Feb. 25th, 2013

Bel was already closing up shop when I arrived, and I help her pull the counter up over the window and lock it up tight. I do what I can to aid with the cleaning, but it’s a tight space for two adults and I feel I’m more in the way than I am help, though she has the good grace not to say so.

“You’re getting flour on your fancy cape,” she says.

“Nothing that won’t wipe off,” I say. “To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to catch up on my laundry.”

“You want to wash your clothes in our water?”

“That’s a fair point,” I say.

“Of course, if you stay much longer you won’t be able to help it,” she says. “I’ve been heating it to a boil before washing with it, but I’m guessing from your little experiment this afternoon that’s not actually helping me?”

“No, I’m afraid it isn’t,” I say. “Though it doesn’t seem to have overcome your herbal protection, anyway.”

“Are you certain about that?”

“Reasonably so,” I say. “From a casual inspection, you seem to be in better shape than most people in town. I think if you were infected at all, you would be reacting badly to all the garlic.”

“Gives me a chill all the same,” she says. “Oh, well. At least my bathwater is always warm. Come on upstairs and we’ll eat. Nothing much happens outside between sundown and midnight. The fog doesn’t even start to roll in until then.”



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