((Private journal entry, but feel free to comment. The end is nearing!))
I did, indeed, go to the unveiling of the second edition of the Ladies Fire Brigade calendar. Mr. Koskinen did such a wonderful job with it--though I cannot believe they put Dr. Obolensky in there! (I also cannot believe he'd be so civic-minded as to agree to it in the first place!) When that month rolls around, I have the feeling the picture from my copy will be finding its way to Mr. Szuster's shooting range...
I did dance with Mr. Koskinen for a little while. But I found that that fatigued me quite a bit, so I left soon afterwards. I'll just have a little supper, and then go to bed.
Mac waited with barely concealed patience for his turn in the woman. His taste of beer on Thursday had only whetted his thirst for more, and he could hardly wait to head out and find it. When Daniel finally let him know he could go, he flashed up to the apartment without a word. He threw a cloak on, concealing face and body, and hurried out. He knew just the place to go--a small bar in which the woman had once talked with that little fellow--Tenk, the Clockwinder.
But when he got there, he saw another of those Ordo Mucro notices pinned up. 'Why on earth would they want to close a bar?' he wondered. For a moment, Mac considered going in anyway, but finally decided he didn't want to risk calling that much attention. 'A place like this is probably crawling with hole-in-the-wall bars, anyway,' he thought as he set off in search.
Several hours later, the same cloaked figure stumbled back through Clockhaven. Mac tried to keep his singing quiet, but occasionally, it broke out into audibility.
"Oh, show me the way ta go home!
I'm tired an' I wanna go ta bed!
I had a little drink about an hour ago--"
He paused, then continued, "and two hours ago--"
Pause. "And three hours ago--"
Pause. "And four hours ago--
And they went straight to ma head!"
He laughed and threw his head back to the sky. Well, *her* head, but if he had his way, it would be *his* head quite soon.
He somehow managed to find his way back to the apartment, and stumbled up the stairs. Oh, he hadn't felt this way in a long time, but it was so enjoyable! He went inside, and sank into a couch that suddenly felt very, *very* comfortable...
Daniel frowned. What was taking Mac so long? "Sofie, can you go and see if Mac is back yet?"
Sofie nodded, and flashed up to the apartment. She was back in a moment. "The woman is there, asleep on the couch. I can't imagine why Mac isn't here."
"Hmmm...I think I can. Come with me."
They both went up, and saw Bookworm asleep. Daniel watched her for a few moments, then nodded grimly. "Drunk."
"So?" asked Sofie.
"So--if Mac has been integrating himself into her as much as he's been intimating, he was feeling the full effects of her drunkenness. He must have passed out before he could leave her."
"Oh, dear! What can we do?"
"Nothing--except wait and hope he wakes up before she does."
Mac stirred, feeling the familiar signs of a hangover. It took a few moments, but then he suddenly realized, 'Hey--I don't have to suffer this!' He left the woman's mind, and immediately felt better. He flashed down to the graveyard, giving his assembled comrades a grin. "Well, who's next?"
"Next?" Daniel said. "Do you have any idea how long you were in there?"
"No, and I don't particularly care," Mac said angrily. "I've actually been *living,* not just wandering around, too scared of my own shadow, let alone speaking to anyone!"
"Wait--you spoke with people?!"
"Oh, calm down. I went to a dive of a bar--very few people, and no one who would know her."
"Maybe so, but what's going to happen when she wakes up? You know what she went through last summer--she'll definitely recognize the symptoms of hangover! Not the smartest thing to do, Mac."
"Oh...I hadn't thought of that," Mac said. "Look, I'll go back up and keep her asleep--"
"Too late," Evie said, suddenly appearing with them. "She just woke up."
"Wait," said Mac. "If you'll just listen, maybe you'll see that this doesn't have to be the end--"
The sound of an outside door opening interrupted them, and they all saw one of the other residents of the Mechanix Arms leaving. "We'll discuss this later, Mac," Daniel hissed, as they all made themselves scarce.