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The Mere Tide

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  #181  
Old 01-15-2018, 03:33 PM
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("...no not even an audiobook, a text reader..." replied the goblin adding "...you know how often you come across a youtube stream and it's a machine reading the text there, they're quite good in fact, but because the text is not designed for the app, many glitches abound still, whereas if the author had the app in mind there would be none I imagine, and then hundreds more people would be wanting to be read to using it...", somehow it just seemed like the future of reading is this busy age)

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  #182  
Old 01-15-2018, 06:48 PM
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I gave a listen to a few and I really dont like them. I think the computerized monotone does a real disservice to the style and would do so to anything but a technical manual so I cant see myself using them. Maybe Ill try and find another way to reach a broader audience. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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  #183  
Old 01-15-2018, 06:52 PM
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I use VoiceDream to listen to my text spoken. Itís good for catching typos. Otherwise, like Blue says, itís flat and boring


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  #184  
Old 01-15-2018, 07:09 PM
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i didnt do it, except

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  #185  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:52 PM
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And we are back with a massive post so I think maybe no updates for two or so weeks? Aye? Aye. I didnt want to break it up because with the exception of the opening scene its a coherent whole without any break. I did manage to work up a decent sized buffer. Ive got a hundred page buffer now and we are up to page 70 thus far. I'm actually using size 6 font with an 8x11 page size



Dachni woke to a dryness she knew would not last. She threw off the duvet and seized when the fabric brushed her foot and it was this total shock of body that kept her from soiling the bed. She recovered limbmeal and when she had regained some tenuous control she rolled off the bed and searched for a place to pee. Nothing presented itself. And so what receptacles. A gold chalice and were it the ark of the covenant it would have made no difference. She hop rushed to it with the first drops beginning to leak and plopped down and let loose a long stream.

Awuuuh, she sighed in pained relief. And too soon and her cup overfloweth. She stoppered herself with a pinky and put the brimming cup aside and hopped like some bandylegged victim to an urn. She unlidded it and squatted and let out the scorching water. It made a splattering sound like the sound rain makes on mud. With the voiding of that worry a new concern disquieted her and she cast about the panoply of arcana for that artifact not inaugurated among their number. She stood still dripping and hopped to the bed holding up the flannel pajamas she did not remember donning. The bed was empty. She looked at the door and the door opened. It was the pilot.

Ye lefted! Dachni raged.

I made breakfast.

The pilot set two enormous gold patens on the bureau and lifted their lids. Good American breakfasts. Thick prime rib and full eggs. Grits. Porcelain cups filled with orange juice and spiked with vodka. Dachni couldnt see them through her anger. Couldnt hear the meat sizzling. Smell the oily aroma.

Quitted! Ye quitted!

The pilot smiled. She crossed the room and pulled up the child's pajamas and retied the drawstring and lifted her up and bobbed her and gave an affectionate lick along the underside of her jaw.

Uck, groaned Dachni wiping her face.

The pilot kissed her again. You need shoes.

And here is Dachni jouncing along in a truck huddled haybird shy against the passenger door. Verily lapped to it as though pressed upon by an invisible force and bleeding the while the last vestiges of a terrified huff. In the long ascent from the chamber her breakfast had gone untouched and she ravaged it now. Rupturing the yellow boil of the fetus and sopping up the goo with the grits and stripping the meat from the t-bone with her teeth.

You were hungry.

Her eyes darted wolfishly to the pilot. She occupied stately the majority of the cab. Her legs tucked under herself and her arms in her robes in the manner of the Chinese or in her manner.

Dachni shrunk further.

Its alright. Its a good thing.

Gowbs dat, she mouth round the soggy bolus of potato and beef.

Well, said the pilot taking the air and a brief manual control of the wheel, you starve yourself when youre upset.

Doesnt do it.

The pilot cracked her neck. Left. Right. She released the wheel and it stayed their course. Ok.

Dachni nibbled at the bone. A greasy ring of juice had formed around her mouth. She said: If ye soy sauce her good its eggs.

I see.

Ith kay.

She stopped her chamfering to dislodge gristle lipes from between incisors. Sliding a stained thumbnail between them and then reaching further back to unstuck meat wedged between molars. Tilting her head upwards mouth agape and performing quick rotary motions at the wrist.

Help?

Ohnt gih out, she muttered. Gout.

A front wheel dropped into a pothole about as she was saying gout and the mispronunciation yelped forth more mangled as her teeth clapped on her thumb.

Guhagammit, she cursed sucking at the little row of imprints in her skin.

This pickup was no pauper's transport. The sleek design fresh from the printers and the careful minds of aerodynamicists. At rest it could levitate up to ten feet and in motion had four feet of clearance. The interior was a picture of luxury. Tempered windows. Heated seats. A HUD display built into the windshield and cameras with proximity alarms. Everything that moved doing so with a grace bordering on arrogance. And backed by warranty even in this wicked age as Jason Coke of the Lighthouse Gazette dubbed it. Among other features it had passenger side airbags and when Dachni first touched her bony rump to the bonded leather the onboard AI had warned that airbags were a peril to small children and with Dachni's hurt and totter it advised she don a seatbelt and as after her initial recovery of its existence she hissed not dissimilarly from her hissing now: Fick ye stringey cock khist.

Parental controls being enabled the AI had the personality of a nanny and in the posh tone of such proceeded to chastise the child.

Language missy. Or Ill roll down the windows and you can have your breakfast cold. A woman's voice. Moral indignation sharp in the inflection. You could almost hear its heels click. It habited so far as was discernible a screen inset in a board of jewels polygonal not aglitter but aglow and so a location and so a personality and so an offense.

Kill that fuckin thing. How does ye kill it?

Did you pick her manners out of a pig trough?


The pilot chuckled a dark pluming mirth out her sides.

How can you find this funny? demanded the AI. Juvenile services will have a lifelong ward if she doesnt acquire at least a semblance of civility. Why the church wouldnt have her. And if she is to have any prospect, economic or marital or any at all then these egregious tendencies have to be curtailed.

Yull git last irvices ye keeps talkin.

Whoever heard of an AI obeyed a truculent. To elders and AI respect. That will take you the long way in life. And dont forget I control all functions of this vehicle. And to exhibit this power it twighted the wheel a sharp port then starboard but the pilot digging one talon into the rubber of the wheel countered that though the artificiality believed in its own autonomy yet it did nothing of its own accord for it was slaved to the drive which it did not choose and in any case could be overridden by button or word and that other than a few cases of self-driving cars inexplicably ramming themselves into trees or failing to brake at intersections it was the prevailing opinion of programmers systemwide that so limited a construct was incapable of discovering suicide.

The pilot leaned across the seats. Which is the key to it all.

Herghp, Dachni grunted. She looked at the AI but the AI had no retort. She stripped the last gelatinous fascia from the bone and stored it in the side panel pocket and licked the paten clean and stored it there too. She belched lowly and slowly unflattened from the door.

Dachni.

What?

Anaya reached behind the seats and fetched a water bottle and cloth. Hands out.

Dachni hid her hands behind her back. Fored what?

Youre a mess.

Irr the mess.

Heartbeat thy grubby feelers are slathered in the residue of cattle and fetus fowl and howevermuch their odor pleases tables they do indeed mark incivility elsewhere. Regard them.

Her fambles to regard. Slathered in myoglobin sheens and a barkdust of wet carbon. Tiny bits of grits like fly eggs and slivers of grime refuged under the blue tinted and rippled awnings of her nails. Appendages to whats? To gnarl perhaps with arthritis' aid into the roots of junipers. She wiped them in her hair.

Anaya laughed. Vaik. Ga goshga, megii. Come here. She uncapped the bottle and wet the rag and wrung it and the polysynthetic floor absorbed the spill into the vehicle's mechanical bladder that discharged then the waste onto the road. Dachni glared at the smooth dry floor. At her hands.

Aintint that dirty, she said.

Resent not what cant have pride. Those prideful have already learned. And who would they suspect broke them low?

A desolate guffaw croaked out the pilot that raised the dire horripilate out the child's pale scars. The pilot scooted near and took her hands and scrubbed the sear paste from her palms and between her fingers and nails with the altogether contradictory deliberateness of grief. Streams of dark water pooled on her fingerpads and broke into a charcoal rain. Steak juice was rinsed out the knotty tangles of her hair and her pale cheeks were daubed and for the soot it looked as though she wept the resin of the void.

All this Dachni endured in childish squirm murmuring guttural protestations but when Anaya had finished and moved to return to her side of the cab she found herself dragging the child with.

She smiled warmly and Dachni kneaded her forehead into her side, her eyes tight down. Is ye doned?

The pilot flicked her nose playfully. Doned. One more thing.

What?

Mouth open.

Why?

Anaya vexed her with a smile. Dachni with a mumbling growl of uncertainty and the pilot strummed her lips to make a long blubbery sound. She flinched back. Ey.

Hello heartbeat. Mouth open. Come on.

Her mandible creaked ajar. Instantly a talon was thrust through the gap and in a deft swipe pulled out again. Kekt aye, she sputtered. But there was a relief in her jaw and as she massaged her mouth she saw on the tip of the talon held before her the meat.

Better?

She nodded shivering in her outsized clothes, her threadbare skin. Maybis. The front of her shirt was a contorted mess for all the wrong mismatch of buttons to the wrong slits but it was so huge on her it made no difference. She played with it. Folding the placket back and twisting it up.

Are you cold?

Its pretted cold, she said suddenly hugging herself.

The pilot loosened her robes and opened them in a gesture of reception.

She looked in at the nest then at the pilot. Yer coldest all.

The pilot smiled and pressed a button marked by curling line rises on the dashboard and adjusted the vents as the recycled air was shunted out and blasted through the cab. Hot benediction of engine breath, warmed by twelve cylinder's gallop.

Its warm!

Aye, said the pilot. Better now?

Aye aye. Dachni warmed her hands in the jetstreams and marveled at numbness' yield to a burning in her fingers. Is reallied warm. She knelt on her good leg and bridged the dashboard with an arm and investigated the vent slits. Airs ta fire?

No fire.

Bellshit. Howta hell...she poked about, blinking against the dry desert gust. She closed the vent making of the slats lamellar visors and opened them again but there was no fire. She glanced back at the pilot and caught some sad infection in her repose.

Yer wronged?

Daily.

Not yer wronged. Yer...yer...whats wrong?

Nothing.

Dachni shoved off the dashboard into an almost graceful pivot on the ball of her heel and dropped to a knee and reached out and stopped. Like a child caught in theft. Her fingertips trembling in a space an inch from the pilot. They tightened almost into a fist but before they could withdraw long sickles curled round her arm and for a moment they were locked as if in greeting and then Anaya drew her caressingly towards the grotto of her robes. The child went warily and in fumbling lentor flipped into the nest of her lap and fussed at her robes until she had hid herself behind a halfdozen sashes.

Mm, she mumbled into the wool.

I know.

Mmm.

Night fell in through the windows and snow soundless but with a tone, a melody in its reticent and cambered trajectories of descent gloomed a without the headlights paled two bores in.

What heaventhroned elegist keeps the weathers? Who proves his muse? Who his awe? Has he the expressionist a manifest wherein he stores the tempest's wrath and the days of benevolent blue? How is he moved to rain? Is thunder the disturbance of a temper or lightning his shrive? He keeps his counsel he holds the tides and whispers through the balmy sweet secrets of their spume and elsewhere makes desolate the taiga with the cuckold's fears and dread the misted winter air of dawned portents at a windlass fair and is it more the grass blade or the locust he addresses or who is the Judas amongst birds birds that conspires to his end and who wiser to his wiles the mariner or the landsman?

The pilot struck a sulfur match and flame blued to yellow and she lit her her pipe and soon was exhaling out her operculum the smoke of myrrh. Dachni nestled sleepily. The glow from the instruments painting her the delft of blue like a sorrowful madonna. The lids to her eyes fluttered and her breathing shallowed but before the sopor the narcohypnia and would she awaken? And something waiting in the down below. Fetor lingered of a whatsit night hag orange of mine and Aryan eyes. Untrussed or a wrinkled hide save for a visage lecherous and butcherbrown nag paps. A dismal witch leaking magical cellulitis out a cloudy catheter and her mound puffed out by an enormous douche. Who would meet such a figure in dreams or out? Who sharpened her mudhooks with such avid intent.

Isses pretty farred ride.

Twenty minutes until we reach out destination, informed the AI.

Mute the AI, said the pilot. She looked at the child. Its going to be a little while yet. We cant go to Matraple.

Whos Matrapull? Whats Matrapull.

Its the town up from the lake.

Oh.

The pilot scritched her spine and she straightened halfalarmed and settled back.

Mm, she moaned discomfortedly.

Why did you do it?

What?

Why did you stab that girl?

Was ye knowed her?

I saw the spunky little brat atimes in town. Why did you
do it?

