Upon meeting Calluna Pendergast in St. Agatha’s parochial school, a place he had resided at for so long he had no memory of any other, he immediately disliked her. From the curls in her hair to the pockmarks on her face, she had struck him as not just unpleasant, but grotesque.
So when cleaning the old dusty banners of the railway sepulcher he had pinched one of the heavy gonfalon loose just as she walked underneath it. It had proved so ponderous it hadn’t even fluttered on its descent, but plummeted silently like an angel clipped from its celestial roost. The noise its crash produced was so raucous his heart stopped, afraid he had murdered her. She plowed out from the heraldry, though, both fists bare, knuckles scrapped, looking for blood, his blood, and unworried about her own crushed and disheveled uniform.
He had liked her just fine after that.