“How long since you dealt with the old lady?”
Sefskapoi checked his watch. Despite his odd eyestalks, he was immaculately attired in a suit similar to Jasfoup's. Harold wondered if he went to the Queen of Milan for his tailoring too, or if she limited her services to the upper echelons on infernal hierarchy and Jasfoup. Six hours. Not long enough to do her spitir any permanent damage.”
“No more so than being trapped in a decomposing body would do already, anyway.” Jasfoup grinned.
Sometimes black humour was all you could afford. There was enough misfortune in the world already. They reached the top of the stairs. The carpet runner here was threadbare and not attached to the floor. It was an accident waiting to happen, or would have been had the accident not already happened. The first door was a small bedroom, what his mum would have called a box room though it modern parlance it had become a luxury space suitable for a single adult or growing child. True to form, it had a single, narrow bed and a freestanding wardrobe, though the bed was unmade and partially covered with a dust sheet. He caught sight of his reflection in the mirror on the wardrobe door and was shocked at the pale luminosity of his face. Self portrait of desolation. He moved on.
Sefskapoi was standing at the second of the four doors. “In here.” He pushed it open. Harold half-expected the scree of a horror film but the door swung silently on oiled hinges, opening onto a plain white bathroom with black-bordered tiles, each with a runner of fleur-de-lys. It was empty.