Never ded. Not far cause ta brung em to.

Why lie? Ive gived the wergild. Youre in the clear.

The what?

I paid them for the injury.

Dachni seized the pilot's scapular. Ye did leave!

Answering my door is leaving?

But ye lefted!

Its not far off.

Et tooked most an houred ta get down.

Not that long and besides theres a hole in all those floors and a rope.

A rope?

Youll need a ladder. No an elevator. Ill show you when we get back.

Aint goin back.

Dachni.

An it wasnt asked ta ya to do none of that.

The pilot massaged her scalp. Dont be muly. Twas your gratitude first won me. Dont destroy that. Dont efface that. Even in anger. Her hand slid down her face, lingering upon her lips, to the thready pulse quivering the shallow wem of her neck and traced it to those chambers she said were but brides.

And maybe thou art in doubt of your beauty but what star ever shone upon one glorious as you? Cosmic majesty is bluster and envy to your smile. Aye the planets would stumbled at your glance and turn themselves trinket to adorn your wrist. Jupiter his giant eye would wink and blush pole to pole at his forwardness and Mercury would forsake his near radiance as dull and scorn evermore the star's lashes and vie with his lusty neighbor for you attentions. Never go out at night, you would move the moon to woo. Roses will wither in despair to see how more worthy you are in spring blossoming and never cross the Pacific for the glistening spangled slivers of the surfaced sunlit sea shall stagnate when seeing drop the dew of your sorrow wistful under the gaze of tongue tied eternity. What rains on you rains vainly, what lash could mar the scarlet soul that aches Orion's heart? That worries the clouds booming before thee unrequested heralds. And youll be a saint a day kings pilgrim to. And every failed hope fulfilled and courage beyond childhood's imaginings, wilder than the first crowned prince's first caparisoned charger heady and snorting pride and tempered brave by fear endured and every hope you will fulfill whilst timshel shell whisper from beyond the sill.

Dachni looked up at her, mulling a fold in the robe. Ok.

Anaya laughed. Her laugh faded. Well then. Are you sorry?
No.
Did you wish she was dead?

Yes.

Well you severed her brachial plexus. She wont be tipping that stetson anytime soon.

Dachni wrapped her arms tight in the robes. Never meaned ye trouble.

I know.

Whats then ta hap?

I told you, nothing. Were you upset?

No.

Why then?

She kept...the child trailed off. She could find no reason. Could not recall her sense at the time. Or any sense. The scenes of that night, the night before still images. A procession of sequence as though through painted glass up unto the deity of wind.

Has ye ever seed Yandvilai. Seen him?

A sharp series of pains lanced across her breast for the involuntary twitch of a hand.

Ow, she said wincing an eye closed.

How said I to say that name? said the pilot.

Ye dont git ta dictate who lieves what.

Dictate.

Aye.

Where did you learn that word?

Dachni pulled at the pilot's thumb. From you.

The pilot lifted her talons to her chin. Touched the bridge of her nose.

Ye told it much.

Thats so. From whence comes the query?

Yandi? Has ye seen him?

No.

He was here.

What did you see?

He was a...a...they aint words towards it. But it was him. It was. Hes in the wind.

Far away sky and earth shimmered in sporadic gray achromaticity like a sterile sun doffing a mask. Dachni thought it lightning but feeble and thunderless. Meeker lightning never seen, gelded, and a mock of stars. A buzzing accompanied it. Not like the wasps she had heard, that raised blisters or rent the skin but not unlike them either and dislike them in its electrical byss. The dawn flickered. A hard gray that skipped over the horizon and in a few minutes landed sterile day upon them.

Es gotted kinder light, said Dachni.

The pilot smiled a sad smile. Tis a cold ash gray night and it isnt dawn.

Dachni snuffled and smushed her nose against the pilot to relieve an itch. Ifn tell tell right. Is lettely light. Toe never was no queerer sunbreak.

Tis a false dawn. Tis a satellite grid called Half-Night. This is its third test run. A delegation from Hokkaido was invited to observe the stress trials. These will be the new mornings and everything still over its shadow.

What?

Look out. Look out on the things that are made.

Dachni gathered the strength drowsiness had sapped and
holding to the pilot pulled herself up and searched out any falsity in the day. Scanning the terrain with its rags of snow and distant trees. But it was not there. And yet something unright in the leaden serge overhead.

Dont see it.

The horizon.

She pressed her face to the glass. Outside farms, orchards, wineries. Subtly illfit to their shapes like a dour mask. The road ruts. The fallen snow shining gray and fissile the gray of slate or the static radiation leaves on filmstrip. Farther out the perceptible brink of the world was shrouded in pluvial darkness. She shook her head.

Nothins diffint. Or not too diffint.

What direction is that?

She scratched her bow with her thumb and the hand turned up. Well, she said sagely. Its mornin an its light so thats gotta be east.

The horizon. Whats there. Whats of it?

Dachni located that thin meridian. Not far away and quivering and then where what masons of maya have mured the skysill with sable ramparts.

Its! Its!

Thats south. Thats south of us.

She looked east into the plumb of undawn. She searched for the source of this impostrous day but there was no point to deduce it from.

Whats wrong? What happened? Was the sun? Did it die? It died! It died dinnit it? It died!

Dachni scampered about the cab in her panicked digestion of revelations and puzzlements. Cycling back and forth on two limbs like the most maimed of dogs until Anaya intercepted her and fitted her into the cradle of her lap. She squirmed as if in agony and shouted but the sharp talons at breast and belly pawed her calm and she mustered a bravery against the gravity of such apocalypses.

Tis not the world end, said the pilot.

Then what? But real morning. Whens gonna real the morning?

Not for another two hours.

Thats nothin rights, she moaned.

Tis quite the crime.

Ifs not the end then what is?

Do you mean what is it?

She shook her head as though to clear the misreckoned phrases and resort the jumbula of words. Aye.

Tis order's immutable advance. Men save evil for times of evil. Or to put it plainly that which is suitable for the dark is endeavored in the dark. Ostensibly this experiment hopes to reduce that time in the hopes of reducing the perpetration. Nothing of the sort will happen, in fact quite the opposite which may well be their aim. Who knows who would benefit from the proliferation of lycanthropy.

The pilot's face sobered in the telling of these things. As if more than knowing what would come to pass had foreseen passes that would come. She looked down suddenly.

Hows your foot?

Its a turibil hurts.

The pilot cupped the injured foot and massaged it feathery through the bindings.

Ahead a riotous covey flowed across the road like a diarrehtic movement squealing wild otherworldly squeals. Stubsnouted ungulates with shitbrown flanks stenched of the slop trough.

Where did you want to go?

Away, Dachni spoke as softly, as sadly.

Where was away?

The grad.

The last of the swine crossed and the clutch sucked back ghostly on its own and the stick shifted into first and the truck pulled away.

The pilot felt the tip of each purple toe, applying pressure until the child winced.

Ill take you in the fall.

No.

You dont want to go anymore?

Dachni shook her head. She closed the robes round her face so that the v it form was based upon her lips. Gonna loned.

You want to be alone?

Dont wanna talk ta nobody.

Theres going to be about half a hundred million
somebodies to talk to in the grad.

No.

What then?

Dachni began to cry. Not you.

The pilot let her foot down and held her, rubbing her arm. Arent we all over that?

No. Nobody would. You wouldnt.

I have.

Ye werent nothin ta mad over.

Do you really believe that?

Dachni stifled her little sobs and wiped her eyes and buried herself in the robes.

Ive let it all go. What do you want me to say?

Dachni's lips parted in a snarl. You know what ye...what ye...

The truth is twas the barrenness of thy faith that betrayed me.

This dumbfounded the child. Wha-what?

The pilot said it again.

Hell does that mean?

The pilot sighed as though on the rim of tears and hugged her. Lets not talk of this now. I wanted this to be a good day for you.

Dachni wrestled to get free. Her eyes seamed tight. Its rottenest shit day.

Dont say that.

Wanna go away. Aint stayin.

You have to stay a little while. You cant go anywhere on that foot. And I said Id take you in the fall. You wont get there any faster and thats if you were to make it at all. Listen. Theres a bounty on your head for thirty thousand dollars.

Ye saided ye paid it.

For Emily. But what about your Ural girls?

Dachni's vision swam. She clapped the back of her skull and let out a loud moan. Jess go, she groaned. Jess go.

They went. Some minutes later a plower surfaced out of the dark. Sprinkling salt and sneezing hydraulic exhaust. Its angled blade spuming thick white waves onto the roadside banks. Ahead of it the edge of the light flickered across the terrain.

Is it gonna go? she muttered hatefully.

Very soon. The last time they had to abort over Astrakhan. Heinkel predicted this would be the first completely successful run but it seems theres some damaged bulbs.

The plower grew larger. The sprinkler whipped out its carousel of salt. The mudflaps white with splatters of brine.

Dachni lifted her chin. Whatta bout it? Is buddies kere?

Automated. Everything here is automated.

Means programs?

Aye.

Some miles up at a crossroads the plower turned right and they kept on the straight path. Dachni watched it lumber idiotically out of sight. She shut her eyes and scraped her cheek with her palm scabs and felt her ears. Newly bandaged, the incipient cicatrix painted with iodine. When she opened her eyes again the grid had shifted north and she could see as few on earth ever had so fast an advance on the ponderous and inscrutable dark.

Two more miles and the truck slowed at a bridge to allow sheep to cross. Wool cirrus shuffling along the sidewalk trotted along by a few dogs. Harried shepherds bringing up the rear. They had a strange gait as thought they werent used to their bodies. They clutched their crooks in trepidatious hail of this new order oversweeping all and while they watched the definable line of light shot past and in the inch wide hemorrhage of gray twilight the headlights flared on.

Peoples, Dachni gasped half ducking from sight. Is they
peoples?

Shepherds, said the pilot.

But peoples.

They might be machines too.

Programs aye? Would it be a think?

The pilot rolled down the window and the warmth of the
cab was quickly evacuated. Hello.

Allo, said the herdsmen.

Doan talk to em. Dachni hissed from under the robes.

What are you two? the pilot inquired.

Dachni peered out between the sashes. The shepherds looked at themselves. At their matched gray overcoats. They didnt know. They said it was the first interrogative ever they had been posed and all their lives a haze.

Non in utero, said the pilot.

The shepherds professed ignorance.

She smiled curiously. How long have you shepherded these flocks?

The taller shepherd, a man of gray stubble, and Roman physique looked to his flock. All my life, he said in the accent of the deaf.

How long has your life been?

He stared blankly.

Is that your voice?

My voice? he said touching his throat.

Well talk later, she said and rolled up the window. She ordered the AI onwards and it shifted into gear and pulled away. The road beyond the bridge wasnt pavement but a tousled clay a high cream color like beachsand and rimed corn formed its rails. Labarums flapped from the roadsigns.

Haupt, piped the child.

Chair?

Haup haup. Up! Ta see!

Ah. The pilot put her knees together and shifted the child upon them and drew in her legs and in so doing boosted the child to a better vantage.

Dachni held the doorsill and looked through the window but save for distant blooms shining through the heads of corn it was all dark.

Is that a see?

Its country. Its land.

Whats yor see? Does ye see anythin?

The pilot's head inclined low and left. Her irises shifting, widening as they drank in dark and flowed as though over contours.

Well? Sye seed saided. Said yer see.

I see rich dala. Loam long and fuscous.

Whats fuskus? Uscous?

A color brownish gray.

How can ye tell that?

Maybe I dont see it but I know its there.

What else?

You lither soul than me. Good chernozem.

Dachni pinched an eye closed. Say right. Quet sayan all that.

As thou wishes. What do I see? I see seeders sowing Calico and Schrieffer brands of winter wheat. I see their harvests and in them the flour sacks that will become the loaf and the pastry. Can you hear them?

Thats thuhs kinder thunder?

Aye. And those pale auras, canst thou see them?

Aye. Theys fuckin up the world.

And what way should the world be?

Not this way.

What way was it ever?

Dachni fumbled with her poet collar. She tucked her good
leg beneath her, forgetting she was aloft and her toes brushed the pilot's belly where it aught not and she jerked them away. Esset sposed sun fore mornin, she said quickly. Firstlies.

Are you still Catholic?

She fumbled with her buttons. Hassint churched, she confessed. It were a kindered le. About priesties bein old ta trip. Nevered priested an werdent no church.

I know.

Her fingers spasmed all discombobulated and she pushed herself an inch over the ledge of the pilot's knees and slid into her lap.

Well yer posed ta tellis ems.

True I am to do so.

Ye can say how ye wons. Yer times prettied kinder by yer voice.

Instantly her cheeks flushed and she covered her head in the robes.

The pilot pulled back the wool and laid a doting kiss upon her crown. Well. What do I see? Ist possible this see be any way other? Here is the truth. What I see cannot change but what I see in it is infinitely modifiable.

