Way too seriously
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13 Dec 2020
The cold of the countertop begins to warm under his fingers. Will Hears. On the fringes of his vacant mind, he listens for something, feeling around in the dark. There is a strange fizzing sound, the sizzling of a pan. Bacon, or sausage perhaps? Fresh breakfast and spices. There is sunlight, he can hear the morning rising throughout the house. Muted voices, distant, happy chatter.
Unconsciously, Will shifts his focus. The emotions come quickly, shooting up through the floor and into his body like an electric shock. It makes him shiver. He slips on a foreigner’s skin and feels. There is the quiet rush of joy, the elegant kind, when your hands have done something so many times that you’ve turned it into a kind of performance. A strange art. Dedicated to the enjoyment and honed perfection of a craft. Exhilarating and relaxing all at once.
Second comes a wave of love, parental instincts, the need to mold and to nurture. To care for someone. Fatherly love for a daughter, perhaps—Touch is a tricky talent. The faint smell of old-new paper, and carpet and fresh fabric well-taken care of. Earthy, lazy impressions and hot tea in fine cups.
In which Will hunts ghosts. Then he encounters Hannibal Lecter.
“Sixty, what have you done?”
“Well,” Sixty said as he started flicking through the pages. At regular human reading speed, another sign that he was causing trouble. “Fowler kept telling me to get off my ass and pick a last name, and Gavin is always saying that I should pick an awful last name to match my awful first name. So last night I went down to city hall and picked the worst name I could think of. You, my friends, are now looking at Sixty Reed.”