Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5, part 3.3

Posted by harmony0stars on February 19, 2010

Thanking the man who came out with their bag, Glory set it behind her and pulled out into traffic. She heard the rip of the paper bag as the boy tore into the meat and worried that maybe thirty patties wouldn’t be enough. Well, he’d just have to wait until they got home. Thirty patties should at least tide him over. She was pretty sure there were a couple of steaks in the freezer she could defrost for him.

Cindy must have been thinking of the ghoul as well because she suddenly asked, “Are there really ghouls in Sybar City?”

“I’m pretty sure there are ghouls anywhere there are cemeteries,” Glory replied. “But I did meet a ghoul there a couple months ago, and he implied that he wasn’t alone.”

“But… it’s just, Sybar City is so… Well, you have all the latest technology, and the city is so… clean.”

Glory snorted. “Believe me, it’s not. I lived on the streets for a while, and Sybar City has every problem other cities have, plus some. They just like to sweep things under the carpet when it doesn’t agree with their self-image. If you don’t look like you belong, and you don’t have the money to make them ignore your looks, you don’t last long in Sybar City. I mean, I didn‘t fit in before I was homeless, but at least I looked like I belonged. I never got the stink eye so much as when I was living on the streets, embarrassing my fellow Sybars with my Bohemian lack of the social graces.” She rolled her eyes in disgust.

“And as for the tech, we have too much of it if you ask me. Everyone’s got their nose buried in their newest toy, playing with their newest apps and using them to defer actual interaction with their fellow man. Texting someone is no substitute for talking to them, if you ask me, nor is playing online multi-player RPGs. All the tech in Sybar City is just a band aid for everything that’s wrong the people there.” She shrugged, chagrinned by her rant. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s not as bad as I make it out to be. I’ve just never been much of a joiner, so I have all the time in the world to see how everyone else occupies theirs. It’s not pretty. Everyone has to be ten steps ahead of everyone else, but they’re all still going nowhere fast.”

Cindy nodded thoughtfully. “It’s just everyone expects Sybar City to be this Mecca of technology and social and artistic advancement.”

“Yeah, well, you’re talking to wrong Luddite,” Glory laughed. “I make concessions for the sake of convenience. I have an old fashioned cell phone and a computer for research. My foster son has some kind of tweeked Nintendo, but that‘s contingent upon his homework and behavior. That’s about it in so far as tech goes in my house.”

Cindy was quiet for several minutes. When Glory looked over, she saw the woman had fallen asleep again. Smiling, Glory continued her drive in silence. If she hadn’t known Cindy was absolutely exhausted, she might have wondered if she’d finally managed to knock someone out with her boring social commentary. For a while, she continued to hear the rustling of paper in the backseat, but eventually that stopped, and she assumed the boy had fallen asleep as well. It was probably the first real rest they’d had since Scott and his people had captured them.

Both of her passengers were still sleeping when she parked the car. It was a little after noon, and Robert wouldn’t be home for at least two more hours. Gently shaking Cindy awake, she was relieved that her return to consciousness was less jarring this time. The woman sat up with a yawn and looked around curiously. “This is your house?” she asked, eying the nearest building.

“No, but there weren’t any spaces in front of mine,” Glory replied, getting out. She opened the back door and felt the ghoul brush past her, keeping low to the ground as if afraid he’d be seen, but he was still wearing the cloak, so it was probably just instinct. To keep track of him, Glory kept her hand on his back as she led the way to her home.

“Wow, it’s huge!” Cindy exclaimed as Glory unlocked the door and led them inside.

Locking the door behind them, she gently pinched a bit of the tarnkappe between her fingers and pulled it off the ghoul. He crouched on the floor and frowned up at her, obviously resenting his return to visibility as she draped the delicate fabric over her arm. Turning to Cindy, she announced, “If you want to get cleaned up, there’s a full bath at the top of the stairs and a bedroom if you want to try to get more rest.”

“A shower sounds absolutely incredible right now,” the woman cooed glancing up the stairs eagerly. “I’ve never gone so long without bathing in my entire life!”

“How about you?” she asked the ghoul as Cindy left to find the shower. “Do you want a bath? More food?” He obviously knew what food meant as a wide grin lit his face, revealing the massive canines normally hidden by his thick, rubbery lips. “Come on then,” she said with a smile. “I think I can find something for you.”

While she rummaged in the freezer, the boy proceeded to examine every inch of the kitchen, sniffing at doors and drawers, even crawling up on the counters to examine the higher cabinets. He was particularly interested in Robert’s cereal and snack cabinet, but luckily she pulled a steak out of the freezer. She wasn’t sure, but she doubted refined sugar would be the best thing for a growing ghoul, not that fast food was any better. As she unwrapped the frozen meat, he hopped down and came to investigate. He swiped a still wrapped steak from the counter and scurried under the table as if he thought she might take it.

“So… meat-cicles it is then.” She finished unwrapping the second steak with a smile and set it on a plate on the floor for him. It seemed he might be a while on the first steak, so she left him in the kitchen and went to find some clothes for Cindy.

to Book 5, part 3, page 4

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5 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5, part 3.3”

  1. Fiona said

    The ghoul boy’s name is Edgar.

    • harmony0stars said

      Heh, that is very appropriate! I don’t suppose you’re a fan of Voltaire? He has a song called Graveyard Picnic about visiting Edgar Allen Poe’s grave. I’ll send you the picture as soon as it’s done. 🙂

  2. Teresa said

    You had me til you got to “meat-cicles” lol. Good job on this.

  3. Still diggin’ this.

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