Thursday, September 4, 2008
Today dawned as fine and fair as any September morning you could hope for. The sky was the colour of fade eggshell, applied as gesso thirty years ago so that sections of it peeled like skin from white plaster. There was a distinct tang of autumn in the air – that combination of wet leaf and decay; the sweet scent of over-ripe blackberries and under-ripe chestnuts.
Discarded beech nuts crunch underfoot, their shell still soft enough that Felicia need not fear the prickles against her paws. The nights are getting longer now and soon Gillian will still be awake to walk with her paramour in the pre-dawn darkness.
The cat-gargoyle at St Marples’ was no help whatsoever. Forty years of having no-one to talk to had driven it completely insane and it threatened me again. Much I was tempted to rip off its head, I reasoned that it was a Denizen in need of attention. Since it seemed totally fixated on Harold, I would have to persuade him to come and speak to it. He’s quite good with causes.
I went to the St. Pity’s churchyard and found the grave of Matthew Bembridge. Sure enough he had died in 1971 aged thirty-four, beloved son of Frank and Sheila and brother of Frank. A simple look-up on my Blackberry confirmed the his parents were long dead (car crash in 1987) but his brother was still alive and living in Tatfield. I frowned a bit as I read the potted biography. Frank Bembridge, retired, had never married, never even had sex with anyone (though he had an interest in Japanese Manga which is always a good sign.)*
It looked like I was Going West, like a young man on a dollar a day.
Just my luck that the darkest clouds lay that way.
*Because reading Japanese Manga is damning by default. Contrary to popular belief, tentacle sex is not next to Godliness.