Paradigm Shift 22

Title: Paradigm Shift
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: ParaShift

Gregor took a sip of the juice, his lips puckering at the tart flavor that hit just before the sweetness. He broke off a piece of scone and popped it in his mouth. He hadn't been hungry at lunch, but his stomach suddenly felt completely hollow.

He glanced at Park from under his lashes and caught the hint of a satisfied smile. The guy was probably patting himself on the back for bringing the snack back.

"I'll help you choose a nice outfit for tonight," Park said.

Gregor lifted his head curiously. "Is there something going on?"

Park was poking through Gregor's closet. He probably saw such fine clothes everyday. "Grandfather has invited an old friend for dinner. You're going to want to dress for success."

There was no way Gregor wanted to meet some rich geezer that would probably make him feel an inch tall with a look. But the man Park so casually referred to as "Grandfather" was Rutherford Hizel, *the* Duadenora. Head of the whole Family and master of all that he surveyed.

Definitely not anyone Gregor ever wanted to offend.

Which meant he would dress in the best finery and display as near to impeccable manners as he could manage.

Gregor lifted a scone and took a big bite. His hormone riddled body needed more calories than he'd been giving it. If he wasn't careful he could end up burning himself up. He'd seen the pictures of skeletally thin Thirds that had all their fat melted away during the Madness when they were unable to eat. There'd even been some deaths before people had learned better.

This was going to happen no matter what he would prefer. So he would do whatever necessary to survive intact.

"Fancy clothes night," he mused, taking a big bite. "Fun."

"It will be entertaining at least," Park said. "Judge Tersoe always has the best stories to tell."

Gregor felt himself blanch. He hurriedly took a drink to cover.

Judge Rulf Tersoe was going to be here.