Previously on dan powell’s [fiction] friday:
Karl, a narcoleptic piano accordianist, falls asleep while busking in a busy town centre. A young woman approaches his sleeping form while the crowd he attracted disperses. She watches him for a moment and is disturbed by a WPC who asks if she knows the man. Carla reveals she is his brother, explains his condition and agrees to have him gone by the time the policewoman passes the precinct again. Carla sits beside her brother and waits for him to wake up.
She sat beside her brother as the policewoman continued through the precinct. Carla brushed the hair from his face. He looked older but then so must she. How long had it been? Two years? Three? She slid a hand into his and held it.
‘Hello baby brother,’ she said, ‘what brings you to my part of the world?’
Carla stroked the back of his hand as she watched him sleep. He was deep in it now and wouldn’t wake for a while. She saw a taxi rank a few hundred metres away. But where would she take him. She had no clue where he lived now, if indeed he had a house or flat. She let go his hand, crouched in front of him and reached into his jacket’s inside pocket. Nothing. She ran her hands through the other pockets. Surely he had something with an address on it. Bingo.
Carla pulled a battered notebook from the left thigh pocket of his faded combats. One of those flip style ones reporters use. It was fastened shut with an elastic band folded over and over until so tight it curved the flat surface of the notepad. Carla removed the elastic band and flipped the cover over. She stared at the first page, at first not quite sure what she was looking at. It looked like trouble.
‘Oi cheeky, you can bloody well put that back before I get cross.’
Karl was awake. Carla flipped the notebook shut, pretending not to have seen what was written on the first page.
‘Sorry little brother,’ she said handing him back the notepad.
Karl fastened it back in the pocket of his combats, the piano accordian humming slightly with his movements.
(to be continued)