Sunday November 22nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: just like old times.

Max has a cold. My cold? I'm not taking credit for it.

Regardless, he's sick. As I'm typing this he's sleeping beside me on the couch, because he's wanting to be close. I put him to be earlier and when he woke up he came out here and gave me grief for not still being there... three and a half hours later.

It's reminding me of when he was very little, of the nights I'd be typing my blog one-handed because he was asleep on my other hand.

At the moment I am appreciating the fact that he is beside me and not on me.


"What's it been? Like thirty years?"

"More like forty. More than that if you want to talk about when we spent any quality time together."

"Say it ain't so!"

"Sorry, dear friend, but it is, in fact, so."

"Man, it feels like that was just yesterday. Doesn't it?"


"Oh, come on! Look at us! Drinks in hand, ladies all around... it's just like college!"

"Yeah... except now we're in a retirement home and all these ladies are using walkers and wheelchairs to get around."


Greg said...

Staggered colds are better than simultaneous colds, so I wouldn't worry about working out who Patient Zero is (although it'll be you since you got the cold first :-P). Max sounds quite adorable, though a little bit of hard work, when he's ill. Actually he sounds a lot like the dogs even when they're not ill as they view people as cushion-like heat-sources!
I rather like how your story turned out; I wasn't at all sure where it was going but I had guessed at the start that they weren't going to be somewhere entirely... normal I suppose, and you didn't disappoint. I completely agree with the optimist though; those walkers just mean they can't run away as fast anymore! :)

Just like old times
"You're late, Mr. –" The tour guide, who had been just about to leave without the last party-member, glared at the tall gentlemen in the evening suit and cape.
"Call me Jack," he said, his voice deep and resonating in a way that suggested he had a powerful chest. Two of the ladies in the group immediately broke into hushed giggles and hid behind their hands.
"You're late, Mr. Jack," said the tour guide. She turned her back on him. "Everybody, let's move on! We'll need to hurry a little at first to make up for lost time. This way." To her annoyance she found that Jack had somehow slipped through the crowd of students and tourists and was at the front of the group, just behind her. She hastened a little more, glad that she was wearing sensible flats, and managed to ignore him all the way to Brick Lane. As they started up the street, now a trendy, regenerated area famous for its curry houses, she realised that fog was curling in around them.
"This is Brick Lane," she said to the group, starting her prepared speech. "Shortly we'll reach its junction with Osborn Street where Emma Elizabeth Smith was attacked." There were murmurs from the group, but to her astonishment the fog seemed to thickening with every step up the street.
"A real pea-souper," said Jack, smiling. "Just like the old days!"
"I suppose," she said, grudgingly. "Although since the factories moved away we've not actually had any pea-soupers. Right, everybody–" She delivered her rehearsed speech on Emma Elizabeth Smith, and for a moment was grateful to the fog for creating a seriously spooky atmosphere. As people passed by the group shifted nervously, wondering about those footsteps in the fog.
"Moving on," she concluded, "our next destination is Whitechapel High Street, just off which is where Martha Tabra was murdered."
The fog thickened even more, and suddenly she realised that the only member of the group she could see was Jack. "We'd better wait for them to catch up," she said. She still didn't like Jack, but the comfort of having someone else here in the fog was unestimable.
"A foggy night, and me alone with a single woman," said Jack. There was something sonorous, almost hypnotic about his voice. "Just like old times."
"We've not had fog like this in years! Where are they all, they can't be that lost!"
"It's been a while," said Jack. "But it's definitely just like old times."
"How old are you?" asked the tour guide, irritated now by his manner and the loss of her group. As he turned to her, his straight-edged razor held high above her head and his smile only concealing the monster within, he whispered, "Old enough to remember the old times."
The razor-blade arced down.

morganna said...

Emily turned at the tap on the door. The maid stood there. "There's a man to see you, m'am."

"Did he leave a name? Is it about Jane, again? Is that child in trouble at school again?" This maid was new, and she got on Emily's nerves occasionally -- she never gave enough information.

"Yes, his name is Inspector Wilkes. He didn't say anything about Jane."

"Thank you. Tell him I'll be right down."

Inspector Wilkes smiled as Emily walked into the room. She hadn't changed a bit in ten years. "Hello, Emily. I'd say it's just like old times, but since we're face to face in the same room, it's not quite the same, is it?"

Emily smiled back. "Congratulations on making inspector."

"Well, after the debacle with Mr. Big, it was the least they could do when it turned out I was the only one with any clue what had happened. But, in all seriousness, Emily, we need your help."

She laughed shortly. "Very funny, the police coming to me for help."

"You won't be laughing soon. Mr. Big's second in command has resurfaced all these years, and she's looking for you. She wants to rebuild the global criminal empire of Mr. Big, and she's convinced you hold the key. And the money."

"How do you know this?"

"She isn't quite as clever as she thinks she is, and we've intercepted a few phone calls, a few emails."

"So why are you asking me for help? Sounds like I ought to be coming to you for protection."

"Well, we can offer you that. But more than that, we want you to be a decoy -- lure this woman into the open for the first time, so we can arrest her and put her behind bars where she belongs."

"And then you'll arrest me for conspiracy, and I'll end up in the same place. No thanks. You've been hunting me for a long time, too."

"No, that's not how it works. You and I both know that the bank job couldn't be blamed on you. We, in fact, have no idea if it was you. And it was unfortunate about the parrot and his handler, and the bank employee. But we have no information that you caused that. Nor that you actually stole all those items I thought you might have. And the statute of limitations has run out on those crimes. So I'd say you're free and clear to cooperate with us."

"I'll think about it."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, at least somebody was always healthy enough to try to look after the others :)

I had an idea quite near the start of where you were heading with yours, but you crafted it so wonderfully that I still got caught up and taken along for the ride. Delightfully sinister stuff.

Morgana - ah, it has been too long since we've had a visit from this crew! I was quite pleased to see them make a return, with a new twist in their tale as well.