Probably Naked

Writing on the phone again today while the laptop runs a rather lengthy and verbose chkdsk. I’m a little concerned what I’ll find when it finally shows me my desktop. Lots more deleting of index files than I’d have expected to see.

Everyone is sick, getting sick, or helping the sick here at the homestead this past week and weekend. That won’t pass till the end of this week based on past experience. An extra reason to wish Friday a speedy arrival.

I’m going to transcribe a bit of recent conversation rather than create anything ad hoc this morning.

Husband and wife have just been watching Apollo Anton Ohno win a bronze in some version of short track speed skating. Wife ducks her head to play Scrabble on her phone while husband continues his TV trance. A promo for the upcming and seriously dull ice dancing comes on.

“This would be more fun to watch if they were naked,” he says.

She doesn’t look up. “Speedskating?”


Quickly working backwards through what she’s just watched but still not looking up for context, “Ski jumping?”

“Noo. Ice dancing.” Trying not to imagine naked speed skating or that Swiss phenome planked out in the air getting 20 more feet than any other jumper the husband goes on to say, “Probably they’d all be more fun naked.”


A Broken Silence

Day 446

The four day stale snow covered the land like a tattered blanket or corpses on a battle plain. Overnight chill froze the horse-trod slush in the roadway and crusted the still white lumps under the shadowed firs. The sun may have risen or it may still be mired in the horizon. Either way, grey clouds had hammered the earth shut in a dim lit coffin.

Back from the empty serf-road Jora squated to see below the branch-line. A small dark-metalled dagger appeared in her hand. If you hadn’t been just hovering over the narrator’s shoulder you’d be dead now. Jora ranged ahead of her three sisters scouting. Sometimes she waited for them to catch up and sometimes she traveled back to them. She waited.

In this weather Jora’s ears picked out voices in the distance with preternatural ease but the clarity cheated distances and timing. Jessa, Jemma, and Jia arrived later than Jora anticipated. Jia clomped down the road because she just didn’t give a shit. She could kick your ass if needed too.

Jora scowled at Jia. The youngest sister gave Jora the finger but hushed her tromping and jumped the ditch to join the other three gathered in the grass and frost.

Jessa, the oldest, gestured for Jora to share her scouting.

Jora shrugged a silent ‘all clear’.

“Then why are we being so fucking quiet here?” asked Jia. Jemma elbowed her. Jia replied with, “Cut that shit.”

“Maybe the gypsies will share their coffee. Right now you need to hush,” Jessa said, “How far to the camp? I’ve been smelling their cookfires for a while now.”

300 Meters Backline

Day 437

Expert training dulled Bradford’s instinctual reaction to wheel like a barracuda at flashing metal, but he did round the mains forward to bring the Jack Rabbit to a contemplative hover after 300 meters. In the first two days following their initial incursion patrols had picked up a handful of refugees—even less combatants. Every effort since had been bust.

Considering all the possible options Bradford realized he’d have to investigate on the ground. “Crap.”

“[Bradford’s call sign to ‘base’]”

“[This is ‘base’, Continue]”

“See my vector?” Bradford gave the operator time to swig some coffee to wash down the donut he’d heard in her voice. “Body on the ground 300 meters backline. Port. Returning to investigate on foot.” Bradford waited while the operator came to the same conclusion why he was exiting the aircraft personally.

“Understood. Human?” Bradford thought a moment.

“80% affirmative.”

OK thats all I could write before I got totally sucked in figuring out the radio chatter.