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Hollowmark and Lovelace 6Chapter Six:
January 11th: Indoors
I thought of offering to help Dannon over the large hole in the porch, but it seemed wisest not to. He gauged the distance, took in the worm-eaten pet corpse, then carefully found a way around the mess. I waited patiently in the living room, scanning the place for things I might have missed before.
"Say what you want, I do not like this."
"No one expects you to, Joseph. Rather the opposite."
"Easy for you to be glib about it," he snapped. He was too serious, though. Practically afraid.
I moved farther into the room, keeping an eye on Dannon, who appeared to be finding his own way into things. He was already heading for the closet. Carefully, like a small child testing his mother's eyesight regarding the cookie jar.
And like said mother, I shook my head and held up a hand. "Wait a minute." You'll spoil your dinner, ha ha. He
Hollowmark and Lovelace 5Chapter Five:
January 11th (Mid-morning): Figures
It was nearly half past eight when I woke up. The pillow was soaked from my late-night/early-morning shower, the smell of shampoo wrapped around my head like a thick envelope. As I tugged myself upright, I felt as if my head stayed down.
"What is it you said your mother called you on days like this? Mr. Mugwort?"
"Muggins. It was Mr. Muggins." I rubbed my eyes and then stared at Joseph's empty bed. He was in here, he'd just spoken. Why couldn't I see him? "I was five, I think "
I turned towards the sound, but the only thing I could see was the wall. This was starting to get well, scary, if it must be said. "Where are you?"
He snorted, or at least I thought he had. "What? Can't see me?"
"No, I can't. Stop hiding." He had to be hiding. I'd been seeing
Hollowmark and Lovelace 4Chapter Four:
January 11th: Wee Morning Hours
"I really really hope you're just being self-centered."
It had been a few hours, and I just wanted to take a bath and drown myself. Not enough to kill me, just enough to enter a vegetative state. Or a coma. I was pretty sure there was a difference between the two, although I didn't know what it was.
The bed across from mine, technically still Joseph's, was covered in journals and reports. The last of Abney's victims still employed by the organization had left only a couple of hours ago, but Joseph was still wound up. They'd pulled rank on him at least twenty times, and if there was anything that sent Joseph into a tail spin, it was being shut up when he had something to say.
I reached for my book, then threw it at him. Obviously it didn't have the same effect it used to, but it disrupted his image, and that got his attention.
"Oy! What was that fo
Hollowmark and Lovelace 3Chapter Three
January 10th: Minding
Temporary leave. No, that was sugar-coating it. We were on mandatory shelf-time, after a long lecture about protocol and the importance of safeguarding my life. I grimaced at my book.
"Never should've gone in that bloody house," Joseph muttered. He was hanging upside down from the ceiling, not for any discernible reason other than perhaps annoying me.
"It was your idea," I growled back. "All of it. So stop complaining. Even for you, two and a half days of whinging is a bit in excess."
After a short series of loops, he came to a halt more or less standing next to my bed. "No, it isn't. I've known you for the emotional equivalent of fifty years, and you've whined and carried on the entire time."
"That's probably why it feels like such a long time." I put my book back on the night stand. Page 155 of Chalkdust Mary was no
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