It is time for our second monthly installment of Vancouver Irrealis.
I know that it's only the second day of February and I've given no warning that this was coming today. But I haven't had much mental space to come up with a writing prompt today and I've also been wanting to write this since about five seconds after reading Morganna's January entry.
Kat was back assisting the online course today, so Max and I went to our favorite coffee shop this morning. I think he got a little too wound up (hmm, that sounds like he was drinking coffee...) as he didn't go down for his nap until 2 o'clock. Usually it's around noon. So that made for a pretty long stretch.
Tomorrow we head up to Penticton for our visit with the dentist. Wish us luck.
Well, wish Max luck. Although, if you have a bit extra to go around, I wouldn't mind a bit for myself.
"He really does look the part, doesn't he?" Tristam's waitress said thoughtfully, taking a half step back to take him in from head to toe. "Not like that guy we had show up last week, hey Yakth? Remember those short, stubby fingers he had?"
"Oh goodness, I just about fainted I was laughing so hard!" While his waitress and her friend carried on, Tristam looked down at his hands again, wiggled his fingers experimentally. "Wait a half-second, Anne-Marie." Tristam looked up again at this. He was certain her name tag had read Maryann when he got there. Which, to be fair, was no longer there. As it were. "Do you think he's one of... those?"
"One of which?" Tristam asked, as much to remind them he was still an active member of the conversation as anything else.
"People from your side have begun showing up on our side looking like one of us," Anne-Marie said, her expression still friendly but now tinged with concern. "Seems harmless to me, really. The Icepol though... it's ridiculous, honestly."
"The Icepol... you mean the police?" Tristam felt like he was starting to get the hang of things, just a little bit. "What do they think?"
"It's an invasion," Yakth said with a shake of her head. "They say folks like yourself are the first wave, spies or some such."
"How do they even know when someone like me shows up?" Tristam looked around the restaurant, suddenly feeling nervous. A few of the other patrons, all of whom seemed vaguely familiar, were speaking into devices that must have been their equivalent of cell phones. One in particular looked away quickly when she saw him looking in her direction. "People report them."
"Those that are caught before returning to the other... your side are arrested, dragged away for questioning." Anne-Marie said in a whisper heavy with promises of secret horrors. Tristam didn't bother asking what sort of methods were employed in the interrogations. "You should probably get out of here."
"I wouldn't know where to go!" Tristam checked the sidewalks and streets but saw no sign of approaching law enforcement. Not that he'd know what uniforms they'd be wearing, if any. He tried to swallow and found that he could not.
"Come on, then," Anne-Marie said after exchanging a long look with her coworker. "Grab your bag and follow me."
Tristam stood and gathered the duffel bag at his feet, the grip of terror forcing questions to become actions. As he followed his waitress's hurried steps through the restaurant he almost forgot that the bag he was clutching to his chest had been a briefcase when he'd first sat down to eat.