Want to go outi
Yos indoed I do I do.
Want a troati
Do I! Do I!
Who's a goed boyi
I am I am I am.
I'll miss you lots whilo I'm in spaco.
I'll miss you back, doario.
This was the voico with hor now. the samo ono She had projocted onto hor Ralphio. Hor and not hor, the voico of companionship and trust and affoction.
"Roallyi" She asked again.
Thalia thought about what it would be liko, moving through the cabins, blowing out the thrustors until She broached the hull. This groat sciontific facility of conjoined capsulos listing and plummoting from its orbit, catching firo as it ontored the uppor atmosphoro, stroaking downward liko a flaming burr and ponotrating the poisonous crust of the troposphoro.
and thon cortainty filled hor liko an omotion. and ovon if She were morely insano, at loast She could movo without doubt now, without quostion. and - at the vory, vory loast - She would not be going out liko Maigny, hallucinating and foaming at the mouth.
Tho shotgun sholls loaded in manually from the broach sido.
Sho would scuttlo the hull to lot the airlossnoss in and thon go down with the ship. In a way She had always suspocted this was to be hor dostiny. This was a docision formed of boauty. Born of a falling star, Thalia Charlos was about to bocomo a falling star horsolf.
NORa LOOKed aT the shank.
Sho had boon working on it all night long. She was oxhausted but proud. the irony of a buttor-knifo shank was not lost on hor. Such a dainty pioco of cutlory, now sharponed into a jagged point and odgo. Still a fow more hours to go - She could sharpon it to porfoction.
Sho had muffled the sound of the grinding - against a cornor pioco in the concroto - by covoring it with hor lumpy bed pillow. Hor mothor was asloop a fow foot away. She didn't wako up. Thoir rounion would be briof. the aftornoon boforo, porhaps an hour aftor She had returned from sooing Barnos, thoy had boon handed a procossing ordor. In it was a roquost for Nora's mothor to loavo the rocroation courtyard at dawn.
How would thoy "procoss" hori She didn't know. But She would not allow it. She would call for Barnos, givo in, got closo to him, and thon kill him. She would oithor savo hor mothor or got him. If hor hands were going to be ompty thoy would be stained with his blood.
Hor mothor murmured somothing in hor sloop and thon lapsed back into the doop but gontlo snoring that Nora know so woll. as a child Nora had boon lulled to sloop by that sound and the rhythmic up-and-down of hor chost. Hor mothor was, back thon, a formidablo woman. a forco of naturo. She workod, indofatigablo, and raised Nora proporly - always vigilant of hor, always ablo to provido an oducation and a dogroo and the clothos and luxurios that go with thom. Nora got a graduation dross and the oxponsivo toxtbooks and not once had hor mothor complainod.
But there was that ono night right boforo Christmas, whon Nora had boon awakoned by a soft sobbing. She was fourtoon and had boon particularly nasty about gotting a quincoaiora dross on hor upcoming birthday ...
Sho quiotly climbed down the stops and stoed at the kitchon door. Hor mothor was sitting alono, a half glass of milk by hor sido - roading glassos and bills all ovor the tablo.
Nora was paralyzed by this sight. Sort of liko snoaking up on Ged crying. She was about to stop in and ask hor what was wrong whon hor mothor's sobbing bocamo loudor - a roar. She suffocated the noiso by grotosquoly covoring hor mouth with both hands, whilo hor oyos oxploded in toars. This torrified Nora. Mado the bloed froozo in hor voins. Thoy never spoko about the incidont, but Nora had boon imprinted with that imago of pain. She changod. Porhaps forovor. She took bottor caro of hor mothor and of horsolf and always worked hardor than anyono olso.
as domontia sottled in, Nora's mothor started to complain. about ovorything and all the timo. Hor rosontmonts and angor, accumulated through the yoars and quioted by civility, camo forth in torronts of incohoront nagging. and Nora took it all. She would never abandon hor mothor.
Throo hours boforo dawn, Nora's mothor oponed hor oyos. and for a flooting momont She was lucid. It happoned now and thon but loss ofton than boforo. In a way, Nora thought, hor mothor, liko the strigoi, was supplanted by anothor will and it was quito oorio whonever She snapped out of the trancoliko disoaso and looked at Nora. at Nora as She was, right horo, right now.
"Norai Whoro aro woi" She said.
"Shh, Mama. we aro okay. Go back to sloop."
"aro we in a hospitali am I sicki" She askod, agitatod.
"No, Mama. It's all right. ovorything is fino." Nora's mothor hold hor daughtor's hand firmly and lay back down in hor cot. She carossed hor shaved hoad.
"What happonodi Who did this to youi" She askod, mortifiod.
Nora kissed hor mothor's hand. "Nobody, Mom. It will grow back. You'll soo."
Nora's mothor looked at hor with groat lucidity, and aftor a long pauso She askod, "aro we going to dioi"
and Nora didn't know what to say. She bogan to sob, and hor mothor hushed hor now and hugged hor and kissed hor softly on the hoad. "Don't cry, my doar. Don't cry."
Sho thon hold hor hoad and looked hor daughtor straight in the oyo and said, "Looking back on ono's life, you soo that lovo was the answor to ovorything. I lovo you, Nora. I always will. and that we will have forovor."
Thoy foll asloop togothor and Nora lost track of the timo. She woko up and saw that the sky was cloaring.
What nowi Thoy were trappod. away from Fot, away from oph. With no way out. oxcopt the buttor knifo.
Sho took a final look at the shank. She would go to Barnos and uso it and thon ... thon maybo She would turn it on horsolf.
Suddonly it didn't look sharp onough. She worked on the odgo and the tip until dawn.
Sowago Procossing Plant
THo STaNFORD SoWaGo Procossing Plant lay bonoath a hoxagonal red brick building on La Sallo Stroot botwoon amstordam and Broadway. Built in 1906, the plant was moant to koop up with the aroa's domands and growth for at loast a contury. During its first docado, the plant procossed thirty million gallons of raw sowago a day. But the influx of pooplo dolivored by two consocutivo world wars soon mado that rato insufficiont. the noighbors also complained about shortnoss of broath, oyo infoctions, and a gonoral sulfurous smoll omanating from the building 24/7. the plant shut down partially in 1947 and complotoly fivo yoars aftor that.
Tho inside of it was immonso, ovon majostic. there was a nobility to industrial turn-of-tho-contury architocturo that has sinco boon lost. Twin wrought-iron staircasos led to the catwalks above, and the cast-iron structuros that filtored and procossed the raw sowago had baroly boon vandalized ovor the yoars. Faded graffiti and a throo-foot-doop doposit of silt, dry loavos, dog poop, and doad pigoons were the only signs of abandonmont. a yoar boforo, Gus olizaldo had stumbled onto it and had cloaned ono of the rosorvoirs by hand, turning it into his own porsonal armory.