Jessie stares at the table, concentrating deeply. Keebler floats over her head. He is lying on his back in the air, holding a thick book between his hooves as best he can, having it standing upright on his belly.
"Five?" she asks.
"Hm," the sheep says, looking at the opened pages before him. "I'm afraid that would be correct for a class B license."
"Well I don't know then!" Jessie exclaims desperately at the floating sheep.
"The number of medium-sized dragons one can own and train with a class A license would be…"
"I don't know!"
"Three," Keebler calmly reveals, slowly floating over the anthro-wolf's head. He licks a hoof and flipped a page with trained perfection. "Now, dimensional constraints of a medium-sized dragon as laid down by Ward legislation…"
"Argh!" Jessie complains heartfelt. She dumps her head on the table and buries it under her arms. She lies there silently for a few seconds.
"Well?" Keebler asks, undeterred.
"I don't know," Jessie's muffled voice responded.
"The dimensional restraints of-"
"I don't know," Jessie insists. She sits back up and leans back, taking a deep sigh. "I'm going to fail…" she groans. The floating sheep does not respond; instead, he randomly leafs through the book, casting casual glances at the passing pages. Jessie flips a page in a nearby notebook and starts sketching on an empty page.
"I don't even see why I have to know this," she complains, slanting her head at the page.
"I believe this was your own choice…" Keebler remarks, not looking up from the pages.
"I want to be an sketch artist!" Jessie argues. "I didn't even know there was an exam. Why am I supposed to know how many people it takes to make a riot?"
Keebler shrugs, for as far as a sheep can shrug.
"It is merely the exam for civilian employees," he reasons.
"Yeah, well, if it's so easy, you do it," Jessie snaps.
"I'm afraid I may not qualify," the sheep answers. He starts leafing to the front of the book. "I assume I am below the minimum height requirement…"
"Hmpf," the anthro-wolf sulks in response. She leans her chin on one hand and plays with the pencil with the other as she stares at the drawing to be. Keebler pauses to read a small passage with great interest.
"… You nearly are too, are you aware?" he says when he is done reading.
"Hey!" Jessie responds, casting an irritated look at the floating sheep.
"Oh well… I imagine the full exam to be more challenging still," it says.
"Yeah, well," the anthro-wolf says, slanting her head to have a good view of both the sheep and the notepad, "at this rate they won't have a sketch artist." On the paper under her skilled pencil strokes the general shape of Keebler and the book becomes visible. "I only wanted to draw!"
"Your exam officer may be sympathetic," Keebler offers.
"Maybe…" Jessie answers, detailing an ear. "No idea who it is…"
Keebler licks another hoof and starts flipping through the pages, several clumps at a time at first, before clumsily turning the last few single pages. For about a minute only the flipping of pages and the scribbling of the pencil on the paper.
"Your future commanding officer," the sheep finally reveals.
Keebler clears his throat. "'In principle,'" he recites from the book, "'all exams pertaining to factual knowledge and skills directly related to the applicants future position will fall under the responsibilities of the commanding officer for the applied for position.'" He pauses for effect and breath. "'This includes all entry exams.'" Keebler finally finishes the quote. "Now, which gentleman shall be your commanding officer?"
Jessie stares past her drawing for a few moments. The pencil stops moving.
"Captain DeLancy," she groans, closing her eyes. Keebler raises an eyebrow.
"Captain John B. DeLancy?" he repeats with a measure of concern.
"I don't know…" Jessie answers. She drops her head on the notepad. "I'm doomed…"
Keebler looks down at the exhausted anthro-wolf. For a minute, he just floats around in that typical 2AM silence. Then he licks his hoof, flips back a number of pages, and clears his throat.
"The dimensional constraints of a medium-sized dragon as laid down by Ward legislation…" he repeats.
The character of Jessie is copyrighted to Angie McClelland. Keebler and captain DeLancy are
copyrighted to Arno Jacobs.
- Arno Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org)