'You can keep your bearings by fixing your eyes on a single point', explains the Scientist.
While Nameless agreed that this sounded rather sensible, it also seemed to be missing the larger picture. To which the Scientist replies, ‘You’d rather be sick?’
I’ll be at TCAF this weekend at Booth #168, with the Spera crew, sharing table space with amazing creators Kyla Vanderklugt, Afu Chan and Josh Tierney!
I’ll also be carrying copies of Nameless and the Scientist Book 1 and various prints; please do drop by for a chat!
That is a huge bag of NOOOOOOPPPPEEEEEEE
Logical Mind: Oh look, a bunch of harmless daddy longlegs. No real risk of harm, or danger whatsoever here.
Emotional Mind: FIREFIREFIREKILLITWITHFIREOHGODFIRE!
IT SEEMS MY SHIPMENT OF NOPE HAS ARRIVED
((Imagine someone touches Kay’s hair and it twitches and wobbles and suddenly it’s all spiders))
Delilah laughed. “I’ll be sure to remember that.” How could she forget, after all? Carefully picking the notepad she used to jot down orders when it got busy out of her apron, she jotted the address down, adding her phone number on a whim, tore off the page and putting it in the girl’s pocket.
When they got to the door, Delilah let go of the girl’s arm. “Be careful out there, okay? I’m pretty sure you’ve got enough alcohol in you to disinfect the counter if I had to, and it’s a big city. If there’s anything at all, call me.”
Kay beamed blearily at her, inexplicably happy all of a sudden and marvelling at how much simpler things were when she couldn’t think straight.
"Thanks," she said with feeling, patting the woman’s shoulder again (and surreptitiously sending the weight of a few more golden coins dropping into the apron pocket - it was customary to tip, after all).
Then she turned and ambled away unsteadily down the path, under the glinting night lights and past the rushing cars, off to find the next place to lose herself in before she could brave Raphael again.
Kay would already be halfway to it when Delilah laughed weakly, shaking her head. “Shank’em. Got it,” she chuckled, carefully tucking away the money and the conch shells in her apron pocket and glancing at the group of men in the corner, who didn’t seem to have noticed (nor did they look like they were pretending not to have noticed). “You’re a weird person, you know that?”
Getting out from behind the counter, Delilah took hold of Kay’s elbow, helping steady her on her way out. “Do you want me to write down the address to my place in case you need somewhere to crash and the boyfriend won’t let you in? Least I could do.”
Kay squinted at the air in front of her as she tried to imagine that scenario - but somehow, putting the unlikelihood of that into words seemed beyond her at the moment.
"Sssure," she mumbled, returning to patting Delilah idly on the back on their way towards the door. "Ya- y’really nice f’r a h’man, y’know that? Rem’mber, shank'em'f y'have to, okay?”
…the implication that there might be a murder anyway was really, really not helping your case. Delilah was halfway to making the decision to stop her somehow when suddenly large wads of money were shoved into her hands.
Delilah stared at the bills, not really knowing where some of these were from but knowing enough to hazard a guess that they were worth more than enough to cover the bill and then ten more of them, only to be given even more. The gold coins alone looked like each one of them would cover a month’s worth of rent in London.
"I… I can’t take this," Delilah protested feebly, trying to at least hand the bills back. "It’s way too much, don’t you need this yourself? Treat your boyfriend to something nice, get him those flowers you mentioned?…”
Kay snorted loudly and unattractively, rolling her eyes as she finished heaping the small pile of treasure into the human’s hands, topped off with a few exquisite conch shells. “Pshhhhh,” she hissed loudly, and shook her head vigorously. “He doesn’t need’t, I don’ need’t, you need’t a lot."She gave her a wide, toothy grin. “‘Fter all, you’re paid crapp’ly’nough tha’you’ve got ta put u” w’th pep’l like me. An’ rememb’r,” she added meaningfully, loweirng her voice to a growl, “an’one tries ta take tha’ f’m ya, ya jus’ shank'em. Gottit? Gottit.”
