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Stories from the Verse
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Chapter 18: Beam 61
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The white-haired man would never have said that there weren’t good beers and bad beers. It’s just that once he’d had a few they all started to muddle together and it no longer mattered. On the positive side, Bron was able to keep a clearer head before the whiskey started pouring, and had set aside packaging from a few that he favored. On the negative side, Bron’s taste in beer was not at all like Beam’s. Bron went more for English beers, Beam for German, although they were not so labeled. Still, they had not opened all the six-packs they had acquired, so there would be more tasting ahead.
His hangover made it difficult for him to focus on much, but he managed to order a couple pizzas and a party tray of hoagies, once he figured out that that was what was meant by “subs” on the menu. He was back in bed early.
This had him awake in the middle of the night, with his head somewhat clearer. Opening another beer, he took the opportunity to order groceries, meats and vegetables and other foods from which he or Sophie could create meals. He included another cold cut tray, and decided that a fresh fruit bowl would astound his medieval companions. He also ordered brains for Turbirb’durpa. And he replaced the bottle of whiskey; it had been good whiskey, and he didn’t want to forget the brand.
The food arrived just as his companions were awakening, or perhaps it was the door chime that awakened them. Beam was soon frying up eggs and bacon for them; he didn’t offer them choices because he didn’t feel like dealing with over-easy, over-hard, sunny-side, soft-scrambled, hard-scrambled, and the rest. Maybe another day he’d make omelets (should do it soon while the peppers and mushrooms were still reasonably fresh) but today was just fried over easy, the way he liked them, with bacon on the side and the fresh fruit bowl.
He wondered how it was that he didn’t get a bill for anything he ordered. There seemed to be an indicator on the computer he might have called a “credit bar”, but no matter how much he bought it never seemed to move. Maybe there was a life limit. No matter, he supposed. Something was bound to bring the end of his life here before he managed to move that bar.
He also realized how little he knew about what was beyond those doors to “outside”. Obviously there were retail stores and restaurants--he ordered from these, and deliveries came. He did not know how to find these, or what they looked like. That was probably something he should learn, although given the luxury and convenience of their apartment it was difficult to find a good reason to leave.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #357: Characters Connect. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: