The pond is clear; I can see right to the very bottom, where there is earth. I imagine that I start to count the grains of dirt, and imagine that, instead of a pond in a garden in the backyard of a house in the suburbs, that I'm sitting at a pond by the ocean, and I can hear the sound of the waves coming in: that's just the cars, of course. But I can imagine!

There's been nothing in this pond for a while; well, apart from the plants. They are wonderful plants, but I've liked to have glimpsed some fish.

I think, if there had been fish, them I would have been their queen. My name means "laurel-crowned", you see; instead, I make shadows on the water with my hands: they are my fish. They're not like other fish; they're strange, fantastical fish: they move in and out of sight, slipping between the worlds, between the layers of senses that we can detect, like real fish might suddenly flip up out of the water and then, just as suddenly, dive back down into the depths again.

I'm not allowed to play with my fish all day, though; I have to go back instead for tea. I sit down at a small, round table and there's scones with the tea, in little teacups, and the teacups sit on matching saucers, and even the scones have their own little plates. There's a little cake fork with one tine kind of flattened; that's the part that's used for cutting; well, it's more like pressing actually, but with some weight in the wrist, or else you won't get through anything, or your scone will leap right off your plate and onto someone's lap: strawberry jam, cream and all.

I don't like scones, but they're okay with jam and cream; I don't like the baking powder, I suppose, but if they didn't have baking powder they wouldn't rise at all, and nobody does scones with yeast, then they're called dumplings and they're done in a pot of boiling water, not an oven. I do like dumplings, but then there's no jam and cream; I'm not sure why. Sometimes, I'm allowed to have them with butter, though.

I suppose it's just one of mother's rules: dumplings are for having with vegetables and meats, and baked things are for having with fruits, conserves, syrups and cream.

We have Earl Grey tea, which I quite like, and, thankfully, there's no tealeaves; mother always complains that when there's tealeaves there's bound to be some sort of witches' ceremony or foretelling of the future; I don't mind the fortunetelling, it's mother's nagging I can't stand. It's awful, I'm not just an impatient, intolerant child. I suppose that's why the tealeaves had to go whenever mother or I chance to call around: I'm not the only one who can't stand her turns.

At school, we've been asked to write a story; mine is going to be about three girls: they're triplets and their names are Lorna, Lorleen and Larlene. I think those are very pretty names, and they sound like the sort of names that would be given to a princess.

As I'm trying not to toss my feet about, stuck in this chair sitting next to my mother who's taking an age to finish her tea – we're to go shopping later, I can't wait – I wonder about fortunetelling and the future. What will I be when I'm older? I wonder.

Well, I decided; one day, I'm going to be a mother, like my mother, but I'm not going to tote my children along after me as though they were nothing more than this week's most fashionable accessory to be seen with. And I'm going to help people; I'm going to have a job.

I pick a crumb that's fallen off my scone from my plate and drop it onto the ground for some little bird that might come along later with a hungry tummy; mother gives me a look that says that the crumbs are to stay on the plate until it's taken away and that I'd better not try that one again unless I was looking for a telling off.

She's worried, of course, that the crumbs will all get stuck on the bottom of the fancy-dandy shoes she's wearing.

I put my hands in my lap. I don't sigh; there wouldn't be any point, really. I wonder how much longer I'm going to have to wait until we leave and I'm allowed to look in the windows, and, when mother goes inside one of the shops, I'm allowed to go in after her.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watch a group of ants marching across the concrete. I imagine that they're chanting as they march, and I can hear their chanting song in my mind.

It's a lovely song.


The marching song by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Code Name: Eternity or any of its characters.


Thanks for reading.