The World of Duenkhy 4: An Aside

LADY: It’s perfect timing that you’re here, because I was actually wondering if you could do me a favor later.

Lady lights a cigarette, a vice she didn’t have when I knew her a few years ago but that I suspected from the stubborn smell clinging to her house. I lean against a wall and consider her. Even though I felt fondly towards her back when I first met her, I didn’t know much about her then, and I feel like I still don’t now. It’s strange to trust someone so mysterious so implicitly.

JUN: What is it?

LADY: I bought some cookies for our next door neighbor, Tor. He helped me last week with fixing my phone, and I’ve been meaning to give him a thank you gift. Mind taking it to him?

JUN: Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to receive a thank you gift directly from you rather than a housemate he’s never met before?

LADY: Oh, Jun, you simple, lovely creature, I’m trying to trick you into meeting more people.

JUN: Ah. I should have known. I appreciate it.

JUN: …But I’d appreciate some explanations about the way things work around here more, first. You kinda just… transported me here and left me to my own devices, y’know? What am I supposed to, like… do here? I mean, I know I’m the one who asked to come here, but what’s expected of me?

Lady smirks a little as she inhales, and I already know that I’ve asked a stupid question.

LADY: You don’t need to worry about things like that, Jun. I’ve taken care of everything. You just sort out what it is you want to do while you’re here. I’ll protect you and make sure you’re safe.

JUN: Th-that doesn’t feel right, though. Isn’t there anything I can do in return? You’ve already done so much just by granting my wish and letting me stay with you. I feel like… there’s no way I can ever pay you back.

LADY: No need for it, honey. When you live as long as I have, you learn how to amass the things you need; I’ve got plenty. Let me give something back to the universe.

JUN: Well, then, what about Duen itself? Does everyone speak english here? Is there anything I should avoid doing? I don’t wanna offend anyone…

LADY: Use common sense and just be yourself. Duen ain’t so different from the human world, sugar. We’re just communities of magical beings who are all trying to understand each other. The rest will sort itself out. This world plays by its own rules and bends things to its liking. Be flexible and you’ll find the route that’s right for you.

I still feel a little lost in culture shock, but if anyone knows what they’re talking about, it’s Lady, so I just have to trust her. I mull over her words, letting them sink in before I move on to the next issue.

JUN: Okay, so, cookies for the neighbor. Anything I should know about him?

Lady blots out her cigarette and looks thoughtful.

LADY: He’s pretty big. Don’t freak out when you see him.

>Find the neighbor

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