Essent that way now?

How should I know what I see? Should I say I see the logomaniacism of autodidactic sediment? Or the implausible sprent of possibility? Or a hyperdefined reality screeching down iron rails.

Dachni peeked out again. Ta what?

The pilot smiled and in a thespial outboard gaze appropriate to woe ignored her. I see crakes. I see sandgrouse and swans. Miracles watering at lakes glaciers didnt leave. Those are heated lakes. Look at them. They steam.

Caint see out.

But were she able she would seen it was indeed true, the illrounded pots did steam and there were likewise the birds alluded to.

They teem with fish. And what fear have they of drought? If these oases dry tis no matter for in their parched beds the eggs of catfish, soon pike and bream, can survive fifteen years. Beyond them aqueducts carry water. Pipes could carry it but you cant see pipes. The festooned arcades are like galleries and through them are offered windows to the hip of heaven and earth. What is lost is no longer lost forever and in their resurrection is the tacit acknowledgment of a folly and a willingness to rectify it.

In this man is become as a gardener. He sees what can be gardened and knows himself as such a thing. He steads himself. He esteems what is good. The childish indulgence in weakness flies. He recognizes himself in the things he cultivates. He knows it is from the loins of the leaf vein that bids his sprung heart face the sun. Aye when Gigphaii peered into the bark it was the warrior himself stared back. This humility towers over the narcissistic hedonism of youth. And gratitude born of knowledge that this reality decayed out of nothing. It is not meaningless because nothing could have become anything or that there are infinite possibilities realized in infinite realities and that these realities will in their time each return to nothing to become another anything. Meaning is in the beingness.

Reciprocity reigns. If I can hurt I can be hurt. Land has been set aside for the cultivation of medicinal herbs. It doesnt matter that altruism is not the sole motivating factor for their cultivation for even selfishness is born out of fear and a hope and a trust. Otherwise wherefore hospitals?

There are watermelons. Fat melons with fat bands like the reports of electrocardiograms. Rows of broccoli, carrots, fields of berries after their kind. Alfalfa. Deep green, a touch of waxy brightness to the leaves. Miles of sugarcane. Red leaved shaking in the early breeze like an army of spears preparing to sweep antiquity away. How many cups of tea will they sweeten? Besides I see tobacco, marijuana, poppy. Neighbors all to potatoes. I know with the ambiguous sense of disconcerted comfort that vice abides. But maybe those plats arent so big now. But then there are many other plats laid to fallow.

Alas the soul leaps perennial. Oh its a pleasure. They have plagued the vistas with roses. Flowerheads that could plug the bores of howitzers and maybe they have finally contrived a gaudy rose but what a delight of tulips and bonnet. In flowers Ive always seen hope. No matter what Ive said. The hope is in their beauty. The senseless beauty beautiful for its own sake. Strangest of all are pineapples. Blue bracted, hided oddly like ovoid formations of testudo. The ability to create that which has the power to bewilder the creator is the most precious gift of all. Man having achieved wonders not least of all because of its dreamers.

The pilot sighed deeply and sank into the seat. And yet in this exuberant lushness I see the eye critical of his jejunity, his sparseness, his absence. But not his sternness. Not the wild economy of his hurricanes. Not the prodigal waste, the viral concupiscent paroxysms of war. In desolation's amending to fitness for stock and staple there is indeed an indictment that the word was insufficient, that god was too affined to hell. Aye twas Lucifer was the favored angel gived reign of three quarts the world. But then what? What do I see? The meteorological mastery of the world is a spite of nature. I see the way astronomers see, telescoping the redshift, how the chemical reactions rewind through hubris, continual triumph's disease, resolve's rust into hope tempered in despair by the hundreds of millennia of merciless clawing of knowledge out reality's iron with bloody fingerbones and oft dug to through leagues of dead even to reach the iron and the naming preceded by the unspeakable horror, the sight, and always steeped unshod in endless folly and disgrace and the irresistible tendency towards oblivion that will seems powerless to overcome save that it is wedded to blind chance and charity and then back again inversely inverting in cycles epochs long to the singularity when the two great pillars of death and sentience slammed upon the shoulders of man and got its hook in the eye sockets and before even that the delicate lace of fossils through time to the first fragile bestowal of life.

Neither does this rework of surfaces or skies strike as a rejection of the chalice of the grace but rather a seizing of the mantle of the staff. Here is the salvage of a slaughter god. Man has despoilt the spirit of the dawn with orbiting sheets of lightbulbs. As if to say you are no longer the christener of the day. Men will say what is good but the announcement for all its pride is not malice to the core. Its to say we too are of nature. What hollows the atrium warps the sun wind. Were old enough now. You made us too in your image. Retire now among your star crowds and come a day when we are old and by our hearth nodding under the reading lamp you may decide to make our epigraph true: take these our ancient bones and again make us new.

Thass a lotta see.

Tis but to thee: Man hath assumed of god his brutal austerity. But not his immutability. And our enemies too have forged their deity. Or demon. A sickly decrepit titan of rust bleeding acid sap and slouching forth cold and fevery. These are the goliaths due to war, man gainst demon for rule of all.

A few minutes passed in silence.

Haupt, piped the child again.

Why dost thee fife?

The child didnt know. Or neologism distinct from the Germanic definition, germane to sick slumber. Far ahead bands of light were falling through the hard bars of trees and she pointed it out.

Es getted ta dawn again.

Nein, said the pilot shaking her head. Thats a logging camp.

And indeed workmen. Tranced, wallowing in the tsimmes, their sleek augments reflecting in the play and counterplay of lamps and carnival flares searing their shadows to the ground so that they appeared chiaroscuro harlequins or pixelated digita let loose upon the physical realms. Metal dretches shouldering timbers in teams and loading them into waiting flatbeds. Communicants supping horilka out of a jorum. A welder was cutting pipes to length with a plasma torch and the strings of sparks screamed out like tentacles nerved to a malfunctioning brain. As each pipe fell divided another would take them up and plier burrs offs the fresh ends. Skid cats hogged the road, their blared foghorns parting the shuffling clumps of laborers, their tracks roaching up all sign of their going and leaving fat sipes for wheels to rock and the massive floodlights mounted upon the rollbars boring caves in the dark. A heavy industrial reek polluted the air. Acrid and sweet and slightly intoxicating. The clearing with its havoc great root crowned stumps was like a junkyard for the the thrones of kings.

As they drove up a rangy sloomed hide bobcat accumbent on the roof an operating caterpillar and the moonshine of its eyes followed them with slight interest. Strings of oil drenched horses were being led down the road like sordid refugees and the branch of Sawyers who led them would not one survive the first skirmish of the coming war. Deep in this hurlyburly shined a mill like a chapel and the shrill scream of the saws hewed the night light an electric parish. Outside a tower yarder rose and crazed men, mast monkeys displaced in time, ascended in heavy gear and others sat fishing for hats with their tape measurers, letting the long yellow blades down with bobs and a hook at the end that would snag upon any unsecured headgear and then zip back up into their chrome cases.

Dachni the while was ducked away crying: Peoples! Theys peoples! And cursing the pilot as a traitorous sunuvabitch. Theyre folks!

Yes there are.

What if what if...

They dont know you.

The truck hovered along the shoulder for it had been decreed construction and salvage had right of way and the pilot noted the oddity of categorizing the industry of lumber as salvage.

Gotta git outta here.

Were going.

She tugged frantically at the pilot's sleeves. Leeeeve.

And so they did. Drove clear of the yard unto hills from which more distant hills were visible by the simple lamps hung from house flagpole or bracer. Wood huts with wattle and daub paddocks built into the slopes out which sounded a bleating confusion shepherds tried to repress.

Go back, seethed the child.

Were here.

Aldmost air?

Harter.

What?

Look.
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  #186  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:23 PM
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A dark quixotry of a town towards which the rising road wound. The HUD highlighted the outlines of the buildings a muted orange and as they entered the suburban purlieu on Amos Street it highlighted the streetlamps and the neighborhood mail drop and the trashcans, the headlights sliding along the curb and storm drains and spilling onto the picket fences and manicured lawns or courtyards of cinder or brick fitted with the high colored gates favored by the slavic race. Like small keeps. The motion sensors activating lights as they passed.

It is a fairly accurate indicator of a race the means in which it attempts to seal itself away from the outer world. The slavs constructing the most pregnable fortresses.

At the Morganstein residence they turned right. The lights were on but it is the matriarch who roams the empty rooms. Member of the wandering usurers who'd snuck her family out of Vels to seek asylum and who would be recycled a month after the official declaration of hostilities.

Dachni was tugging on the steering wheel, trying with all her strength to alter their course, the wimpish strata of muscles raising hardly even off the bone, but the AI had decoupled the wheel from the steering column and their course maintained and when Dachni could pull no more she scampered down into the legspace and covered her head.

At the intersection of Parker and Camera they stopped as the law obliged them and turned towards the center of town. Puddles of lamplight ambered the snow. They passed a gymnasium. The marquee outside announced news showings at seven. They passed an outdoor pool tarped over. An indoor pool. The splooshing of the dives audible from within. The lifeguard's whistle. There was the town school, a library of an annex on a side and fields for track or baseball on the other. Some balance of the athletic and scholarly arts. Farther on refugees like mangled refuse laxated out along the railtracks dividing town. A foul smelling line of the haggard and plastic wrapped competing to nauseate the downwind with the hoggy reek of Pruitt's swine slaughter across from the station house and the recycling center. Or gypsies. Gypsies unchanged from ten years old. Mater and filia equal in wisdom lack and depth of experience. The entirety of their umwelt accomplished in a decade all they would ever know. Everything else a more leathern copy of experiences already played out. The truck bounced over the hump tracks and went on. Tagged cows slept in a parking lot. They turned onto Kennedec and drove past a row of autoshops. Margilen and his crew were taking on the first order of the day, a dump truck in need of maintenance. The mechanic presented a blind salute that went unreturned and a fellow car flashed its headlights as it went past. Another turn and a quarter mile through residential districts and various recreation areas brought them to the town plaza. Center of commerce and religion. The small protestant affair across from the courthouse had a peninsula of beggary leantos and the kirkyard madonna stared down by no less than three establishments of vice and peeked out at by a fourth. They pulled up in front of the single lit storefront of a strip small and the pilot engaged the handbrake.

Were here.

No!

Verily we are.

The pilot extracted the key from the ignition and the engine hummed out waves dissipating waves in a borealis shimmer. She opened the door and stepped out.

Thell see.

Meaning shines forth. Thou wouldst not shine to them what thee shines to me. Nay thee would not shine at all.

Dachni got onto her fours and leaned towards her. Wanna go.

I cant afford to waste fuel. You can wait in the truck but that expends the credit of your image. It damages my conception of you.

Dachni turned her head sideways and looked out from between her arms. Ye lied! Ye lied!

Dachni.

Yer lied, she croaked.

Will you not come?

Git on then.

Anaya reached in and stroked her nape. Ill be back soon, she said. When she closed the door the truck deployed its landing gear and settled down as the engine sighed the last of its power. It raised the hairs of the skin. It smelled ionic. At the door the pilot turned back.

I bid thee stay, the way you bid a dog to stay.

Fuck you!

The pilot went up to the door and knocked twice and before any answer could come went in.

Dachni climbed out on the seat and stood in time to see the door of the little shop close. Through the lace curtains of the storefront she could see a weak lamplight intensify. A vast shape gliding away. In the reflection she could see stargazers in the plaza packing up. They stumbled loudly towards the street. Dachni turtled up with her arms over her head. Their chattering neared. Someone rapped on the window.

Hey! You in there.

Hey we heard fighting are you ok?

Fuck off!

One of the men gave a light backhand to his friend. What a prick, he said. They sauntered off. Their talk fading with the sole slaps of their shoes. They turned a corner and were gone but not this terror in the child's chest that had snagged in veins.

The shop light was brighter now. She gnawed her thumb and cast about for other insomniacs or early birds and saw a few and ransacked the truck for arms but there were none. When she opened the glove compartment two human skulls clattered out. Thick boned and to an adult and a child. She went back to the wheel and hollered.

Anayyyyya!

From the courthouse steps a drunk litigant added his own raspy mock tot he summons and an unlicensed citizen no less inebriated shouted from a second story window for the respect of the nocturnal tranquility and his own call prompted a dog to relay its own thoughts about the sanctity of silence and this ignited a whole chorus of dissent from alley mongrels and the litigant modulated his voice to a strained wrynecked gargling and windows were slamming up and voices from the dark within raging for the resumption of peace in a furious free for all of accusation and counter accusation and exploding glass bottles and a gunshot and now the litigant was chasing tomcats through the plaza offering representation at the rate of five pounds of kitty food an hour and an acquaintance yelled:

Youve been disbarred Julio! Go home Julio!

