Savage Scavenge (MaryJanice Davidson in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Three

So, Gladys is alone at home when her patio door all but explodes and a to her unknown man stumbles in. Of course, her first reaction is:

Her immediate thought was that there had been an accident. Other than the one that wrecked her glass door, rather. [What kind of freak accident would involve a man falling through a glass door on the 8th floor of an apartment building?]
“Gods, are you all right?” She had dropped her juice, but the plastic cup held. The same could not be said of the door. [Yeah, we got it, the glass door is broken. Duly noted. And written down. And I made a safety copy and memorised it.]

Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on her, when somebody crashes through a glass door, they’re bound to get hurt. Still, I wouldn’t worry that much about someone who just broke into my flat. Couldn’t he just knock? Or break the door open and then come in?

Anyway, the guy just shakes the glass out of his hair, which is so dark red that it’s almost purple and looks at her with red eyes.

Not pretty.

He doesn’t understand her question right away, asking “What?” twice.

He said it again, louder: “What?”
Oh, dear. A mute. [If you can’t hear, isn’t it deaf?] And, as in many cases, a not terribly bright one, either. [If I was mute, I so would be offended.] She stepped closer and raised her voice. “Are. You. All. Right?”

Well, now he seems to understand her perfectly and he talks, so I guess he’s neither mute nor deaf.

She blinked. She was having trouble following current events, and was embarrassed she was having trouble. [Me too, Gladys, me too…]

The guy points out that nothing hurt, other than her cold welcome and starts lecturing her on manners. [No, I’m not shitting you. The guy, who makes his entrance through a closed glass door talks about good manners.] All in a voice “like verbal velvet” [please, please, please, please, please, find a new metaphor for voices. Why isn’t it a voice that smells like sun flowers? Why is it always velvet?].



Finally, he shakes some more glass out of his hair, which makes me wonder 1. how much hair he has, 2. how much glass there is, 3. why he’s not lying on the floor, bleeding to death and 4. why Gladys still has her eyesight, with all the glass flying around. And then he tells her, that she’s needed, she gets her medicine bag and gives us this tidbit of information:

“I’ll get my bag,” she said, and darted to the hall closet. Thank gods she had restocked just that morning! “It’s all fully supplied and ready to go.” Since most mood-altering drugs had been legalized by Shea’s Act of 2021, not only had crime rates dropped like rocks, but nobody had to worry about junkie break-ins. Thus, she could say something like “it’s all fully supplied and ready to go” to hold up her end of the conversation, and not worry about being robbed.

Usually, I would appreciate small things like that, which she show that the writer put a lot of thought into the world. If only this was thoroughly thought through… First, what do you mean by mood-altering drugs? Is weed mood-altering? Because I don’t know of many junkie break-ins because of weed.
And anyway, usually, junkie break-ins happen because the junkies can’t afford to buy drugs and not because the drugs are illegal. So, just making those drugs legal, wouldn’t change that. Yes, the crime rate would drop, because drug dealers would be normal merchants and drug users would be normal costumers, but the people, who can’t afford to buy the things they need and break in to get them or get money to buy them, would still not be able to afford them and would still break in.

Also, that’s what you’re worried about? Somebody breaks into your flat and wants to take you somewhere and you think about the drugs he may or may not steal? Prioritisation, Gladys, prioritisation…

Well, the guy doesn’t steal anything and off they are.


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