The weather's all outside, which is a good thing on a day like today. Rain and wind: I'm glad I'm not working.
Synchronicity Saturday: Jenny had to work, so I got all domestic. When she came home I offered to make her a cup of coffee.. and made her exactly that. A cup of coffee. Not a mug - which has been our standard hot drink vessel since we met. She was surprised: because when she had been at work, she'd been thinking that it would be nice to drink from a cup. So it goes...
Today is our 12th wedding anniversary. Too poor to do anything celebratory, really - so we'll stay at home, and watch "The Lovely Bones".
I've never been married for 12 consecutive years before. There's comfort in treading new territory, and finding it benign.
Reading: Along with the Hitchens book, which I recommend to everyone, I'm also reading Douglas Reeman's "The Glory Boys". This is the second Reeman book I've read, and the man is a master of melancholy. His aching and world-weary tone is pitch-perfect.
Listening To: Blind Faith. English blues from the 1960s: john Mayall's second-best band. And his second-best is so much better than most others' first best....
More "Paper Heroes":
As one, all three fall to their knees, then huddle down, covering their ears, keeping their eyes tight shut, and their mouths open. Screaming.
The three sleeping figures now stir, and the sound and light snap off as though they had never been.
Blunt has a nosebleed, and mops at it with the loincloth. “It might have been advisable, perhaps, to follow their bloody lights,” he says.
“Perhaps,” murmurs Crayne. “Meanwhile, we have others come to join us. We can only hope they’re allies.”
The three men are on their feet now. Blunt, Whistler, and Crayne inspect them with interest. Even though the trio isn’t aware of it, their nanotech-assisted minds are starting to process data at ever-faster rates. There’s a majestically-built blue-eyed giant with yellow hair and a spectacular plaited moustache; a short man, well-muscled, but of indifferent features; and a wary looking man, long black hair loose, hanging to his shoulders. His chest has been mutilated at some stage: scars criss-cross it in a welter of forgotten pain.
Thomas Crayne spoke first. “Gentlemen: half an hour ago we were as you are now. We have a little idea of what’s happened, is happening, but I recommend you get dressed first. I imagine that’s your clothing over yonder.’
The giant blonde growls, and says, “By Crom, what is this?” He stops, and swipes at his tongue. “What is this that I say? These words are not mine! What tongue is this I speak?”
“If I’m not mistaken, my friend,” The Crusader grins, “your name is Hanno? Hanno of Cimmeria? Sometimes called the Barbarian?”
“Yes, yes, and Emperor God, and all that.” The man is worrying at his tongue.
Crayne continues. “I think we should postpone our questions for a while. There is a man named Charles who would like to meet with us.” He grins broadly. “I must say I never thought to find myself sharing the same time and space as Hanno. My name, by the way, is Thomas Crayne. My companions are Colonel Andrew Blunt and Sergeant Major Sean Whistler.”
There was some murmuring when Crayne announced his name, but only one person who reacted to Blunt and Whistler’s names. He remains silent, but turns a burning eye on them. It is the scarred man.
Blunt smiles, and extends a hand. “John Prester? I know of you. I wish I knew why, and how, but be that as it may. I am glad, indeed, to make your acquaintance.”
Prester says nothing, but extends his hand. Then he turns toward the clothing, and pads away.
“He a dangerous one, Sir,’ said Whistler.
“Almost as dangerous as you, Sar’ Major.”
The small, indiscriminate man reveals himself to be Justin Grey, and by his voice a Texan. “And just whut is going on here, Sir?” he asks.
Thomas Crayne thinks hard and fast, then replies.
“I think we’ve been brought against our will to a time and place not of our choosing,” replies Crayne. “My companions and I all have a vague memory of dying. Does this hold true for you as well?”
There is a stunned silence. The small Texan’s face pales as he staggers with the shock; the huge barbarian growls.