And the louder the yells of the townfolk the louder the bays of the mongrels and high pitched screech of cats and at last a clarion bell announced the commencement of mauds and a ribald chanty broke out concerning monks and how the second head is tonsured.

The driver side door opened and the confused and muted waif flung herself across the seats into the sweet cool scent of Anaya.

Wanna home, she cried.

The pilot took her under arms. Soon as were done.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:16 PM
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Oh these days these days. Losin me marbles A 1982 British film I came across a couple months ago I would now recommend. Threads

The din was petering out fast as it started and by the time the pilot was ducking under the lintel it had ceased altogether into a tensive observation of the participants for any violation whereby it would all erupt again. As they crossed the threshold Dachni caught sight of a small silver box nailed to the doorstop with symbols of star and candle and citadel worked into the metal. Inside was a warm low lit den perfumed by a rich symphony of fabrics. A tailors. It felt a place of another time. Attire of various styles were displayed prominently on the wall and these lessened in formality the farther back you went into the store from the garb of the executive to the more utilitarian garments of the working classes. The register by the door had a big porcelain shoe by it for canes and beyond the double railed racks spaced across the floor was a drywall partition with a cutout for the thin proprietor behind to greet his customers.

When the doorchime rang he put aside the trousers he was darning and sat up. You never said she was so pretty, he said.

Geh ta hell! Dachni shrieked.

His lips pursed into a nervous grin. He folded the trousers and put his needled and thread upon them and touched his glasses low on his nose and pushed them back up again.

Shes shier than a kitten, said the pilot taking the cushioned chair for clients by the partition.

Shell grow out of that soon as the boys start getting cricks in their necks.

Dachni hid herself in the pilot's robes.

The tailor's desk had a sewing machine mounted underneath it and which by means of a lever would revolve up flush with the desk and lock into place. He pushed back from it and crossed his legs. That is the most unleavened child Ive ever seen. She should have baked a mite longer. How old is she?

Nine.

You say it like you dont know.

She doesnt know.

My niece is about her size and shes seven. He took a handkerchief out of his front shirt pocket and daubed his dry brow and put it back. I was expecting an aienee. I didnt know you all adopted.

The pilot made a slicing motion across her neck. Dont worry about it.

Im not. Makes my job easier. I didnt know if Id have to invent a new style.

Well you dont.

Those eyes are...

What about them?

The tailor scratched his curls. You could get her contacts.

That would be a lie.

I guess you could say its a kind of deception. He threw his head back to glance at a percolator. Do you want some coffee?

No.

Tea?

No.

Ok. No refreshments. Then lets get started. He he cupped the top of his fist and put his elbows on his knees. Hello, he said. Im Morganstein but friends call me Aaron. He clawed within range of his customers on the heels of his monks and extended a hand and Dachni leaned out of the robes and fastened her teeth to it.

Gah, he cried.

He kicked back. The child's teeth were dug in behind the proximal phalanxes and it looked like she was plucked backwards out of the encompassing arms. She had his wrist in her hands and she was threshing now savagely and he raised his hand to cut off her air but the pilot blocked him with her great corpus and levered her jaw down.

The tailor fell back into his seat.

Dammit. You little bitch.

He fell back into a heat press machine and scraped
alongside it and knocked over an ironing board and the heavy iron left a dent in the hardwood.

Theres an actor's flair.

This isnt histrionics. Look at this. He held out his hand. The skin was like crumpled wrapping paper. The base knuckles of his index and middle finger had been drawn out. He wiped away the blood and wiped away the blood and wiped away the blood and so pictured the wound. My job. My job.

Youre fine.

He made a wild gesture and blood flung up to the ceiling. Goddammit. You have to go somewhere else. I cant work. Im done.

Youve been paid.

Ill give it back.

The pilot had become grave. The jew does not refund.

Ill give it back.

Between them stood the child and she put her fist athwart
his knee and scampered back to cower behind the slender trunk of the pilot's leg. A hand reached down to stay in her to a place.

She doesnt know any better.

I dont care.

Calm jew. Clean your hurt. Come back. Well start afresh.

Get out.

Do you want to be drafted? Do you want Miriam drafted? Or David? Clean your hurt and come back.

Aaron glared at her. A succession of distortions morphed his face that finally settled into an acrid resignation. He ransacked his desk for a tiny first aid kit and checked its contents and hurried to the restroom holding the wound high to keep blood from getting on the floor. He depressed the doorlatch with his elbow and went inside.

Dachni felt a tap on her head. She looked up.


Will you behave?

Lets get outta here.

Hes going to fit you for clothes.

Done has clothes.

Rags pigs would be ashamed of.

Howsit your care?

Because I care about you. Now let this be. Ill have the jew take your measurements and as soon as hes done well go back. Promise.

Ye promise?

I do. Of course I do.

Dachni played the cool cashmere through her fingers. She pressed it to her lips. Ok.

For ten minutes there was a continual mutter and run of water from the restroom and then the tailor emerged. His wound was bound. He resumed his seat and surveyed his desk and straightened a column of bobbins and put in place a clear plastic cup of threading needles. He held up a bloodsoaked scroll of parchment about the size of a cigarette and pressed it to his forehead and then crumpled it and threw it in the wastebin. Then he got it out again and unrolled it to study and then threw it back again. Finally he looked at his customers. A remark was on his tongue but it went uncombed by his breath and the pilot gave her compliments that truly he was an heir of Solomon. And it was vanity those words. He rankled his curls and took a deep breath and settled into the mode of his trade.

Shes fifty one inches.

Shes taller than that.

Shes not.

She has scoliosis. You see how her shoulders dont rest
evenly? How her ribs bulge slightly out. When I straighten her shell be taller.

Ok. Her arms are...

Take her measurements.

I can tell from looking.

Do it because I told you to.

Do you have a muzzle?

The pilot bared her own fangs in a vicious smile. Do I have one?

He grunted angrily, swaying in his seat. He undid his bandage. Ill need a new profession. Im right handed. I cant thread a needle with this.

Youll live. And if its so bad get an augment. Youre being paid enough.

I aught to be paid more.

You have what you have.

You didnt tell me who she was.

I told you what she was. Now nay to haggling. Repress thy nature and preserve your soul.

The tailor pursed a disgusted frown and pointed at a stool. Stand her there.

It was under a table on which were stacked fat bolts of the cloth of every color. The pilot hooked it out and stood the child on it.

The tailor rose, swiping a tape measurer from the desk, and unspooled it.

Straight thee as the way, said the pilot pressing her hands to the child's breast and back.

Dachni cowered before the tailor's approach but a prickling in her sides mustered her courage. Ye keepted a fuck away ye gluttied cunt.

Aaron hesitated. He looked at the pilot as if for an assurance of safety.

Prove it Aaron.

He exhaled in resolution through his bared teeth and knelt. Ok miss...

Gillespie.

Gillespie. Can you stand up straight for me?

Anaya jostled her. Its ok.

Dachni's face twisted up in a cry. Her arms flapped up and
down in frustration. Dont wanna. Dont wanna.

Anaya crouched and held her arms by her sides. You know if you hadnt put up a fight we'd already be done.

She moaned mournfully.

Go on, she told Aaron. Its as tame as shes going to get.

He worked quickly. He noosed the tape around her neck and wrapped it around her chest and then her waist. When he measured the seat of her pants she slapped him and the pilot bid him be cautious and he held the tape back four inches and sighted it and then he measured the width of her shoulders and the length of her arms and her inseam with delicacy.

Ok, he said at last rolling up the tape. Painless as it could have gone.

All done Dachni. Its alright.

Dachni swung round and blotted the pilot's stopa with her tears.

Go home.

Nein, nows the fun part.

Noes fuckin fun. Less go. Ye said of promise ta gao.

Anaya pushed her a little back to look into her face. Thus
shall winter soon thaw into the lively prance of spring and summer will sprawl over us lazy as butterflies, fall shalt wither all and then old winter. We aught dress for every season and so those pelts on the walls. Pick whatever you want.

Ir fuckin crazy.

Verily I must be.

Nothins there of want.

You cant wear my clothes for the rest of your life.

Take em back.

Dachni pulled at her outsized sweater but the pilot
stopped her.

Heartbeat dont. Dont. Its ok.

Miss Dachni, said the tailor.

Alessa, hissed the pilot blackly.

He looked at her in confusion. Then he ceased to ponder it, wise jew he was. Alessa. Im sorry. I can make anything in any style you fancy. I can do military jackets, car coats, jersey capes, dresses, skirts, sweaters ribbed or graduated or blended. I can make a miniature three piece suit. Tell me what you want, Ill make it. He gestured at coat jackets hung on the wall explaining the various differences. Her eyes drifted to the back where enormous pelts of every beast of the region were tacked.

Water those?

Aaron stepped back groping for his seat and took it and swiveled round.

Furs.

Aht.

Anaya followed the child's gaze to a pelt of lupus. Heavy glossed and dark gray with auburn taints and channels of black.

Tai.

That one.

Do you know what kind of style you want?

Coat? wondered the pilot. Coat? No. Parka. Satin inlining. Fox fur collar. Water proof. Make it eighty inches.

Do you expect her to split into triplets?

I expect she will grow.

Aaron regarded the child, trying to abstract the waif into a
taller version. It wont happen.

I dont see you having my business if you dont.

Aaron got his coffee. Before he could drink he coughed
and it sputtered over the rim and he set it down and wiped it with a finger.

Alright.

Go now, said Dachni.

Anaya caressed her breast. Not now. You need more than a parka. See those racks over there? Go pick out a wardrobe.

A what?

Pick out clothes, as many as you want.

Dont want any.

Anaya smiled fondly. Even out her serpent eyes bluer beneath the water. No diva she. Go heartbeat. No choice in the matter. She turned her gently around and cast her off towards the racks at the back of the store. Go go go go little one.

Dachni gimped towards the racks at the back of the store as though under sentence of exile. Halfway she turned back and grabbed the pilot and tugged until she went along.

The racks hung children's clothes assorted by article. Mothworn, torn. Shirts with the emblems of superheroes or rock bands. Cynical axioms blazoned on their fronts, the jaded slogans of teendom. Or else pure nihilism. Decrying the phoniness of life. Anaya chuckled.

Whats funny?

You are.

Thats the boys section, said Aaron.

Shell get what she likes. What do you like?

No conception had Dachni.

Whatever you pick well have to make sure it fits.

If thats the case, said Aaron, it might a bit much but the toddlers section is back there.

Shes not that skinny, said the pilot. But as they tried on the clothes there was no garment not outsized on her. Youll need a belt thats all. Drawstrings.

She went to go get them. Dachni fetched a pair of jeans from its hangar and shimmied out of her pants and tried it on. She couldnt do it standing. She sat and lifted her legs like one about to give birth and fed her legs through in. The leggings were like windsocks on her. She hobbled up to her feet and thumbed out the waistband and there was a gap about a foot wide.

Anaya came back holding a selection of belts through the buckle.

Are those belts?

If theyre not Ive done it wrong all my life.

Dachni reached out to take a belt and the pants dropped around her ankles and she was naked from the waist.

Anaya's head hung in mirth. You are a wonder.

She grabbed a fistful of pants and pulled them back up
and got one of the belts and figured it through the loops.

Anaya crouched and put a talon to her shin. Well have to shorten them about that much.

Ok.

They filled three bags full of clothes. And it was mostly her giving tacit approval to garments Anaya asked if she liked. When they finished moving through the floor they went back to the partition.

How much is this all ta cost?

Aaron was fingering back the beads of his abacus.

It is no joy to a jew to discount his wares thus does he forfeit all hopes of clemency. The rebate being the beginnings of mercy.

Essented no cheaper? Owed pays for it? Hows ta pay for
it?

Ill pay for it.

Dachni stared at the bags. Ye caint do that.

Of course I can.

Aints yours ta do.

I provide credit, said Aaron looking up from his calculations.

Tame thy avarice.

Whats credit?

Nothing you need concern yourself over.

It sounds as does.

Credit is a loan. You purchase now and pay in increments over an agreed upon time.

Shell not need that.

Dachni clutched one of the bags. Will pay it. Does have
gold putted ways.

Im paying, said the pilot. And you. You are upon a wire.
Never speak to her of money again.

Aaron said nothing. He pulled a bag near and took out the
clothes and continued totaling the price. When he had tallied all
he wrote out the bill of goods. The total read in pencil $17017.08.

Youre shitting me.

The jew put up his abacus. Were in war scarcity. Everything is being requisitioned by the army. All my orders are for the army. Uniforms. Boots. I cant get leather, I cant get cotton or jute or flax or hemp or anything. My suppliers have empty warehouses. The trappers wont even sell anymore. What am I supposed to do? I have a family.

War your excuse?

I dont set the prices. Broadcloth is fifteen dollars a yard.

Most of this is already secondhand.

