Last week, my sister came down with a killer cold and, like the true friend and generous human being she is, she gave it to me. So here I am, with my head in an invisible vise, struggling to hold a thought long enough to type it down. It goes without saying I didn’t work on my book today. And I’m so close to done, I can taste it. It tastes like cough syrup.
Anyhoo, I’m going to make this short because I fully expect to die at some point tonight and I still haven’t picked out the clothes I want to be buried in, so let me just skip ahead to the part where I say the new chapter of my Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night is live at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org, so if you’re reading along, please go check it out and if you really loved it, please show your support with a like/kudo and maybe even a comment, because my egomania knows no bounds and also, I would like to put my book at the top of the search-list, also because my egomania knows no bounds.
Heh. This is me, keeping it short. TL:DR, New chapter up. Love you all and happy new year!
Ana had been in some nice cars before, or thought she had, but on that day, she learned that cars are like jewelry, electronics, prostitutes and any other luxury item: price is no guarantee of quality. The muscle cars and cruisers she’d known paled in an instant as soon as she found herself in this one. She couldn’t have said what make or model it was, but the seat was leather and cupped her like a lover, the interior lines led the eye, and the air positively reeked of her own sweat.
“Where to?” Chad asked as his grandfather sat beside her and shut the door.
“One moment, please.” The old man reached into an inner pocket of his topcoat and withdrew a small plastic bottle. Not pills. Eyedrops.
Ana looked out the window as he administered them, unsure what the social protocol here was, and finally ventured a, “Still giving you trouble?”
“Oh no, I’m quite recovered from yesterday’s test. I wear special contact lenses to help with my sensitivities,” he explained, putting the bottle away. “But they do dry my eyes. So it is with most of the troubles that plague us, great or small. There are no cures, only compromises. I’m ready, Chad.”
“The nearest international airport. I’ve never had a truly English English muffin.”
Chad braked hard before he’d fully reversed out of the slot and stared at him. “Really?”
Chad stared a little longer, then laughed uncertainly and started driving.
“You know they will never let me through the door like this,” Ana remarked.
“Yes, they will,” the old man said mildly. “Unless you’d rather go to London after all?”
“I don’t have a passport.”
“You’re in a mood, aren’t you?” Chad asked, crookedly smiling into the rearview mirror.
“I’m old. We’re temperamental. Perhaps I’m off my medication. One never knows. I always thought I’d travel around the world when I was older,” he added, gazing out the window as the scenery passed. “Which is odd, because I detest travel and did, even as a young man. Certain things are just expected, I suppose. I wonder now if I should have liked the world, had I seen more of it then?”
“It’s not too late,” Ana pointed out. “Older is a relative term.”
“True, but I have other obligations now. Promises to keep.”
“And miles to go.”
“Miles and miles. But you now.” His gaze shifted to her, disturbingly direct. His eyes were still bloodshot, unhealthy-looking. They were dark in color, a deep brown that made it difficult to determine iris from pupil; they were darker even than that, reflecting no light. She guessed his ‘special contacts’ had something to do with that, but the effect was unsettling, giving him a way of looking into or through and not at the things he turned them on. And right now, he was looking at her. “If you could go anywhere in the world this instant, if money was no obstacle and you had a passport, where would you go?”
“Home,” said Ana.
Chad snorted. “Never too young to be an old fogey, I guess.”
“Manners, Chad. And where is home?” the old man inquired.
“I don’t know yet.”
“Ah well. At least you haven’t stopped looking. I suspect most people do. I did.”