Day 60: The Solex Guy

What has gone before.

It wasn’t a vow. It wasn’t a blessing-grade hres even. It was really more of a technique. Nearly two days into his fast if he just ate this one small slice of lamb, he’d not be throwing that much back up. If he even did get sick.

Gane marveled at how easily his single brain took sides against itself. If you throw it away you are wasting good food–good money. If you eat it you’re being untrue to yourself. You decided not to eat, you can decide when to eat. Yesterday’s Gane isn’t the boss of today’s Gane. [et cetera]

He looks around for an excuse, a starving child, a malnourished traveler, or some other graceful error handling. No out. Then he finds something. A sign. Probably from God. He’s being punished of course: no food or drink in slide car.

Alright that enough of the chatter about Gane fasting. It feels important but not interesting to write and it’s clearly me avoiding getting him over to the spike.

Let’s cut to the chase and get him over there and work out the head stuff later.

Gane’s penultimate stop is in the penthouse. His last in the basement–figures. At least for now he’s in the clean air and bright open room of a wealthier Tacon. That helps, because this is the largest array of solex panels he’s seen in a quarter.

He finishes his tertiary count. He’d expected 1024 but there were 1023 instead. The sun-worshiping Thapes were always one-offing the octals, something about not being too perfect. Tacon’s on the other hand were more practical about their solex: the panels come eight to a box, you can’t buy less than a full box, one-offing means throwing something away. Tacon’s don’t throw anything away they might need later. [something about being out here over the ocean and everything having value].

Gane measures the appropriate amount of silacaine then sifts in the powdered chintal seed. Despite being exactly tied tot he number of panels, the disappointingly near-white silacaine was more than a volumizing agent. It plus the chintal powder together was what powered his blessing.

I’m going to have to think more on blessing-grade hres before I can just hack one out.

Word count: 391

Day 47: The Burlington Northern Santa Fe

I hear the train’s whistle. Distance blends the wail with the depth of night sounds. And the crickets nearer.

My directions to visitors state that I am three miles from where the tracks cross Elm. All ten East/West streets in Crowell are named after trees making four more trees than we have in the city park.

Trains used to stop here. There is a eroded concrete and railroad tie platform as a testament to that bit of Americana. All we get now is the whistle. At two in the morning, the sound is a warning to get out while you still can. All the cars in Crowell and nearly all in Johnsman county have been parked so long the engines are cool. No one is idling at Elm or Oak or Cottonwood waiting for the BNSF.

I try not to imagine that she is though. The top of her once-red Monte Carlo down, June bugs gathering in the headlamps because it’s a long one, her counting graffitied coal cars, and being hypnotized by the gaps between each.

I try not to imagine her putting it back in drive.

[a whole series of stuff not to imagine]

I do try to imagine she’s not dead.

Word count: 198