I find a lump of gold in the river when its thirteen hundred an ounce. Do I sell it a year later for the original price when the current price is seventeen hundred? I have to make a living.

Tallying never furrowed the brow of a jew so long as he was being paid. See how greed's challenge sweats him.

I cant part with it for anything less. Everyone knows the cost of cotton. I have to buy by the kilo.

As I recall these were donations for survivors of last year's war. The war you fled. This business you fell into, the house you squat in.

I dont squat.

Its not your house.

There was no one there.

Thats because he was shot. Im telling you this as a favor.
If you try to extort people theyll run you out if youre lucky.

I cant give you prewar prices.

Were not at war yet.

We might as well be.

Anaya stood. Ill tell you what, she said moving the chair
aside. Im not above taking all of this without laying down a dime.

Aaron watched her warily. He looked at the receipt. Ill go to the law, he said to the piece of paper.

The pilot gathered up the child and put her in one of the bags like a kitten and then gathered the bags. Go to him. Go to god if you think it would help.

She turned to go. As she passed the shoe she sorted out a cane and gave it to the child.

Look at you, she said. Old and old.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:55 PM
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Do you know or does the story give away any of Dachni's dreams?
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  #189  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:29 PM
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Oh yes there are many dreams so far and dreams to come. In fact there was one not too many posts ago:

Cold wombed her in the sleep that followed. A rudimentary awareness tenuously limned as perhaps squid possess in the egg clutch. A brief gestalt presence before the horror disseminates into the abyss. In this unvectored matrix a feeling of compression as the downwash of a bird. A voice spoke. Hardly more than a murmur or from far away. All at once that porous cognizance contracted into a locus of aesthesia extreme. A singularity of sensation that fragmented into a thousand clarities of pain and yet no architecture wherein they could manifest. As though each agony were noumenal. The voice came louder. Coordinates in this plane of chaos decayed of their erratic wanderings into an aggregate, mud as became as rock and rock as became as bone of a pedocidal curse unto the revolt of meatless phalanges out a yolk of mud and followed ulnar, followed scapulae like a knife, clavicle swinging hingeless, grangrel ribs grimacing, a hollow skull rearing sidelong in a wordless howl and fixed to a writhen spine, all dissected incomplete, the stones still with terrible velocity spalding the dread skeleton even as it was made. It stood in a sooty globular pour of rain slanted in a windless valley and the sludge at its feet sleeched up the bladed shins and became as muscle and sinew and the horror clawed at this terrible bemeating but it was tide like all tides and now eyes bubbled in the sockets and she gouged them, the opal jelly tearing down her maxilla, enameling her teeth, assuming into the creep of her fleshing-for the pilot would say that sure as thou art to die thou art to be born-and mud seeped between her joints and became as cartilage and her eyes blossomed again and the muscle slithered out of her ribs and fused into a tongue and she strangled the chords of her voice that let her cry and that ground that had vomited her surged through her and she unthreaded these veins so that they hung by the bolt flaccid in her halfmade hands like the spew of a loom.
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  #190  
Old 03-17-2018, 09:19 PM
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They drove back in the cracking of the dawn. The day's yolk seeping color into the world which was all as the pilot had told. The child hugged the bag in her lap. She stared at the paper. Seeing the quadratic formulation of its fabricature.

Well hey today wasnt so bad was it?

They stopped outside the cathedral gates and the pilot helped the child out and then the truck drove off to park itself in the car port. She showed her the rudiments of cane use and Dachni hobbled a three legged ancient ill of gait. She made it to her room after a long struggle and when she opened the door her room was ordered again. Her bed made, the books replaced. Dachni set on the bed. Anaya came in a moment later with the bags and began to put the clothes in the chesterdrawer. Filling only the lower drawers that she could reach. When she was done she came and sat by her on the bed and looked out the colored window.

In my library I have a collection of novels. Its a beautiful tome. The lettering is of gold gilt, so too the foredges. The endpapers have a swirled pastel marbling and its jacketed in a tan bonded leather with three ribs to the spine. There is a scuff and I hate that. And yet on page 579, among other pages, it reads: To have gone to both and them home would have entailed a sixty-mile horseback ride. Its plain what the typesetter thought he saw. To have gone to both of them and then home and yet its there. The editor must have thought the same too. If ever it should be that I am commissioned to do another run of that collection I would keep the error. I glory in that imperfection.

She bent down and kissed her and went out.

۝

Two weeks then of days alike in panther black or auteur orb starting constellations of motes on sunbeams. Her sleepless hours sweat wracked abed parceling out the theoretical perdurantism of night, the tribal combat of dark against light, each decaying to the others recede as if a curse to be flown from. Eventually to succumb to a rank rest would last till lousy morrows, to scamper frantic to the bathroom and back her head lifting pained out of the toilet bowl, her unkempt lock ends dripping a citrus colored bile. Or else to wander the corridors lethargic, inevitably to be intercepted by the stealthy giant also prone to after hour serenades thereof to be born to the altar for drinks.

Once the pilot presented a silky brown beverage floating soft black clumps. Dachni poked them into dissolution with a spoon and with no small suspicion and deadly gravity asked: Ded ye poop in this?

Anaya cackled grandly. Its chocolate Dachni. Its sweet youll like it.

But Dachni narrowed a distrustful eye. That werent the question.

Even so she found herself the beneficent of a cautious dotage that knew too well the delicate balance on which such truces rested. That changed her sheets, that brought offerings of tobacco and fortified brew that prevented her contraction of scurvy. Who sang myriologues and cooked meals of which through claims of dysphagia she would manage to partake only a few morsels of.

The pilot weighed her and truth she lost no weight yet in her drare diurnal ventures from the dorter it was as a frail retardate shambling sullenly as if out of Orcus where aught she might have been of wont to remain. Staged late in emaciation as though undergoing a ritual of minishment. Bones razarous under the lunar translucency of her hide and her whiteless eyes huge and blank in their sockets. And reducto absurdem would she regress yonder infancy and in a final fading assume the shadow ambiance of the halls? For it is so men may also become the shadows of shades.

One night to emerge out of a groggy fugue. She blinked at the ceiling and spread her arms on the bed and clasped its sides. Then threw off the blankets and groped for her cane and finding it looked about and hobbled out.

The other dorters were empty. The library. The refectory. She retraced her route, looking into the bathroom, the nave. The flame in the lantern seemed a silhouette rapt in ponder and the crucifix below it creaked as it turned heavily in the air. Subordination to a foreign deity in his own repurposed house. She returned to her room and got the lantern for to light those back end corridors she loathed to traverse. Where the echo seemed to escape through false walls and where the barriers between vales did thin. Hear now distantly a gramophone rife with static. Violent violin sawed by an arthritic and can the bone warp be told in the chaos of the chords? No signs to tell where she went. There were rooms. Some empty. Some with piping jutting from the concrete. Others locked. A scratching at boards stopped her and she knocked and those were nails on wood.

Whos there?

Something like a caterwaul's death croak answered.

Who is she? Is it her? Is it really her?

The something pounded on the doors. The child peered through a slit in the boards. To see a shadow move in anguish. Say who, she hissed. Say who.

Perhaps the thing within had no tongue. It could not say and the child went on. At the stairway she raised high her lamp to give reach the light a few more inches into the puzzle below where paths multiply. Down these stairs. Would that she could debride the cathedral to find what heathen stepgod festered below and is it he who has laid the roads of time? She caned gingerly down, lowering the lantern a few steps ahead at a time and then easing down herself. At the bottom she spared a fretful glance to the light above but then she spat and cursed god and marshaled on. The first she was come to was an undercroft stacked with casks. Puncheons out of what cooperage. She tried a tap and sour black amber whiskey poured out and she wished all journeys were so rewarded. She drank up her courage and then drank away her senses and stumbled out. Her lantern multiplied as did her new spawned arms and their lights accordioned in and out of the article like a shadow that lost no detail in its duplication. Somewhere a mourner puled. A scaled hexapod skittered across her roof and regarded her broadwise with its torso oculars and the lids closed and opened as it breathe in sequence and then the headless thing slipped into a wall crack, its beneedled tail flattening and sucking into its body to fit. The involucrum of dark bayed by her light. Farther down it began to snow. Snow coming from a lunarium in the ceiling. She found the second stairwell. Or a stairwell like it. At the these depths it grew humid. A swelter reeking of humus blown in from existence strictly ordinate. Flowerfied wax vining upwards budding a thick foliage of wicks that blossomed with light. She broke off a branch and it was smooth in her hand and left an oily feel. Plashing rebated by soil walls but the puddles investigated rippled not. Ahead the tunnel flared into a chamber a pair squared acres sowed with an obelisk flora. Groping charmel. Rigid, upright, bearing a sentient fruit that rattled a shivaree with its chitin casing as she passed. And in so doing scared off bugs of another earth to be chumbled by leathery insectivores whose drool succored the fruit.

At the far end of the chamber was an exit and this she took. Antepaste of misventures future bound this corridor. Stepgod to this heathen. A shallow flow of water rising out of a seep and flowing on. At the next turn she found herself in a channel freshly painted. She put her back against the far wall and gave the painting a study.

It was the battle of Oreck'u'kii. When forty nine thousand airships disrupted the magenta heavens. High cloudbanks, mesas of cumulus and the archipelagic cirrus higher yet and far below the occluded front. The scene was well advance from that opening salvo first delivered from a range of a hundred and thirty two miles that devastated the skirmish lines before degrading twenty seconds later into a dogfight.

The airspace depicted was so crowded she could count no less than eight collisions. Four Gorecki class carriers dueling five Barrazgez. Aerial leviathans clouds themselves and their crazed rain duelists streaking at every vector, their passes like medieval jousts, some popping in and out of actual reality, reducing their probability of existence so low that missiles streaked through them without harm. They speak of a momentary blankness, the pilots. The theological portents of that nonexistence not lost on them, no not on them. Bombers approached in such a state and would they for too long remain would blink into nothingness never to return. Gunships blazed through the murk, their shields shining, their guns pissing great steams of tungsten that tore through tungsten and here was the grand gunner Coraskii in his crimson corvette having just cleared the smoke plume of his nemesis Gabios, never to see him in person, on his deathbed citing it his greatest regret, That dubious charlatan let fly his soul.

Thirties of thousands of missiles hounded exactly each soul of the shrieking craft, their contrails intersticed by tracers, by hot beams of plasma turning the overcast to steam, flashes of laser and flak burst. Missiles in swarms rendered in such detail you could read the serial numbers, see the galena's transit into and out of the masks of terror. Aircraft of divers designs, hyper specialized wings, a different manufacturer for almost every formation. Shock collared planforms, canards, sweep wings and scramjets. Ships exploding in glimmers of fire and downed ships falling, venting coiffured smoke, or barrel rolling through the alchemical convoke of flak burst, some shalki pilot, his canopy shattered banging on the side of his airframe and two ejected belligerents from opposite factions exchanging fire with their sidearms still strapped to their seats. And this battle only a prelude to the contest of land to occur scarcely an hour later.
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  #191  
Old 03-23-2018, 09:25 PM
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She went back up. On the following oragious night restless abed her door was rapped upon. Her blankets were drawn up to her chin and she was staring at the thrown shapes drawn on her ceiling.

Is it you?

It is not.

Waters your want?

Id like to spend some time with you.

She pulled the blankets a little higher, a little tighter. No.
Fur what? Tires day anyhow. Essed fer sleep.

Youre not sleeping.

Was saved to it but another second fore ye knocked.

She arched up and looked to see the door. A thin bar of light shone under the door interrupted by two spaces of darkness.

I have some whiskey.

Dachni fitted her lips to her thumb. What kinedes whiskey?

They sat up side by side in bed passing the bottle between them.

Is your foot feeling better?

Its a bitch hurt.

Anaya stretched down the bed and tickled a toe.

Ow.

That didnt hurt.

It coulda hurt.

Anaya smiled. Im glad youre here. Did I say that before?

Aye.

Well its worth saying again.

Ok.

The pilot got out of her robes a long carved pipe and tobacco and a box of matches. Do you know to work the pipe?

Know?

Ill show you. First you

That doesnt hurt.

It coulda hurt.

Anaya smiled. Im glad youre here. Did I say that before?

Yes.

Well its worth saying again.

Would you like some tobacco?

Ok.

The pilot got out of her robes a long carved pipe. Do you know how to do it?

Know?

Ill show you. First you take the tobacco and you pack it into the bowl, pressing it down and then adding more. Then you light the bowl. Puff a few times. See?

The pilot was drawing on the stem and she was beginning to smoke from the inside out.

Sees.

Do you want me to unpack it so you can try?

No.

Here.

Dachni took the pipe and drew a long breath. A silky warmth filled her lungs, tender in its flowing. She was suddenly sleepy. Whats that smell?

Its red cherry.

Is nice.

The pilot laughed softly. Look at you. A cane and a pipe. You are old. Ill want to get a picture of you.

