She bites her lower lip and taps her right foot as the phone rings.
“Hello,” a melodic deep voice answers.
“Hi,” she replies as she tries to hide the shakiness in her voice. “Tonight is still good?”
“Yes,” Marlo replies.
“We’ll meet at the Oakhill Cemetery at 9 p.m.”
“Okay, see you then, bye.”
“Bye,” he replies.
She turns off her cell and clips a miniature camera onto the crown of her hair.
It’s still daylight as she drives through Brant Conservation Area to get to the cemetery. She slows down when she sees Kanayago facing off against a much taller girl. Mesmerized by the sight she pulls over. That’s when she notices a light layer of snow covering the ground and a chill in the air. The taller girl is holding a candle in the palm of her hand and with a point of her finger lighting the wick than with a snap of her fingers extinguishing it. Meanwhile, Kanayago is holding a fork. With a point of her finger the fork bends than straightens. Kanayago is laughing.
Rita desperately glances around. She breathes easier when she doesn’t see anyone. Some things aren’t meant for the common public to see. Angrily she honks her car’s horn. The girls glance her way then scatter into the trees.
As she pulls into the cemeteries parking lot she takes in deep gulps of air. Next class she’ll have to explain to Kanayago the dangers of using her powers when others can see, and find out who the girl that belongs to Rae is. The energy frequency emitted through the air to manipulate particles to cause a flame to occur or metal to bend could seriously damage anything in-between. There’s a reason wires are still used to power devices from hairdryers to stoves. That much energy sent through the air could melt an object or severely hurt or kill a living creature.
Rita walks to the edge of the cemetery where a giant oak tree grows. This is where she’ll meet Marlo.
Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
We take some liberties with Rita Walker, such as suggesting what supermarkets might be like in the near future. The idea is to show possible solutions but there are always other ideas that might be better. A concern is if only one replacement, like hemp, were to be used what would be the environmental impact of trying to grow enough hemp? So the answer might be having a variety of sources to replace plastics in supermarkets.
It’s Saturday and Rita can hardly focus. Tonight she meets up with Marlo near the Kanetic Reusable Batteries by the Oakhill Cemetery. First she has to discuss an upcoming lecture with the Metro Supermarket manager.
She walks through the supermarket’s sliding glass doors and heads towards the Service Desk. As she passes the aisles she notices that most of the customers are using muslin produce bags. At the Service desk she asks for Ryan Day, the store’s manager.
“Hello Rita,” says a man in his forties who stands slightly taller than Rita. He has fading blond hair and a sharp nose that makes his smile even broader. “Let’s go for a walk.”
“The bags you see in the produce section are made from cellulose,” Ryan tells her. As they walk past the other aisles Ryan points out the meat section. Instead of Styrofoam or plastic for the base we use paper packaging coated with cellulose.”
“What’s the environmental impact of using cellulose?” Rita asks.
“That’s something the owners of the supermarket are considering. If it’s affordable it might be better to use numerous sources to replace plastic. So we have cellulose bags available but also customers can bring their reusable bags. We have some packaging made of hemp but it would be devastating to the forest and farm to grow enough hemp to make it the only reusable alternative.”
“Well thank you for the good news,” Rita says as she gazes at the reusable packaging. “What happens to the food that doesn’t get purchased?”
“Initially we sell it at a discount or give it to the foodbank. Once it expires the food is sent to be converted into energy or fertilizer for local farms.”
“Can you give the food to the foodbank?” Rita had heard supermarkets and food markets were concerned about being sued if they gave day old food to food banks.
“No, there’s a law called Donation of Food Act. Obviously food that is moldy, smells bad or has other signs of going rotten cannot be donated.”
“Well, thank you Ryan, you’ve made my day,” Rita says as she offers her hand.
“My pleasure. I hope to have more good news for you in the near future.”
As Rita drives home she wonders what the night will bring. She researched Kanetic Reusable Batteries and found very little information except a list of its current employees. Kanayago’s name was listed under research and development.
Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Both nature and technology follow the circle of life. A river that flows is alive and healthy but block off the flow and it stagnates. Forget to fill a car up with gas or keep up the oil and other liquids and the gears rust and it eventually refuses to work anymore. Everything is breaking down and building up constantly. What happens to our bodily fluids is no different.
She stares up at the classroom. Her heart pounding as she sees Marlo calmly staring back at her. Later she’ll need to talk to him about visiting Kanetic Reusable Batteries with his help. To Rita’s surprise a girl much shorter than Marlo with long brunette hair and wearing glasses with a metal frame is sitting beside him. The girl’s innocent face is confusing considering her aura is metallic grey. “Hi,” she says to the new girl. “Welcome to the class and could you tell everyone your name?”
“Kanayago,” the girl replies with a sweet voice.
Rita is dumbfounded. “Do you know the meaning behind that name?”
“Yes. My parents told me they found me in a crib at the doorstep when they first moved to Canada from the Chūgoku Mountains in Japan.”
“They named you Kanayago?”
“No. The name was written in Hiragana syllabary on a gold anklet they found around my left ankle. Since I do not look Japanese my parents told me they were confused at first but accepted that it was the mythical Kirin that delivered me to their doorstep.”
Rita shakes her head. Her bias suggested the child of Kaneki would be obtuse and the least likely to join her class.
“Today’s lecture,” she begins with a shaky voice, “is about biosolids. It’s important in this class to remember we want to know where a product starts and where it finishes. So we’re going to talk about how poop and urine is turned into biosolids. We eat and drink, go to the bathroom and our waste–and let’s put waste between quotation marks–goes to sewage plants. Then what?” Rita stops talking and gazes across the room at all the students. They all look confused, even Marlo.
“The excrement and urine or waste goes through many processes to change it into biosolids. The biosolids are used on farms to help grow food.” She sees that all the students have disgusted looks on their faces. “Everything needs to be reused or recyclable with as little greenhouse gas emission as possible. The biosolids are anaerobically or aerobically digested before they are used for growing food. Think of a leaf. It grows on the tree in the spring; helps gather sunlight and rainwater in summer, and falls off in the autumn. Over the winter the fallen leaves give protection to plant beds and insects. In the spring when thaw arrives the leaves break down and become soil.”
Marlo’s hand shoots up.
“Yes,” Rita asks trying not to stare intensely at him.
“Like cleaning out a gutter. If the leaves remain from autumn to spring you’ll be cleaning out dirt instead of leaves.”
“Correct. Thank you Marlo.” She knows her eyes say I’ll meet you later but she hopes he’s the only one who notices. “I want you to study up on biosolids and how each and everyone one of us can make this an easier process.”
Later in the day Rita goes to Moonshadows Metaphysical Shop near Mt Hope Cemetery to pick up a Haida made whale talisman. But she knows the owner and opens the door to the house instead of the shop. Rita halts in the front of the hall. Inside sitting half way up on a carpeted stairway is the girl Kanayago where she’s reading a book. Rita immediately notices the metal framed glasses and the silver ankh charm that sits against her chest held their by a silver necklace. Kanayago seems absorbed in the book about nanotechnology.
Remembering this is a child of Kaneki and that she must tread carefully with this one Rita diligently steps back outside and gently closes the front door.