“Ah’ve never seen mist like this befoah,” Molly said, slipping back into her native Southern drawl, as she did whenever particularly impressed by something. She took cares to manage her presentation to appear as respectable and impressive as any of her peers, and though most of that was getting over their biases against the fairer sex (though she wouldn’t go quite so far as to wear pants; first, she was pretty sure that would make them respect her less, and second, she considered it a bit of an uncouth betrayal of femininity), she also spent significant effort disguising her antebellum ancestry. When overwhelmed with awe or surprise, though, her accent shone through. Her Chemistry professor, himself displaced from the Deep South, found this an endearing trait and it had caused him to give her a fairer shake than he would have otherwise (and when he discovered this about himself, he spent a dark night of the soul reexamining his own biases and came out a supporter of the suffragettes, and was willing to go to bat on her behalf should the trepidatious University decide admitting women had been a mistake. The fact that he had come to consider her brilliant was just icing on the cake), though in her ignorance of her own habits she was unaware of her lingual foibles.
“Oh yeah, you’re from den seth, you’ve never seen a winter before,” Jim responded in a terrible imitation of Molly’s accent. She scowled and stuck her tongue out at him. Adam clapped them both on their backs, hard enough to knock them each off balance, and strode forward into the fog. “Come along chaps, we have a luncheon appointment.”
Molly and Jim both scowled at him, then looked at each other and grinned. Adam’s attempt at improving their sense of camaraderie at his own expense had succeeded. They moved on into the fog, Adam turning around so he could face them, walking backwards.
“Aren’t you worried you’ll bump into something?” Adam turned around and stared ahead into the fog. “Oh yes, this is much better, you’re right, I can see so much more now,” he responded in a mocking tone, turning back around. “We’re in the quad, it’s 100 yards to the dining hall, what’s going to-” his explanation was cut short as he tripped over a fallen tree.
He quickly scrambled to his feet and looked down at the tree. It was evident from the exploded side and scorch marks on it that it had been struck down by lightning the night prior. There had been a terrible storm, and some bolts had come closer than comfort truly allowed.