Always nice to make someone’s ‘Best of 2018’ list, in this case Padme’s Library, for Two Feet Under. Aklso good when two old pals start yakking at me again:
Jonty Stewart woke to find the morning sun streaming through a gap in the curtains yet the bed beside him empty of the usual occupant. It wasn’t unusual for Orlando Coppersmith to make the most of what promised to be a lovely day, taking himself downstairs in his dressing gown to sit with a coffee in his study and ponder over some abstruse sum or other. One full of squiggles and symbols, with many a neat crossing out and not a few arrows linking one bit of working to another. Jonty had seen such things in their gestational form and while Orlando’s hand was tidy and his neat to present things well applied even to rough drafts, the average set of equations resembled a trail some small sea creature might have left on the ocean bed.
Jonty leaped out of bed, stretched, twitched the curtains back to admire the blue sky, put on his own dressing gown and pottered down the stairs. Orlando was indeed in his study, although evidence of sums there was none. Instead, the man concerned was sitting is his chair, coffee untouched by the look of it, and brows knotted.
“Good morning Orlando. Lovely to see you.”
Orlando leaped in his seat, almost knocking over his cup. “Must you sneak up on people?”
“I did knock, albeit softly. You resemble some civil war era painting, entitled, When did you last see someone so consternated?”
“I’ll consternate you.” Orlando picked up his cup, sipped from it, made a face, then pushed it away. “Nothing so vile as cold coffee.”
“Yes, there is. Cold tea. And you keeping secrets from me.”