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schadenfreude

Monday's, but it's too good a word to pass up. One of my favorite words. :-)

Ilse chewed her gum reflectively and stared out the window of the tiny sleeping compartment into the matte black nothing beyond, effortlessly blowing a quivering pink bubble between kiss-lips only to pop it with her teeth. "Ah, Belgium, how I hate thee. Flat and boring. Europe's doormat."
"I still don't get how you do that." Falda looked up from her overthumbed copy of Anais Nin.
"Easy." Ilse waved her hand dismissively. "There's gum in my purse. You want lessons?"
"Sure." Falda knelt on the floor and pushed her long blonde hair out of her face as she rummaged through the kitbag. "Peanut butter, crackers ... oooh, Sleeping Beauty, by A.N. Roquelaire? Mrow."
"That's for later." Ilse grinned wickedly.
"Gum." Falda unwrapped a handful of square pink pieces and stared at them dubiously. "God, I don't think I can fit all this in my mouth."
"You'll get used to it. Chew for a while."
"This stuff is gross." she grimaced, pouching the gum in her cheeks as she chewed. "It tastes like berry flavoured polymer. Ugh. How can you chew this all the time?"
"I dunno. I took it up to irritate the little prig my parents are trying to hook me up to."
"Heinrich?"
"Yeah. I was nine; he was ten. And a dope even then. It's a habit now."
"My jaw hurts."
"You'll get used to it. It's all in the tongue. You need more practice?" The two girls exchanged glances; an amused smile flittered between the two of them, and they fell into a silence broken only by the soft mauling of gum and the background rattle of trainties.
"All right." Ilse stretched. "That's long enough. Now stretch it out into, you know, a thin sheet thing. Over your teeth, yaknow? Or the end of your tongue. Like cellophane."
"Like this?" Falda asked muffledly, her tongue coated in a thick pink skin.
"Yah, exactly. Now ... you know, just blow through it. Puff the middle out a little with your tongue and blow."
After a moment of huffing, a pink bubble emerged between Falda's lips. Her blue eyes crossed with surprise as she tried to stare at it while it grew, and Ilse laughed. "Oooh, your bubble is sooo big."
Falda spluttered, laughing; the bubble popped over her cheeks, and the laughter turned to shrieking. "Oh, crap." Peeling pieces of gum out of her face and hair, she glared at Ilse. "It's not funny, bitch."
"It is too." Ilse laughed, rummaging under the seat for the jar of peanut butter. "It's just funny because it isn't me. I believe the word is 'schadenfreude'."

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