Jordan awoke from his trance, perspiring heavily. He went to reach for the pot of tea the monks gave him, then decided differently. The herbal tea gave off an interesting aroma, but acted as a powerful hallucinogenic. Instead, he pulled the ladle from the wooden pail filled with rain water, sipped then poured the rest over his head.
The arch of his back placed pressure on his knees.
How long had I been out for?
“Ow, ow, ow,” he said, trying to unfold them.
Somewhere outside of his rice paper domicile he heard a gong. Master Harris said that he’d sound the instrument when time to meet with him.
He looked around. “Where’s my orange robe?”
It hung on a coat hanger, in his wardrobe, next to his orange shirts, and orange pants. He also had drawers full of orange socks… he liked orange. There was also an orange jumpsuit which he had to wear for community service. Police arrested him three months earlier. The charge; pedantic with intent.
Slipping his robe on, he tied it off and stepped out the door. A tapping of a cane on the tiles alerted Jordan to Master Harris making his way to the mat of meeting. The rest of the students ate at their mats in the next hall.
Master Harris spun on his heel; his cane accidentally striking one of his students on passing. Most curiously, the student wore a green parka over the top of his robes as he could never get used to the Tibetan cold.
“I am sorry, Mango,” said Master Harris, on recognising the yelp.
“Master, why do you call me ‘Mango.”‘
Master Harris stared not quite in the student’s direction, giving Jordan a full view of Harris’ thick glasses, magnifying his eyes to hideous proportions. Harris sat his short fat self down, cross legged on the mat.
“We call you Mango,” he began, “because you are green on the outside, orange on the inside, and you give everyone the…
The gong drowned out Master Harris’ explanation. It also ushered in Master Wingnut’s entrance. Harris named him that because his ears stood out on his bald head.
Come to think of it, he names everyone, thought Jordan.
Master Wingnut did a lot of things. He not only helped train the other students, he doubled up as the temple’s accountant; not to mention, also in charge of the sheep dip. Like everyone else, Wingnut wore the robes of the Red Cockroach temple, but added to that, he wore a tie, and carried a briefcase. He sat down on the right of Harris.
Harris looked up suddenly, staring away from Jordan.
“Aah, Captain Pedantic; please join us for lunch.”
The Grand Master gestured in the same direction. Master Wingnut shrugged, looking at Jordan as he made his way to the mat and sat down. Harris jolted at the sound, obviously surprised that Jordan came from another direction. Quickly, Harris adopted a poise of quiet dignity.
“Would you like tea, Captain?” asked Harris. “I made it myself.”
“No thank you, Master Harris,” said Jordan.
He dreaded to think of the concoction the Grand Master might have made in ignorance. The last time Jordan drank tea with him, it consisted of tree bark and a few other things he couldn’t identify.