wonder_city: (Default)
[personal profile] wonder_city
All Alone in the Night

Ira Feldstein watched his daughter-in-law fussing with her hair in the front hall mirror. Suzanne glanced aside at him. "You sure you don't want to come to church with me, Ira?"

Ira frowned. His vision had been getting worse lately, and now Suzanne was little more than a cloudy shape to him -- brown hair, brown jacket, brown skirt, brown shoes. Still, he focused on her as best he could. "Suzanne, you're an atheist and I'm a Jew. What's all this about church?"

"Can't a girl change her mind?" Suzanne said, pulling on a dark blue overcoat and settling a matching hat on her head.

"Is this about some investigation you're doing?" Ira said hopefully. "To expand that article you wrote a couple weeks ago?"

"No, Ira, it's not." Her tone was kind and a little condescending. She could get that way sometimes, but Ira had only rarely heard it turned toward him. "This is about me making a positive change in my life."

Ira watched her silently for a few moments longer, then turned and carefully made his way back to the living room. Something was wrong. Something had been wrong for months now, ever since Simon Canis had stopped coming over, since Suzanne had stopped talking about him. She'd been edgy and sad, and Ira had thought perhaps she and Simon had had an argument, but when he had asked about it, she acted as though she didn't know who Simon was, which was horrible given that they'd been seeing each other for over a year, almost two years. Simon had made her happier than Ira had ever known her to be, even back before her marriage to his son had gone sour.

He sat in his chair and listened for Suzanne to say she was going out, but she never did -- he only heard the front door open and shut.

Ira felt a chill.

Was it a timeline thing? Years ago, after the Great Gulf had taken his wife, Tin Lizzie, and the first Golden Guardian, a few people had suggested that perhaps one of his powers was being invulnerable to timeline shifts. He was the only one who could remember the two women, and he supposed that positing a strange invulnerability was preferable to everyone simply calling him crazy.

Had the timeline taken Simon Canis?

After a few moments of pondering, he reached for the telephone with the big number buttons that sat next to his chair. He carefully dialed a number from memory, since he could no longer read his address book, then listened to it ring.

"Hello?" said a cautious, measured voice on the other end.

"X, hello, this is Ira Feldstein."

"Oh, hey, Mister Metro," X said, androgynous voice warming. "What can I do for you?"

"I was wondering if Madame had some time for me," Ira said, quashing the quaver in his voice and the unworthy conviction in the back of his head that Suzanne certainly didn't any more.

"Always, Mister Metro," X said. "Do you have a ride?"

"I'll catch the bus," he said, and felt on the side table for the folding white cane that was his outdoor companion now. "I'll be fine."

"You call if you need to," X said. "I'd be glad to come pick you up."

"No, no, I'll manage, thanks," Ira said, being stubborn while trying not to sound it. "When would be best?"

"She doesn't have any appointments today," X said. "Any time you can come would be fine. I'll make tea."

"I'll leave now," Ira said, feeling urgent about being out before Suzanne came home. "I'll catch the next bus."

"Be careful, Mister Metro, and remember that the buses are slow on Sundays," X said. "We'll be glad to see you."

"Thank you, X," he said. "See you soon."

"See you soon," X said, and they hung up.

Ira made sure he had his cell phone -- he had several numbers on speed dial, like Suzanne and his ex-wife Andrea -- and his cane, and made his way into the front hall. He didn't bother going for his old uniform; he'd mostly given up wearing it after the heart attack last fall. No point goading some random supervillain who thinks beating up an old man will help him feel more secure, you know?

There was no companion today, no one he had to check in with, but he scrawled a quick note for Suzanne: "Gone to Madame's." He pulled on his coat against the early spring chill, pocketed his wallet and keys, and headed out, unfurling his cane with a flip of his wrist.

He was going to get to the bottom of this, or his name wasn't Mister Metropolitan.


Queer fic recommendation: Some years ago, Melissa Scott and her partner, Lisa Barnett, wrote two marvelous books called Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams. They are mysteries set in a deliciously detailed fantasy world that is matriarchal, full of complex astrological magic, and chockablock with completely normal queer relationships.

Sadly, Lisa passed away in 2006, but now Melissa has given us a NEW Points story that fits between these two books,
Point of Knives, coming out in July, and Lethe Press is rereleasing the first two books (Point of Hopes is available now, and Point of Dreams will be out in the fall).

If you haven't tried the Points books, I highly recommend them to you. If you get
Point of Hopes now, you'll be done in just in time to pick up Point of Knives. ;)

Remember to vote for Wonder City Stories at Top Webfiction!

Date: 2012-06-06 02:58 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I'm always glad to see Ira. I hope he gets to the bottom of this!

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-06-07 02:20 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
He's certainly going to try!

Date: 2012-06-06 03:39 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore


Date: 2012-06-07 02:21 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Madame will certainly be helping! Or, um, trying. Because the Oracle, you know, is never anything but cryptic.

Date: 2012-06-06 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hmm... Conflicted.
On one hand I've never been fond of 'alternate reality' stuff in stories as I feel it steals away some of my prescious continuity, but since it seems this is just a thing that's going to be fixed it might not be such a concern.

Plus it's looking like Ira is going to play a big part, and he's my favourite character in the story so that's a definite plus.

Date: 2012-06-07 02:21 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Does it help to know that this is "in continuity"? Or does it make it worse? :)

Date: 2012-06-11 01:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It does help, thank you.

Date: 2012-06-06 06:29 pm (UTC)
yyzeff: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yyzeff

Date: 2012-06-07 02:21 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx

Date: 2012-06-06 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] interleaper.livejournal.com
"Is this about some investigation you're doing?" Ira said hopefully. "To expand that article you wrote a couple weeks ago?"

Well, that's tantalizing.

I hope we get to see more of X.

Date: 2012-06-07 02:22 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
X will definitely be around.

Date: 2012-06-11 04:22 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
That warms the heart, at least.


Date: 2012-06-12 09:58 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Sooooooon. You will know soooooon.

Date: 2012-06-07 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] interleaper.livejournal.com
Ooh, ooh, waitaminnit, I know what's going on here! Mark Driscoll has gotten hold of the Harmoneris Orb, hasn't he?!

Date: 2012-06-07 02:22 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx

Date: 2012-06-07 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aagh! I don't want to have to keep waiting to find out what's going on!

- Kriz

Date: 2012-06-07 02:22 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Juuuuust a few more episodes before you get backstory!

Date: 2012-06-08 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Also I want to go on record as blaming Not!TamLin for this. No idea how, but I'd believe it easily.

- Kriz

Date: 2012-06-11 04:21 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen

But Aloysius is in prison, isn't he? Although... it's been two years.

Date: 2012-06-09 09:18 am (UTC)
badfaun: (Default)
From: [personal profile] badfaun
X: named after "The Baby X Project"? :)

Date: 2012-06-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yes. :)


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