Harold broke a window today.
It wasn’t his fault, exactly, the window got in the way of his saber as he twirled it about in a pitiful attempt to take my head off. It was old glass, too, so thin that it had almost melted off the frame. Did you know that glass is permanently in a liquid state? It takes years but it will eventually flow away. Try looking at some really old windows -- fifteenth century, say – and you’ll notice that the glass in the lower half of the pane is thicker than the glass in the top. Trust me, they weren’t made that way.
Anyway, him putting his sword through this window brought a premature end to the session. As soon as his blade caught on the frame I had a technical win by cutting his hand off. Not literally, because the training blades are blunt, but enough to give him a bruise he’ll remember. We used to use real blades since both of us are virtually immortal and can re-grow whatever bits are cut off, but I put a stop to that. You would too if you’d heard Harold whining about growing an ear back. I told him to stop moaning about it at the time but he went on about how I’d tricked him with a feint and with an infinite number of unknown futures it was just his luck to hit the one with me cutting off an appendage.
“Listen,” I said. “There’s no point in worrying about a myriad of unknown futures when you’ve got an unknown present.”
“Where can I get one of those?” he asks.
I swear he sets himself up for these. I replied: “You’ve got one ear.”
I don’t think he saw the funny side because he went storming off for a shower. That’s when I called a halt to training with live blades unless it’s with his Uncle Frederick, who’s a ghost and really doesn’t mind being cut to ribbons of ectoplasm.
Devious turned up to repair the window. It was lucky that he ‘happened to have’ some original glass from the seventeenth century to replace the broken one. I think that possibly explains why the window in the scullery had UPVC double glazing three hundred years before the stuff was invented. I shall have to talk to him about that. He’s not supposed to cause anachronisms when he goes into the past.
Unfortunately, the frame was rotted, so he had a full job on to replace the whole lot and ended up taking out half the bricks and carting them to the tipping point. We always use the same place. The roof of the shed at 17 Carter’s Drive looks out over a culvert that dates back to Tudor times. We dump our stuff there and the local historians pretend to find it. You should see some of the rubbish they’ve put in the local museum. There’s a brick there with my fingerprint in it. I won’t tell you which one.
Number 17 is empty now. The old bloke that used to live there was able to see us when his mind started to wander. His insistence that there were goblins on his shed roof won him a long holiday in the local psychiatric hospital. He was stupid to think that, anyway. Anyone could tell they were imps.