whoa iz me

In the Oh God, NO department my brO has announced that he hears the dialogue of my character, Jesse, in the voice of Aaron Paul, as Jesse Pinkman, whereas Jesse Silver has a BC Interior accent, which is supposed to make his social justice musings a commentary on possible reader expectations of  ‘rural’ characters.

Jeff’s take on it is actually hilarious, but I’m going to fighting like a cornered wolverine not to think about this while I’m writing further dialogue.

I do recall I make a Breaking Bad reference in (I believe) Upsun.  Yup, it was in Upsun because it was my first foray into writing about guns.  It just always pissed me off that everybody has guns in fiction but they just magically fall from the sky.  George has a choice about getting some guns.  He can buy them illegally and have that hanging over him when he tries to become a citizen. He can buy them legally through proxies but that means every proxy has to get a gun licence and he doesn’t want to give up the data points yet. He can steal them, see problem one. Or he can swipe a largely illegal inheritance from a man he believes to have harmed two of his friends, which is twice as much reason as a Sixer needs to do anything. It means he dodges having to use his special powers to obtain them.  He knows that if the acquisition is discovered, it’ll go better if he didn’t do anything an opportunistic human wouldn’t do. The Silvers will have to eat looking like his stooges, but it’s what they joint and severally signed up for.  Anyway, author comment finished I sound like a moron.

37 I’m doing God’s work

Jesse woke up around ten, his eyes full of gravel and his mouth stuck shut with something akin to bat guano. He felt like an island of life assaulted by a sea of death, in this case the heaving, slimy bag that currently restrained his guts.

He just barely made it to the toilet, and was very putridly sick from both ends for what seemed an improbable span of time. He was just about to call 911 before he passed out, when the door rattled and Raven came in. “Hello this house,” she called.

“In here,” Jesse said, his voice cracking.

She saw him, slumped against the toilet, and said, instantly, “When’s the last time you drank anything?”

“Beer last night,” he admitted. His throat was on fire; he hardly had the strength to push air past his voice box.

“I wonder if I caught this from the dog shit,” Jesse mumbled.

“What were you doing with dog shit?” Raven asked, disgusted, but also unsure she’d heard him properly.

“What indeed?” he asked an uncaring universe, and flipped ends while Raven stepped away from the bathroom to ‘give you your privacy and get some liquids happening’.

Jesse wasn’t much of a cook. His downtrodden refusal to learn to cook, no matter what his mother said or did, was one of the ways he stayed autonomous, and Raven had gotten tired of hauling what she considered staples to his house the odd time she’d cook for him. He had organic chicken broth, thanks to one of her shopping trips. She even acknowledged once that it was pleasant he had a Choices market so close. She nuked up a mug for him and asked him if he was okay with drinking it ‘in there’, where hideous gurglings still ruled, and she could hear the shudder in his voice as he said, “No, thanks.”

The cramping pain subsided enough to permit him to hose himself off. With the last of his strength, assisted with no nonsense by Raven, he crawled back into bed.  Raven had put down garbage bags to prevent him from destroying his mattress, and remade the bed, so he could sit up.  The broth was welcome, though he knew it wouldn’t hang around long, and he dozed for about half an hour before he woke up and puked into his kitchen garbage can, which Raven had repurposed into a lined emesis basin.

“How’d you know to come over?” Jesse said weakly.

“Some guy you work with called and said you’d been in terrible shape the night before and he was worried about you. I called and you didn’t answer.”

“I didn’t even hear it ring,” Jesse said. He had accidentally recorded the audio of his interpretive dance, although he would not know that until the next time he looked at his phone.

“So I called him back and asked where you were and he said he was sure you were here, because you’d texted him when you got home.”

Michel, you fucking asshole.

A thought occurred. “Did he say who he was?”


“Did he have a French Canadian accent?”

“What? No, I don’t think so, just sounded like your average west coast working dude.”

I’ve heard him mimic George, so I’m sure he could manage without the identifying accent for a phone call.  Why he picked up that outrrrrageous accent has not been adequately explained. Of course, I say things with cartoon voices all the time, but not day in, day out…

Raven stayed with him until she was sure he could keep himself hydrated, and with a wave from the doorway, beetled off to make her afternoon shift at the shelter.

The illness poured through his body for twenty-four hours, and then trickled away to nothing but appalling gas. To his wonderment, the gas was completely odourless, but on consideration, and with a teensy ball of opium to calm his guts and soothe his nerves, that made perfect sense. Then he lost his train of thought. He prayed to his appendix, night and day, to recolonize his spent and flaccid tubes, which now accepted toast with a small amount of butter.

Thanks to Raven, he’d been able to sleep. Looking fierce, she had said, “I only brought one, I carry it for emergencies, only. You owe me twenty bucks or like in kind.”

“Jesus. Don’t you know I’m glad you didn’t bring me fentanyl? And I have no idea where to score opium, you’re better connected than me. You think I’ll get addicted?”

“Shush you. Bye.” The door banged and her key rattled and scraped.

He got a call from George cheerily asking if he was up for a move, and he said, voice still hoarse from puking, “No, thanks to Michel.”

A pause. “What do you think he did?”

“Infected me with giardia, or maybe it was radioactive tap dancing e. coli, but definitely something pathogenic that did unspeakable things to my colon,” Jesse said. “Perhaps if you mention dogshit to him his memory will work.”

“He is a prankster,” George said. “I take it you are too debilitated to work.”

Jesse was too tired to raise his voice, but the ire was unmistakeable. “I lost four pounds in one day and didn’t get more than groggy little naps the whole time, what do you think? But I suppose I should thank him for calling my sister, I might have gotten really messed up.”

The conversation ground to a halt.

George said, without particular emphasis, as was his custom when he was angry or alarmed, “Michel spoke with your sister.”

“Yeah, but he didn’t identify himself, according to Raven. And he wasn’t using an accent, so for all I know you called her.”

“No,” said George. “I haven’t contacted your sister. I don’t want to have this conversation over the phone. May I come over?”

“Why not?” Jesse said. “Whatever I’ve got, you can’t get.”

George arrived by cab about an hour later. It was midday, so Jesse was trapped in the house anyway.

Without preamble, George said, “I’ve spoken with Michel.”

“I’m sure him poisoning me came up.”

“I’m sure it did too, and I was a party to the conversation,” George said mildly. “You’re right to be annoyed. Michel is testing me in front of a mixed group of humans and my kind.”

“Your kind, which doesn’t have a name,” Jesse said. “I’ve taken to calling you ‘the great unknowable rubber and glue people’ since you haven’t gotten around to picking a name for yourselves.”

“We don’t have a legally enforceable or trade-markable name in English, as things are,” George said.  “My lawyer advises me that if we call ourselves Squids, there’ll be more race-hatred, faster, whereas Sixer calls out some of our architectural differences and doesn’t have as many negative connotations.”

“I don’t know which is worse,” Jesse said.

“What’s worse?” George said.

“I don’t know which is worse,” Jesse repeated, “that you have a lawyer, or that you’re an alien.”

“Oh, that,” George said. “You’re okay with it, right? When you’re hiding money in many places, you really need a competent and quite improper lawyer.”