemed more polite to say something than stand by silently.
"Something as esoteric as this?" Fritz turned to face him and by the jaunty tilt of his goggles was probably raising an(more) eyebrow underneath them. "Oh, most certainly by feel, Mr. Reynard."
"I suppose that I can't assist you then." He wasn't sure he particularly cared to assist anyway, but, once again, it was better to offer. The efforts in question were being undertaken on his behalf, after all.
"Oh!" Fritz brightened further, "Oh, no, the one thing does not follow from the other! You want to help? Please, help then! Get some goggles! Get some gloves! Get an apron!" His ponytail swished back and forth as he gestured wildly around the cluttered room toward where, presumably, the protective gear in question could be found.
Ari was visibly overwhelmed.
"Nonna!" Fritz called into the kitchen, "Can you come help Mr. Reynard? He's going to work on this one with me."
"In a minute," his grandmother replied, although she poked her head in almost instantly. "A little amateur alchemy, Ari?"
She was better at reading their guests' intentions than her grandson was. He tried not to look sheepish. "I was feeling guilty over sitting around taking up space."
"You're hardly an imposition," she maneuvered through the stacks of mysterious books, the boxes, the flasks, the jars of things that Ari could not name, and came up with all the appropriate armor for the task.
Both men thanked her for her efforts.
"But, oh! Oh, one more thing!" Fritz stopped her again on the threshold of the kitchen, "Could you get some flour for me?"
"And I'm always right,right?"
I try to ignore her by pecking at my keyboard.
"I said,right?" She's nothing if not persistent.
"Why are you still talking?" I ask her as I continue to type.
"Because you still aren't listening."
(more) She's decided I'm a loser and I'm inclined to agree with her. I won't tell her that though.
"Duh.You don't have to tell me anything,remember? I already know everything before you even think it. Because why?"
"Because you're a pain in the ass who lives in my head?"
The slap she gives me upside my very own real live head stings.
"Wrong answer nitwit,"she stands behind me leaning over my shoulder to read the words I'm writing.
"Once more with a little bit of effort,"she's in my ear,her whisper sounds amplified,like somebody pushed the reverb button way past eleven.
Once again I try to ignore her and keep on typing.
"I SAID," she stops with an intentional dramatic pause, waiting for me to pay attention. I keep on writing and she huffs,rolls her eyes,then flicks my left earlobe.
"OW! That hurt! Finger-flicker!"
"Got your attention though didn't I," she sits herself right down on my laptop, more of a hover than a sit.
"You're in my way,c'mon,move,I can't see the screen," it's taking all I have to keep from screeching like a banshee. Hmm, banshees....
"Don't you even *think* of starting something new! Have you heard one word I've said?"
"Actually,I heard every word you said,I'm ignoring you."
"Well that's obvious,c'mon,just say it once and I promise I'll leave you alone."
She thinks I don't know she's got her fingers crossed.
But I play along anyway.
"You are my Great and Wonderful Muse,from whom all ideas flow,the creator of all my thoughts.Ok?"
She grins,"that'll work for now. Now about those banshees..."(less)