Slowly and surely I am crawling my way out of the seasonal funk that seemed to grip a lot of people and I have managed to produce another installment in my odd little pet inspired storyline. I crave your indulgence while I get this out of my system. It seems to be the only thing my brain can work on at the moment.
Plus, it gives me a chance to use all the fun chapter titles I've been collectiong over the years!
Presenting Part Two: The Potable Persuasion
Everyone had heard stories; they were the kind of urban legends mothers told to their children to frighten them into good behavior. Be good, children, or the gypsies will snatch you up and steal you away.
Ianto had, for several years, believed that was what happened to him. His memories started at age five, when he found himself standing alone on the steps of a Greek Orthodox Church. The bishops, upon finding the waifish boy, did not seem terribly surprised at his being there; they took him in from the cold and fed him before calling the state for help.
In the few hours that it took to sort out the various forms and reports, the keen five-year-old Ianto pieced together that it was a fairly regular occurrence for young children of less than fortunate parents to be deposited with the good bishops. The social workers asked him in sweet, soft tones if he could tell them where he had come from, but he really had no recollections beyond those of the church steps.
Ianto thus formulated his gypsy theory based solely on the vague hint of the smell of garlic and what could have been the sound of violins. On this flimsy assumption, he would swear that he was stolen from his cradle and raised by the wandering folk. Years later, in an uncharacteristic fit of remorse, the gypsy people had wiped his memory clean and given him back to the society that they had removed him from.
Although looking back on it later he realized that the violins could very well have been rusty car brakes and that anyone could smell of garlic and that, really, he was being quite unfair to gypsies. However, as he once told a friend, saying he was kidnapped by gypsies sounded so much better than admitting that his real parents had abandoned him.
Ianto was suddenly reminded of all this one night while he stood behind the bar at Rita’s. Even though he wasn’t that far removed from his youth, the memories of the lofty church and the bishops with their bushy beards seemed centuries old. Ianto’s reflection in the mirror of the bar was blurred by the cloud of fragrant cigar smoke and he was momentarily light headed.
The door opened behind him and a cool draft cleared the air of the thick smoke. When Ianto opened his eyes, he looked at his reflection and was struck with an odd notion. Maybe his assumptions of his early years weren’t too far off. The eyes that looked back at him were quick and dark. His face was long and thin and his thick, dusky hair was, no matter how much pomade he used, wild and unruly.
Enveloped by scented fumes and surrounded by the brightly colored liquors and spirits that he served, Ianto might have sworn that a gypsy was standing before him. Then the moment passed. Ianto shook his head and laughed at himself. Whatever his past held didn’t matter now. He worked for Rudy, and when you work for Rudy you belong to him. Ianto couldn’t afford to be distracted, especially tonight. Trouble had just walked in and it was wearing the shoes that Rudy was after.