Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 154.13

Harold closed his mouth over the proffered thumb, tasting sugar, corned beef, banana custard, strawberry jam. He belatedly wondered how clean the thumb had been beneath it. Teenage boys weren't generally known for their adherence to a washing regime.

“You can take in more than that.”

Harold opened his eyes. It was odd to be propositioned by a teenager. “How old are you, again?”

“Fifteen, but this is the first time I've been fifteen. Why?”

“It might be considered inappropriate for a grown man to be sucking off a fifteen year old boy.” Harold frowned. “From, I meant. Sucking from.”

“Why? In Galilee a man generally marries as soon as he is twelve or thirteen. I would be considered old.”

Harold let go of the thumb and Jared began to lick the concoction from the remaining two fingers. “If you'd be considered old, how would they consider me?”

Jared studied him, his dark eyes glittering over his curled fingers. “Dead, probably. Ancient at the very least, though there were always older people in the temples. Perhaps you would have been rich. That would bring you a longer expectation of life. Better food, better sanitation. A house away from the disease-ridden hovels of the poor.”

“It's not so different now.” Harold took a step back. He was, after all, a happily married man. Well, not actually married. Gillian had a problem with the concept of matrimony which stemmed from her ideals prior to death, ideals which precluded the words 'I do' in any formal agreement. “The rich have a better standard of living, better food, houses, healthcare. That sort of thing.”

“While the poor still suffer?”

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