‘They can walk through walls and make things disappear,‘ said Ararnia, her eyes wide and her red hair shuddering as she spoke. ‘And they can turn us to stone.’
Tiberius sniggered. ‘Who told you that?’
Ararnia shoved him. ‘S’true, she said, ‘humans can do all kinds of dangerous things.’
It was midnight. Tiberius had finished his essay and he and Normal, Ararnia and Ocacia had met in the boy’s dorm for a night feast. Tiberius had produced the last of the food from his mum, at the moment they were finishing up treacle and pork sponge cake. It was interesting.
‘I did hear that humans often put bits of paper into their mouths, set fire to them and suck on them,’ said Ocacia. ‘That seems dangerous.’
‘Ee-yew! That would just fill them up with smoke!’ said Ararnia, screwing up her face.
Ocacia nodded. ‘That’s what I thought,’ she said.
‘Humans are weird!’ said Ararnia.
‘If they exist,’ said Tiberius.
‘Course they exist.’ said Ararnia shoving so much cake into her mouth it left a huge pile of crumbs oozing at each corner.
‘I’ve never seen one,’ said Tiberius, biting on a tangerine and spinach muffin.
‘Yet,’ said Normal.
Ararnia beckoned them closer. ‘I heard that once one of them got swallowed by a really big sea creature. And another one made bread fall out of the sky!’ She sat back with her eyes wide.
‘Manna,’ said Ocacia, taking off her glasses and cleaning them.
They all looked at her.
‘It was called Manna, the bread that fell out of the sky.’
‘What’s that?’ asked Tiberius.
‘Exactly,’ said Ocacia.
‘Exactly what?’ asked Ararnia.
‘Manna. It means “What is it?” or “What’s that?”’
‘What’s what?’ said Tiberius.
‘No! Manna means what’s that. Everyone looked at the strange bread and said “What’s that?” And no one knew so they called it “What’s that”.’
‘That’s confusing.’ said Ararnia.
‘Not really. Just like calling a crisp a Wotsit.’
‘I think my mum made some manna once,’ said Tiberius, ‘Baked beans and sprout flavour I think it was. Certainly put the wind in your sails!’
They all laughed.