Sunday, 19 February 2012

Clytie and Xogenes

On Tuesday the bookshelf slipped a little bit through the floor.  It annoyed Xogenes a lot as he'd put the big, heavy books on the bottom shelf, and now he couldn't quite get them back out to read them.  That meant that his collected editions of Britney Spears's Thoughts were completely inaccessible and  that he was left with reading Justin Bieber's Aphorisms over his breakfast cereal.  It just wasn't the same.
Clytie came over a little before lunch and knocked on the door with her hand.  She'd had reconstructive surgery on that hand a few weeks earlier and had taken them up on the cyborg option and hadn't learned about her own strength yet, so instead of tapping out an amusing rat-a-tat tat-tat on the door she put her fist through the wood with a firm crunch.  Xogenes heard the crunch and came out of his studio to see what had happened, and discovered Clytie trying to pull her hand back out of the door and swearing a lot.
"Why didn't you use the doorknocker?" asked Xogenes, opening the door and pulling Clytie into the hallway with it.
"It's merged into the door," said Clytie, pointing with her free hand.  And it was, so it looked that it had gone at the same time as the bookcases; sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.  Xogenes sighed, trying to sound put upon, but Clytie was still struggling to pull her hand free.
"Give us help here, Xoggie," said Clytie, tugging away from the door.  "I think there's a big splinter or something stopping me from pulling back properly.  Have you got a hammer?"
"That's my door," said Xogenes, not moving.  He smoothed his smock down when Clytie just stared at him, finding a smudge of Chalcedony-effect paint on a shoulder.  "Well it is," he said.  "You can't just come over here knocking big holes in people's doors, Clytie, it's insecure."
"So what?  Do I have to stay here now to protect your door from visitors?"
"Well, yes," said Xogenes.  "It's all your fault, isn't it?"
"If you had a door-knocker this wouldn't have happened!"
"I do have a door-knocker."
"No, you don't.  You have half a door-knocker, submerged in the door and unusable."
"You could have pulled it free with that cyborg hand of yours!"
"And then you'd be complaining about the hole in your door still!"
They fell silent after that for a few moments.
"So, have you got that hammer then?"
"No," said Xogenes firmly.  "I'll call a... who do you call about doors?"
"A carpenter," said Clytie.  "Unless your door's not make of wood.  This one's mostly Polyfilla, I think."
"I'll call a carpenter," said Xogenes, looking around for his phone and not seeing it.  "Although, if you're going to keep coming over maybe I should get a stronger door."
"You'll still need the carpenter to reinforce the door-frame," said Clytie.
"How do you know all this all of a sudden?  I thought you had a husband for anything practical."
"I'd slap you if I had my hand free," said Clytie.  "I've had to get the doors replaced at the summer house."
There was another shared silence and then they burst into joint laughter.  Finally it subsided and Xogenes started looking for his phone again.
"I could still use that hammer," said Clytie, a little sharply, so Xogenes got her the meat tenderiser from the kitchen, finding his phone in the fridge in the process.  Clytie looked at it, looked as though she was going to say something, and then changed her mind.  She she pounded on the door, trying to free her hand, Xogenes called the carpenter.
"I need a carpenter," he said.
"And you thought of calling me?  Well, that is a stroke of luck!"  The carpenter was clearly as helpful as Clytie.
"My friend just stuck her hand through my door," said Xogenes, trying to ignore the carpenter's sarcasm.
"Friend?  Female friend, metal hand, sharp tongue?"
"Well, yes, actually, but don't tell her I agree with you."
"Give me the address," said the carpenter.  "She's turning out to be really good for business."

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