Succulent succumbs individuality for universally 

A painful hat, fedora sat on subordinates 

Greasy success, with hazardous guessing inordinate 

Juggling poodles, surgery of noodles in a cave 

I’m a succulent succumbing, individuality for universally 

Align the moon angels, on heat 

Summoning ringside seats, singing plumbers who have fatburgs 

Dying city, with none to morn her 

Gallah pasta salad, for me. What will you have?

Advertisements

Hammersmith. Chapter twenty three

Darren was awakened by a discrete light that fell upon his sheets like a lonely cat. Come to think of it where was that cat? She was Mary’s cat and had taken to sleeping on her side of the bed in the two bedroom apartment. It was lonely when she went out. Like a drop of water looking for a pool. Lost in a desert of memory.


 

“This is my cat, Madge. Really she’s Magdalene but she’s not been that good a friend. She’s more a grumpy sook.” Mary laughed.

Darren had a little chuckle. It was one of those moments. It was love he knew it. She was telling him things about herself he knew she never let anyone. She was brought up in a deeply Catholic household. Though she had abandoned the religion herself, she still held a longing for some of the images that the religion could hold. A cat named after a friend of Jesus, just the sort of image Mary liked to inspire. Of course she also liked to point out that their are many other darker images that tried to keep the fear of a god. Mary had told him how she used to be petrified of her God. Then one day she asked him if she should be scared of him. Apparently he had told her no one should fear their God.

Darren new that as they made love Madge would often be near by. It never fazed him, but it did make home think that Mary wanted her God to know what was going on. It wasn’t a up yours, as some idiot former boyfriends had guessed when she asked them. They had all gotten weirded out by the fact she let the cat go wherever she liked. So she asked them why and they didn’t pass that test. They were not the one to marry.

Darren had answered correctly. Not that he had really known religion. Mother had let them know that if their were gods, they were small and only just slightly more powerful then the demons or whatever other nasty spiritual creatures you could imagine. She had read books to him and Arline about Babi Yaga and her duck footed hut. The gods and legends of her ancestors from the deep north of Russia. How she had come to living in the Canadian country side was a story she rarely made any reference to. She worked at the aged care center looking after old people. She nursed them regardless of how hard it could be. She always had that quality. The idea that people needed to be looked after and respected. Even in old age. The gods she kept were not always good. The fact that people would die wasn’t a evil thing. Like leaves rotting on the forest floor, bringing new life to fungi and insects, then mice who fed on them, then compost that let the new growth come in spring, mice to feed the foxes and owls, foxes to feed the Eagles. Old age was just a part of life. One that all being dealt with. We only have our lives, then the lives we help to grow, and those who helped us grow. She would say “Life for life. Death for life. Change and constant. Memories and forgetting. This will all be again.” It was conforming to hear her voice in his memory.


 

Captain Cass was watching as Galler got his group of soldiers ready on the flank of the group of Blues near the entry of the SOL/SF complex. She had learned to trust the big brute. He wasn’t at all the kind of person she would have usually trusted. Big mouthed. Big mussels. Brains were bigger than you would think, but he was only smarter than the average bear. Anyone could take orders, Galler could get them done, and often with minimal issues. Galler was one of natures Sargents.

He used the electronic hand signal and the three troopers on the right of him took aim. I knew what our job was now. Cover fire. So I hit the little switch in my mind for that. Instantly my troopers and my other Sargent Tiller took up their covering jobs. Three bursts of three. Repeat.

On cue Gallers troopers moved to the next position. We did it again. Three bursts of three. Then the bombardier Han, took aim with the concussion grenade. We count down to two. Now its my turn. Just a few bursts from the plasma should do it, then boom. The grenade goes off then Galler and his troopers have surrounded one of the smaller Blue troopers. We are quick to move into Gallers flanks, Tiller on the right, me on the left. Troopers from our groups on both sides firing full bursts as Galler and his troopers take their prize. Then we move back to the fallback position. Or that was how it was meant to go. The Blue commander saw a gap in Tillers fire and got Mendez. A trooper from the south of America. He was dead and their was no point trying to go back. We had what we needed. One of our dead troopers unfortunately wasn’t worth as much as one Blue trooper who we can get intelligence off of.

It sucked. It was like leaving behind a arm or leg. Tiller was shouting for us to go back and get him. I knew it would be to late. Mendez’s stats shot up on my HUD helmet. Pulse 0. No brain activity. No hope.

