“Nathaniel,” I said. “Let’s go get a drink,” I said. “It’ll be fun,” I said.
“OK,” he said (well, not really; Nathaniel doesn’t really know the word “OK”, but he’d use it if he did, I promise.
We headed out of his cottage, only to be met by Galyanna and Orie. Galyanna said she had to speak with Nathaniel about something Super Sekrit and Private (fuck you, Princess!), so she’d send him along to meet us at the tavern later. Us? Oh, right.
And that’s how I got stuck taking Orie to the pub. Jesus, the guy just won’t leave, and now I’m expected to fucking babysit him? Lovely. Grand. Great. And all those other things my mum says when she means we’re all about to enter the ninth circle of Hell together.
I glanced back to see Nathaniel and Galyanna engaged in what looked like a fairly intense conversation. He’s so much bigger than her! You’d never know she could probably break him into ash with her little finger given the opportunity (and an order from her Mistress Demoness Most High [or is that low?]) of course).
We found Aoibheann sitting by the fireplace, surrounded by empty glasses. She did not look well at all, and she sounded even worse. At first, I thought it was some kind of PTSD following her trip to New York to visit the Damondreds the day before, and possibly extra special trauma upon seeing me-not-me, but as it turned out, she was just tired from the trip and appeared to have some kind of a fever. When Nathaniel arrived a few minutes later, I asked him if there was an herbalist or something in the village, but he didn’t seem to know. Since Astrid and Bastion disappeared, I haven’t seen anybody doing much healing, and Helene hasn’t been around much either. You’d think as long as I’ve been here at this point I’d know a little something about healing, but the fact is I don’t.
Aoibheann asked if I’d seen Maric: I hadn’t. She said she had something to give him; as it turned out, that was the skipping stone Wren had got her that I think she actually mean to use to attack the ducks but was smart enough not to mention.
We’re so used to talking freely, the three of us, and even though Orie had spoken, I’m not sure Aoibh really realised he was there. Then again, his bad attitude is big enough for an army, so when he’s around it’s like you’re carrying him and his whole family or something, so maybe she did. But whatever happened, Orie asked about the Shadow Roads, where you could go on them, and I told him you could go just about anywhere, and so he wanted to know if we could get him back to WWI, like anybody with a working brain would want to go back to fucking WWI. Then again, consider the source.
So the upshot is, Orie wants to go back to 1914. Orie wants to go back to 1914 because he hasn’t got a clue what’s about to happen to him, and he doesn’t know about how many people died. Of course, the Americans didn’t lose as many people as we did, so I guess his chances are better than many? I don’t know: the only important fact I remember about WWI is that it prompted the rise in American modern poetry, since so many American poets were finally able to get published owing to the large number of young poets who’d died int he war. And of course the war poets, who were all anti-war (because they all had souls, duh). I didn’t think the Americans had even entered WWI in 1914. I didn’t even think WWI started in 1914, but I don’t know war dates. I do know the Americans weren’t even in at first. But whatever. Gag, war shit. One of the great things about being here is I don’t have to think about guns and bombs. Orie pisses me off because he carries a gun everywhere and talks constantly about war. What kind of asshole goes to fairyland and does that? There are so many more productive things to do with your life. Right. Right. Rant over, I promise. But Orie– ORIE has some woman he’s in love with, and it’s her he wants to go back to, not the war? Except if that were true why is he always going on and on about the glories of war and hefting his weapons around everywhere? Whatever. Right. Right. Rant over. I really promise this time.
Nathaniel and I tried to explain about the rules of time travel, as we understood them. It turns out we need a course or something, because we’re not really clear except that we can’t visit our own futures or muck with our own timelines. We tried to explain this to Orie, but with his usual reasoned, adult attitude, he declared he didn’t care, that he’d do anything to get back to her. This is the kind of personality disorder I think you have to have to become a superpower in the twenty-first century. And that’s why I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. Fuck everybody else: I just want what I want.
Obviously, it’s in my nature to be sympathetic, so I was sympathetic. I think Nathaniel did a better job than I did. Orie actually started throwing his toys out of the pram (his axe on the floor, I mean), and many kind words had to be said. He really seems to believe he’s in some kind of Hell. I did not reply that Hell was actually a foxhole in 1918. I thought I showed admirable restraint.
In the middle of all this, I managed to get one of Hal’s kids to bring Aoibheann a blanket to wrap around herself at least: even right next to the fire she was shivering like crazy. We also discovered that Hal has no absinthe, and this was a sad moment.
Aoibheann stumbled up to go off to bed, leaving piles of overturned furniture in her wake, and Orie stalked out after some more ranting (Gawd, people who rant are so annoying!), so Nathaniel and I took ourselves to bed, as well.
I guess nights like this should reaffirm my faith that we are all still alive in some real sense of the word, but I find all this to-ing and fro-ing about where’s the right place to be just annoying now. I suppose from a position of privilege it’s easy to have that attitude. I have to remember what it was like not to know. I did even tell Orie that I was like him when I first fell out of my “ordinary” life, whatever that means. Angry and confused and unsure whether I was alive, dead, or dreaming, or worse. It didn’t seem to make much of a dent, but maybe I’m remembering it wrong. I got so cross with him toward the end I just started concentrating on Aoibheann, which I probably should have been doing from the beginning since she’s my BFF and she was ill. I’ll have to check on her today to see whether she’s better.
I don’t have a usual ending line for these journal entries. Maybe I should make one.
FAE OUT. No. No, that’s lame. Not as lame as FAEd out, though. Nothing is that lame.