Slice of Life: Just Another Evening in Peach Pie St

This is a comfortable living area. The floor is fitted with antique oak boards, the ceiling is laid with dark red brick and the other surfaces are papered with sun kissed yellow marbled wallpaper. Lounging against the east wall is a diamond-patterned cream wicker sofa facing which stands an oak kitchen table. Near the diamond-patterned cream wicker sofa is a rustic lemon yellow bookshelf. Squatting against the north wall is an antique steel range facing which dozes a rickety oak desk. Near the antique steel range is an apple green country kitchen pantry. Hanging from the centre of the ceiling is a white wicker-work lamp. Around the oak kitchen table are an apple green country kitchen bench and an elderly kitchen chair. At the rickety oak desk is a braided wicker chair. An exit leads down, behind you a door leads to a bathroom, in front and to your right a door leads to a master bedroom and behind you and to your left the sliding door leads to a balcony.
There are four obvious exits: backward-left, forward-right, backward and down.
Arianna Darcy is lying on the diamond-patterned cream wicker sofa.

Daimon arrives about half an hour after sunset, on leathery wings that turn into hands and clawed feet that turn into boots.

Arianna Darcy is apparently napping, remnants of sandwich-making still on the table behind her on the sofa, and no sandwich in sight, which means that lunch and a nap were clearly in order.

Daimon tiptoes over to put the foodstuffs away before they spoil.

Arianna Darcy mumbles,”But I just counted them”, and then turns over.

Daimon pauses to make a tuna sandwich and put it on a platter in the ice box. Somebody might wake up hungry. Then he tiptoes back and kisses her cheek. “Counted what, hummingbird?”

Arianna Darcy mmphs, and goes from asleep to awake in the way that only she apparently can, in an instant. She rubs her forehead with the back of her hand, realises it’s dark, and sits up.”Oh gosh, and there was me closing my eyes for two minutes.” She makes room on the couch for you and gazes out of the window with slight dismay.

Daimon settles down. “Looks like you needed it.”

Arianna Darcy snuggles up, as she usually does on the sofa, and wraps her blanket around you both, not that you need it. “How was your day?”

Daimon says : Well, kinda quiet. I spent most of it out on the plains hiding in this here small cave to get outta the sun. Got some reading done.

Arianna Darcy sticks her nose in your neck and grins to herself at the thought of you sitting in a cave. “Winter, though. Not much sun about.”

Daimon nuzzles golden hair with his nose. “Mm, just enough that I don’t much care to be caught out in it, though.”

Arianna Darcy closes her eyes again.”Was I sayin’ something about countin’?”

Daimon nods. “Mm-hmm. Said you just counted those.”

Arianna Darcy groans and adjusts herself on the sofa slightly. “Cause I did, I spent the whole night an’ the whole day in accounts.” She sounds grumbly, the words coming out annoyed.”I mean, receipts are all well an’ that but who does the maths that’s what I like to know. It ain’t the patrician! It’s me.”

Daimon kisses his preferred golden hair. “You could transfer. I mean, there’s gotta be something else you can do.”

Arianna Darcy considers this from inside her blanket of blanket and you. “None that’ll let me come home to Daina an’ you the way I do now.”

Daimon softly says: I could ask Their Exes for a raise.

Arianna Darcy draws a thoughtful finger on your arm. “Would they?” She moves your arm around her so she’s a bit more snug. “I mean, I ain’t got nothing to complain about our little flat but some nob owns it, right? He wouldn’t be caught dead livin’ on Peach Pie, but he owns most of the flats in this building.” She gazes up at you with her blue orbs. “Nobs are weird, they make us work an’ work an’ work an’ talk about fairness an’ that but they are the most unfair I think.”

Daimon says: Well…

Daimon says: When I were a nob back home, I didn’t much make anyone work. I killed a lot of ’em though.

Arianna Darcy’s expression doesn’t change. “Yeah, that’s bad too, love.”

Daimon looks a bit sheepish. “I were a different guy back then.”

Arianna Darcy prods your nose like Daina does. “Honk. Yeah, you were.”

Daimon kisses golden hair again. “Just saying, they probably don’t think about it a whole lot. I never really thought about the regular folks as folks, you know?

Arianna Darcy’s eyes are smiling, and she is too, a little. “But you never thought of humans as folks either, though.”

Daimon says: No, more like sheep. Sheep with interesting little lives that I used to be pissed off that I weren’t really part of.

Arianna Darcy snuggles up. “But you are now.”

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: I mean, look at you, with a family an’ everything.

Daimon says with simple happiness, “Yes.”

Arianna Darcy works her fingers into the fingers of your cold hand, and gently bites your shoulder.

Daimon mildly says: That’s my job, peaches.

Daimon adds, with inhuman logic, “I put a tuna sammich in the ice box.”

Arianna Darcy giggles and squeezes you. “Aw, thank you. I might make another cause Daina’s playin’ with Dorothy two floors down an’ should be home soon, so she’d probably like it for her dinner.”

