I am currently rereading, "Land of Fire" to get my headset in the right place to start writing the sequel next week.
I've got to the entrance of the irrepressible Brodie, and have been enjoying it so much I thought you might like to have a read of it too.
Perry hung up his fifth cheesecloth shirt in a row, and above this line of dripping hippydom an apparition leapt into view from around the side of the house. It had wild, fine, orange hair that blew out like a halo about its head, a blunt, jolly face, forearms like orange-furred treetrunks, a broad, naked, furry chest, and it wore a kilt and nothing else.
The apparition’s name was Brodie Mac Brodie, and the last time Perry had seen him was at a medieval event in Sydney, where he had been the best fighter on the day, as he usually was, which had included thrashing Perry’s arse from one end of the Eric to the other. Brodie and Perry went way back, back to their early teen years at least, and they had always been friends.
“M’Lord Peregrine!” Brodie roared, and swept a flashy bow that left his hair even more excited than before.
Not big on fast reactions, Perry was still standing behind his shirts, peg in hand and mouth agape. A larger-than-life Australian Highlander in your backyard didn’t happen every day, not even to Perry. He scrambled for his wits and ducked under the washing to come give Brodie a hug.
“Bloody hell!” Perry groaned as he was hugged back (groaned because all the air was being crushed out of his chest). “What are you doing in Perth, you mad bugger?”
“I’ve come to stay with you of course,” Brodie answered, looking not at all offended at being called a mad bugger, probably because he was one. “Well, that and I wangled a short short-term contract over here. Going to have my arse in the river of gold for three months! Two weeks on the rig, one week off, which I want to spend every minute of with you!”
Perry can be forgiven for looking dismayed for just a second before he managed to get that welcoming smile back on his face: Brodie Mac Brodie, whose real name was lost to the mists of childhood, and perhaps these days only seen on those oil rig contracts and the like, was as bad as Perry’s parents for living what was to most people only a hobby. He was Mad Medievalist incarnate, an odd thing to find in an Electrician, but there you have it.
“What’s the local group like?” he asked, and Perry needed no further explanation to know that he was asking about the local members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, which back in Sydney filled Brodie’s life as well as providing him with a family.
“I don’t actually know,” Perry had to admit. “I came over here to be normal for a while.”
“What’s normal, my friend?” Brodie asked, and gave some mysterious, probably bare, area under his kilt a good scratch.
“Not kilts as streetwear, that’s for sure,” Perry rejoindered, “and not spending all your social life poncing around in tights.”
“Neither you nor I wear tights, unless you’ve changed your persona,” Brodie answered happily, “and kilts are fashionable. Come help me get my gear off your front lawn. The taxi guy wanted to leave in a hurry.”
“Saw your weapons or something, did he?”
“My helm, actually,” Brodie said, and grinned a lunatic grin. “I’ve got a new one.”
The new helm proved to be polished steel with a particularly scary stylized face on it, although, as Perry pointed out, it wasn’t as scary as Brodie’s own mug when he got going.
They lumped all of Brodie’s gear into the house; his small case of clothing, his large bag full of rattan weapons, his huge trunk full of armour, and the heavy, scary helm. All of it went into Perry’s spare room, which was also his junk room.
Brodie professed himself happy with the old mattress on the floor amongst the piles of Perry’s old computer components and his multitude of stacked books, and dropped his gear randomly in any available space.“Now,” he told Perry, “we get pissed together!”