And now for something entirely different

Not Seal Tales.

_Context_ is a word I will never understand. My relatives all know intimately the meaning of _subiquely_, which I can only vaguely equate to “the sound of laughter running over a brook”; but what the “brook” exactly is escapes me. It has a meaning other than “flowing body of water” in this _context_.

I’m not empathic. A few of us are telepaths; I’m not one either.

I run my fingers across the formed pearls around my neck, their irridescent shine contrasting against my skin like stars in the night. Dressed in lace and a shimmering white gown, I am finally out for the season. Feathers tickle my neck, and I watch the dancers whirl in blues and pinks, rippling in the watery light. Sebastian on my shoulder bobs his head from side to side in time with the music; my gray parrot with more sensitivity to emotions than I possess.

Sebastian stops his bobbing and _chirrucks_, turning his head in the direction of someone approaching me from outside my field of vision. I couldn’t detect his emotional signature as he approached, of course. I turn my head in the same direction, as elegantly as possible with a bird laying his cheek against mine.

An oak-tanned man appears by my side. Unlike the other dancers, he is dressed in somber black; a man in mourning, most likely. I do not keep up with the local gossip that passes silently from head to head over rivers of empathy in this city.

“May I have the pleasure of the next dance?” he asks, midnight-gloved hand lifting mine.

I attempt to breathe calmly. Had someone honestly decided to dance with the empathic dunce? Would he make allowances for me?

Sebastian _chirrucks_ twice, a warning.

No. He’s only here to tease me with my clumsiness; Sebastian is intelligent, but not coordinated enough to direct me in a dance based purely on empathic leanings between the participants. He could sense my emotions and avoid my feet, but I could not do the same.

I thank him, and turn away, pulling out my fan and covering my face so that no one will see the despair writ upon it.

Sometimes I feel like I vaguely approach being a wrtieresfs;lj;lzz//zz.z,.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz