Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Scribbles XXXXIII

It's been a funny old week. very intense: four nights at rehearsal-related activities. Monday night I spent an hour or so at the North Shore Brass band's headquarters, and watched (and listened) as they played the tunes for the play. The band had just - on the Sunday - been placed second in the national competition, so they are pretty damned good.
I love watching other people doing stuff well. And I learned how to handle my eu-bloody-phonium. I am truly in touch with my inner horn.
Tuesday through Thursday nights were proper rehearsals, and I have to say the director has timed the whole run to perfection.
I was at the New Lynn library the other day, doing a little catch-up work. The staff were running about like blistered otters, polishing and preening. Apparently there was to be a visitation from a VIP. Meanwhile, regular activities carried on: just through the workshop wall I could hear a bunch of toddlers having great fun at the Wriggle n' Rhyme programme: much laughter and joyful sounds. Then I looked up, and saw the VIP had arrived: Rodney Hyde, aka Skeletor. Hyde's a far-right politician, and (in my humble opinion) an arrogant ass-hole. I carried on working. He proceeded throuigh the Library, glad-handing one and all. Then I heard his voice as he approached the children. "And what's all this," he said, with a voice dripping with false bonhomie. Twenty happy children immediately stopped making noise. "This looks like fun!" he crowed. Three babies erupted into tears.
Children are such excellent diviners of character.
Listening to: The Rolling Stones.
Reading: Christopher Hitchens, "Hitch 22". Still. I've not been getting much reading done lately..
More "Paper Heroes":
There: black on black. His eye-line shifted again, and then came back to the spot. No more than nine-tens of paces in front of him. Three of them.

It was tempting. It had been an empty night’s hunting: something was about to happen, and the Henrys had been unusually active, unusually careful. If Night could ambush the ambushers, and take one. No. It was too dangerous. He thought a moment more, and a tight smile flashed across his handsome face.

He slipped the bow from his shoulder, and laid it down, quietly. The bag of arrows went next. He marked the spot where he hid them, and stepped forward. A minute later, he took another step. Another minute, another step. The dawn was lighting the sky now. If it was going to happen, it had to be soon.

Then, incredibly, a fart. Long, and loud, followed by laughter. In that moment Night leapt back, grabbed his bow, nocked an arrow, and started his run, his bare feet silent on the crumbling concrete. The laughter sounded again, with jeers and scoffs. Another fart: more jeering. Twenty paces now, and the bow’s cord is back at his cheek, straining his muscles, and the copper arrowhead is glowing red in the faint light. His left foot slapped down, and he sprang into the air, feeling how the arrow will fly, and he looses it and nocks a second even before he landed. The great bow groaned as it fought the strain , and Night’s breath sawed and bellowed in his cramped lungs. Fear and joy drove him on, and he let the second arrow fly. Two men dead, and Night dropped his bow, and clawed his knife from the scabbard. He was on the third Henry now, hammering the horrified man in the temple with the hilt. Blood splashed across Night’s hand, and the man dropped to the ground, unconscious. Speed was now of the essence. Night pulled the arrows free, the bodkin heads sucking at the flesh. Had they been barbed heads he would have left them. Night’s knife flashed, and he grunted as he gouged at the meat on the men’s arms, and the Scarabs died, a tangle of gristle and tek.

The Scarab on the unconscious man’s arm would have begun transmitting the moment he suffered his injury, so Night’s knife flashed and slashed again, causing the Scarab to scream a death cry to the Listeners, telling them falsely of a third death.

Night grunts as he stands, his lungs heaving, and hefts the Henry onto his shoulder.

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