Tuesday 13th August 10:50
"Rachel Weisz is the girl from The Constant Gardener right? Never thought of her. Has she been on TV? Jean is this old woman who...you know, this conversation needs booze. Forget Domino's watch this." He beckons you to follow and wanders up to one of the guys unloading furniture.
"Nah" the loader has a London accent. "Renovations"
"Fair enough. Coffee Girl, don't panic. I'll be back in two minutes" John nods to himself and then throws a punch at the loader's face. Whether he's a lover you couldn't say, but he's not a fighter and its not the greatest punch. Still, the loader is taken by surprise and ends up with a nosebleed while John's takes off down the street. There's a crash as the loader drops the bar stool he's carrying and takes off after him. His mates soon follow but one by one they slow back to a walk and look round confused. Slowly walking back over to pick up their loads.
"John? What the fuck happened to your nose?" One shouts and the recently punched loader looks confused and squats to look in a rear view mirror. "The fuck? Fucking blood pressure or something."
A few minutes later John rejoins Jess and gives her a "I told you so" look. The guy he punched only a moment ago comes over, casually and friendly. "Help you?"
"See." John says to Jess. "Doesn't remember me at all. It's only you and this other girl." To the loader's confused look he gives a it-doesn't-matter shake of his head but then looks up as the old guy directing operations comes over to the two of you.
"We're closed, like" he tells you, casting a disapproving look over at John. "And we wouldn't want your type in here anyway. Do yourself a favour, lassie, and lose him. You can do better, like. You ever realise that, you come and see me. I'll get you straightened out." He apparently notices John for the first time and casts a disapproving look over him then frowns at you in momentary confusion. He shrugs and squints at Jess. "You alright lassie? You look like you're having a scare. Don't blame you hanging around with the likes of him. You can do better."
Tuesday 13th August 10:48
31 Ebor Street, Heaton
(Bran), Norm, Miyo
Norm heads on into the remainder of the house and you spread out to look round.Room one
is the entrance hallways with the makeshift barricade in place.Room three
is a lounge. The door in the southwest leads to a flight of stairs, you assume, but it is held shut by a plait of red string with another handwritten piece of latin blu-taced to the door:
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium imperat illi Deus; supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Other than that and the empty space in the middle where, presumably, a table once stood there is little of interest. A TV. A selection of DVDs leaning towards horror. A couch that likely wants burning after the fluids that have presumably sunk into it over its years serving students. A dead potted plant. The window looks out onto a neglected and overgrown back yard.Room four
, in defiance of building codes, is a bathroom. Toilet, sink and shower. On the lid of the toilet someone has long ago scrawled "CLAUDANDUS!" in marker pen. The coils of rock climbing rope holding the lid shut are presumably a newer addition though. The sink has a pair of boxer shorts shoved in the plughole to block it, while a t-shirt of some type wrapped round a hockey stick serves the same function in the shower drain. The frosted glass window looks over the same back yard.Room five
is the kitchen. The fridge-freezer has been moved from position leaving a grey and dusty corner full of spiderwebs exposed and now lays on its side in front of the washing machine forcing you to step round it awkwardly. The microwave sits innocuously in the sink, a hefty old-fashioned thing that looks like it weighs a fair amount. The worksurfaces are perhaps cleaner than you might expect and the basin sitting on one of them has less washing waiting to be done than the majority of student houses. A freakishly well stocked spice rack sits on the windowsill next to the washing up liquid and a scourer, adorning the view of the back yard while a locked door leads out into, you can only assume, that same back yard. Room two
when you finally climb back over the barricade to look at it is, as you suspected, a converted bedroom. An unmade bed in the centre, a desk beneath the window with an old desktop computer and a pile of books about the Roman Republic on the side, each bearing the stamp of Newcastle University library. Fitted wardrobes are closed but judging by the contents of the hamper at the base of the bed they'd contain female clothes. A small shelf on one wall has framed photos of some girl with some guy, same girl with other girls, same girl with another girl, same girl in a hockey uniform and so forth.
There's also a sink, added at some point or possibly original, you're not sure. It's the point that sticks out though as the porcelain has been smashed with, presumably, the hockey stick laying nearby. A long tube of metal hangs from out the plughole through the gap in the porcelain. The tube is made up of many small bands, each about a quarter of an inch long and each slightly overlapping the one below it so the entire shape is somewhat articulated. It's full length is impossible to determine. Part of it remains down the plughole while the end that emerged has been smashed with that same hockey stick exposing a meticulous fabric of cogs inside it. Similar cogs and bits of metal scatter the floor nearby. The outer casing is silver, or silver coloured at least, but the internal workings seem to be made from something that could well be brass - none of you are metallurgists.