‘They used to be three feet wide.’
Charlie looks up from her text book, letters still jigging in front of her eyes. ‘What did?’
‘They did.’ Shint points lazily towards a border of delphiniums and alchemilla mollis heavy with last night’s dew.
‘The flowers?’ The sun is blinding and her brain is still heavy and fizzing from the three Red Bulls she drank through a sleepless night.
Laying the magazine he’s been pretending to read over his face, Shint waves vaguely. ‘You know. Zootbungles. Flitflappers. Glassfleets.’
One problem with sharing a house with Shint was his total inability to remember the right name for anything from saucepans to umbrellas to college tutors. It led to some lengthy and frustrating conversations. Though when she was in the right mood — usually after a pint of two in the student union bar and definitely NOT while cramming for her finals — his lapses could be entertaining.
She squinted across the patchy grass, trying to second guess what he was talking about. ‘Woodlice?’
He shook his head.
‘Tin cans? Crisp packets? Smelly trainers?’
No to each one.
‘Shovels?’ She was running out of ideas. ‘Fences, butterflies —’
‘Ah!’ Shint’s head jerked off the ground, limbs shuddering.
‘Not butterflies. This flits and flaps like that but it has stained glass wings and wears fighter pilot goggles and floppets over water.’
Seriously? She was expected to revise the Heisenberg picture and Clebsch-Gordon coefficients whilst listening to the ranting of a barely coherent Neanderthal — A dart of yellow and black flashed past. A dart with glassy wings and with what looked like old fashioned flying goggles fixed to its head.
‘A dragonfly,’ she sighed.
‘Yes!’ Slint was up, jogging from foot to foot, waving his magazine in the air like a trapper struggling with a large paper bird.
She’d almost miss him after graduation.