The kitchen was George’s favorite room. It was here that he felt the difference between his old life and his new one the most. In essentials, the house in Illyria wasn’t that different from the one he and his wife had sold before moving here. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths, living room, dining room, rec room, basement. But the kitchen had the majority of the major appliances, all Illyrian-made, humming with puissance. The fridge that held food in suspended animation so it never went bad, no matter how long you left it in; the oven that brought food to the exact right temperature faster than a microwave; the dishwasher that used no water or soap yet produced clean dishes in under two minutes and made their pots and pans look like new again.
Despite this, George stood at the sink with a sponge soaked in soapy water, meticulously removing the detritus of his breakfast from his plate. Outside the window was his front yard, and just beyond that was a small gathering of reporters. When he first came into the kitchen he saw them and they saw him. They knew better than to try and approach the window — the guard grass was already agitated, having them so close. George tried not to show any of the anger and annoyance he felt. He wouldn’t back down or hide away, wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. So he washed the dishes by hand. And hated every second of it.
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