Friday October 28th, 2016

The exercise:

Day 5 of Halloween Week would like to know what happens: when night falls.

Worked the 5 to 9 closing shift at the community centre this evening. Went pretty smoothly, other than having to kick the pickleballers out of the gym so that I could go home at the end of the night.

When I got home Kat was watching something on the computer, so I ended up writing this entry by hand. As a result, it got a little long...


"So how did you end up here?" Ryan asked. They were sitting on opposite sides of the island in the kitchen, a plate of overcooked pasta in front of each of them. The curtains had been drawn to avoid attracting the attention of any of their neighbours - not that any of them would have been keeping an eye on the property. It was late afternoon by then but neither of them had done much more than poke at their food with their forks.

"I worked my first shift the first night I came into town," Angie began before a jaw-cracking yawn cut her short. She'd given up on trying to sleep several hours earlier. "I was chatting with a waitress at that diner I told you about. She told me there were a few abandoned houses I could squat in until a room opened up for me. Her boss wasn't coming in until noon so she let me nap in his office for a couple hours. After that I went looking and this was the best spot I found before I had to get back to work."

"And then you moved in the next morning?"

"Yeah. I was so physically drained and sleep deprived that I didn't look around the house at all - I just barely made it under the covers before I was out cold."

"They must have been pretty dusty and musty," Ryan said. "Nobody's lived here for like a year."

"Nah, they were totally fine actually," Angie said and then had to suppress a shudder. "Maybe another squatter had passed through just before I got there?"

"And did laundry before they left? Sure." Ryan didn't bother pretending to believe that was true. "So what are you gonna do now?"

"Now?" Angie said, getting up and dumping her food in the nearest garbage bin. "Go to work. Come back here... probably collect my things and start looking for a less spooky place to hide out. You?"

"Not sure," Ryan said before following her lead. "I think I need some fresh air though. Mind if I walk you to work?"

"Yeah, why not?" Angie said with a shrug. "How about I fix you a drink on me when we get there? As a thank you."

"That sounds good to me - I could use a glass or three of Forget Everything Juice right about now," Ryan said as they headed for the door. Outside the sun dipped below the horizon. "But I'm not sure what I'm being thanked for."

"It's nice to have someone to talk to," Angie said as she reached for the door handle. "I've been pretty lonely since I moved here. Haven't made any friends yet, and even if I had I couldn't exactly invite them over, right?"

She turned the handle and pulled.

The door didn't move.


Greg said...

Pickleball still sounds like a community event where everyone gets together and pickles fall vegetables on long tables while gossiping and catching-up and maybe there's some others off slaughtering a pig nearby to me. Which makes you throwing them out of the gym a good deal more traumatic-sounding! Was it the long-hand that made the piece long, or just that sitting and thinking for longer meant you found there was more to say?
I like how normal this scene starts, especially given the end of the last one, and then how everything changes again. The details are keeping up to your high standards -- the overlooked pasta and that neither of them is really eating it fits in very well with the nervousness they convey. I'm going to be disappointed when this week finishes!

When night falls
The journey to the Voices Hotel was muted; David appeared to having trouble coming to terms with Father Ignatz being escorted along with himself and Ernest, and Father Ignatz was staring out of the window contemplatively. Ernest's face had tweaked with a tiny smile when he got into the car, taking the front seat naturally, and then he, too, seemed immersed in the scenery as they left behind the Old Town of Edinburgh and the roads narrowed into lanes; hand-constructed stone walls lined them, and trees and fields covered hills and proto-mountains. Lieutenant Samual had the radio on quietly, and he wasn't completely certain but he could have sworn that at one point Ernest was humming along to Lady Gaga.
As the sun started to set, Samual pointed ahead of them. "That's Holyrood Park," he said. "Arthur's Seat rises out of that." An expanse of green lay before them, flat before the landscape crumpled into hills and crags. "Those are Salisbury Crags, but when you visit you'll approach from the East, it's much flatter and an easier climb." His voice was quiet so that only Ernest heard him over the rumble of the engine.

Greg said...

"I heard that seventeen coffins had been found," said Ernest, equally quietly. "Each the length of a hand, with small wooden figures in."
Samual stared at the road ahead. "Sixteen had figures," he said at last. "More I cannot tell you without a verification of who you are. If you open the glove compartment in front of you, you'll find the stone."
Ernest opened the small recess in the dashboard. Inside were a pentagonal stone, as smooth as if it had been sitting in a river for thirty years, and a message cylinder sealed with wax. It was already too dark to tell the colour of the wax, so he left it where it was and removed the stone. Then, carefully, he reached into the collar of his shirt and gently lifted out a gold medallion on a gold chain. The medallion was engraved with a design that couldn't be made out in the dark either. He lifted the stone and let the medallion rest on it.
Samual looked over: after several seconds tiny glowing lines crept across the stone seemingly from underneath the medallion and down the edges of the stone. When they had all completed their trek there was a sudden silence: the car was still moving the but the engine had been muted. Glancing behind him, Ernest saw that David and Ignatz were both fast asleep.
"David will be annoyed," he remarked. "I wasn't aware that this had been perfected now."
"Only about five of us -- six now -- are," said Samual. "The Lords-Martial think we may have a significant advantage by delaying the announcement. Like the invention of radar. But to your question: only fourteen of the coffins had figures in, and yes, one of them, probably recent, was intended to be Lord Campion. The Lords-Magical are studying them personally."
"Edinburgh. They have rooms in the hotel as well if you wish to meet them."
"Myself, no. David will certainly recognise them though."
Samual nodded. "I'll relay that. I think we might pass it off as preparation for a conference. But the other thing we need to discuss is your itinerary for the funeral."

Marc said...

Greg - I like your idea of pickleball better than the reality. I shall have to try to make that happen!

I tend to get more involved and less distracted when I'm writing by hand. Being on the computer I tend to wander back and forth between the writing and various, random websites.

And thank you, again :)

Hah, appreciate the timely reference to Lady Gaga :D

Love the description of the route and landscape, you really bring things to life. Samual is an interesting addition to the tale as well. Eager to read on!