“Hello, Mister Harkness. Shall I get you a chaser to go with that shiner, or can we make do with a jelly baby?”
Jack opens his eyes to a crinkly white blob. It crunches before his face in a Vaseline haze.
Also, the warmth of cinnamon, a dash of rough peppery clove. A touch of old lace, creamy with the stench of old tea times- sugared, stained, and too many butter curls spilled by tiny hands.
Suddenly, suddenly, softly and slowly, shapes emerge between blinkings.
From the slightly gaunt frame of a heart-shaped face, golden curls dangle heavily, like the languid heads of lilacs captured by little girls in their Easter dresses.
There are moorings all around the single green room through the only inside door, too. Body-shaped moorings. Two are female, one has a diamond-shaped head. Three are male, one being a child about ten years of age. All but one crèche is filled. One of them, Jack notes, is about 181 centimetres tall, just the right fit for a callous murderer in a camel coat.
Inside those, darkened shapes like potato sacks hang limp within silvery insets that feed out in purple and blue and black and red, all the way to the center console, where strange hand-shapes on console readers beckon the touch.