The Teaser Game

He cleared his throat, then looked up at her.
“I don’t know.” He drug a hand across his face, and suddenly, looked much older than a teenager. “I don’t even know if she’s here, or what she even looks like anymore.”

next: old

“While in Nollux, I happened across some old friends. I am pleased to announce that [name_u]Prince[/name_u] [name_m]Cyrus[/name_m] and [name_f]Princess[/name_f] [name_f]Zephyra[/name_f] of the [name_f]Line[/name_f] of Aetos have accepted my invitation of hospitality. [name_u]Prince[/name_u] [name_m]Cyrus[/name_m] scored all of our people a great victory when he outwitted the Kyrimona and not only found a way to escape, but also to destroy the legendary Chains of Sunstone that unjustly bound our great spirit.”

Next: unjust

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“Your comments cannot hurt me because they are so unjust and untrue; looks like you need to work on your close reading.”

next: reading

[name_f]Melody[/name_f] buried her face into her history texts; she absolutely had to finish reading the first chapter before tomorrow.

Next: history

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He cuts me off, “No, doing what you are doing is dangerous. And not like eating bologna off of the ground, dangerous. Like, jumping off a cliff into a pot of boiling magma, dangerous. What you are doing is so risky, but if you succeed, then the course of history will have been altered forever. We all appreciate what you are doing, Mr. [name_u]Gray[/name_u], we just hope you know how risky it is.”

next word: dangerous

I spot bruises and thin faces and dark circles beneath weary eyes, but nothing to suggest these are people close to ruin. Gaiane clearly meets the needs of her subjects. That alone is no small feat with this crowd and their dangerous circumstances. I’m impressed.

Next: bruise(s)

“I… just lost in thought,” he said. As he looked to the ground, his hand drifted to the bandage wrapped around his neck, covering the mosaic of purple and blue bruises [name_m]Cas[/name_m] left him with.

Next: purple

“Settle down, now. You’re acting a bit too theatrical for my taste. Kind of like that sappy poetry you used to write for me. Oozing with purple prose: [name_f]My[/name_f] dearest Melody…”

She began reciting dramatically but was interrupted by [name_m]Lance[/name_m], “My God. Please, don’t repeat any of that doggerel nonsense. It’s far too embarrassing.”

Next: repeat

“Freyja?” [name_u]Vivian[/name_u] said. “It’s you, right?”

“I’m leaving,” [name_f]Freyja[/name_f] repeated. “Quitting, getting out of here—how else can I phrase it?”

next: phrase

“Spying is much too harsh a word–checking in–is a far kinder turn of phrase,” [name_m]Orson[/name_m] snapped viciously.

Next word: harsh

“Ludwig Diedrich Beilschmidt, stay put!” [name_f]Elisabeth[/name_f] said a little too harshly, not meaning to sound that way at all. Her tone softened. “Listen…I wanna help Mom and Dad, too, but…Dad’s right. We’ll only get in the way.”

Next word: soften

First I see Cyrus’s bare feet, arched a little from the cold of the stone. Then his ragged pants. The thick tunic he’s pulled on, the strap of his worn toga underneath. Then his face, his expression almost identical to the image in mind. His jaw sticks out. His shaggy hair curls around his ears, brushed impatiently to the side. His eyes that soften a little when he sees me.

Next: ragged

Almost there. Aubrey’s own ragged breathing and messy steps were right behind her.
The guard in their stupid bright blue jacket stood obliviously on the other side, still watching the wrong direction. Only a few more steps. [name_m]Cas[/name_m] readied her arrow.

Next: jacket

“Are you doing all of this for Freyja?” [name_f]Margaux[/name_f] finally asked.
[name_m]Brynjar[/name_m] slowly sank into the desk chair. His hair stood up, like he’d slept on it funny, and his jacket was rumpled.
“I don’t know,” he said, his voice raw.

next: funny

You actually thought [name_f]Samara[/name_f] would kill [name_u]Tony[/name_u] and me?" [name_u]Francis[/name_u] asked with a chuckle.

“What’s funny?” [name_m]Gilbert[/name_m] said and glared at [name_u]Francis[/name_u].

“Gil, you know us,” [name_m]Antonio[/name_m] said with a smile. “Francis and I are too awesome to be killed by some ghost girl. Besides, we’d kick her butt before anything could happen.”

Next word: chuckle

“I bet you sleep well though, being the only one in the barracks and all.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “You don’t have [name_f]Inez[/name_f] snoring or [name_f]Hespera[/name_f] trying to sleep-spar.”

Next: shake

“Despoina?” [name_m]Cyrus[/name_m] peers over the railing. “What are you doing?”
“Staring at the water.”
He shakes his head before it disappears over the railing. I hear him clomp down the stairs until he’s next to me. I look up to find him shielding his gaze against the sun to look out at the waves.
“I see the appeal,” he says after a few moments, his voice the driest thing on this ship.

Next: appeal

“I’m only going to ask you one more time, so here goes.” [name_m]Xavier[/name_m] then got down on one knee and appealed to her sense of romanticism. “Hali [name_f]Sara[/name_f] [name_m]Benson[/name_m], will you do this lowly stable hand the honor of building a snowman together?”

Next word: romance

Some said that at the beginning, Mr. Dilken had been a very cool teacher much adored by his pupils. It was rumored that his lifetime goal to “make school fun” had been given up on when his fiancee of five years broke off their engagement, leaving him depressed and hating the world. Although [name_f]Irene[/name_f], as a hopeless romantic, believed this story wholeheartedly, whenever she tried to feel bad for her teacher, a snide voice in the back of her head muttered that his ex-fiancée had just gotten sick of him.

Next word: teacher

Third grade. A smiling Mrs. Henriks started the rows of students, her makeup so overdone I could see clumps of black mascara clinging to her eyelashes. Despite the generous amounts of lipstick, her smile was as warm as you’d expect a third grade teacher’s to be.

Next: third