Dorday Day (Day 50)
“What do your usual clients like to do in Dorday?” I asked Tarcuna over breakfast. The Grand Hotel Elysium Dorday provided a generous variety of pastries and fruits for breakfast, if one were willing to pay a generous price. Which I was.
This was the wrong question to ask Tarcuna, because she told me. I am alarmed and surprised that hovens — whose necks are so short as to barely be there at all, and so inflexible as to not even allow their heads to face backwards — can do some of those things.
“Maybe a different question would be in order. What do your usual clients who are taking a temporary vacation from their reproductive organs like to do in Dorday?”
“That sort of vacation isn’t the usual reason to hire a public friend, Spotty. Would you like me to suggest a few things we might do today?”
“Yes. That,” I said. “Actually, you think about it while I go get a few more of those sausage-and-egg pastries.”
She looked at her plate, where she hadn’t managed to finish a whole one, and looked a bit alarmed. “Don’t make yourself sick, Spotty!”
“I’m not going to get sick!”
“Still, maybe I’d better leave the amusement park for later,” she said.
“Why? What’s that?”
“It’s an amusement park,” she said with a smile. “An old wheel of iron, some new roller coasters, a mini-zeppelin, a starcatcher room, all the usual things. Not so good on a full belly, somehow.”
I sat back down and started devouring the pastries with a mouth that’s much too small for practical eating. “I fly barrel rolls when I’ve got my wings,” I said. I do, too, at least once a year. “A few hoven rides aren’t going to bother my belly!”
Tarcuna giggled. “That’s right. Flying lizard from another world. Still, how about a cruise around the islands and out the bay in the morning? Or if you’re feeling intellectual again, the Museum of Visible Experiments is quite smart, and the Museum of the Previous Millennium is quite pretty. Then lunch, if you really want it …”
“I will!” I think that if I eat at a steady but unhurried pace constantly while I am hoven, without stopping to sleep or sightsee, I will manage to keep myself from starving. I’ll probably lose weight though. (Sorry to dwell on this, but I am quite hungry as I write.)
”… After a mere seven gigantic sausage and egg pastries, one of which would fill a large man’s belly, of course you’ll want lunch. Then the amusement park in the afternoon, if it please you? And after a vast dinner, because you’ll surely be starving by then, perhaps you would like to go to the theatre — a play, an opera, a lecture, a concert? By evening I’m on more familiar ground, you know. Many of my customers like to combine several of the finer things of evening life.”
“All of those sound good. You’re the guide, I’m appointing you to be the one to pick for today. The rest will wait until later days,” I said. Tarcuna looked at my plate, so I added, “You do know I’m going to have a bigger lunch than I had breakfast.”
She giggled. “You certainly have the most unusual personal style of any of my customers!” Which had the burnt-milk scent of a rather debatable truth, but not enough of an actual lie to complain about.
“Well, do a good job and I’ll tell my friends. I’m sure you’ll have dragons hiring you regularly.” I determinedly didn’t think about what I’m pretty sure Llredh or, worse, Arilash would be hiring her for.