One of my Old Ladies - Le Grand Belle Dames of Waitakere - had an experience today that'll keep her chuckling for a few weeks. I've written of this woman before: she's blind, and recently had a bad fall. So she needed a pick me up.
She wasn't quite expecting the one she got. Seems she decided to walk up to the local dairy, buy a pinta milk. So off she steps, white stick in hand. There's a bunch of roadworkers / drainlayers hard at work just outside her home, and one of the workers comes forward to help her, make sure she doesn't trip. Nice man. Another fellow gets jealous, and also offers a hand. Within seconds these two big chaps have linked hands, and she's sitting up high, laughing like a mad thing. She's carried all the way to the local dairy - around 400 metres, then carried back to her door. Laughing like a drain all the way.
People are just so fucking brilliant.
So. Tax on tobacco's going up. I'm dubious about the efficacy, myself. Having been a heavy smoker, I think that I would have found a way to carry on smoking. It's an addiction, for Pete's sake. People will soon be doing burglaries to pay for their hanbit..
I was having a chat yesterday with a colleague, and I suddenly realised that I had completely unconsciously and naturally used three Maori words in one sentence: Whanau, whakapapa, and korero. Then I'd used taonga and mokopuna in a second sentence. I don't know whether this indicates that I'm becoming bi-lingual, or whether Maori is simply becoming a part of New Zealand English. The latter, I think.
READING: "The Torment of Others", Val McDermid. She writes brilliantly. I'm quite a fan.
LISTENING TO: The divine Joni Mitchell, "Chalk marks in a Rain Storm". It's my favourite JM album: I hear something new in it each time.
WATCHING: Gonna go and see Iron Man II. Culture, your name is Stan Lee. Also - gasp weep wail: I'm going to be in rehearsal when Doctor Who starts. I'm going to have to watch a recording!
More Paper Heroes.
His grandfather had gone to Manitou at four tens, one hand, and four, and that had been thought miraculous.
But on this bone-chilling night, Night is at war, as he has been since his b-day. It is an old war, stretching back many Gens, back to when the Henrys had swept in from the east, with their truk-teks, their gun-teks, their air-teks, and enslaved the Folk.
In this past year Night has loosed eight hands of arrows, and has retrieved all but three of them, bloodied from the flesh of dead Henrys. He had looted the bodies, carrying much loot back to the Folk: gun-teks, bullets, com-teks, food, boots.
The ropes bite his body, but he doesn’t move. He’s accustomed to the rigours of the hunt. He’s been out now for three nights, stalking this pair of Henrys. They are careless, and have fallen into predictable habits and patrolling patterns. This night, Night will teach them to respect the Folk. The Free Folk.
His senses are at a high pitch of alertness: over the hiss and spatter of the rain he can hear a murmur of voices, the harsh scrape of hob-nailed boots on pavement. There: movement in the rain. Two man-shapes, a hint of a light. He nocks an arrow, and braces himself, taking the first strain. As expected, the Henrys are walking together, talking together, talking and complaining. Out on a night like this, who wouldn’t be complaining?
Not Night. He grins his feral grin. He’s picked his place carefully, has scouted his getaway, has everything judged to the finest moment. No one of his Gen had ever killed two Henrys at once on his or her own before.
He lets them approach. He will be loosing from just two tens of metres, so takes full strain when they get close.
Something makes the first target look up as they pass the old bollard, and Night’s first arrow punches neatly between the Henry’s blue eyes, making a crunching sound as it bites through bone and into brain. He is dead and falling as Night looses the second arrow, which catches the second Henry in the throat. Night listens: silence, apart from the scraping and tapping as one of the Henry’s boots dances a death-tattoo on the ancient concrete paving.
Night tugs at the slipknot which holds him secure, and he drops the hand of metres to the ground as it loosens. His long, powerful legs absorb the impact, and he lopes quickly to the two men, slinging the bow over his shoulder and drawing his knife.
The second one still breathes, but his life-blood is slowly pumping onto the pitted pavement and into the waters of the Bay. Night sets to work: get the clothing off, then cut out the liver. The next was the hardest, especially in this light: delicately carve and release the Scarab and get it onto the warm liver. It would recognise the double helix, and the nutrients in the liver would keep it alive for enough time to get it back to Doc Ford. Clothes into a sack, gun-teks into another gunny, livers and their Scarabs into a Tup-tek box, and sealed.
Then a quick kick sends the bodies into the Bay, for the grey and white sharks to conceal his work.