Daimon nods. “I could make one for you both?”

Arianna Darcy happily says with a Morporkian accent: That’d be lovely.

Daimon unwraps himself and disappears kitchenwards only to return a moment later with the box of food and a knife and plates. He goes about some serious sandwich making, demonstrating obvious skill and creativity. “I used to take care of this old guy a whole winter. Taught me how to do these things.”

Arianna Darcy lies back and watches you as you busy yourself with the sandwich-making. “Mm, I remember you told me that a long while back when we first met an’ it was one of the things I liked best about you.” She expands on this as she hugs her blanket – it’s cold outside. “‘Member?” She laughs. “That were so long ago it feels like.”

Daimon nods, smiling with brilliantly white teeth.”Yeah. It were good for me, taught me a lot about the whole being human thing.”

Arianna Darcy hugs her knees, her antics on the sofa very similar to the antics of her offspring, who is likely to be home any second. “An’ when I first met you my knees went wobbly.”

Daimon laughs. “That ain’t how I recall it. You told me to calm down with that look a chick gives a guy when every guy she meets wants to get in her pants.”

Arianna Darcy sticks a pink tongue tip out. “Sure, that’s what I were sayin’, but I were thinkin’ – uh – I were thinkin’, yes please.”

Daimon asks: Was at the Skunk, weren’t it?

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: Nah, the shop at the Plaza, ‘member? I came in durin’ the winter in my old catsuit.

Daimon says: Oh yeah. We met at the Skunk later on.

Arianna Darcy peers at you. “Nah, we went on a date and climbed on roofs an’ things.”

Daimon says: Kinda funny how we’re still doin’ what we were doin’ back then. You’re still a thief and I’m still writing scrolls for the d’Ackerleys, and nothing’s really changed except the really big things.

Arianna Darcy wrinkles her nose at you. “An’ you got pretty friendly on a convenient balcony.”

Daimon says to Arianna Darcy: yeah, we did that -after-.

Daimon says: ‘Cause I remember being told to back off at the Skunk.

Arianna Darcy exclaims with a Morporkian accent: Oh yeah, I ‘member that!

Arianna Darcy giggles at you. “OH! I forgot about that, cause it were a pretty horrible evenin’, and I were a bit sick too.”

Daimon laughs softly while cutting up little slices of cucumber. “Been a lotta water under bridges since then.”

Arianna Darcy points out that lots of things have changed, especially her hair, and her clothes. “Though I still got that old catsuit.”

Daimon says : Yeah, and you’re in accounting now, I know, I know. But a lot of things never changed at all, either.

Arianna Darcy shakes her golden head. “Not much, no, but it’s kinda how I like it.”

Daimon holds up an offering of a paper thin slice of cucumber. “Yeah. Never thought of myself as the settle down with a family kinda guy, but that were mostly ’cause it never occurred to me that anyone with a pulse would want to.”

Arianna Darcy takes the cucumber and nibbles on it around the edges. “Well, I want to. So Marta over at 22 C can go moon over someone else’s boyfriend.”

Daimon asks: .. Who?

Arianna Darcy eats the cucumber. “She’s newly moved in, an’ apparently very interested in you cause she likes vampires. She’s one o’ those goth girls.”

Daimon nods his understanding. “Oh yeah. I know that kind. Used to be easy pickings for getting laid and fed, yanno?”

Arianna Darcy leans back, looks up at the ceiling, and closes her eyes. “Mm hm. But – I dunno – she’s gotta find someone else to moon over. She asked Mrs Smithers all sortsa questions about you, an’ you know, Mrs S may be an old biddy but she tol’ me to keep lovin’ you cause she reckons everybody needs someone.”

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: An’ I dunno, but black lipstick is so – so – so – passe.

Arianna Darcy pronounces the word like someone who just learned it and is pleased at a chance to use it.

Daimon carefully decorates Daina’s sandwich with a little cucumber castle. “I ain’t exactly short on getting laid or fed, mm?”

Daimon says: I mean, if she offers I might feed on her, sure, but the thing with chicks like that is, they come back for more and then it gets really complicated.

Daimon says: I ain’t got time for that.

Daimon says: Funny how some folks don’t understand that as if they introduce themselves like a sandwich, I think of ’em like a sandwich.

Arianna Darcy pinks, as she usually does, and sticks a tongue tip out at you. “No, you ain’t on the market anyway. Just like I ain’t either, so Neil over at 10 B can stop askin’ me out to dinner, I ain’t goin’.” She sighs. “Dunno why people think they can do that, we’re serious an’ we stick by each other. They can just piss off.”

Daimon laughs. “You can go out for dinner if you like. I only mind if you get all snuggly with him. I’ll eat out if someone offers and saves me the trip to the butchers’, but I ain’t getting snuggly with no one.”

Arianna Darcy stretches. “Nah, an’ anyway it sends the wrong idea, goin’ out to dinner with someone that ain’t your boyfriend.” She snuffles the blanket. “There ain’t no such thing as a free dinner, or somethin’.” She looks thoughtful. “Or it might be lunch.”
Daimon wraps the sandwich art up in a napkin. “Sure there is. Lots of folks get off on having someone bite them, why’d I argue?”

