by erli Read this piece’s entry in the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.
by Yuriaredaku (祐里あれ抱く) illustrated by erli “You know, if you’d just wear black, we’d have to do laundry a whole lot less!” “We’ve been over this,” Adric said, roughly dragging his sweaty dirt-stained shirt off and throwing it on the ground with a damp smack, followed quickly thereafter by his mud-encrusted boots and trousers. The […]
“Approaching destination. Planet’s denomination: K-72-13. Entering atmosphere in twenty minutes.”
The computer’s voice broke the silence in the transport’s cockpit. A previous pilot had programmed it to speak with a soft feminine voice, so Tyler couldn’t help referring to the machine as ‘she’. He hadn’t given her a name, though, and he tried not to humanize her too much. He saw how some of his colleagues lost track of reality after too many lonely flights and started talking to their computers as if they were their best friends. Tyler liked to think he was a calm, well-adjusted man, and under normal circumstances he preferred the company of other people to that of a disembodied voice.
Today’s passenger, though, was proving to be a handful even for him. Junior technician Mikhail Nikovic was squirming in the seat next to him, clutching the edges of his tool kit with his long fingers. He was a tall, lanky guy, almost as tall as Tyler himself, though you wouldn’t have guessed it by the way he sat with his shoulders hunched, leaning away from the control panel. Tyler ferried a bunch of passengers between the outer planets every month, but he had a feeling that he’d remember this particular one.
This is the best shaggy-dog story that I know:
Way back when I was a freshman in high school, I had this math teacher named Mr. Siegal. Mr. Siegal was a hardass. You hear stories about hardass teachers sometimes, the ones that push their students hard and take no shit and never let up and turn out to be the best, most inspiring teachers a guy could ever have–well, that wasn’t the kind of hardass that Mr. Siegal was. Mr. Siegal was a hardass because he wanted everybody else to be just as miserable as he was. Later on I found out that he’d burned out on his PhD program and had to grab the first job that came along that he was qualified for, but all I knew back then was that he hated everything, including his job and us. We didn’t like him much, either.
I’m living time backwards.
I know this for certain because I was in the middle of doing something, of completing something, and suddenly I was undoing it in the way that I’d done it. And I just kept undoing.