• “Um, what are you doing now…?” Nunzio ventured to ask as his psychopathic telepathic charge gazed up at him from the recently cleaned (oh man, had that ever been in a pain to scrub out) bathtub. Her normally rueful impish face had shifted into a mask of childish surprise at being discovered. Locks of brightly dyed purple hair fanned out behind her head and pooled around her pale face.

    She looked like a dried mermaid.

    Red eyes darted around as if the answer was hanging about somewhere in the air before resting on Nunzio’s questioning face. Zenobia pointed a gloved finger skyward as she explained. “It’s going to rain soon…”

    “Huh?” The part time band manager’s confusion rose to a new level. These kinds of things were normal considering how frazzled Zenobia’s mind was after all those years of suffering from a bad case of Zevplauge.

    The thin girl was well acquainted with the horrors brought on by silence by the time Chaz had rescued her and the terminally pissed off Reed. Reed had recovered quicker and was in a saner state due to the fact that he hadn’t been infected for as long (being damned stubborn also tended to help).

    Zenobia was doomed to permanent insanity and thus Nunzio took pity on her. Still, he couldn’t help but be overly confused at her cryptic and shifting thoughts.

    “It’s going to rain,” The insane woman pressed as she slowly rose into a sitting position, arms and back slightly slack as if she were a zombie rising out of its grave. She allowed her head to swivel and roll until she was looking up at her care taker from under her violent violet bangs. Nunzio could have sworn she was being creepy on purpose by the glint in her eye. “It makes more sense to be in the bath if everything’s going to get wet. Water stays in the tub; we went over that two weeks, four days and seven hours ago. Remember?” As she spoke her pianist fingers wove mystically in the air.

    Nunzio lifted an eyebrow and sighed. “Oddly enough, that made sense to me,” He was starting to think that he was getting pulled under the insane tide. Soon the both of them would be communicating in fragmented sentences.

    In a single fluid motion Zenobia pulled her upper half out of the bathtub, toes curling around the rim once she had lifted them up, and rolled out, while somehow managing to end up standing in front of Nunzio. Behind his squared glasses the slightly bulky man blinked a few times in surprise. The odd display had only taken a matter of seconds and the small woman was quickly leaning out the bathroom window, turning her head at an odd angle, peering at a cloud speckled sky. In another quick movement she was out of the bathroom, heading for the living room. Startled, Nunzio had to step quickly to keep up with her, wondering what in the name of all the Saints she was mulling over.

    He found her laying stomach up in the middle of the floor, already immersed in a thick novel with a bag of chips next to her. Nunzio looked back over his shoulder at the hallway he’d just entered through, wondering if he’d just been part of some freak time skip. He preformed a double-triple-quadruple take before inching closer the reading girl.

    “You have a show to get ready for,” She said calmly.

    Warily the part time band manager nodded. “Yeah,” He nervously scratched at his growing sideburns. “Uh, what happened to rain? Thought you said it was better to, you know, be in the bathtub and all. But, hey. Don’t let me stop you from re-“

    “That rain isn’t for this city,” Zenobia quickly cut him off. She snapped the book shut and vaulted into a sitting position. “I was wrong. I thought it was going to rain here, but it’s not. Storm’s rollin’ on.” Her last sentence was rolled into a broken sing-song tone that seemed foreign to her scarred tongue.

    The book was quickly forgotten as the purple haired young woman sailed into the kitchen, uneaten chips stored back in their usual place. Curious at her ways Nunzio watched the small woman patter about the kitchen, pulling out things only to put them back a few moments later.

    Realization then dawned on him.

    “You’re nervous about being left alone tonight,” He mumbled, mostly to himself. Zenobia stopped for a moment to twitch then returned to attacking the cabinets. “Why are you worried about tonight? You were fine when I left for class.”

    “Funny storm,” The purple haired pianist sniffed, leaving the matter at that.

    Moments of uncomfortable silence passed between, Nunzio mentally debating if he should or shouldn’t go to that concert after all. Chaz and the others would do just fine without him tonight, but socializing with other people would be nice…

    Suddenly, Zenobia whirled towards him, a look of timid guilt marring her imp’s face. Her hair moved wildly, as if possessed, when she spoke, her tone ranging from hushed and apprehensive to loud and ordering.

    “Go! Go out, get air, you’re clogging this air up with your indecision,” Thin fingers motioned towards the door and at Nunzio. “It’s all noise and wanting and fear and stuffy and catatonic in your head. I hear it and it’s speaking like cotton candy with its mouth full of sugar fluff that suffocates those idiot birds and then the children laugh… But that’s not important! Need more than damned schooling, more than one duty.” In one final, swooping motion she extended her arm towards her keeper and bellowed. “BAAAAAND MAAAAANAAAAAGER! GO!”

    Nunzio was unable to prevent the small surprised sound that bubbled in his throat. This was perhaps the most Zenobia had ever spoken, it made about as much sense as her one liners of craziness. It was times like these that he was reminded that the girl he shared his apartment with wasn’t just crazy; she could also read his mind. His eyebrows rose high over his glasses as a worried look came to his face. Another wave of mild fear burst over Nunzio as tell-tale purple streaked towards him, pushing with more force than one would think the thin girl could ever apply.

    Before the college student could figure what was going on, he was out the door, wallet and coat pelted at his head. Helplessly he watched the door to his apartment close and lock on him. From the other side he could he hear Zenobia yelling that she refused to let him in again until Nunzio had gone out and ‘had fun’. For four solid minutes the thrown out man stared at the door in disbelief, too shocked to move.

    Since there seemed to be no alternative Nunzio heaved his shoulders in a sigh and walked out to flag down a cab. Zenobia watched him go from the open window, waving triumphantly as the green and gold taxi drove towards the music hall Pavement Saints were booked to play at. A stale city wind came at her sideways, causing shocking purple hair to flutter half-heartedly. Black rimmed red eyes narrowed as the pianist extracted herself from the window frame. Now the task of regulating her actions was in her twitching hands.

    Reading seemed like a good idea.