Day 84: Breaking The Fixer

Not that I have invited many folks over to this site that have then actually come, but I’ve noticed a sharp drop off in my readership stats.  It’s unclear why anyone was reading in the first place, but it makes me a little sad that the numbers are trending downward.  Ah well, it’s really not about you after all.

Gane knelt in front of the solex controller panel, hands comfortably on his thighs.  The acrid incense of silicon and chalpu root stains the sensors orange then ruddy brown.  So far the chanting hres is running without error.

This prayer/code thing is just hanging me up.  I keep choking on the terminology.  Maybe something else instead…

Two rounds vep and spack near Susan’s feet.  At least that’s the sounds she imagines they’d make if only she could hear as fast as the bullets travel.  Vep through the air; spack on the rock.

She chose this vantage, so technically she’s not pinned down.  In fact, their gunfire is a reminder of what she’s doing: waiting.  Waiting these men out.  Ever since Susan’s paid attention she’s noticed that men can’t abide a lack of change.  In fact, in lieu of continual status to remind them that nothing has changed, they’ll assume that it has.  Every time it works against them.

She and Karen were tomboys in grade school surprisingly Karen more than Susan.  The week of the Fourth between 6th and 7th grade they’d been lighting fire crackers and bottle rockets with Mark and Teeter.  More than once a dud would surface.  Initially every one gave them respect and distance, but three or four in that was gone, for the boys.  Mark burnt his hand and numbed his fingers on the last fire cracker he ever touched.  Teeter fell down laughing, Karen cried, and Susan sunk his hand into a cup of iced-tea.  They never could stay patient.

Susan’s last college boyfriend pulled the same thing in their junior year after a big fight.  He’d gotten drunk and danced too close and too long with another girl.  Susan knew it was a stupid fight at the time but couldn’t back down.  Eventually after a week of silent treatment she was ready to get back with him.  When she met with him the next Saturday, he’d already decided she’d broken up with him and more or less moved on.  Nothing had really changed.  She loved him, but since she wasn’t there all week to tell him and sleep with him, he’d gone an decided it was over.

Every time nothing changes, men assume it does.  So Susan lay here in this depression behind a recently fallen tree listening to them call out orders and occasionally vep and spack rounds a few inches above her well camouflaged feet.

Remarkably, beyond that and her general eagerness for them to lose their patience, all she could think of was how enjoyable it was to be hacking out another job here in the jungle.  The terrain was always soft and springy.

Word count: 495