Stuffing her wallet back into her coat and haphazardly readjusting it on her shoulders, she scrambled for her bag of books, then gave the human an unsteady salute. “Thanksss’l’tf’r ever’thing,” she slurred, grinning giddily at Delilah. “Ya’ve b’n a great help. I’ll- I’ll do what’v’r ya tol’ me ta do, ‘kay? An’ you do tha’ too.”
With that, she turned and began the long and arduous amble towards the door.
"Yeah, pounds." Delilah frowned slightly at the young woman, watching her fumble with the things in her hands. Really, she should be calling someone about her, but she’d seemed adamant about not letting her…
"Just… you’ll be okay by yourself, right?" Better to ask than not, right? "I won’t have to come down to the station to ID the body when they find you or something?"
Before she knew it, Kay was giggling unsteadily, struck by the stark irony of a human being concerned for a demon becoming a murder victim. As she finally wrestled her wallet open, she stepped closer to Delilah and patted her on the arm. “Trusss’ me, honey,” she snickered, her cheeks flushed and her eyes glinting a little bit more than they probably should have, “‘fth’y ask ya to ID a body, it won’ be mine,”
She paused for dramatic effect as much as she could, then burst out snickering again, eyes dropping down to her wallet as she dug out fistfuls of cash and squinted at them (she couldn’t focus on them enough to tell if they were - pounds, was it? - or really remember what pounds were supposed to look like in this day and age - and there was a slip of paper in-between the bills that registered on her fingers but seemed entirely too much of a bother to deal with. So she simply shovelled several fistfuls of it into the human’s arms and muttered, “I think th’s’re s’pposed t’be poun’s,” was struck with an abrupt rush of uncertainty and guilt over whether she really was giving the human the right currency, and dug into her wallet again, extracting a few more wads of cash of other currencies, including solid gold coins not seen in use in centuries. “Y’take all tha’,” she muttered insistently, already feeling that the human would object, and patted her again on the shoulder. “‘Ngl’s’n disguise, an’ all tha’,” she added, and decided that that was hilariously funny, so she broke into another bout of giggles.
"In the bag on the chair next to you." Pointing at it, Delilah added, "And before you ask, your coat is on the coat hanger by the door. Yes, you put it there yourself."
Grabbing for the glass, Delilah hesitated, holding it out to her. “Want to finish that before you go? Want me to call you a cab or someone to pick you up or something?..”
"Oh." Kay turned to look where the woman had pointed and stared at her coat for a long moment. Then she swallowed. "No. Nononono, y’ve d’ne so much alr’dy, thank you, an’ I don’ wanna go home yet an’way so jus’ jus’ wait a sec, okay?"
For a moment, Kay concentrated on getting the coat from where it was hanging to her shoulders, then gave up and raggedly staggered out of the chair. Some unsteady navigation of the wobbly floor later, she’d managed to get the coat off the coat hanger, drape it halfway over herself, and amble back to the human while digging her wallet out of one of hte oversized pockets.
"Her’ you go," she mumbled, hands struggling with the clasps and buttons of it, and swayed slightly where she stood, concentrating furiously on the slippery object in her grasp. "Jus’ waita sec’nd, pounds, pounds… Y’said pounds, righ’?" she repeated, glancing up at the figure of the human in front of her and her identical twin.
"Yeah, I know, and it looks good, but it went from vodka to red wine!" Delilah looked at the glass with befuddlement. That couldn’t happen. There was no way this lightweight could chug like that, and anyway, where would she have gotten the liquor?
Ugh. Never mind. Delilah shook her head, taking a step away from her. “You’re in England. We use the Pound. Just… Just put something down and we’ll call it square, okay?”
Kay nodded to herself, convinced now that she’d been there more than long enough and it was time to- well, to switch bars, at the very least. Something about the way the human kept eyeing her suggested she wasn’t drunk enough to deal with her. Sober enough. Yeah, sober.
"Yeah, aw’right," she mumbled as she continued to pat herself down for a short while before finally frowning. "Where’smy stuff?"