‘I know you think you don’t want it,’ said Gary’s girlfriend, Claire, ‘but just think. When you turn 18, most of your friends will have their tattoos already. People will want to see yours. Look, you can tell them that you’re getting it later, that you couldn’t book an appointment, but how long can you lie? One day, you’ll look around and think, “God, why don’t I have a tattoo? Everyone else does.” ’
She was singing. She was drunk, I think, the way she sang. Maybe she had drunk a big glass of vodka. But her singing was good. She sounded sad, but the music was good. We were all so surprised to see her there.
‘You know, for an apocalypse, we live quite well.’
The soldier was eating seeds with honey. Normally, the food would have been very small, but he was small, too. So each seed was the size of his head. They were sitting in a small house made of dried grass.
‘You know I hate that word,’ said his friend.
A dark cloud descended upon the lake late that afternoon. Quentin and the others had breakfasted on the terrace, enjoying the spring sunshine, and gone for a walk along the winding paths that spotted the hillsides, and by the time they got back, the cloud was hanging there, spitting rain threateningly.