Outside the clouds were pronouncing their titanic syllables and tremble did the cathedral.

Dachni looked alarmed. Issint old old.

No. You are an angel.

Dont say that.

Why not?

Dachni held the pipe gingerly. The bowl glowed a moment then a puff of smoke exhaled out.

Youll kill the fire that way.

The pilot took the pipe and sucked at the stem a few times but the flame had gone out and she got another match and rekindled the pipe, stoking it back up.

Sorry.

Its ok. If its the worst that happens to us today we aught be grateful.

Ok.

The pilot perked suddenly. Oh I have something for you.

No.

But I do.

Dachni covered her face. Quet that. Ye caint be givin all of stuff.

Its not mine, its yours.

No it aint.

Anaya swung her legs off the side of the bed and went to
the door and reached around it and brought out her mosin-nagant.

That aint yours!

She laughed. No its not, she said sitting back down on the bed. She laid the rifle across their laps. I ordered a new firing pin.

Whats a firing pin?

Its the long piece of metal you sheathe in the spring. Has a blunted end.

Aye.

Thats a firing pin.

When? Wenned ye get it?

When I did.

That aint a say.

No I suppose not.

Dachni regarded the rifle. Sole friend on lonely nights. A scratchy film of close set specks of rust had formed over the bolt and sights like embedded sand and the varnish had worn down in patches and the arctic birch scraped a raw pale cream.

Its seen some days, said Anaya feeling along the stock. She touched the serial number on the bolt. AK5149. It was produced at Izhevsk in 1940. Its 2606 now. Can you imagine what its seen?

All bad things.

Anaya conceded this. But the journey of it. And the destination. How many have shouldered this arm? How many lives has it saved? How many ended? See its no Theseus. The serial matches on the barrel, the floorplate, the bolt and the buttplate.

This aint got no butt.

Anaya slapped the stock end. Its called the buttplate.
Trust me.

Not on that.

Well ask around.

Aint gonna go askin round on butt plates.

Then youll just have to take my wooord, Anaya sang.

Shit, said Dachni bashfully. She took a long swig from the whiskey. Her cheeks were flushed, her forehead hot and she was very tired.

Will ye what else on the rifle? What kinded rifle is it? They come with names ifn ye doan know. Theys a sluggy green shiner call can slash folk as it were knife.

That could be a number of guns.

Its shoots high fastest. Et goes werpwerpwerpwerp.

Thats the sound.

Well it aint sounded exacted as but its summerthin like it.

Anaya chuckled softly and kissed the child on her headtop.

But tell on this.

This is a mosin-nagant. Its a Russian design. They mass produced these things. This probably killed a couple Germans. It probably had a hundred owners. You see the electropenciling on the side of the receiver. This was imported to C'Ville, Illinois. Its been to its enemies and back. Whoever the owner was must have had a luster for it. Theres maintenance but I dont see any refurbishing.

Mebbe it werent used all that much.

Its seen sights.

Hm.

Where did you get it?

Dachni lifted the rifle and laid it lengthwise along the bed. Its a pretted tire day. Marent es fer sleep.

Alright.

Hassint slept. Is pretted tire.

Well. Ill get some sandpaper and we can sand it down and give it a new finish. How does that sound?

It sounds.

Listen. Before you go to bed.

What?

Hows your foot?

Its hally better. Wouldna thought itd eel so fast but its better.

And how are you?

The pipe fell from Dachni's fingers. Her lip quivered and then all at once she threw her arms around the pilot. Its been horrible, she bawled.

The pilot pulled her tight. Hush you. Its going to be bad for a long while but youll get better but youll survive this. You already have. And tomorrow will be better.

No it wont.

And it will. Thats what we say. Tomorrow will be better. Say it.

Et wont.

Yes it will. Say it. Say it.

She mumbled something.

What?

Morral be better.

Say it again.

Ettel better.

It will.

An dont wanna stay.

Whats in the grad?

Nothin.

Do you still want to go?

She shook her head.

Do you want to go somewhere else?

Wanna go nowhere.

Well.


Well ye be quiet.

The pilot nodded. She wrapped a talon in a fold of her stopa and daubed her tears and rose and found the child clinging to her. Her face was hidden in the blankets. The pilot said nothing. She undressed and lifted the blankets and slid in and turned down the lamp until it was a beacon in all the dark that was like the first spark of creation casting the shade of all that would be.
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  #192  
Old 03-27-2018, 10:18 PM
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April arrived with the mystery of the tube. New addition to her wall. Seated in an aluminum backplate and filled with a transparent fluid failing to float a bead above the blue slant shading its bottom. Dachni swatted it from its mount with a broom and prodded it across the floor into a corner and whopped it into submission with the stiff straw mane and cursed it and approached warily and finally picked it up. It was not menacing. She shook it. She put her ear to hear did it have a pulse which it did not. Characters were etched at intervals along its length between short horizontal lines. She held it at angles. Upright, downup. She shook it again for better measure.

Youre somethin, she muttered.

And Anaya would know.

Its a thermometer. The little reservoir at the bottom is called a bulb, this tube is called a capillary and it holds mercury. When the temperature increases it expands and lifts the bead and all you have to do is look to what number the bead aligns and that will tell the ambient temperature.

Whats it now?

Negative five Fahrenheit.

Their breaths plumed furiously the air.

Thats pretted cold.

Neither of us really need bother.

Whats say of an outside go?

Its colder out there than it is in here.

Ye can perk a fire outside.

You can make a fire inside.

Bellshit.

But it was true. A fireplace in the cathedral library. A great rococo palace, adequate even to the most pampered of scholars. It was easily missed, its door narrow enough to be mistaken that it led through to a closet. Two reading tables set opposite another propped upon the lamenting figure of martyrs the victory of Borodino, the sacking of Moscow. Book shelves lined the walls, rose to the ceiling, the upper shelves accessible by stairs spiraling up marble columns at each corner of the library. The narrow mezzanine balustraded by an ivory handrail with gilt spindles. Exhibits of muskets and sabers occupied the floor. Oil landscapes of the cosmos in its anthropomorphic beginnings, Satan in his fall, Othello on his bed, Michael at the helm, in the chairs Nico and Bart. Statues of Alexander upon Bucephalus, Diogenes in his jar.

Dachni caned about in awe. She came to the hearth and floundered like a muskrat drowning in molasses.

The pilot was crouched in the mouth of the fireplace.

Whore ye talkin to?

The pilot whispered on. Smoke rose and then you could see the fire rising into the chimney. The pilot pushed up on her knees and rose and swung back and turned.

Do you want some tea?

No.

The pilot grinned slyly. Some whiskey.

Ifn its your keep.

The pilot stood and opened the door of the giant grandfather clock installed in the mantle and withdrew from the bar therein a moonshine titled Perron's Mock Death by their Albanian distillers. She poured two tumblers full and gave the child one and they drank and basked in the growing heat.

Does ye have any friends?

Very few.

Where are they?

On their own. Ive never kept a circle, I draw from the
corners.

So ye doesnt really have none.

I do.

But they aint with ye. Friends steck agether.

Sometimes you have to go your own way.

No. Friends keep through.

Anaya thought about this. Bill Camel.

Fuck camels.

You didnt like him?

Who?

Bill. Bill Camel. He kept by you the whole time.

When?

To Kilcok.

Ta what?

The town we rode to. To find your offenders. He was the one most abreast of you.

Neverd sawed him.

You were pretty out of it.

Well about him.

Hes my friend.

Yaller friends.

Quite. Even when I dont want to talk to anyone I can still talk to him. Thats a rare quality. Some people rejuvenate themselves through socializing, some through solitude. So it is rare for the man who prefers the latter to find solace in another. I propose you and I are of that fold who finds the exception of relief in each other. But were more than that arent we?

You say that.

I say were sisters. That makes us more. What Id tolerate from you Id not tolerate from him. Bill is a hard man but hes not soulless. He told me: I aint Catholic but Im more Catholic than most. He saved my life in Mexico. Maybe a day Ill tell you the story. I could tell you another story about me and him and your...in Kansas. When we were in Kansas.

Whats Kansas? An Mexico?

The former is a state, the latter a country.

Whats former? An latter?

Former means the first, the latter the second mentioned
or last. So Mexico is latter, Kansas is former.

Ok. Tell whats of storied.

Not now. Later.

The pilot sipped the raki. Ive read much and found differences in the conceptions of the devil between east and west. Theres a somberness in the eastern Satans thats not present in the west. A shabby nobleman felled of status, clinging to society's coattails is no devil, not even a subdevil, not even a proper subaltern to an assistant of a subdevil. The devil is a merry go luck and he has much cause to rejoice.

Does ye lieve in the devil?

I dont believe in the devil in the same way I dont believe in gravity. The pilot picked up a sheet of paper and let it fall to the floor. Theres no need for belief.

Ye caint see him.

Ive met him.

Whatd he say?

We discussed Job. He said the story of Job is really the story of god committing suicide. Because god's infidelity to himself contradicted himself. He said it was the devil's master trick, tricking god into putting a gun in his own mouth. Only later did he realize that god had tricked him. Because he was left to run round with nothing to do and since he had no intention of joining his adversary in oblivion he was forced to haste round the margents of the world shoring up the belief in god in the hopes that they could revive him. Or else what had he to do? Rebel against himself and suffer the same fate? To become a living contradiction and then like god perish. Except that in the pushing of men towards god the contradiction had already occurred and so he said his great fear was to become what he always sought to overthrow and that one day he would sire the rebel who would fool him in being fooled.

Does ye think theys more than juss the devil keeped rounds?

Why if there is a devil cannot there be little devils?

How da ya think they get round?

Possessions. Pacts. Summonings. Illicit acts. I...dont think theres many devils circuit this earth anymore.

Why not?

Who would want to visit this hell? Arent demons forever trying to escape their torment?

Ye said this wertent hell.

Well. What do I know?

How does ye reckon ta get out?

The pilot smiled. If were in hell dont you think we deserve to be here?

No. How does ye get out?

I dont know.

Bullshit.

The pilot's smile rubbed the child's shoulder fondly. Patience. If you dont know how to get out of hell then you damn sure dont have the will to get out if you were told.

Thass yourn pinion.

Tis.

Will ye not say?

Ill not say. But no harm will come to you. And Ill get you out. Thats my promise. Do you believe that?

No.

Believe that. If I have to stay all my life I will but to save you.

Youre crazy.

Verily I confess it.

What about aienee devils?

In Iphsisavios. We have them.

Are they here?

Yes.

Has ye seen em?

Yes.

Ded ye talk to em?

No.

Why not?

Whats left to say? Now its whos going to kill who.
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  #193  
Old 04-04-2018, 07:39 PM
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Big update tonight. There may be some autobiography in this


Heading back to her room the child was gived pause by a suggestion of salmon for supper. She bethought this a good long moment and with brow not unfurrowed and weighing her answer declared sagely at last: Salmon is a fish.

The pilot's ears swooped straight up and she gave a vexed little look hard to interpret. Lets hope so.

Well ifn ye has a salmon.

Not yet.

Well when ye hassa salmon.

We can go get the salmon.

Aint goin no fuckin place again.

What needs have we to barter with a fishmonger?

What?

Wherefore aught we travel to market?

What?

We dont have to buy the damn fish.

What then?

The lake.

Dachni flapped her arms in strange outrage and her beer slipped away out her fingers and caromed off the wall and down through her grabbing mitts to thunk her in the head and shatter on the floor. Dachni flattened in a loud meep and then the pilot was hovering over her.

Are you ok?

Yer a terrible person!

Lets go fishing.

Ets freezing outside.

I dont disagree, said the pilot toeing the dripping shards of glass into a pile. But we can make a fire outside.

Hopstepping into new underwear she was surprised to find Anaya in her doorway.

I have something for you before we go.

Dachni popped her head through the shirt hole.

What?

She unfurled a wolf pelt parka. Arrived yesterday.

The parka was four sizes too big but the body could be tightened by straps and the sleeves pinned back. And then trousers. Moreover in excess but with leggings that could be eversed and buttoned to the knees. Anaya helped her into it.

Youre a proper little Eskimo.

Hats an Essimo?

The pilot pulled up her hood and scrunched up the child with playful scritchings of her side followed by a barrage of kisses and licks.

You are a precious wonder.

The sun squatting on the horizon shimmered like smelted nickel. No clouds anywhere. Dachni snuffled and looked about. Everything wearing a coat of snow. It was her first outing since Kilcock and she flapped her arms worriedly like an obese penguin.

Less go back.

Did you forget something?

Aye.

What?

Forgot...forgot.

Come on. No one's going to hurt you.

The pilot carried a pair of poles and reels and a plastic tacklebox and for a moment as they crossed the road into the woods she seemed like one under consignment as though replaying an act from long ago. They came through the slender birches. Dachni keeping under the lee of the pilot and giving fearful study to the road, to the paths to Matraple.

