Difficult to Explain
Jesus, I saw the vendor pick that up with his hands, his raw hands, not with the gloves like he's supposed to. She shouldn't buy that one. I could tell her, but I won't. It's best that she doesn't know, not now anyway, it would be so difficult to explain! At least she wore the purple overcoat today. Even if she gets sick from the vendor man, at least she won't get a head cold. It's just about the only weather-proof thing she has, what's she like? I should tell her about the sale in the little outdoorsy shop near where she works. She'd be able to pick something decent for the chilly months. That wouldn't be a great idea, not now anyway. Fuck, that would be so difficult to explain.
She came running through from the back of the shop, arms wide.
He picked her up. He loved her smell, a mixture of coal tar soap and sugar.
“Milly!” he said triumphantly. It was their usual greeting.
She tipped her curly head to one side. “I need….” There was a pause. She liked to inject a little drama…. “a big smile!”
He pursed his lips producing a tiny tight-lipped little smirk, just to tease.
“No!” Finger-waggling, not amused. ”A real smile!”
Four Hail Marys
Mary is on her way to the new sandwich shop on Saint Michael’s Road, quietly obsessing on the relative merits of coronation chicken versus tuna mayo, when she spots Graham lolloping down the street towards her. At least it looks like him, she can’t be certain at this distance, but who else still wears his thinning grey hair hanging loose to his shoulders? He doesn’t seem to have noticed her, probably plugged into his MP3 player and off in a time-warp with the Rolling Stones, but she isn’t going to hang around to check. She has a moment’s grace to backtrack and take refuge in the churchyard.
Samael, the Half-Malachim
The Nazerites, they trust me with their very lives. They depend on my command to preserve the lives of every soul behind these borders. Without question, we are the legion most equipped for such responsibility.
We hold the line, we are the only ones who can.
We are the only hope that matters, for we are the last hope. And I, Samael of House Thrandiin, lead these gifted vandun, this Nazerite platoon, into the fray yet again. Under the ever watchful eye of Omniabba, and with the endorsement of Melek Tau, our High King.
Sitting with his back pressed hard against the trunk, Tobias cowered, his head in his hands, as the battle between the Section Guards and the Outlanders raged wildly below. The high pitched whine of steel against steel and Light cannons screaming overhead made him want to run and not stop until he was miles clear of this godforsaken place but he felt too scared to move. This war had been going on for at least three months now and had devoured almost all of his countrymen.
He levered himself up slightly with his feet delicately balanced on the periphery of the branch above to get a better look at the carnage going on below.
Thirteen foot six inches long, nine foot wide, nine foot nine inches high; one hundred twenty one and a half square feet; three hundred ninety cinder blocks. Bobby knew the numbers by heart, the result of a combination of boredom and obsessive compulsive disorder. He could count the ugly beige blocks with his eyes closed; pace the stark gray floor in his sleep.
A Shimmering gauze of mist beckoned her through the mirror, the woods dark and haunting at night under the shadows of the trees were so unlike the daisy chain making summer days she remembered as a child. She looked down into the candle-lit cavern. Alice should have known better than to go into the hole again, but bloody-minded and contrary as always, she would never have been able to persuade herself otherwise.
The Imp, The Shade and Cerberus
The dead cried out, some with remembrance of former lives lost, others with fear for the retribution to come. Ignoring the wailing specters, the imp Deil trudged through the warped corridors and caverns of the Underworld, wringing his clawed hands all the while. Head down, tail and wings dragging, Deil presented himself before the dark lord, Hades. Cringing and stuttering, the imp gave his report.