Hustle and Bustle
No rest for thee
We must keep moving
There’re ruins to see
Dirty Dingy Dusty Jordan
What an increase in mental load
To wonder what new horror awaits
When next I visit the commode
One of the greatest sights so far
A desert night and lots of stars
The moon throwing me a crescent smile
And Saturn, Jupiter, Venus in single file
With that sight a pleasant sound
Silence! By God, there’s no one around
“Quit your bellyachin!” Big John scolded the crew of seven. “I won’t stand for it.”
A whisper made its way into one of the crew’s ears about how few things Big John - a euphemism, as calling him ‘Fat John’ was grounds for dismissal - would stand for. The man into whose ear this sentiment was whispered snickered involuntarily.
“Who’s cracking jokes? I should dock all your pay.” At that there came a chorus of ‘fuck yous’ and miscellaneous grumbling. After a moment, one of the crew spoke up.
It had been a full day since the family first sought refuge in the small cabin. The hours had been spent pacing, arguing, and, for the two youngest members, huddling together under the table. They knew they couldn’t stay there, but the danger outside was too great to chance.
“Do you think it’s still out there?” asked Shawn, the oldest brother. At nineteen, he’d already taken over most duties on the family’s farm and had been looking forward to this ‘relaxing vacation’ for months.
“I don’t know - why don’t you check?” Cary spat. Sixteen had hit him particularly hard and a week with his family sounded like torture even before it had gone south. Spending the past twenty four hours within a few yards of the clan had worn through whatever mental fortitude he had left.
Staring ahead, mind’s dead
Paper’s blank, motive’s sank
Can’t think, spill no ink
Soldier through, a word or two
Fill the page, fight the rage
Don’t be mad, yes it’s bad
But what was missed, now exists
Chrysler had one more trick up her sleeve. Well, not up her sleeve, per se, as she had divested herself of her garments over the previous few minutes, but the phrase is applicable idiomatically at the very least, if not also euphemistically. Perhaps it works double duty as a euphemism, given the nature of her work. In any case, she had one final talent to display.
By talent, of course, we’re not talking about thirty-some kilograms of precious metal. She loved Gold and Silver - both had lockers near her - but Chrysler had none of their namesakes to her own name. The closest she came was a small “copper” bracelet Jade had given her made of a stainless steel police badge. No, talent in this case refers to skill and mastery of craft. Before we go down that road, it should be clear we’re talking about the intangible craft, not the nautical kind, as it was preceded by the word skill just moments ago.
The smell was overwhelming; it went beyond filling the young girl’s nose and seemed to bleed into taste, sight, and sound. She did not so much walk through the garden as float through it, carried by her senses.
“Violet!” the girl’s mother called out like a whip. Violet dropped back to her feet.
“Mom!” she implored. “I was having such a nice time!”
“If you spend any more time out here you’re going to turn into a flower--” Violet did not see a downside in this consequence “--go wash up and get ready for bed.”
“How dare you speak to your commanding officer like that?”
“Oh, I dare.”
“You’re on thin ice!”
“What are you going to do about it? You’re there and I’m here.”
“You just wait.”
With a slap of the chest the communication link between the two was disconnected. The Captain pondered his predicament - as yet undetected in the bowels of a Borg Cube, he wouldn’t stay that way for long. With the insubordination of the junior officer, his assimilation was almost certainly guaranteed.