Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Aesthetic Flight

Tim closed the secret panel and ushered me backwards, a trickle of tomato-pilchard juice running down the smooth grey granite of his chin. “S’all rubbish,” he said. “You don’t want any of it.”

“Now at the moment, anyway.” I rubbed my chin. “How are you supposed to look after Harold if you’re not allowed to leave the building?”

“You tell me.” Tim shrugged. “The crows follow him, watching what he does and where he goes. I can see through their eyes.” He tapped his head. “I know, see. I know everything he does.”

“Interesting.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a cigar – this was 1978, when smoking was all but encouraged. “What’s he doing now?”

Tim went still, concentrating. “He’s at homel,” he said. “In his bedroom doing calculus in the margins of Steinbeck’s ‘The Red Pony’.”

I nodded, remembering how advanced Harold was for his age, right up until puberty.* “What would you do if you saw he was in danger?”

Tim shrugged. “Send in the birds,” he said, “or the bats or, if it was really desperate and I could afford the debt, one of the Denizens.”

“Really?” I frowned. “I thought you worked alone?”

“Nah.” Tim sniffed, his long tongue cleaning every trace of sauce from the pilchard tin. “He was attacked by an angel last year. Not that he knew about it, because three of the Fae took it down.”

“Took it down?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. “You had an angel killed?”

“’Course not. What do you take me for?” Tim lobbed the empty tin out of the window, where it was contrasted for a moment with the orange leaves and grey skies before crashing to the street below. “It’s buried down there under one of the gravestones.”

*When his interest in personal hygiene** took most of his free time.



Stinking Billy said...

Priceless! Oh, and welcome back!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thank you Billy :)

aims said...

Hmmm - trying to recall when I hit puberty. Was I interested in personal hygeine? I suppose it's a bit different for boys is it?

I'm wondering if The Man might be part gargoyle. He likes sardines in a can....eurghhhhhhhh.....

Leatherdykeuk said...

Ugh indeed!

Hygiene = long periods locked in the bathroom for boys

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