Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 133.30

Harold turned away and pretended to study the shaft wall. “My mother said that eavesdroppers never learn anything they can be proud of.”

“Ada? I've known her longer than you, remember? She probably overheard someone saying that.”

“Don't you be rude about my mother.”

“I wouldn't dare.” Jasfoup raised his hands in surrender. “I value my legs. Say anything disparaging about your mum and she'll tell the King of Hell next time she has him over for a little late supper and boudoir entertainment.”

“And don't you forget it.” Harold smiled remembering a time when he was six or seven and off school with chicken pox. His mum had dragged the television – a seventeen inch monochrome monstrosity in a cabinet that weighed more than a small car – into his bedroom and sat with him playing chess during the five minute breaks between school education programmes on BBC2. There was an art to the careful balancing of a folding chess board on a series of blankets and a hand-me-down duvet. He'd forgotten what a joy it was to have boudoir entertainment.

He turned to his tormentor. “Have you ever played chess with her?”

“Chess? With your mum?” Jasfoup frowned. “I don't think so. Why?”

“I've heard her ask people into her boudoir to see her beautiful chess, but she's never shown it to me.”

“Ah.” Jasfoup pulled him into a sudden and unexpected hug. “Don't ever grow up, Harold. Stay just the way you are.”

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