A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry VIII by MaryJanice Davidson

A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry VIII by MaryJanice Davidson

Author:MaryJanice Davidson [Davidson, MaryJanice]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
Published: 2020-05-14T23:00:00+00:00

Chapter Forty-Five

As we staggered past the bridge and headed for the trees, we were taken for scandalous, badly dressed drunken prostitutes and mocked, but nobody tried to impede our progress. Everyone was busy being busy, thank goodness.

I had two of Lisa’s experimental pills in the fanny pack under my skirt, so I hiked it up, unzipped the pack, dry swallowed, and let my skirt drop back into place in the time it took to walk three steps. But I was in no shape to make a note of the start time and what could I write? “Migraine started just after Anne Boleyn’s elevation to peerage, Windsor Castle, 1532”?

“Christ, my head. You have too much ale for breakfast, too?”

“Nish. Jush grain.” Dammit! Along with the aura, aphasia sometimes kicked in. I tried again: “It’s jush—just a migraine. This is—the leasht marfan piece. Of the post office.” GODDAMMIT! There was nothing more frustrating than aphasia (unless I was trying to buy a Shamrock Shake in the summertime). I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn’t get what was in my brain to match up with what came out of my mouth.

Pull it together. It’s not as bad as the immediate aftermath of The After.

Right. My go-to “it could be worse!” psych-up. I had to keep us moving until something happened. An arrest for drunk and disorderly. A gate. An aneurysm. Something.

And then we were there: the willow! While I watched, a new aura was forming right in front of the trunk, or the gate was opening. Or both? I guess it could be both.

Please be a gate. I’ll do anything if it’s a gate. I’ll give up meat! Well, not all meat. I’ll give up fish. Okay, not sushi or fish n’chips or grouper or tuna or—cod! I’ll give up cod.

It was a gate, glory be to the highest! (Also, no more cod for me, because a deal was a deal.) I felt the familiar tingling as I groped for the wavering, shining thing. Watching my arm disappear up to the elbow into the glow was as exciting as it was disturbing.

“What are you doing? Why are you groping the trunk?”

“Hey, itsh science.” At least the aphasia was losing its grip. I was slurring but coherent, the way I was when I was two-and-a-half daiquiris in. “Man, they are going to be so impressed to see ush! Especially me! Againsht all odds I brought you back and shtopped a war and got Anne knocked up with Queen Elizabeth. No wonder I need a nap.”

We took the plunge, and then we were standing on the platform.

The dark platform. The dark, quiet platform.

“What is this?”

“It—it’s I.T.C.H.,” I stammered. “But it looksh like …”

No. I must have had it wrong. Because it looked like I.T.C.H. had closed for the day. It looked like the lights were out. It looked like no one was waiting for us. A few of the machines were glowing, but there was no one in the cavernous room, and all the overheads were off.


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