Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dead Rite chapter 7.08

"You do know the acoustics in here are almost perfect?" Harold's voice was clear, despite his being twenty yards away in the kitchen. "I can hear every word."

"Of course you can darling." Ada wandered up the corridor looking at the art on the walls. All original of course. "But I'd happily say it to your face as well."

"I know. That's what depresses me."

"Is this a Francis Bacon?" Legion paused to examine a drawing of a young woman with a long-eared cat and several butchered pigs.

"You know your painters, Madam." Harold stood at the kitchen door, wiping his hands on a dishcloth. "That's my partner, Gillian, about ten years ago."

"But didn't he die in ninety-two?"

"That's right. So did she."

"Abominations." Legion followed him into the kitchen. "I can see why Mrs. Waterman brought me to you."

"Was that a compliment? I'm not quite sure." Harold poured water into a teapot and took out his mobile phone. "Tea, Mrs. Legion?"

"Just Legion is fine and no thank you. I have no need of mortal sustenance though I appreciate the ritual."

"I see." Harold speed dialled. "Felicia? Would you bring a latte up for mum? I know she prefers your coffee machine to mine."

"That's because your coffee machine is a jar of supermarket instant." Ada leaned across to Legion. "He had a lovely coffee machine here once for use by the customers but all the people from the careers office across the road found out about it and would come in here on their breaks. He wouldn't have minded, only they never bought anything."

"Are you sure?" Harold placed a small plate of biscuits on the table. "I've had both angels and demons in here, and a few creatures you'd not want to cross swords with to boot and not one of them has ever declined a cup of my tea."

"Perhaps she's had one before, Harold, and that's why she doesn't want another." Felicia placed a steaming cup of latté on the table. "I came straight up since the door was open." She turned to Legion and held out her hand. "How do you do? I'm Felicia Turling. I run the Downstairs Gallery, downstairs. "

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