Steven Shinder

In this scene, Copper Petal University student Randy Morales meets with Mathis Dillard, who resides in a mansion and has offered to ease Randy's financial woes. But Randy suspects that things may be too good to be true...

Lemons Loom Like Rain

The office seemed very ordinary. There was an oak desk with a stack of paperwork on top. Randy and Mathis sat down in creaky rocking chairs on opposite sides. If the chairs were different, this could have been just about what anyone would expect from a generic office.

That is, if one were to ignore the intimidating blowtorch sitting beside the paperwork. And the two scythes hanging on the wall to the right. While Mathis had his eyes on the papers, Randy glanced at one of the scythe blades, where a speck of blood remained.

“So, Randy Morales.” Randy turned his head quickly to face Mathis again. “That's an interesting first name. I'm sure you got picked on for it, right?”

“Like a scab.”

Mathis hit the shape of a nail on the forehead. Randy had felt dead all throughout high school, an institution full of immature students who constantly repeated the phrase “Randy's feeling Randy!” He was so fed up with this behavior that it was a relief when he arrived at CPU and met people whom he felt treated him as an equal, even though he felt like the odd one in the group. The toothpick in the sandwich.

Despite the weirdness of the campus, these new bonds sparked life within him. A life that he knew would be temporary.

“Typical people behavior,” Mathis said, his chair rocking forward slightly. “People can be trouble.”

Randy could still see the speck of blood in his mind's eye.

“How did you get so rich, if you don't mind me asking?”

“It's a boring story, really. Mother went to a convenience store and finally won the lottery.”

“How convenient.”

Randy did not quite buy it. Not that there was much he could buy.

“So I'm willing to give you however much you owe in loans, and then you'd only be paying me back half of that amount. With that in mind, how much did you wanna borrow?”

“Twenty thousand.”

Mathis picked up a pen and started filling in the blanks.

“Okay. And when do you graduate?”

“Next June.”

“All right. Now the procedure is that you need to start repaying me three months after your graduation. Do you know the exact date you graduate?”

“Not off the top of my head.”

“All right. Well, how about this? You make your first payment by a year from today. What's today?”



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