There are many questions which arise without notice. Some are more pressing than others, a storm of noise that overrode the trickle of voices whispering in the muted, distant background. Trapped with the confines of a few feet, worn wood pressing upon jean-clad legs, getting answers to unspoken questions was next to impossible. The teacher simply would not listen.
“Morgana, what does it mean to be dormant?”
Images of a bear sleeping in the winter, of inactive volcanos, sprang to mind. Dormant. It was an interesting question, one that begged an answer. What did it mean to be dormant? Was it the bear sleeping in the winter or was it the volcano that lurked and waited for a chance to come to life once again in a fiery, violent explosion?
Or, perhaps, it was a flower but that was not actively growing?
Thin lips pressed into a tight line. Blue eyes clouded, the distant gaze narrowing as a teen with intense, midnight-purple hair mulled over the question presented. Dormant. After a moment, she sat back in her chair as she held her teacher’s gaze.
“Are you asking about the definition or an actual meaning behind dormancy?” She posed the question softly, her voice low and tranquil. Her teacher blinked at the question. Had he not anticipated she would ask such a thing? After a moment of silence, she trailed her finger across the surface of the desk. “What does it mean to be dormant? Such a question has multiple answers, sir. Which side of the conversation are you asking after?”
The teacher circled the desk and leaned his hip against it. He offered a slow, easy grin as he answered, “I could be asking after either, Miss Corcoran. Have you an answer?”
Morgana Corcoran slowly nodded, blinking owlishly as she folded her hands on the desk in front of her. A long, slightly curly piece of royal purple hair fell over her shoulder as she cocked her head to the side. After a moment, she said, “I have an answer for both, sir. For what dormant means and what it means to be dormant. Which shall you hear? The definition or the truth? Or, perhaps, you are blind to the truth and only want the answer the world acknowledges…”
A distressing conclusion, that one. To turn away from an answer just because society did not like the soul which resided, always present. She held her teacher’s gaze, unblinking. He did not look away. For this, an inkling of respect rose inside of her like a dying flame gently kindled by a caring hand. After a moment when there was no answer, she slowly nodded once more.
“Dormant, as defined by a modern society, is a state when an organism is not active, such as an inactive volcano or when a bear goes to sleep for the winter,” Morgana traced patterns across the desk as she paused, not quite sure how to move forward. The class started to shift and whisper in their seats, a dozen gazes biting into her body as she shifted the words through her mind. A harsh look from their teacher had them clamping their mouths shut, their eyes unnaturally wide and their skin deathly pale. Exhaling, Morgana said, “To be dormant, however, is a dual-state. It can mean more than something being alive but not actively awake. It can also refer to something fixed in place, such as our current generation and how many people cannot see past the phones in their hands.
“That is dormancy on one side, but it serves another purpose,” Morgana breathed in, her lungs filling with air. She sat upon her sit-bones, balancing her weight evenly through her body as she pressed her palms flat against the table. Her brow furrowed, then smoothed out as she said, “To be dormant is to be still, to converse energy. In times of great conflict, dormancy is used as a survival tactic when the enemy is unknown. In the winter, the world goes dormant. Trees loose their leaves, some animals go to sleep. It is a means of surviving in situations, or in conditions, that are not favorable.”
There was silence, then. After a moment, Morgana said, “Being dormant means more than simply being inactive or asleep. It is a state of nature, a force needed to be able to harmonize nature and the world around us. Things must exist in a state of balance. If this balance is disrupted…”
Her throat caught. Her gaze finally dropped to the table, a pink flush staining her cheeks as the still-silent class stared at her. At the front of the class, slow, steady clapping broke the hush that had fallen. Morgana peeked through her lashes, watching as her teacher applauded her explaination. His expression, however, was fierce. The class seemed to sit on the edges of their seats, their breaths caught in a sudden sense of do-not-move.
He pushed away from the desk, hands held together. He slowly made his way down the aisle until he stood before her desk, staring down at her bowed head. When he offered his hand, he said, “Well put, Miss Corcoran. I couldn’t have put it better myself.”
She hesitatingly reached for his hand. When she grasped it, it was unnaturally cool to the touch. Her fingers brushed over his wrist and she started. Something was raised against his skin, a slight line which left her fingers numb and tingling. Her gaze dropped to his forearm, an inky black symbol contrasting with the darkness within his sleeve.
Her mouth ran dry as she stared at the moon-and-cross, her gaze drawn to the single sphere nestled within the crescent. His grip tightened marginally, nails biting gently into her flesh. A warning, perhaps? She couldn’t quite tell, at this point. Exhaling, she lifted her gaze to his and knew she was trapped.
She was caught in the onyx pools of her instructor’s gaze as he released her hand, his fingertips brushing against the insides of her fingers and palm before stroking her pulse. He offered a dark smile as he murmured, “Well done, indeed, Morgana.”
He offered a dark smile as he murmured, “Well done, Morgana. Well done.”