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29th.Jan.2006 | 12:13 pm
mood: worriedworried
music: None.
posted by: azangkaa in angel_diaries

I'm sitting in an internet cafe, on the main road near our flat. What's an internet cafe doing open in an inner city on a Sunday? Not a clue. Judging by the battered look of the machines and the paintwork, they need all the custom they can get.

I woke up some time on Thursday morning - not long before light. Tuesday was sleeping. He'd cleaned off the blood - as he always does- but I could still smell it in the room. I knew we hadn't talked in ages... But somehow, I wasn't in the mood to face another conversation, especially not with that hanging in the air around us. I wandered out into the granite-grey morning and disappeared. It's perhaps not the best thing to do in such situations, but four thousand years in this bloody place have taught me that it's the easiest.

I wandered throughout the morning. At some point in the late afternoon I saw, walking out of an office block, the man who had passed me by on Wednesday morning. The black suit he was wearing was a cheap cut, but he carried it well. On his way up, without doubt - at least in his own eyes. I followed him. He was intriguing - people always are, and he provided a nice diversion from the eternal business of living.

He rendezvoused was some girl in a side-street café after about half and hour. All smiles. It was boring, really. I was on the point on giving up on his ever doing anything interesting when he tipped the waiter five hundred quid. She was in the toilet at this point. Just after she’d gone, the waiter – a guy of maybe fifty, with brown receding hairline – had walked very quickly across to their table. I realised after that he must have been watching them carefully for a chance to speak to the young man alone. The man presented his credit card as he handed back the bill, along with the ‘tip’. Ten, crisp fiftys. I counted them as the waiter did. A nod, and they separated. The transaction had been entirely wordless, taking place in less than a minute. Intriguing indeed.

A few hours later, I spoke to the man. I don’t remember what he said his name was; I wasn’t listening that hard, just guiding through the pleasantries. We were sitting at a bar – nothing interesting, all very mid-market – and I had bought him a drink. He was already slightly tipsy – they none of them can hold their drink these days – and was rambling pleasantly through some uninteresting story. I think it was about a taxi driver.

I was starting to wonder if I would find anything out like this, as he was keeping any personal information very close, when he suddenly slammed his drink down on the table in front of him and stopped talking. I looked up at him, somewhat surprised. He looked around, shiftily, before saying You’re not a fucking queer, are you? His speech wasn’t yet slurred from the alcohol, but it had that clumsy, over-confident edge. I assured him he nothing to worry about from me and bought him another drink, but comments like that piss me off. I’ve never been entirely sure where that particular prejudice came from. Not from our side, certainly.

Anyway, I led the conversation on from there. With the easy flowing drink, it wasn’t so hard to draw out a few interesting pieces of information. He was an ‘underground political idealist’ (his own words). His particular political ideals involved driving out anyone not provably British for ten generations, and ‘removal’ of anyone that didn’t quite fit his personal moral system: queers, dykes, Muslims, blacks. That cream Neo-Nazi scum that people like the BNP seem to be breeding with horrible success in the high-power business gutters of today’s Britain.

At last, we wandered out and said our goodbyes. I had long worked out what would most perfectly humiliate such a man as this. I halted him, a hand to his shoulder, and met his eyes. I drew and blew out a breath imbued with magic like warmth on the cold night air, and blew a kiss at him. Even as I turned, I saw his stricken face colour deeply, and his hand slammed to cover his swelling shame. He couldn’t take his eyes off mine, though. Hah. That’s one memory that will torture him for a while yet. They told us not to punish, to let God deal with the sinners. Well, I’ve been there, and it’s not a system that I trust.

The next couple of days were inconsequential. I was almost home when I saw a body in the gutter. Not a drunk, this time. The blood had been washed away from his lips by rainwater, but I could tell anyway. A brief look showed that he had been run through the chest. A sword-wound if I ever saw one. And his thumbs had been cut off: the sign of the Raven. He was deep in the shadows of a side alley – no-one would find him here for weeks, and they would have cleared away such evidence long before. I left him: no point in messing with them so directly. But it will need dealing with.

I wonder if Tuesday will be home?

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