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An Immortal Meeting: December 27…


[Sound familiar…?]

If a train is travelling towards Point A at x miles per hour…

So – Harmony (my friend) had a Christmas present for me, right?  She’d even made it herself – framed a photo that she’d taken and I’d liked, of a crow pecking at carrion out by the highway.

And she decided to drop in and surprise me with it.  

… and a second train is travelling towards the same point at y miles per hour…

Py (my, er – blood relative) was convinced Amelia (my – well.   My death-sake…) would have dug herself in close to me, and had investigated the whole neighbourhood.   However she had alluded him, and he was out of fucking humor about it.

So he decided to come over to my place and sulk in comfort.


[You remember this, right?   Right?   I’m never going to fucking forget it.   Because now? – here’s the rest of the equation…]


But I’d already found Amelia – and right at that precise moment of impending metaphorical locomotive ground zero? – she was lying on my bed.   In the very next room.

… at what time will the inevitable collision take place…?


[Up the fucking ante, right?  I’m filling in the missing numbers for you here – what I knew then, and no-one else did.    The stakes were far more fucking dangerous in that moment than you ever thought.   But me?   I was doing the maths at a higher level.   Because you see – I knew the sum of all the players.   Jonathon: the common denominator.   Py: the eternal number.   Harm: the fraction hanging in the balance.

And Amelia.   The unknown factor.]


When Harm knocked, I answered the door and she said “Merry Christmas – here”, thrust the impatiently-wrapped present at me and went to perch on the back of the couch.

I was still holding the door when Py then promptly came through it, saying “Ciao, Johnny boy – I…”

He and Harm looked at each other.   I closed the door and put down the parcel warily.   [Shit.   Shit.   Plus – holy fucking shit.   Amelia…]

Harm raised her eyebrows – “You already know the new history teacher, sunshine?”

Py rubbed a knuckle under his chin – “You didn’t say you’d have company, Johnny?”

Total train wreck.

Aw, fuck it.

“Harm? – this is Py.”


[Mind was working furiously, right?   Py could kill Harm – or Amelia.   Harm could bust Py – or Amelia.   Amelia could kill them both – and then me.   Or all of the above added up into some other kind of bloody and horrific combination that was still not in my best interests.]


So I was standing in my apartment between the sharpest and most incisive person I know, and the person with the sharpest incisors I know…

[And the creature who I’d made a sharp incision in – and who owed me…]

This needed to go – very [very] carefully.

Harm looked at Py a moment longer, then went and straddled the window sill to smoke outside and stay inside.

The first incision came as she lit up: “So our new history teacher, Mr Harbinger…”   (oh for fuck’s sake, Py – what were you thinking?)

“…is actually your old friend Py?”   (dunno why I even mentioned him to you, Harm…)

I itched my left temple.  

[Was Amelia awake?   Was she listening?   Was she hungry? Vengeful? Suicidal?…]

Py shifted his weight – very delicately.   (Harm’s voice had carved neat clean lines across the room.)

I answered simply [and distractedly]: “It’s a nickname.”   And Py cut in: “Lost touch with Johnny for a couple of months – never dreamed he’d move, and I’d end up teaching at his school.”   (There was a bright sharp sound to his voice…)

“How bizarre,” said Harmony, nicely.   (Cut it out, Harm…)

“Isn’t it?” agreed Py smoothly.

(The Cat leapt daintily down onto the fire escape outside the window, resisted Harm’s offered hand, looked daggers at Py, [glared at me because of Amelia’s continued proximity] and left as silently as it came…)

I thought about moving [while still listening intently for sounds of movement in the bedroom], and didn’t.   (Why hadn’t Py twisted the conversational knife?)

…and Harm smoked calmly…   (Why had she chosen a window seat?)

…and Py smiled.   A very little bit.   (Blades were poised…)

[… because what the FUCK was Amelia doing in there?   No.   Strike that.   What the fuck was she going to do…?]

Then…   “Cigarette?” asked Harm.   “Cheers,” said Py. She lit it for him, and he climbed out to lean on the rail while she swung gracefully over the sill to join him.


(And Jonathon may have let out a small unnecessary breath from dancing on the edges of knives…)


[…and because, when it came to the sticking point – thank fuck – Amelia never came out…]






  1. It’s a good thing you’re already technically dead. I think the anyone else would have had a heart attack at that point.

    • I find it often to be a good thing to be technically dead…

  2. I almost had an anxiety attack for you.

    • Rosemarie Fullerton
    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply


  3. The plot thickens… Brilliant, as always.

  4. WOW. The skeletons in your closet just keep popping out. Well, vampires in your bedroom is a better example perhaps.. Clever, as always x

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