I told Tiller. “No! We need to get this Blue to the back up bunker and get him to Intel. We don’t need you to die today Tiller. I need you to keep up that cover fire till we are all safe or we will all die. Otherwise Mendez is all for nothing.”

At that moment golden flames from above came down. It was some Luna SF fighters. Two squadrons. They blasted the  blue into dust and gave us much needed respite. All to soon I saw them get taken out one by one by the Blues fighters. Fucking dogfish looking things. They had some extra armor or something. The Luna SF fighters didn’t stand a chance. Then their was a rumbling noise.

The Blue lander craft took off. Had it go whatever they were looking for? I had no way of knowing. We got what we needed. But I had sacrificed one of my men to get it. My commander would chew me out for that. Captain or not, I would be lucky to keep that rank after these losses.

Hammersmith, chapter twelve.

To describe what exactly this feeling was would be to give it a reality that was unborn of its kin. Like a festival held in a swamp, sticking and festering in its entirety while still showing the world its purpose. It’s the kidneys of feelings. The liver of the soul. The fish swim in its streams are not hungry. The insects are fat and bloated. The music of the festival is dark and full of melodrama. Anger was still here but in good company. There was still hope and growth and the beer flows well, the barley is freshly harvested and the food is a culinary adventure but a pleasant one nonetheless.

Darren sat in his apartment living room listening to the next track on the album. Each one tied to a memory of Mary. The next song was a really old Passion in Liverpool cover of a Jethro Tull song called Budapest. We met in Budapest. In a cafe near a Medárch Square in Elizabethtown. The memory came back like a dream.

****
“Hello their handsome.”
Sitting a short distance from Darren Mary is in this cafe. Her short black hair and red dress shining in the mid morning sun.
In his SF uniform Darren had joined pretty much as soon as it formed.
Realizing he didn’t have much better to do, being utterly lost and completely unable to be on time, he sits.
“Hi… I’m Darren, Lieutenant Darren Verne. Do you know where the Budapest Space Force building is?”
Mary took her sunglasses off. “Oh. It’s far from here. You will need a good coffee before you get back on the bus.” Arching her back and sitting up properly Mary isn’t a small woman. Almost six and a half feet, she’s quite elfine.
Darren takes a seat.
“If I’m going to be late, it’s a good thing I get to meet you. I am sure the Space Force needs me to be a pilot, but I can be late for one lesson.”
“They haven’t taken all the rebellion out of you then.”
“The SF? Hah. I’m only in uniform as its day one of my astro course. Tomorrow and the rest of the semester its slacks with band names and a music player if the lecture is dull. I’m don’t even need to be in my uniform today really, but it helps set the mood for me. Gets me ready to learn.”
“I’m cycling round Europe on a break from her medical degree, I’m about a year late for my last lecture!” Mary laughs a choral that fills the air like chimes.
Budapest had been one of the few cities left completely unscathed by those events they now call the Incident.
Mary buys him a coffee to take away and walks with him, then takes the bus with him, then later on she’s standing with her bike and another outside the university building.
She smiles a huge smile at Darren and says “Hey Mr Pilot. Let’s see if those big legs are as good as they look like they are!”

*****
The memory fades as the last flute solo and rock chord play.

Darren presses repeat.

******
The smell of the coffee. Good real coffee. It’s not as hard to come by now. All this an in a hour it’s over. But I have her number, she’s in Budapest for a week. I’m here till I have done my astronavigation course and am ready for the mixed G training. She’s a nurse though maybe she knows something that will help. So halfway though my next lecture I text her.

sure do. Ginger, exercises, inner ear medicine, and vomit bags :p

how did you know that so quick?

they don’t call me Dr. For nothing. My specialty is space medicine.

of course I befriend the space dr on luck 🙂

so we are friends, huh? I thought you might like a date before I leave bud?

I almost yell out in class.
My lecturer, Dr Bova asks. “So you have a strong opinion on my calculations Mr… Uh… Verne?”
“Um no. Sir.” I say apologetically.

just interrupted my class I got so excited! Tonight?
19:30 Blue on the glen. Wear that sexy uniform military boy
yes Ma’am

#####

Then there she is. In a uniform as well!
“Hey there. I’m Lt. Mary Havester, I believe we where scheduled for a date?”

*****

The dream like state goes and music starts to fade.
Tears are streaming down Darren’s face. “No more. I will remember the rest of that night, when I am ready.”