1. You come home to find a single drop of gravy leaking through your letterbox and your key will not fit 2. Cats come up to you with sorrow in their big green eyes 3.
You have had more than one wrong-number phone call from the Vatican
basement, from those payphones near the statues, and there is some kind
of grinding noise in the background but it is hard to hear over the
Spanish-accented clarifications of the woman on the other end 4. You begin to receive vague but apologetic letters with postmarks from the near future 5.
The pipes knock at night in something that is almost Morse Code, save
for the addition of a mid-length, rattly noise like the coughing of a
rat 6. You notice a door that you have never seen before and that is curiously hard to forget 7.
A senior librarian comes to your door to absolve you, without asking,
of a number of library fines relating to highly unusual books that you
have never, to your knowledge, checked out 8. Whenever you turn round there is a blackbird flying away 9.
There is a ringing phone in the gutter down the road, and a large man
in sunglasses who is trying to pretend that it is not there 10. You cannot remember if you have ever been in a hailstorm, and neither can anyone you ask 11.
There was a will from a relative you never really knew about, in a part
of the world you’d never heard of, and it bequeathed you a box that
cannot be opened and, once opened, cannot be closed
haruka is in the locker room very bloated bringing up wet enormous belches one after the other, and makoto tries to lecture him on manners bur he just keeps burping, like maybe brackng against the locker with one hand and massaging his bloated stomach with the other, and at one point it seems to get stuck and he finally gets the rest up in a huge, wet rattly belch and just turns to makoto like "much better, now say that again, i wasnt listening"
makoto just buries his face in his hands and gives up. after a certain point, he just has to accept haruka’s haru-isms. (nagisa is giggling like a maniac into his hands, while rei looks a bit traumatized. makoto is so used to this that he doesn’t know why he even bothers anymore.)
His boat is still there, at least, although it takes longer than he remembered to walk the length of the jetty, and Brutus’ absence makes him feel strange and unbalanced, like he’s missing a limb. But his key still fits in the rattly screen door, the deck still creaks in grumpy affection under his weight. The air trapped inside smells like a musty church, layered over diesel fumes and linseed oil. He makes a lot of noise opening windows and also cupboard doors and slamming the cupboards shut again, like he’s looking for something, except exactly what it is he can’t remember, or maybe he didn’t even know to start with. Story of my life he says turning with an ironic smile towards Brutus. But of course Brutus isn’t there.
He’d better have a few hours’ sleep before he attempts to contact Mia. Jesus Christ. He’s losing the plot.
Well, I’m in Heahea, looking around, shaking all the shaky things, rattling all the rattly things. I have found a hotel. It is a nice hotel. A lady has accused me of trying to Charm her, and then proceeded to explain the effects of the move Charm, but in a thoroughly expository way. Very opening-of-Hamlet. And the thing about Hamlet, right, is that while Shakespeare dis put some of the clunkiest exposition in the world into the start, we did then get the rest of Hamlet after it. I don’t think this old lady is about to recite Hamlet for me. I think she’s about to repeat her awkward explanation of Charm.
Also, I have found Squishy in a corner, which I am amazed by. It has gone into my special cube. This is all a bit baffling.
“Sina wants to talk to you,” Rotodex informs me, and frankly, I fucking knew they were monitoring me…
“I just received a signal from you Zygarde Cube!” Sina says excitedly. “The creature that just got sucked into the cube is what we call a Zygarde Cell!”
No it’s not. It’s Squishy.
“The Cube I gave you is like a nest for Cells and Cores,” Sina explains, ignoring me. “Your mission is to collect all the Cells and Cores!”
I KNEW IT
GIVING OUT MISSIONS
“We’ll get in touch,” Sina says hurriedly. “Bonne chance!”
Bloody French spies. Anyway. Lillie’s over there. I’m going to go and talk to Lillie.
“Oh! Elanor…” Lillie says, which is less welcoming than I’d hoped, honestly. “I’m sorry… I saw some people who looked like Team Skull and I got scared.
I was trying to avoid them and then I think I ended up missing my meeting…”
Really?! Point me at them, Lillie. I will eviscerate them for you.
“Oh!” she says, touched. “But don’t worry. It’s fine. This is actually where I wanted to be…”
Well. Okay. But you point me at them if needed.
In other news, the waiting list for tables in the restaurant is ten years. Fuck this hotel.
Terrance coughed, ignoring the rattly sound that was produced and continued to work on patching up his jacket, which he’d been doing for several hours. Okay. More than several. He’d been sewing on a whole for about 12 hours.
Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), seed pod and buds, in Peoria, Arizona.
The names are misleading on all counts. It is not a yucca. It is not an aloe. It is not even red. It is (drum roll, please) an agave, native to Texas, but widely planted as a drought-tolerant ornamental here in GreaterPHX. To me the rattly pods filled with coal black seeds are its best feature.