I’m no hand with a pencil nor type, but Counselor told me to try. So here I am. Truth is this: my impulse is to snap this writing stick into toothpicks. All I’ve got is muscles and rage. If you don’t believe me, ask my knuckles. They’ve tasted more jawbones than average, blued more eyeballs, cracked a dozen ribs, and busted more cheeks than I can count. There’s more teeth embedded in my fists than bone.
Now you ask, who’s the dilly brain stuck a man like that in outer space? Folks call this a space ship. It ain’t. It’s nothing but a cussed tin can. Worse, it’s full of fancy-pants scientists who think they’re so darn smart. It gets all that rage seething inside me like a bottle of shook-up koosha. If you ask me, and nobody does, a body has gotta be brain-special to stick a convicted felon onboard this thing. I’m supposed to be the hired muscle. My job is to protect the fancies from anything that makes them shit or scream. Problem is, right now I’m the only one causing the fancies to lose control of their sphincters.
Blast. That’s my second writing stick to snap. I’ll just have to use the nub cause I can’t go get more without asking a fancy. And well – something other than a pencil might end up in pieces then.
I told Counselor before I left, “I’m mighty fond of smashing bones. Any time I see a fancy my fingers itch to get around his twiddly arms and crack ‘em in two.” The bloody fool wouldn’t listen. Nah, he kept prattling on about it being a chance to lower my sentencing. Makes no sense. Upright guy like him oughta lie abed at night sweating to keep me in.
I asked him straight out why he was fighting my side when he knew just as well as anybody that…well, that I’d done stuff. He said he believed in redemption. And he said he didn’t believe it was up to one human being to decide when another had “outlived his usefulness”. I can’t figure it out. He must benefit somehow from having me on this mission. But if he wanted it to succeed, why put me aboard? And if he wanted me gone, well, all he’d of had to do was wait a few months. He could have chucked me in the incinerator himself.
It’s a puzzle.
Meanwhile I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off dead. I’ve gone from one can to another. Prison was better than this. The food for one thing. And I’d get some fresh air now and then. In here I’m breathing the fancies’ burps and farts. The food comes in foil packages, looking like fungus and not tasting much better. There’s no perks up here. No making special deals either.
I’m bored out of my skin. Oh sure, I work out. Gotta keep the muscle I’m here for. But do that for ten hours a day and you still got 14 left. And all them fancies prancing around, acting important, smirking at me to hide the shudders. Makes me so ma—
$#%&! Darn thing broke again. It’s no use. I can barely hold this stupid nub. Maybe Eve will give me a couple. At least she’s not as smug as that cabbage-head Tooleridge. Plus she’s nice to look at. Nice round buns. She’d do for the foundry bar with her eyes and laugh. She don’t seem to mind me too much neither. I think she’s trying to show she’s tough.
Course if I go now, Tooleridge will be on shift with her. And if he makes one more snide remark about me being all brawn and no brain, I’m gonna smash his face in.
I’ll be right back.