Allow us to introduce the Wine Diva. A character with a significant role in the latest Evil UnLtd volume.
We can’t say much about her at this point as anything of substance we could say about her would have a high alcohol content and, Evil as we are, we can’t go about distributing alcoholic substances to minors. Suffice to say that she’s a glass half-full sort of person who will always demand a top-up.
Exclusive Time/Space Snippet:
From her spot at the end of the bar, the Wine Diva saw all. Usually through a misty Merlot haze, the occasional rosé-tinted glass. But on this she had drawn a Sauvignon blank. She hadn’t seen this coming at all.
All she wanted was a quiet, lightly anaesthetised life. Some amicable conversation, a bar to rest her head on.
There she’d been, enjoying her daily helping of all the above. Maintaining a sparkly banter, between sips, with the lovely Tabitha. Despite the constant need to repeat everything. It was one thing to throw pearls of wisdom before swine, another to have to regurgitate them. Of course, Tabitha was no swine – she was a pearl herself. The only element to sour their enabler-customer relationship was that the girl was so much prettier than the Wine Diva. It was nothing personal: she was prettier than everybody, blast her deliciously curved hide. It would have been easy to hate her if she lorded her looks over all and sundry. But if you ordered bitter, Tabitha would always serve you mild. With a slice of humble pie, lightly sugared.
Tabitha was even nice enough to smile every time the Wine Diva made her ‘put it on my Tab’ joke. Which was probably often. She lost count. She kept making mental notes to lay off that one. But she kept misplacing the notes.
Anyway, at some point Brian the big-hearted bruiser had swaggered over, butting in on their girl talk. She watched him swoon and moon over Tabitha, contemplated telling him to grow a pair and ask the girl out. Actually, that may have been one of those contemplations she blurted aloud because she remembered Tabitha blushing a deep shade of Shiraz.
Well, that was moot now. She’d seen poor Brian go down just before she’d vaulted over the bar. Vaulting had felt more like slithering like a pregnant snake, but vino didn’t half play with your perceptions. On the plus side, any details that slipped your mind, you could make up. And make them sound a lot better. Hence vaulted. Gracefully. What’d it matter now? Invent what events you liked when death was just the other side of the bar.
She’d caught a quickfire montage as she’d gone head-over-heels-over-bar: a lot of tumbling, upside-down shots of the terrorists. Like one of those movies where the camera can’t keep still, like the cameraman’s on an unsteady diet of speed and caffeine. Tabitha, bless her, dreamed of being a movie starlet. If she ever landed a role in one of those movies, the Wine Diva would never see them. They did her head in. Made her sick. Which obliged her to finish up her popcorn too fast so she’d have a spare receptacle to hand.
She digressed. More than usual. Thoughts whirled. More than usual. Her heart pumped like a machine-gun, outpacing the automatic fire chopping poor Frank’s pub to splinters. Poor Frank? Poor her – it was her home from home. The guns spat softly, shushing madly, as the destruction made all the real noise. It was like listening to a gang of riverdancers doing a number on the place in rubber-soled, scissor-heeled clogs. It rained woodchips and shards and sundry beverages and matter and fluids that should have remained internal to someone. Anyone.
Some of it might have been Bloody Mary mix, but the psychological effect was similar as it sprayed everywhere, gobs of the stuff falling black and crisp like deep-fried tomato peel.
Down on hands and knees, by no means unusual for her, she breathed like a geriatric gazelle who’d just run a marathon steeplechase. Or hippo. Hippo would’ve coloured her point with greater emphasis, but she gave herself gazelle. She had to throw herself these little gifts.
The entire future could be moot. All right, the future might conceivably carry on without her, but she’d be missed. Life could be moot.
Survival depended entirely on whether this was the first Tuesday of the month or the last Tuesday of the previous month. The Wine Diva saw all. But calendars were chronically blurred.
Life could be measured in minutes. And all she could see from her disadvantage point on the floor was a lot of broken glass and a whole lot more booze spilling wastefully away. She was in a puddle of her best friend. Nowhere near deep enough to swim, too shallow to drown her sorrows.
But extensive enough to make her cry.
Gunfire done, the chief terrorist eventually mumbled something about parable universes, turning her grief to confusion. When he corrected his mumble to parallel universes, confusion fermented into horror.
No, she hadn’t seen this coming. But there’d been a few sober times she’d feared this day might arrive.
Read more about the Wine Diva and other characters with bottle in Evil UnLtd Vol 4: Tempus Sinister.
Royalties from all Evil UnLtd books go to Cancer Research UK.