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...Boy, that went unexpectedly dark. - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
...Boy, that went unexpectedly dark.
...And whaddayaknow, Muse actually stuck around to do some proper work after the interview question of the day, maybe that insane side-project is paying off after all:

Jason's considering recommending his sister book the wedding-rehearsal supper at the small restaurant where he's been fulfilling a work-experience requirement in the summers. Oh, you're the roommate, the cheery waitress says in a suspiciously knowing tone when I ask after him, and escorts Jill and I to a quiet table in a corner of the garden.

We have the patio to ourselves on this week-night. From the open window of the kitchen I can hear snatches of a familiar baritone, sticking carefully to innocuous pop selections for the benefit of any punters in the main dining-room. He's quite mad, of course, I say. Dusk is drawing in, fireflies beginning to hover curiously round our table. One drops into my gravy. I flick it out and dribble a bit of water onto it, in the hopes it can preen itself clean. Jill's smiling.


We'll confer with the chef in more detail later, but Jill does tell the server to relay that in her considered opinion his menu innovations don't seem likely to scare anyone at the theoretical supper. "He's going to be a star," she says to me once the message is dispatched.

Jason is probably in that kitchen thinking inappropriately happy thoughts about my chances tonight, if I know him.

She's in the mood for a walk. There's a park, not so very far, a wide-open plain under a bowl of sky, Arcturus shining lonely in the deepening blue; and yet still the city, a plane gliding low through the dark heavens whilst sirens wail down the nearby streets. Jill smiles to see the electrical storm of fireflies in the prairie weeds, anticipating stars still masked by the city's lights. "I didn't know this was here," she says.

"I've found some surprising things in these last few years living with Jason," I say. The hulking castle of the school beyond the field is the one he attended, I've got dragged all the way over here to this park on our nights-out more than the once. He's spent the majority of his hours on this earth within a surprisingly short walk of the very spot where he was born; he'd miss this flat cityscape as dearly as I long for the embrace of hills, distant beacons of the skyline on this horizon a mocking echo of those lost vistas.

More stars have come clear now, Spica, Altair, the handle of the Plough. I think I can see the rest of it, if I stare. Our conversation turns to the incident with the memegwesi, and all the many ways that there are not to be entirely human. The difference is that ogres just eat people for kicks, Jill says, apropos of wendigo, and then when I try to ask after her sources for that claim wanders into a tale of how she'd briefly dated a bloke of some indeterminately Scandinavian descent who liked to turn into a bear at the dark of the moon. (He's now playing bass in a band with inappropriate umlauts, though I'm not quite sure what this has to do with his being a part-time bear, if anything, or if she's just trying to duck the question a few moments longer.)

We've talked, a bit, about how I'd come to wash up on the shores of a saltless foreign sea, but not so much of Jill's own particulars. Now, haltingly, she begins to tell me of a camping trip with her father: we thought it was some sort of an animal, he told me to wait, but... Then I heard --

I try not to remember what comes after that part.

She'd driven back to safety and people by herself, almost too small to see over the wheel. No explanation to give to her Mum. Blackouts. An aunt, well-meaning, but... More blackouts. Psychiatric counselling.

More blackouts.

Eventually someone in a position to recognise the signs took her in hand and explained matters, as best one really can in a situation like ours. (A woman in Paris, approaching a stranger's table: How... gauche, to leave you in ignorance of what you are --) Jason's mother is a comparatively lucky one in her story, work-experience student on the animal-control night watch; Stuart had apologised profusely in the morning, but the damage was done.

Still, at least Susan had known from the beginning, what to expect.


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ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: December 11th, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Are those two really the best judges of what food will scare people? :)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: December 12th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Well, WRT helping Jason to find a sweet spot between boring the family members who come from spicy-food traditions and injuring the ones who really, really don't, at least... :)
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