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so we're comin' out of the kitchen - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
so we're comin' out of the kitchen
OK, well then, I'm healthy(er/ish), Mum's healthy, the gas company have finally more or less cleared off, and I'm no longer in waiting-on-news distraction-limbo because the Alleged Story found a home (I believe a couple of the Brainweasels actually exploded there), so, hopefully I now have enough of my spoon-flow redirected into being able to, y'know, sit down and work at more regular intervals than lately...? We shall see.


It's too beautiful a day for this, to be picking my way across heaved ground towards the figure with shoulders at the familiar slope of the widower standing at loose ends over a grave. There's already a neat line of pebbles laid out above the lettering on the new stone, one more Anton amidst the century-gone Bohemians. He's gone with the polite fiction for a birth-date. "I'm not spending all of my time out here," Max says.

"Legs, standing on?" It can't have escaped his notice that I'd come from the direction of a newer section than this, bleakly exposed on what passes for high ground in the floodplain hard by the car-park at Michael's uni where Jill and I had once watched illegal fireworks rise up out of the flat land. Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break.

Someday, there will be trees.

Max has the look of an incipient funk. I clap him on the back, gently: "Buy you a coffee."

He brightens, digging into a pocket of his jacket for the keys to his motorbike. Then holds them out to me -- "I trust you to get us over to Meinl," Max says, eyes atwinkle at my bewilderment. "Come on, didn't you even look at the license?"

I'd chiefly noticed the red bar proclaiming that I'm not to be let to purchase alcohol, which had had Jason laughing about missing the point of fake IDs, but now I look again there's the M for a motorbike classification above the assertion that my eyes are blue. Have to take that on its face, I'm not the one to ask.

(The lake before a storm, I can hear an artist's voice calling them.)

The extra helmet slung from the pannier has someone else's flag decaled to the brow, but it fits as well as any. Max mounts up behind, slipping his arms round my waist with a chortle. "Hey, if I don't get to be a dirty old man at my age..."

"You were born a dirty old man." The roar of the starter shocks across the stillness, vibrato singing through the roots of my teeth. I guide the bike slowly past long-weathered sentinels -- doughboys, I must remind myself, not tommys, that war that hadn't ended anything at all passed now from every living memory but mine -- learning a feel for this machine; Max's bike handles better than the ambulance-corps' Trusty, even without the counterbalance of a sidecar. I register the hoot of delight near my ear as I guide the bike out the side gate and then lose myself in the joy of speed, only thought for keeping straight which side of the road to aim for in the turns. (And when we near the coffeehouse Max only chuckles as I take my time in combing the side-streets for a place to park.)

Over topfenstrudel I broach the subject of my upcoming plans for a holiday. Max sets his cup down on the saucer with a clink. "Have fun storming the castle." His wry grin is a bit lopsided. In a coffeehouse like this I would imagine he conjures peculiarly Viennese ghosts, the grandparents he'd never know sitting down to a normal and ordinary pleasure with all their lives still before them. "Just try not to get fingerprinted coming back in, it's all digital now and I can't see that going well."

He's not going to say it and neither am I. We shall sit, and take tea, and try our best not to think of markers with space for other names. Helen, fy ngwraig. A hazy spring twilight is lowering outside the window, Max's reflection swimming on the surface of darkening glass. "So, what does the roommate think when you're out until all hours with your weird old hippie friends?" he asks, and takes a sip of his coffee.

I can't help but grimace. "I believe his thoughts on the subject involve the phrase, 'hot monkey sex'."

Max shakes his head, fondly. "Kids today."

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feeling: indescribable indescribable

2 responses | moved to respond?
ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: November 15th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yeah, these last few years have got to have been particularly ... fraught ... for Trevor, as 'his' war passes out of living memory. (And that twinned image of Anton's gravestone and Helen's hurts - just as sharp as it needs to be.) (And someone in the back of my head is observing that this is the real reason for the association of vampires and cemetaries - so many people to visit there, after a while.)

robling_t From: robling_t Date: November 15th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
And given that this episode is probably only a few days after the last episode, it had bloody well just then happened (part of what got this one hung up for so long was trying to work that reference in somehow, in fact). Trevor's not ordinarily of a temperament to hang out in cemeteries per se, but even vampires get the blues sometimes... ;)
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