The lake was sealed over with a plate of ice that looked to have been platinized.

Caint fish now.

Ice fishing, said the pilot.

Dachni cocked her head. Thats stupid.

Why?

She pinched up the hook dangling off the fishing line as though it were the underpinning of her logic. Fish dont live in ice.

The pilot seemed unperturbed by this news. She went on. The beach was blown over with dead branches. She swept the pier steps clean of snow that Dachni could cane after. Ice had locked the wooden pillars in place. Farther out on the lake was a green pontoon buffed up on the ice. At the end of the pier Dachni lay on her belly and felt the ice. As armor. Opaque.

Fish dont freeze up in the fish, she said. Dont keep in ince. Dont freeze in ice.

The pilot laid out the poles and the tackle box and ice chest and went back to the woods. Dachni watched her pick up a stone maybe a hundred pounds and bring it back to the end of the pier and heft it over her head and sent it shooting down. The ice gave in a bone crunch and cracks webbed instantly through the plate and a fat uvula of water coughed out of the hole. The pilot sat down beside her.

Now what?

Now to enter into the tutelage of the profession of the fishery. Lo the minnow hunter does in time harpoon the whale. The pilot showed her how to mount the reel to the rod and thread the guides. She didnt have bobbers just j-hooks and she impaled nightcrawlers upon their points. She showed the proper method of casting and they tried this a few times, letting the hooks land on the ice and then reeling them in.

But for us we just want to let the hooks into the hole and thats it.

Are they fish down there?

Sure. Theyve seeded everything bigger than a pond in this region.

Seeds? Ye mean theyres off trees?

Fish?

Aye. Ye means they just plop offa trees? In the fall.

No. Yes. Yes they do. Not all of course. They grow on oaks, birches. Salmon do anyways. Of course each tree gives it own kind of fish.

What does them gives?

Birches give koi. Those pines? Theyll drop mackerels. We might even get some catfish from the cottonwoods upstream.

Whoaaa.

Learn something new every day.

Aye.

Dachni looked down into the hole. There they is.

Fat carp with silver bodies and flares of crimson or orange patterning their torsos. Smooth and torsioning right by the hooks.

Is they fruit or veggies?

Fruit.

Well ye wouldnt think em to get no riper. Does they turn back into trees?

Not until after a long time.

How does ye get up?

The worm acts a lure and when they bite it they bite the hook.

They aint bitin. No! No hes nibblin.

A barrel of black splotched carp picked at the worm. She gave a tentative tug on the reel and it darted away and came back. It got its full fish lips on the dangling end of the worm and with a rolling pull twisted it off the hook with a final taunting flag of the caudal.

Dachni reeled in the line and frowned at the hook. Son of a bitch.

The pilot muttered to herself.

What?

He would give them a better brain.

Who?

Never mind.

They rebaited their lines but the fish kept plucking them off and the pilot in mild agitation leaned off the pier and dipping her foot slowly into the water snatched out the most wiliest thief in a spasm of motion. Her talons cupped its belly and tossed it up and she snatched it from the air.

For thy sins I condemn to the hell thou callest pan and thy cousins to the boiling lake of peanut oil.

Dachni eyed her. Now what?

Lets get the rest.

Doesin ye still wanta use these lines?

Lets try.

They rewormed their hooks and let them down but the fish slithered oily by like stubby fangless snakes and they werent even picking anymore.

This is pretter boring.

I thought it might be more interesting myself.

Dachni studied the hole. She thought she saw something but she didnt know what.

What does ye see?

In what?

In the hole?

What do you see?

Buncha fuckin fish. What does ya?

The pilot wedged between the boards and leaned forward. I see, she began, two worlds unintermediated bordered by the supremacy of their own element. And what then of heaven? But theres air in water and water in air. Tis strange. We came also of water. Examine the simplest species of the ocean. They dont see, they dont hear, they dont breathe. They cannot choose. But sometimes I wonder if maybe they have some incipient will. If choice is embedded in something deeper for which the nervous system is merely the vehicle of its expression. Choice so far is we can tell is an aberration. But we were once as these. So they too have the potential. If we disappear tomorrow it may be that a sire of one of these will thousands of millennia from now take the first peremptory crawl from these waters. How strange would it be and then to be more fond of the strangeness. To transition from a floating world to the realm of gravity and rain and wind and stars. Maybe thats why birds arose, to regain some semblance of their primordial womb. I want to know what it was. Or what was the first. I even maybe want to say who was first. Was it only an aberration? A hardening of a cuticle. If thats really all it was. If all this was led to by the hard deterministic interplay of particles or random chaos or a simple miswrit of chemicals. Or some creature washed up on a beach with the right mutation. Either way the most of it was made. But Id like to think that it was a twang of desire in the first amoeba, some hope to escape or make things better. Its strange. The fish had to run away. He couldnt stay in the water. He had to take the water with him onto the land. He drank everyday. Everyday he drank his home and carried it with him. You cant ever leave your home Dachni. Tis why I despise these machines. Theyre pure thought. They dont carry the struggle. They carry our home. They dont drink water.

Well, said the child. Hows ye figure to kill these things?

The pilot turned and flipped open the tackle box lid and took out a bundle of short red firecrackers and slices of bread.

What are them sticks?

Firecrackers.

What do they do

Explode.

Ahhhhh.

They rubber banded the firecrackers to the bread and lit the long green fuses with a zippo and dropped them in. They sank mutely from the little plucks they raised, small phosphorous stars burning down the fuse. The fish gathered to pick at the bread and as they did the sudden detonations would engulf their faces and they would float sideup stunned. Dachni dropped in a salute that weighed almost an ounce. It sank towards a school and as it did the largest carp yet swam out from under the ice gap and gulped it whole.

Ya dummy ya aint sposed ta eat it.

It swam by in placid heedlessness. Anaya was already laughing. Of a sudden its middle bulged and its eyes sprung out their sockets and then its torso burst in a puff of smoky blood that when diffused saw the carp in twain like a torpedoed submarine, the tangled guts spilling and the emptied tube of its body smoking out the great breach.

The pilot looked into the icebox. I think we have enough, she said.

Other fish were closing in to feed on the destruction.

Wuh huh.

Lets go.

Ok.

Dachni lingered until the fish had disappeared from sight. They packed up their things. As they were leaving the pilot stopped. She was staring ahead and then she looked up at coming overcast in the west. Dachni took her by the hand to lead her on but she set down the ice chest and lifted out the big black mottled carp and walked back to the end of the pier and let it back into the water.

At home they set about cleaning the fish. A little disassembly line. Dachni docking and decapitating with a cleaver and passing the dripping catches on to the pilot. Who would make an incision at the anterior amputation, working her knife just under the dermis to remove the scales and then to open it up along the belly and clean the insides, removing the silver hair skeleton.

Dachni watched her. She was humming a melancholic melody and yet she was smiling.

Whatre ye so happy over?

The smile turned towards her. Im happy youre here. I like spending time with you.

This confession consternated the child. She looked at the headless ten pounder framed on the cutting board.

Thats ok, said the pilot. Youre smiling too.

They fried the fish. Powdering them with a dry cajun batter and then committing them like limed sailors given burial in an oily sea. That soon was brought to boil and that cracked around them. They fished out the strips as they browned and laid them in a roasting pan and let the grease absorb into the bed of paper towels. Dachni kept sneaking samples of them and never of the same strip and the pilot even while looking somehow managed by dramatic mastery to maintain the pretense that her thievery went unnoticed.

They ate in the library, warming by the fire the pilot had made. They didnt talk but the child could not keep from giggling and she scooted slyly about mulling her fish and trying forcefully to share it with the pilot, coming around her backside and feinting left or right and then darting around the other side in an attempt to insert the fish into her mouth and then when this failed she tried to bait out her wyrm so she could pet it.

Who would have guessed carp a narcotic?

Yebluhblublebleble.

Indeed.

Dachni scampered across the pilot's lap and off it and back on and circled and floundered heavily and began to fuss the pilot.

Bweh.

Do you want attention? Anaya asked scratching her belly.

Dachni squirmed squealing catlike and then her mirth suddenly faded into a grim contentment with one mouth corner drawn down. Is a lettle better today.

Its how it works doesnt it?

She squeezed her eyes shut as though in pain. It dont always.

But today it did.

She nodded. Its kinder tire though.

Lets stay awake. Youre sleeping most the day, most the night.

Ok. Whats ta do?

What would you like to do?

Has ye a drink?

Lets do something more than drink. We can have a drink but lets do something else besides. If you dont have a goal in life you just become an alcoholic.

Whats an alkaolic?

The pilot sighed heavily and turned her gaze to the painted judgment above. Im not sure Im qualified to answer that.

Is it a bad thing?

The pilot shrugged noncommittally.

Well a weewhey drinky woulnt hurt.

Thats how it starts.

The child turned crafty. Hey ye wanna bomb fish mores?

The pilot laughed. You dont think theyve had enough?

Life comes when it comes. Sides wasnt them fishies died. They aint had nothin.

Death belongs not to the dead. Let them tell their stories first.

Fishy aint no store tells.

Im sure they have something. The Tale Of Fat Murphy.

Ta whatta fuck?

Murphy was the fattest fish of Wine Lake
Also the only fish that ever spake
He homed in a clam and owned a clock
And warmed his tail in a hobo's sock

His reminiscences were (if ever asked) always of the eighteen seas
until abroad twas thought even by gulls him the gilliest gist in the gee
and with a wink to the gups
and a wink to the yups
would tell of a parapelagic octopus

But what wasnt known nor even rumored was that Murphy was on the take
That for a ten percent cut and some tuna gut
Murph made friends in the fishing trade
He assured all grub the finest cuisine
Called chum a free buffet
And his believing friends (and why wouldnt they believe) were wrapped in magazines

And in Allen's Pond theres stories told of a trout in fishy habit
Whose parish perished in a vat of cajun batter
After the pastor from his coral pulpit
Preached the hook Pisces' ladder

But when suspicion arose
Off Uncle Murphy goes
And yonder comes Mister Murph from whence who knows?

Until a day, a normal day, a winter day in Matter Lake
Mysterious Murph devising schemes
Ate a squab of cheap plastique
His entrails sank towards the bottom of the sea
But no one grieved too long
For in his standing will (executed only in the event of murder)
He invited all his friends partake
Of his mawky bulk
At his benthic wake


Dachni shut her eyes in consternation. Whubbafuck?

Lets call it the Vengeful Tale of Sinful Murph.

Fesh caint tawk.

Whats wrong with a rhyming fish?

Ifn rhymey fish then ets all goaned ta hell.

The pilot conceded with a not unserious smile. You may be right.
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  #194  
Old 04-10-2018, 09:48 PM
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Lord I trekked a painful valley
Ive got the wallowing hard blinds
I got the blind valley shadow blues
You know I got the shadow valley blues
The valley tryin blues
Ears blacked by the news
*
You know I trekked a terrible valley
I got friends I aint seen in a thousand years
Ive got a thouand tears a thousand tears
I got the valley tryin blues
I got the cryin gravedirt blues
*
God I trekked this valley
You dug it up god
Dug up every thorn
Every thorn I ever stepped on
Since the day I was born
*
God Im walking down your valley
Aint got no pews to kneel on
All I got is thorns
These blues I cant give away
God theres some burdens Jesus cant take away
You know these blues are mine
You know these blues are mine
All down the valley theyre mine

Not part of the story but I was listening to blues


In her sleep she was bridled in the carrion mux out which she'd been incarnated but from atop his moraine the dread heresiarch watching her struggle segued her into wakefulness with a query she could not hear. She felt fallen from a height into sour nausea and sweat drip. Gripping tightly her pillow in her fists and beset with the primitive fear that inspires awe of the welkin. And yet the fractal dawncast could not undo her somberness. The pilot found her in gray dolor staring at the barren snow blown waste without her painted window.

Come on, she said wrapping an arm around her.

Caning through a necropolis of a slaughtered eparchy. An uneven gravescape spread over several hectares. Battered menhirs run of their marl or pocked with shallow tafoni. The gated lots of more affluent parishioners. Rows of crosses or headstones combed back. The sole inhabitants a few ice cowled angels perched downhearted upon headstones with lichen toupees, their reluctant benediction belie some uncertainty as to the destinations of those theyd been elected to vigil. Even Jegudiel in his lithic depiction appeared reluctant to commiserate. Farther on into the purlieus of the mausoleum gazebo or templet. Life boat sepulchers that disdained to be committed to the unders. Stainless steel sepulchers in a columbarium as though the dead would not risk these outer shelves again when the trumpet sounds.

I employed a man in the profession of a caretake but hes months late. I presume hes retired without notice. Anaya touched off an avalanche of snow masking a graveface and read the inscription.

