Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

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Tattoo Book 7 part 2.8

Posted by harmony0stars on May 16, 2011

Glory didn’t trust the SUV Maria had rented and had shipped over on the ferry with them, but she said nothing as they made their way towards Ardtalla. It was a very nice vehicle… a bit too nice so far as she was concerned. Maybe it was just a nasty rumor that civil servants in the UK made next to nothing, but she suspected the spacious, luxury vehicle was not a rental at all. Neither Mike nor Trevor acted overly suspicious, but that didn‘t mean they weren‘t on to her. Maria, as flighty as she was around Trevor, was still on the job. Mike had said as much on the ferry.

She resolved not to say anything within the SUV if she could help it. Not that much could be heard over the music and the rattle of her teeth as they drove over the pothole riddled road. It seemed every time Maria heard a song she liked, she had to turn the radio up. Considering it was all punk music and so already loud, this was not conducive to conversation.

“Oh my god! Jack absolutely hates this song!” Maria cried, fiddling with the dial once more.

Maybe it was the fact that the road was so ragged, but Maria could never just nudge the volume. No, she had to crank it every time. Glory was honestly surprised it could go any higher.

“I was born from the blood of Springheel Jack!” Maria crowed along to the radio. Trevor sat in the seat next to her, trying to examine the directions Glory had printed out. He was going to end up with a migraine if he wasn’t careful.

“Hey… Maria?” Mike leaned forward, supporting himself on the back of Trevor’s seat. He glanced at Glory as he said, “Could you turn it down?”

“You know what they say… if it’s too loud, you’re too old!” She giggled, swerving around a massive crater in the road but clipping it with the back tires anyway.

“Maria,” Trevor said in a chiding tone, “Please?”

“Fine,” she blew a strand of blue hair away from her face and turned the music down to a more manageable level. “No one ever likes my music.”

“I like it just fine,” Mike said, “when it’s not so loud I can’t understand what they’re screaming.”

Maria made a rude noise. “Did you like the music?” she asked, glancing at Glory in the mirror.

“It was fine. I‘m not too picky about music,“ Glory said, watching the countryside fly past without meeting her eyes. “It was a bit loud though.”  It was on the tip of her tongue suggest they slow down as well, but they had to be coming up on the cottage soon.

“Turn up ahead, Maria,” Trevor said as if he had divined her thoughts. He glanced at the odometer and back at the directions. They’d already been on the road close to an hour, so the cottage couldn‘t be much farther.

“Oh wow… Is that it?” Maria said a few minutes later as they turned onto a road that was marginally better kept than the main one. “That’s posh! Much nicer than anything Mike would have picked.”

Mike didn‘t say a word, but Trevor spoke loudly as if to drown out his protests. “If that’s not it, we can stop and ask for directions.” He folded the map and tucked it into the glove compartment. “Looks like someone’s home at least,”

“No, that’s it,” Glory said as they pulled up alongside a dusty tan Jeep. The place looked exactly like the picture she‘d seen online, thank goodness.

An old man came out of the house, keys in hand. His cheeks and the bridge of his nose were rough and wind burned but not so red as his nose. He was either a heavy drinker or spent a lot of time out of doors. It was not yet evening, but the sun was drifting in that direction, and a chilly wind was picking up.

“Lewins?” he asked gruffly. He wore jeans about as beat up and dusty as his Jeep. The light jacket he wore had a smattering of cigarette burns on the cuffs.

“Yes, thank you,” Glory said as she slid out of the SUV.

“Right,” he said, giving Glory’s ID a cursory glance and relinquishing the key with a nod. He looked over the visitors with a jaundiced eye. “You kids have a nice stay. Just keep in mind you’ll pay for anything broken.”

He walked past Maria without another word for his guests. Maria turned her head to give him an outraged glare that he hardly took the effort to notice. She held her tongue until after he climbed into his Jeep and drove off before finally blurting out, “What a knob!” Giggling, she walked around the SUV and popped the hatch. “Well, let’s get all this stuff inside. I call dinner duty! You’ll never look at British cooking the same way again.”

“Anything you cook has got to be better than Red,” Mike said as he grabbed the cooler with the cold foodstuffs they’d bought at Port Ellen.

“Hey!” Trevor yelled in mock outrage as he grabbed one of the larger pieces of luggage and slung a smaller bag over his shoulder.

“Dude, I’ve been over to your house at least a hundred times, and if we don’t have takeout, it’s hotdogs, hotdogs, and more hotdogs,” Mike called over his shoulder. “If I didn‘t know you better, I‘d say you‘d bought stock in Oscar Meyer.”

“Shaddap,” Trevor shouted with a mock scowl as he followed after. “Besides, the big money‘s in the condiments.”

“You and Trevor can have the master bedroom,” Glory said to Maria in passing as she grabbed her own bags.

“Oh!” Maria a look of surprise stamped on her face. “Thank you!”

Glory shrugged and carried her things into the cottage. Whatever Maria might think, she wasn’t giving her the room to be nice. She and Trevor would probably have pushed the two single beds together anyway, so why not give them the larger room and stop them from possibly breaking furniture. It wasn’t as if Glory even slept. She was feeling surly, so Maria had better just stay out of her way. Every day she went without being able to get that last stone was another day her sister could slip in and snatch it out from under her.

to Book 7, part 2, page 9

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4 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 2.8”

  1. Fiona said

    No-one could ever be as perky as Maria, so you might as well be grumpy in reaction. I’d do the same 😉

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