Deathwalker 9.3

            For the first time, the dark-haired woman showed an emotion besides distant amusement. One eyebrow raised slightly, and her lips pursed. The rest of the crew’s responses weren’t nearly as subtle. They turned abruptly and stared disconcertedly at each other as if unsure what to do. Even Kith forgot his anger – at least, he stopped looming over me and stomped closer to the screen. He tapped the same section of the wall that Mor had hit earlier. A rectangle of light appeared.
            “It is on,” he stated in an edged voice, glaring at the solid white rectangle – clearly unimpressed. I managed to turn my chuckle into a cough. Not quickly enough apparently. Either that, or he considered the diversion over and was ready to yell at me again.
            “Raz, what station?” Metz asked calmly.
            A moment of silence answered her. He must have already clicked off.
            “A waste of time,” Kith growled, reaching out to tap the wall once more.
            “Screen, display the station Raz has playing,” the dark-haired woman called out. I blinked. I’d been wondering why someone didn’t call Raz back and ask. Her way was better.
            The instant she finished talking, the screen darkened to the blackness of space, broken by several swirls of light. An intergalactic map. In front of it, a fashionably dressed Ialuan spoke directly to the camera while gesturing to different areas of the map. As she did, each area she pointed out emerged from the map to form a holographic image of the area.
            “…disappeared on established trade routes to and from the Riyoon galaxy. And while only 2 bodies have been recovered, I.S. detectives believe that the disappearances are linked.”
            “Disappearances?!”
            Low, muttered questions and exclamations drowned out the Ialuan newscaster as the image behind changed to several Ialuan women and men modeling the latest fashions.
            “Screen, display the most informative written article on the disappearances in the Riyoon galaxy,” Kith ordered intently. I raised both eyebrows at his order and hoped their screen was better at judging what was informative than the ones I’d used before.
            The rumblings died down as the article appeared on the screen. The crowd of crew members shifted closer until they formed a visual wall. I could read the headline, but that was it. That was enough to make me very nervous.

Riyoon Slave Trade Reopened? 2 Dead 27 Missing

            27 missing? How could there be 27 missing? I stood quickly in a vain attempt to read over the crew’s shoulders. Nope. Straining in vain to see, I kicked myself for forgetting my compwatch again. Huffing out an annoyed breath, I sat back down and returned to my meal. Or tried to. Even the new flavors couldn’t compete with the mystery at hand. Especially not with the crew’s continued muttering.
            “Experimented on?”
            “Tortured.”
            Those 3 words together are pretty hard to ignore. But assuming those details were about the 2 bodies they’d found, the mystery became even more baffling.
            Why didn’t they ask the deceased who’d killed them? That was Deathwalking 101 – our original purpose and still our number one duty. It was also the number one reason for the decrease in murders over the last century. You had to be pretty creative not to give the person you’re killing some clue to who killed them.


With a Broad Brush

With a broad brush,
She paints the sky with black,
Blocking out stars,
The faintest trace of light.
Layer upon layer,
She buries them away.
Layer upon layer,
The stubborn stars stay.


A Repeating Struggle

A spark of thought
No time to pursue
A moment free
No recollection – or
No energy
(No consciousness even)
A repeating struggle
Broken only by paper and pen.


Beautiful Silence

Beautiful silence:
Mysteriously vibrant
Until the door slams.


Catch Up: An Exercise in Silliness

SC: [sing-songy]

Catch up, ketchup, caught –
A single line of thought.
So easily squished, so easily dead.
Are you sure I can’t just read instead?

 

IC: What is that even about? Ketchup?

SC: Don’t judge!


Automatic Thought

Utterly
Normal,
Even mundane – an
Xray of automatic thought
Portrayed as unusual and
Exciting, despite its obviousness:
Certainty of others’
Thoughts gives way:
Ease overriding creativity. How
Do they stand it?


But for Sighs

Hear the throbbing hum of the air conditioning
Trailed by a lighter, higher rattle of the fan.
Through them both, pencils scrape,
Little whispers of sound –
Now fast. Now slow. Now silent.
A rubber tip beats a drum beat
Once. Twice. A frown. It stops.
High and sibilant, paper slithers
Across a plastic desk, across other pages,
Then, loudly protests as it flips and bends.
Fingers tap, feet fidget –
But lips and mouths stay still but for sighs:
Silent people in a loud room.


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