Re: [Lakeside Manor: Hugh & Atticus]
"Good stance," Atticus said of food and friendship. Hadn't allowed himself the luxury of friends before now. His early friends had an unfortunate tendency to die. His haunts were jealous, angry things. Hadn't looked into it yet, but was fairly certain they'd killed his family here. They had been thwarted by Lear and Janus, and they'd been wary of the island's native haunts. Now, Atticus was getting cocky about his own ability to keep them at bay. Didn't understand the runes yet, not fully, but knew the haunts hated them. Hadn't sapped him once since, and was pretty sure he could defend someone if he had to. And without him around, they couldn't hurt anyone, so wasn't concerned about them coming out here, for example, and taking a pound of flesh from Hugh. There was something about the B&B that seemed to quicken them, but wondered if Noah couldn't help with that situation. Regardless, was enjoying getting to know people and making friendships for the first real time in his life.
The story about the lake and a winged creature was interesting. Didn't think Lear was the type to fly around for effect. Might explain some of the snakegod's particularly cranky moods recently. "Interesting," was what he offered up, but his expression said he'd be looking into it. Atticus was academically curious about nearly everything occult or literary.
But the conversation turned to the bookstore, and Atticus was enjoying the brownie and milk. "Will insist on a good theater section. God forbid ghosts with a penchant for chandeliers start haunting the place." Second City was a new point of interest, and Atticus sat forward and returned his glass to the coffee table. "Well, it's this sort of farmer's market beneath the far end of the city, where the docks are. A tent city and farmer's market combined, but also a black market, or a place where you can find really strange things. Is almost like an entire world, like the city beneath Orvieto, or like a less commercial version of Underground Atlanta. Interesting place. A lot of art, weird stuff, and bustle."
Gave Hugh a nod a moment later, brownie midway to his mouth. "Think I get it. Not wanting to be hurt or hurt others. Just think maybe the key is to be open, even when there are fears. Not saying I'm the best advice giver, since everything I know is learned from Beat authors who believed in the destruction of economic materialism, and the embracing of mind-altering drugs and sex." Chuckled. Slouched back lazily. "Think we're all fucking messes, Hugh. Think we have to accept whoever we encounter will be too. Think the downfall is in thinking we're healthy. Not sure the word actually applies to the human mental condition. We're all broken, fallible, vain sons of bitches."