Something Characteristic

“Come on, schab. This…” Uma inspected the body. “…this girl’s heavier than she looks.”


“If she’s being looked for and they find us carrying her we’re not going to…”

“Yah, yah,” Uma said as she set her end of the girl down. The girl’s arm flopped to the floor and the back of her fingers smacked the concrete. A metal cylinder tumbled out of her vest. The heavy but hollow sound captured all three mechanics’ attention.

The cylinder rolled in a shallow arc till it wedged under a wheeled Bainbridge tool cart a step from Narkkid. [describe the cylinder].

The girl twisted, and Narkkid, who still held her feet, crumpled to the floor. The girl rose to a low crouch; her stance wide and her arms out like a bear. Behind and above her, Uma stooped to catch her up like a child picking up an hissing kitten. The girl thrust upward when Uma contacted her. The effort lifted the larger rounder woman off her feet and tossed her into a plastic locker.

No one moved; the girl straightened up. She surveyed the front bay from the back corner over her left shoulder all the way around to Uma’s landing place over her right with a rotation of her head. When Tjon, then Narkkid came directly in her line of view her eyes darted to theirs. For Uma, she tilted her head to see better, then bolted out the garage door and down Honeyfarm Circle past Red Rodney’s.

Narkkid put two fingers in her mouth and whistled. The girl stopped abruptedly and turned. Narkkid waggled the [something characteristic] cylinder in her hand. Even at the distance she was Narkkid could see her lips tighten into a pissed sneer. The scanned up, looking to the sky over the Hartwhile shop.

“Incoming,” Tjon said. When the three looked back to the girl, she was gone.

“Hide it.” Narrkid handed the cylinder to Tjon. “Uma, get up out of there and get back to work on that Shortle’s flit. He wants it before noon.

Narrkid was scooping coffee grounds when the police landed.

350 words on day 886

The Hartwhile Custom Flit and Repair Shop

Working without a net here today. I wanted to extend my Hartwhile Garage story, but I can’t seemt o find it on the web. Not being able to find it means that I’ve never posted it and that it’s lost to the text searching of my root folder here on the computer. Not a difficult task but one which will further distract me from writing. So, no net.

Not recalling the owner or the badger’s names may make me crazy. I swear: I’ll be quick. That was easier than I thought.

Narkkid punched the garage door button with two fingers. The door rose like a stage drape as the hinged metal slats coiled onto a spindel three meters above her. The mechanic stood without stooping as the door chugged past her face. Some mornings an anxious customer witnessed her theatrical opening—most times, not. This morning as the cool outside air rolled into the front bay of Hartwhile Custom Flit and Repair Shop at the twelve o’clock spot on Honey Farm Circle so did a body.

“Tjon? Tjon! Get in here. We’ve got another body.” Something like a badger trotted up to the doorless doorway between the front bay and the big bay. He wore a pocket-riddled green vest; a human-sized Phillips head screwdriver ran down his back in a sheath like a sword.

“That’s the second one in a week,” Tjon said.

“Are we still clean?”

“It’ll just take twenty minutes.” Tjon bounded over to the body and snuffled the nape of the neck.

“And give Uma another half-day with no work,” Narkkid said. “She won’t thank me for that.”

“I don’t think this one’s dead, Kiddi”

Narkkid stopped scowling. “Good then. No police. Uma! Get in here and give us a hand.”

A woman in blue coveralls filled the same doorway like a serving of mashed potatoes. Her hair was thin and white and short; she really needed a hat.

“That’s the second one this week,” Uma said.

“But Tjon says this one ain’t dead.”

“Good then. No police. Want me to give you a hand?”

Narkkid palmed her forehead and rubbed her hand down her face to her chin like an egg. After a moment and without removing her hand she said, “Yeah. I do.”


“Just get the shoulders. I’ll get the feet.” Tjon hopped onto a workbench and began tepping on a monitor.


Uma crossed the arms over the stomach and hoisted the body up from its shoulders. “Where to, boss?”

Narkkid looked over to Tjon.

“Hang on, ladies,” the badger-ish mechanic said without looking away from the screen. “Nothing in the police blotter. Nothing on the news. Let me check craigslist.” Tjon peeked over the monitor at Uma.

“Come on, schab. This…” Uma inspected the body. “…this girl’s heavier than she looks.”

468 words on day 865