The first thing that she ever said to him was, “It’s a shame about your face.” Dan found the words anticlimactic after her stunned silence and ensuing helpless laughter. Why just his face? She’d all but drenched him in some kind of paint. His shirt, jacket, and trousers were splattered with the stuff. He wiped the thick blue ooze off his brow.
“Oh… you…” She started laughing again. “You may want to not touch…”
Dan blinked at her. She dashed over to the bench and grabbed a few wipes. “Sorry. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t laugh. Try not to touch it…”
“Why?” He reached for the towel, and noticed the paint on his hand was no longer just blue. He pulled his hand back. It… scintillated. The glow edged through rainbow colors like a mood ring or a non-neon Rainbow Brite. It was pretty. And struck him with a visceral terror. But it was probably fine. She was laughing, not panicking. In fact, she was still talking. Dan raised his eyes from his hand to her face, and tuned into what she was saying.
“… and they certainly never bother the squid. It’s only for a little while, but it is probably going to make things awkward-“
Dan held up his hand and waited until she came to a stop. “Is this going to kill, injure, or maim me?”
It was her turn to blink. “No.”
“Okay.” Good. “Could you tell me what this is?”
“Bioluminescent paint made from a mixture of squid-”
“In small basic not scientific words.”
She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Heat affected glitter paint.”
“Summary of effects?”
“The changes in temperature are going to cause the areas of skin touched by the paint to… glow in a rainbow of colors. This will last for about three weeks until the… paint flakes off. It will require a lot of showers, but will ultimately be a story you can tell about that clumsy girl in the temperature control rooms who spilled paint on you. Sorry. Again, by the way.”
Dan laughed. There really wasn’t another logical response. “Just the stuff on my skin?”
“Yeah. It was supposed to cover my sculpture.” She pointed at the abstract swirling columns on the table. “The change in air temperature…” she glanced at him and changed her sentence again. “It’s a representation of the Great Squid. The temperature paint is made using squid… ink.” She scuffed her foot on the paint splattered floor. “I couldn’t resist.”
“Why is the squid not glowing then?” He asked, amused and curious.
“It doesn’t have a temperature control, but human bodies are warmer than air or plaster…”
Dan nodded. “I guess I look pretty funny.”
She smiled. “A bit. You’ll just be… off and mildly two faced for the first three weeks of this semester…”
Dan sighed. That was a horrid way to start the school year. He didn’t want to be Two Face.. “This stuff non-toxic?”
“Of course, or they wouldn’t let me use it in a public display…”
“Okay then.” Dan nodded. “Can I just be all blue? I’d rather be Avatar boy than Two Face.”
She laughed. “If you’d prefer.”
“I really would. As long as I get painted before I change my mind.”
Her head kept nodding. “Okay.” She squared her shoulders. “Then I guess we’ll be blue.”
“We’ll call it a thought experiment. I can spin the appropriate b.s. later.” She dipped her hand in paint and held it out to him. “I’m Asha.”
“Dan,” he said. He shook her hand. “We shall be the League of The Blue and Sparkly.”
And so it was.
In a shocking turn of events, all the thieves stole from Bek this week. Check out the ring for more madness with the same first line.