Arianna Darcy wrinkles her nose at you. “I think that may have been a sayin’ intended for humans only.”

Daimon grins. “Yeah. Well. Again, it saves me time. And they get off on it in their own ways, not that I understand it.”

Arianna Darcy waggles a red-tipped finger at you. “Not that it’s your job to satisfy the masses who want to get off.” She giggles. “Think that’d be a job for a seamstress or somethin’.”

Daimon quirks his eyebrows. “Job? I consider it free dinner.”

Arianna Darcy quirks hers in a copycat gesture. “Well, okay so vampires get free dinners but humans don’t, that’s what I call grossly unfair.”

Daimon laughs. “but you get sunshine. and food.”

Arianna Darcy giggles. “Well okay yeah.” She leans on the back of the sofa. “I don’t wanna be a vampire EVER cause I don’t think I want to be one EVER.” She expands helpfully. “Blood’s kinda borin’.”

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: What will you have tonight? Blood. With a dash of pepper innit. An’ tomorrow? Maybe blood…

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: Maybe we’ll vary things up with a bit o’ tobasco.

Arianna Darcy finds this hilarious and dissolves into peals of laughter.

Daimon pauses a moment, a single red glare passing over his purple eyes momentarily. “It ain’t boring. It’s all unique. All different. But… The before and the after, that gets dull quick.”

Arianna Darcy looks smug. “But not with me it doesn’t.” She flutters long lashes at you and assumes a coquettish pose, before saying in a sing-song voice, copied from a famous Holywood moving pictures star, “Ooh Mr Vampire you are so big an’ strong an’ sexy an’ I’m so little!”

Daimon makes a face. “Yeah, I’ve had my fill of -that-.”

Arianna Darcy giggles again, as she prepares to get off the sofa. “Well, yeah, so I’m the best, cause I ain’t ever borin’.”

Daimon says: Reckon it’s ’cause of the League, but these days it’s more often the whole you poor thing, I’ma donate so you can experience kindness in your dark and miserable existence thing.

Arianna Darcy gets off the sofa and wrinkles her nose at you. “Oh, I dunno, I were pretty kind to you last night, I reckon.” She laughs. “But yeah, the league’s what’s the problem but then there won’t be no vampires tolerated here if they don’t exist so they have to be around I reckon.”

Daimon nods. “I ain’t got a problem with them, it just cracks me up sometimes.”

Arianna Darcy catches sight of herself in the mirror through the open bathroom door and preens for a minute, adjusting her hair and her clothes as she does. “Yeah, but I feel sorry for them cause – well – cause it’s hard to be so feared, I reckon.”

Daimon says: I worry more about when as they snap, to be honest.

Arianna Darcy says with a Morporkian accent: But would they? Cause surely vampires can conquer their baser self too right, like humans? Cause that’s what it’s called when you learn to stop drinkin’ or smokin’ or any other bad habits or somethin’.

Daimon says: I don’t know.

Daimon says: Like, some of them, yeah.

Daimon says: The ones as don’t -need- blood to survive.

Daimon says: If it’s just some kinda nutjob fixation, reckon they can switch it to smething else.

Arianna Darcy nibbles on a stray piece of cucumber as she goes past the table to answer the door. “Oh, I reckon so too. That’ll be Daina.” She opens the door and a small bundle of energy comes barrelling through, making straight for you, naturally, while her mother talks to Dorothy’s mum for a second.

Daimon scoops the little girl up and waves hello to Dorothy’s mum from behind flailing limbs. “Heya, chickadee. Good day?”

Arianna Darcy has a quiet conversation with Dorothy’s mother, who waves back to you, even as Daina waves wet paint in your face with repeated cries of “made this, made this, made this, made THIS.”

Daimon fusses over the girl, he loves this. Somebody’s got a bit of a childhood of his own to catch up on.

Arianna Darcy finishes her conversation at last as Daina reaches her sandwich and she puts a stop to it in the manner of most mums all over the multiverse. “Daina Darcy! Wash your hands, please, an’ sit down like a person before you eat.”

Daimon laughs softly. “Busted.”

Arianna Darcy goes into the bathroom along with the little girl and sounds of washing up emerge, including a suspicious giggle or two from the child, indicating there is possibly bubble play happening, as both mum and daughter love bubbles. Eventually, they emerge and the table is laid and plates are set and oranges and coffee served to the person who eats oranges and coffee and drinks are poured into cups and glasses and it’s time for the dinner ritual. “Alright, family, let’s eat!”

About Andrew d'Ackerley

Earl of Briarwyld, Skund; Knight of Ankh-Morpork; Doctor of Languages at the Assassins’ Guild; Master of Dance and Deportment at the Assassins’ Guild; Senior Lecturer in Languages at the Assassins’ Guild, House Master of Cobra House, the Assassins’ Guild.
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