Above another stretch of canal now, sitting outside the Brasshouse, watching. Lights in the sky, the pale pink of descending Sroon; Bunny sits on his chair, a cold one in front of him, as a pair of salmon-coloured dogs similar to Bichons Frises yap past. He loves dogs, while not entirely trusting Spitzes - not really pets, working animals but then so is a collie and they are fine - but makes an exception for the Bichon Frise, every one a yappy coal-eyed bundle of compressed hate. And to see a pair of them the richest pink nose-to-tailing it along the Worcester canal where it passes under an Indian restaurant on Broad Street, well, that was no dice at all. A pair of young women, one in a black-pink-red Gothic Lolita costume and the other in a white top and striped grey-and-white trousers, lean on the balustrade and he can hear the tones of their voices if not any of the words. Tuning it out.
Once he came here at five in the morning as the city was waking up, to see the whole width of Broad Street here at the canal, enflamed with a horde of pink Bichons Frises, snuffling and yapping about. He was on his little Vespa at the time and turned tail, opened the throttle and fled back to his flat, horrified. He wondered what the connection was with the Sroon, those apparently human entities who could be found out by a mirror - the mirror, as with that youth all those years ago, reflecting the real creature, scarlet and spiky and spiny and not entirely part of the Euclidean universe.