Sunday July 6th, 2014

The exercise:

It's time for our seventh visit to the world of Vancouver Irrealis.

Took the time this morning to once again shave the ridiculous growth on my face that has been masquerading as a beard. After that I went to the beach with Kat and Max, which was nice. We got him in the water very briefly and then he just wanted to stand on the beach and throw rocks into the lake.

This afternoon I finally fixed the hand towel rack in the bathroom - it wasn't put in properly to begin with and it had been slowly getting more and more loose. Last week (or was it the week before?) it came all the way out, leaving behind two big holes. So I screwed a block of wood over the holes and attached the rack to that instead.

I also weeded around the tents in our backyard, since Becky will be arriving tomorrow afternoon and I'd like her to be able to find hers without needing a guide or a machete.


"Do you know who took my place back there when I came here?" Tristam had to run that through his head a couple of times to make sure it made sense.

"Puy." Terpe sipped from his cup and looked as though that was all he was going to say. But then Rewand gave him a suggestive cough and Anne-Marie shot him a threatening look and he continued after a quiet laugh. "Her name is N-"

"Her?" Tristam was certain that he'd misheard.

"Puy. That's how it goes... huh, sometimes. Why, does that make you... huh, uncomfortable? You must be wondering what she's doing with your b-"

"Just get on with it," Anne-Marie said before Tristam could reply.

"Fine by me." Another sip. "Her name is Nkare Sonsimp. Been in and out of jail since she was old enough to hold a knife. Her crimes grew steadily more serious, and then more gruesome. Never stayed locked up for long though. Always found that... huh, interesting."

"Never ceases to surprise me," Rewand murmured, "what friends in high places can do for a person."

"Puy. So she's playing over in your world," a thick finger leveled at Tristam, "and somebody doesn't want her coming back until she's finished doing... huh, whatever it is they want her to do. That's why the search for you has been so... huh, intense."

"If I understand how this all works," Tristam said slowly, massaging his temples with his forefingers, "she comes back here as soon as I return there. Right?" Three sets of solemnly nodding heads. "Okay. So how do I get back home?"

"It's... complicated," Rewand replied with a grimace. Just as Tristam was about to demand a better answer a sound in the street below the apartment snapped all heads in the room in its direction. An eternal second of silence passed before Terpe spoke.



morganna said...

Everyone hit the floor. Tristam was surprised to see Rewand crawling over to the cabinets along the wall and opening a lower cabinet. Then he crawled inside. There were a few scrabbling sounds and then his hand came out and his muffled voice was heard, "Come on in, everyone!"

Tristam was first over the carpet and into the cabinet. He almost fell down the stairs that opened up just inside the cabinet door. He caught himself and began crawling down the stairs as first Anne-Marie and then Terpe came through the doors. Terpe closed the cabinet doors behind himself, just as a hammering began on the apartment door. Tristam shivered at the sound and the accompanying yells. The stairs curved and soon he couldn't hear the sounds from the apartment anymore.

Suddenly there were no more stairs behind him and he sprawled on a cold concrete floor, his chin resting on the stairs. Anne-Marie laughed at him as she slithered gracefully down the last few steps.

Greg said...

@Morganna: great continuation, and what a lovely little hidey-hole too! I shall have fun described the rest of the room :)

@Marc: I hope you got the tents cleared without mishap! And good luck with the new helper, too!
It took me a while to work "Puy" out because, together with Nkare Sonsimp I actually thought you were introducing a Thai character at first :) Now of course I can't believe how stupid I was being. I'm definitely curious now as to what's going on here and if we'll ever meet Nkare -- she sounds like a nasty piece of work to me!

"Where are we now?" Tristam was looking around him at the sparsely-furnished room; polished concrete walls, concrete floor, no windows. A string of bare light bulbs ran diagonally across the ceiling, tying in the middle around a larger, emergency-lighting fixture. Tristam didn't know if the lights came on automatically or if Rewand had turned them on when he came down. Against one wall were a couple of dusty-looking tea-chests.
"Quieter," said Terpe, motioning with a finger to his lips. "They won't find us, but huh, it still wouldn't be good for them to think they're hearing ghosts."
"It's a maintenance facility," said Rewand in a near-whisper. There's a door over there that goes to the electrical supply cabinets and the water pipes. This was storage cupboard."
Tristam said nothing, but looked around him theatrically. Slightly to his surprise Terpe stifled a snort of laughter.
"We dug it out a little when we found the staircase," said Rewand. "And blocked off entrance to the staircase from almost all the other floors."
A siren started up sounding far away, but Tristam immediately realised that the concrete walls were just muting the sound from outside.
"Can we get out?" he asked.
"Sure," said Rewand. "The maintenance rooms have exits front and back for contractors. But I think now's not the time, I think we should wait a little longer."
"The gunshot?" Terpe smiled faintly. "I think that was a warning for us. Veroli's still got the hots for me even though I've told him nothing's can, huh, happen between us. I'll slip out now though, and head back and find out what's going on. No point hiding here, huh, and having the force realise they can't find me."
Rewand's face fell. "I was hoping you'd tell Tristam more about Nkare," he said. "I think we need as much openness as possible now."
Terpe shrugged, his broad shoulders lifting his jacket a good couple of inches, and Tristam got an idea what Veroli might see him. "We've got a couple of days, huh," he said. "Not much, but, huh, it'll have to do."
"Fine," said Rewand, his tone indicating that it wasn't. "Let's get comfortable then." Tristam looked around at the concrete again, and Anne-Marie tugged his hand.
"The tea-chests," she said. "We've got stuff down here for when we need to spend the night."
"Do you do this often, then?" asked Tristam.

Marc said...

Morganna - fantastic hiding spot! I'm glad you found a good way to get them out of the apartment, as that certainly was the next step in our story.

Greg - I wanted to make sure I used the other version of yup a few times in order to increase the likelihood of it being understood because... yeah, not instantly clear, is it?

I'm curious to see how this all plays out as well!

Some interesting developments. I like that you've given us a time frame of 'a couple days' to work within. And that you've made Terpe a little more likeable.

Not sure yet where to go from here, but I imagine something will come to me by next month :)