Kage Baker, who utterly loathed all interruptions to her daily routine, would by now have been agitating to evacuate and head for some distant shelter. Her last-ditch haven was always somewhere, anywhere, where no one knew where she was or how to reach her. When things got intolerable in the Fields We Knew, she liked to light out for the Territories.
She would declare a Writing Weekend, and we would run away. We’d end up in a small hotel on Highway 1 somewhere, or in the Borg Motel in Monterey, or a campground somewhere in sound of the waves. And we would just … be there for a few days. No phones. No telly. Music, books, knitting, writing. Back home, someone else would deal with whatever noisy disaster had driven Kage insane, and she’d return refreshed and revivified to a quieter life.
I’d love to do that right now.
Here in the Fields I Know Best, the weather continues freaking hot. It’s 100 degrees here, which means the little Weatherbug icon on my computer has turned crimson and is blinking: like the computer is about to run out of dilithium and explode. Of course, it’s the Buke I’m working on, as my actual desktop CPU is still at the repair facility, awaiting a new motherboard … an inquiring call to the techs today reveals that, despite my authorizing the repair last week, they have not yet ordered the part. No one knows why. But they’re getting right on it, yes ma’am, you betcha.
The plumbers think they have gone to hell; I see it in their eyes, where they look up despairingly from the pit in the front yard. There’s a nice defensive ditch and wall across the driveway now. The plumbers have made a neat pile of the dirt and stones from the pit at the base of the driveway, so it runs right across at a height of, oh, about 4 feet. The ditch itself is so deep I can’t see the workers’ heads from the porch; just the metronome-flash of the shovels, and the regular spray of yet more dirt and stones onto the wall.
They really are impressively tidy. It’s a very even wall. Kimberly has been trimming some of the trees and vines; if I pack the wintergreen branches and dried grapevine around the dirt and rock pile out there, I ought to be able to vitrify it into a really nice defensive face. The rocks are mostly decomposing granite, and the soil has a nice sand content – ought to vitrify something lovely.
And maybe a vitrified wall would be a good idea. Who knows what’s down there? Anthony, the unhappy plumber in charge of the project, has been wandering around mumbling, “It’s a nightmare. I’ve never seen anything like this.” I believe he suspects something is deliberately holding on to the liner down in the depths, something … evil. But eventually, they’ll have to pry it loose, you see?
Who knows what evil lurks below the edge of the lawn?
If some tentacled and multi-eyed horror from a less-salubrious dimension suddenly finds a portal on my lawn, I may want some good defensive earthworks. I wonder if Kimberly and Ray’s homeowner insurance covers chthonic invasion? Are they liable for a hole in the dimensional wall if contract plumbers make it, or only if we do it ourselves while planting a tree?
Kage was always outlining stories where the boundaries of reality melt away in familiar domestic settings. Stories like Calimari Curls, and Monkey Day … if she were here, watching the excavation in the front yard, I know full well she’d be clamouring to take off right now. Time to go North for a while, she would declare. Where’s Harry’s travel cage?
Of course, we were renters. You can leave the hole to the underworld in your garden for the landlord, when you’re a renter. Homeowners have to be more responsible.There are limits, though, surely? Isn’t interdimensional invasion a kind of illegal immigration?
I just hope that if untoward and unseely troops start pouring out on the front lawn, the authorities can cope. If Los Angeles becomes a scorched and embattled wasteland – if it all starts to look like the edges of Morder (or at least Irwindale) … well, I’m sorry, that’s all.