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“Off to Europe then, old man?   That’ll be nice.”

Daisy pats her silver hair, and moves the folded paper with the half-done sudoku off the floral sofa to make room for me next to her,  ” I was last there about seventy years ago.   Nice continent.   Interesting.   Old things like us fit well into old places.   Want a quick bite, Jonathon?   I’ve got someone lovely and fresh in the bath tub still…?”

“Nah – I already ate.   How you managing without Dwayne to fetch and carry for you?”

“I may still be a spring chicken to you, but I adapt fast.   But – miss my boy, old man.   I miss my boy.”

“You grow out of it.   Emotions get old.”

She sniffs, and folds her hands determinedly in her lap.   “No intention of growing out of it.   Now: that little arson-loving, Buffy-wannabe Brix boy of yours – he’s gotta go.”

My own hand catches my eye, and it makes a fist as I say, “Yeah.   Probably time he went.  He and Amelia.   The…”  

I pause for a word that won’t get me a clip behind the ear, and recall Dwayne for inspiration.

“…The fracking…”

“Suckers”, supplies Daisy, helpfully.

“Yeah.   Fracking suckers.  Sucked us over one too many times now, eh, Daise?   And you know my philosophy: once someone stops being interesting and starts getting… sucking annoying, they’re fair game.”

Daisy reaches for her knitting, and says brightly, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

I’m wondering if she means what I think she… when she adds, “So you’ll cross paths with these two on your trip?”

I watched the points stab the wool and make pleasant sounds and pleasing things out of violent actions.

“Yep.   Think so.   Amelia wouldn’t miss it.”

The chatter of needles stops.   She leans in and takes the damaged hand in hers, and says to me, earnestly:


“Then this time? – you make sure you suck them up good, old man…”




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