A miniskid slides up to your boots. You toss on your duffel and guitar kit and go back to rummaging around the passenger’s side floorboards to find the second of two dead batts you tossed there. Perhaps you’re having trouble finding either of the batts because you’re thinking more about the security for the data-paq you’re couriering: obscurity, stealth, subterfuge, or strong-arm? Or maybe it’s all the food wrappers, the rank and stale sports-bra, and the books getting in your way.
:Yes, there’s one!:
Normally you’d do the obscurity thing without a further thought. It suits your personality and your wallet, but you’re thinking it over anyway. Stealth’s too blown from your ride in. Can’t motor in on a bitchin’ flit like this custom B’bridge and not expect people to notice. You’re too frazzed after the long jump from [planet name here] to bother with the acting that goes along with subterfuge though you could go for some man burning sex-play. Can’t have too many of those notches. Maybe you’ll fit some of that in anyway. That leaves armed guards and an impromptu parade through the core of Okkatu. And endless waiting.
:Screw it. Not waiting. Not after that ride.:
You remove the data-paq from the skid’s safe and stuff it into a day bag with your floorboard trash and laundry.
:There’s the other batt.:
I thought I’d not yet written your deboarding in the hanger, but apparently I had. Maybe I can slot this bit in before that one.
All this mess with Jansa and her mother and Jansa’s drama disabuses me of the joy of theme weeks. Especially if you get a dud—or what you work into a dud. I like the serenity of the Juena character too much to ruin any potential by exploring the hotheaded Jansa further at this time. Theme week ends early this week.
In the housekeeping category I should note that I’ll be out of my usual environs for the weekend and into a more challenging writing situation next week. I’ll do what I can to roll with the change-up, but I think any long time reader of 1000 Days knows whats up ahead for 1KD.
I’d planned to leave off of the shanty thread initially and I will after this brief exception to prove the rule.
You post your black-out welding goggles to your forehead to review your work in real light. The welds tighten better near the end, of course they’re not as crisp as Daddy might have done them, but they’ll work for tonight’s gig. And they’ll hold till you get the gravity guitar back to that shop in Tsarko II.
You untie the leather drape across you face to blow out the bits of slag [find out what thats really called] from the pick-ups. However, eager for a warm-up, you begin tuning her out before taking off your coveralls or gogs.
Much better. That soft G wave tightened up and seems gapped better between the D and the B waves—the E’s not hairy. Your tuner-monitor redundantly agrees with your fingers. A few more strums to be sure everything’s heavy and you grind into “House on Fire” by The Oh Johnny! Girls.
Word count: 286
“Inside. ‘nside. ‘nside. ‘nside. Get. In. Side.” Johnka chased Tritti into the empty red tent. He stumbled to the ground trying not to overrun her with his bulk after she halted abruptly in the entrance. He just lay there in the sand rather than get up.
“What was that?” Tritti knelt to help him up but he invited her to just sit. She crossed her legs and rubbed the sand out of her eyes. The wind pulled loudly at the tent trying to drag it out of it’s moorings like a barking dog straining it’s tether.
“Raish. That was a raish wind. a little early in the season I’d say, but a raish for sure.” Johnka said it like he was trying to convince himself as well.
“I know what a raish is old man. I meant the woman. The woman with the gun.”
“You saw that?”
Tritti nodded tightly as if to ask, ‘How the hell could I not?’
Above the noise of the raish they could hear shopkeepers and patrons alike yelling to get in out of the wind. Curses at the sand for lost income and scattered products out weighed the wailing of a single woman who had just lost her daughter. All Tritti could hear was that woman.
“She was dressed like me. She had hair braided like mine. Anyone not knowing either of us would have thought us sisters–twins maybe.”
“Twins? Certainly not. You are much more beautiful…”
“Stop. Stop it. Just because I can’t figure out who you really are doesn’t make me stupid or blind,” Tritti seethed, “That woman…that woman was trying to kill me. And she would have had you not paused to admire that other girl’s scarf so obviously.” Tritti paused before saying the next thing. She wanted to hear it in her head first to make sure she wasn’t guessing. “You saved my life by helping that woman take that girl’s instead.”
Johnka opened his mouth to explain, but something else came out instead. “Hate me then, but you’re alive.”
“I will. Never doubt that old man. Never doubt that.”