Adam Whitley Mauder
2422-2497
Magis Ignis

What she made of it could not be told but it put her to regarding the ordered perfection snow imparts with a sense of its subtle profanity for given that it is idyllic yet even in carnage the peace is not gone. Oceans of blood having soaked these estates ere any ideal was watered.
They moved on. Fallow acres surrounded the basilica, flatting out to barricades of trees or arcs of the ambit where skysill and rim sewed up with nary sign of tracery. In the east very small deer browsed for knotweed or tulips frozen in the snow. A single cloud hovered over them. The child might have shot one but then she realized they were unarmed. She turned to warn Anaya but as she did a weight of cold duffed the top of her head.

Small oversights do end us. She uttered a cry. Felt the wound. Was it bleeding was it mortal. And saw the pilot erasing the evidence from her ends with an exaggerated feign of innocence flourished with a whistle tune.

Ye fuckin cocksucker, she shrieked.

The pilot's hint of smile turned contrite. She started to apologize but Dachni bent and balled a scoop of snow and powdered it against the pilot. The pilot's legs grew unsteady. She began to wobble in a drama of dead moans and spinning before finally collapsing in the snow. Dachni gawped to see her enemy so easily vanquished. She wiped her nose. She threw another snowball to be sure she were dead. Then yelled: Ets ya own falk!

A grinning betentacled head lifted out of the snow. She whipped upright and molded another snowsphere and slung it laconically and the child followed its arc and swatted it angrily out of the air in a white puff and scrambled a janky three legged scramble and tripped and shaped her own projectile and hurled it at the pilot.
In a few minutes they were constructing forts from behind which they exchanged a worried artillery and from where they negotiated a tense armistice and they drew angels in the snow and made a snowman with pebbles for eyes and though a last paleness was flickering over the mackerel clouds torsioning in from the west they made this figure a companion that he might not be lonely.

Even then Dachni had not quite forgiven the pilot. They suppered in a tense quiet as one who has found herself not quite as betrayed as thought. Afterwards when the pilot sank the dishes to wash Dachni webbed her fingers with soap suds and scampered back to her room. She sat on the bed edge watching the door expectantly. Her grimness souring more each moment gone when no shadow trailed up its jamb and after a while she laid down and switched off the nightlight but a few minutes enclad in the bleak brunette twilight fertile to incertitude proved vector to an increep of despair that yawned through the blacker savanna hours coming and she groped for her cane and went out almost in tears.

Vacant dorters are of her hall. On the walls Ganymede in fresco consecrates the tongue of lupus with the decanting of his urn. Here is water in the mountains and water amongst the rocks. Here is the royal library flying burning pages like luminary dove flocks out its lecture halls and reading rooms whilst upon the great steps and the peripatos the stoics tear out their hair.

She waddled bandy legged hastily her backtrack to the lavatory and went to the library to wait on the couch. Here nothing was unadorned. Gothic columns fluted and pearl white rose in triplicate to the high triptych ceiling of earthly delights, their capitals relieved of painted seraphs armed of gladius or pilum and their pedestals a pastel blue with gold inserts and gilt at the vertices. Silent ash lilted over the brushstroke veins of cold calacatta underfoot and the sterling longhand of the mantel clock stuttered over the archipelago of gold numerals, its shadow invisible upon an ebon dial no darker than the orbs that perceived them. Something is being moved towards and what is it and what wilt it? Has it mind to barter? Or has it the sistren dread implacable? And what its desire? Or desires naught? Force racing cross the margins of the world feasting upon capsized souls. It is a thing to be got from and a thing that moves and needs move not. A cyst in time waiting for time to stop.

Along other passageways. A door letting out into a bifurcated atrium where amaryllis and anemone peek out of the snow. Two baths in the communal style of Rome save divided by a high lime wall. She made a circuit of the gallery and went back inside.

At the labyrinth she beheard the wont of wind hunger seething in the infraclavicular fatsness to this plateau plane. Its respire innocent of fleshrot and blood and this worried her the more for if it has not eat when shall it and what?

She checked the library again. A game room. In the eastern storage closet she moseyed through the strew of boxes and fallen shelves and hustled to the refectory restroom and its stalled pots and peed the noisome dregs of her bladder and coming out heard the faint echo of a guffaw. She stopped a tip toe to divine its origins. The sound seemed to be coming from the nave where were hearable the guttural snippets of a python lingo. She followed them to a stairwell off the shrine of the shawled intercessioness spiraling up to an ambulatory running along the triforium with its murals of martyrdom and scriven ivory balustrade. At the choir the image of Michael paused her. Majestic in the parquet and thong athwart the dragon's mazzard.
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  #195  
Old 04-21-2018, 10:23 PM
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Whos this on the radio? an old friend whose last advice was apparently ignored wholesale Hahaha does anyone read this anymore?


Beyond the choir a flight of stairs. An apse. Out of breath upon the landing Dachni looked up to see the pilot enframed in the doorway and small in it. The apse was divided longitudinally into scenes of Gethsemane and it was the sleepers did not the snake also was in the garden. The pilot. She sat at the altar as though it were a table and she seemed well invested in a discourse but with who the child couldnt see. Dachni hissed from behind the stone stud.


The pilot turned in her chair. Id thought you gone to bed.

Ye dennent come! Dachni whined.

You didnt stay.

Dachni glared at her.

Heel little one.

The child turned wary as though of an ambuscade then caned quick across the vast compass medallion floor and headbutted Anaya in the hip and wormed blindly into her lap and stood looking anxiously about. The christ had been taken down and leaned against the wall. And maybe it is with ghosts that her dialect is fully expressed.

Whos your talk to?

The pilot patted a clunky radio set on the altar. Its drab coat scratched by years use. The instrument panel crowded with knobs and dials demarked by white stencil type. Some analog, others digital. Rows of diodes. A keypad with rubber keys.

Thats an over say, she ventured slowly.

Tis but you dont have to say over with this.

Kwipst not? Igh aught.

The pilot brushed her hair. A bad one.

Dachni mewled a sad little note. Doan make fun.

The pilot pressed her nose into her hair and inhaled deeply. She traced an arc on the radio top. This is for friends.

Dachni wracked her brains for its proper operating but she couldnt remember that she didnt know. The pilot guided her hand to the base of a microphone hooked into the jack. She tapped the squelch.

Press this to transmit. Release to receive. Try it.

Dachni stood kneaded her forehead into the pilot and caught one of her whisking ears and held it like a frog caught moth in her lips. The pilot licked her neck. Go on.

Dachni mulled her ear another moment and turned and pressed the squelch. Now what?

Say something.

What?

Pater pakers dinner acres didnt go to the bakers makers.

Dachni pouted sullenly. Yer bein mean.

Anaya nipped her playfully on the nape. Try saying hello.

Dachni frowned. Then she pressed her lips to the wire mesh of the mic and waved. Hidy.

Now take your finger off.

She lifted her finger.

A green light in the upper corner of the radio lit and the needles in their glass cases tweaked crazily and the word taika came through in the unmistakable sibilance of the aienee.

Dachni squealed in delighted angry alarm. Whatd it say?

Taika means hello.

Hidy! she yelled

You have to press the squelch.

Dachni located the squelch and punched it with a thumb. Hidy!

You have to hold it down.

She held it down. Hidy! Gooer you?

Now let it go.

Haintent need no damn rules, she muttered.

A voiced arrived electric and affable. Ungooey. And preferring to retain my consistency. Is this Dachni?

Dachni gasped and considering for a moment bowed shaking up and down in a rush of her blackened hair.

The pilot pressed to transmit. She nods with vigor.

A chuckle came through. Im relieved to make your acquaintance. I was beginning to doubt your existence.

Dachni's face scrunched. Whats akwaintance?

It means to become known to someone.

Oh-kay. She pressed to transmit. Ets gud ta knowed ya too, she said. Whos ooh?

A laborious sub-sub, said the pilot.

A servant. Most bound to the dagestai.

The pilot cleared her throat. Twas not my intention to demean thee servant, esteemed above all others.

I was and remain unoffended nor would it make difference were I so. I profess myself a reservoir of thy blood, an extension of thy will, and the totality of thy necessary sense. Thou art my parasite, I thy tolerating victim.

The pilot would have made wry retort but Dachni hogged the mic to her bosom and turned to deny it. Yalls assta weird talk. Ye dennent say yer was.

Aliatriss Yavri Mai-kin. Rope walker, dragon talker, diplomat of preternatural politic. Loyal lesion to an ornery liege. And if I have failed to communicate the gestural flair of my introduction you may imagine me accompanied by the most liveried retinue of livers in gaudiest cirrhosic pomp.

Hidy Mister Mikey. Aliatry. Yavi. Avi.

Hell lo lo.

Hows it your meet?

I do not follow.

She wants to know how we met, clarified the pilot.

Aye aye aye. Ayeaye. Ayeyaye.

One short of a spider.

Whuh? Dachni paddled excitedly on the mic. Hows your knowed each other? How. How wow ow.

Poorly, chuckled the pilot.

A ponderous hum came through.

How do we know each other? posed the pilot to herself. When were you transferred under my command?

Im wounded thou dost not recall.

I could look up the records but then that wouldnt be knowing would it?

It would be finding out.

Then tell how we met.

I was a permanent fixture on the Ograstksi for the length of your command and when flagships were changed I was in your infallible wisdom transplanted to a dank office in a metal uterus until such time as I could convince the xriagai to procure me a proper billet. But of my time aboard the Ograstksi we never spoke.

For as long as I helmed it?

Helmed? Well. Perhaps it was you knew more then.

The pilot grew somber in reminiscing. Then she shook her head. Worthless times.

For as long as I helmed it?

You commanded, never helmed. Perhaps it was you knew more then.

Somberness overcame the pilot. Phyiagis vrag kataya.

Ssivka.

The pilot looked at the mic. Were you still askrati?

I was.
The pilot's ears wrapped around the back of her skull. Her lips pursed. I
wish we'd talked earlier.

Thy words flatter the sycophant in me.

The pilot scoffed in menace and dragged her cup of whiskey from the altar and drank.

But to your question, dear Dachni, our first meeting was in orbit around a pulsar. It was brusque and prived in toto of these gam's warmth. The dagestai was, if the dagestai permits telling-

Tell.

-dancing in the gravitational lack of the solarium. Where you would be surprised to learn she spent most her time. None suspected a contemplative nature or that her dancing represented more than a conceit. Many thought she was without inner monologue.

Remind me to execute those of the opinion.

Do you really want their names?

I absolutely do.

You see Dachni even in this I have inadvertently condemned some to death. Know that the breath you expend costs lives. But by the time we were aboard the Nghorro her humors were known and the xriagai, who was duly executed for cowardice, quailed at the prospect of delivering an unlucky report and so passed it on to me. However upon my presentation she asked only my stance upon the meaning and since the report Id sailed to her had passed unintercepted and bounced off the glassy membrane of the place I deducing she spoke of the pulsar said it meant that the universe was abiding as it ought the strict protocol of the law. I asked her the purpose of the lamps and she said it was to fill them with light. And that was the first we spoke.

She was pretty mean afore.

Principled I would argue.

I shalt refrain from comment lest I undo my credit with my king.

The pilot glared at the mic.

Is she glowering?

Dachni looked at the pilot. Aye shes gowerin.

But tell me how you two met.

The pilot, the child looked at another.

Never done it.

You never met each other?

No.

You never met your mother?

Dachni bowed out at hip and head. Her brows seesawed in confusion. Shes dead.

The dagestai, I mean.

The child stared in lopsided squint ahead a moment. Her? Mother?

The pilot took her hand from the mic just as she wheeled around.

Mother? she shrieked.

The pilot's ears peeled limply from her neck and drooped to her shoulders. She listed slightly as if vacuumed of spirit. The static buzz of the mic echoed and the echos were imbued with something of their baroque surroundings. Dachni seized the pilot by throat and chin and the visage turned up was scalded by shame, the irises as provinces of sorrowing. Dachni's fingers slipped to her sides. Her head hung. Neither moved. A desolate heaviness disformed the contours of her heart and the chambers gasped and sighed hot streams of tears to her uttermost being. She shut her eyes. She cried. And then she rotated mechanically and lighted her finger upon the mic. She held it. Her mouth opened but no words came. She pressed to transmit. Her uncombed breath passed between her lips. Her finger pulled away. Pressed to transmit.

Adopted, she said.

The thaw came in the third week of April and the snowmelt flooded the narthex. They stoppered the waters with a temporary caulk of towels applied to the gates and mopped up the reservoirs that had formed and when the waters receded from the raised crepidoma it was spring.
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  #196  
Old 04-22-2018, 09:07 PM
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I still read it; every post. I donít comment much anymore because Iím tired of saying: this is fucking amazing. You already know that. Donít need me to tell you.


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Old 04-23-2018, 07:28 AM
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Ah ha madness. Thanks ;D
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