SW&D Challenge: Milkman with a Dark Past | 19th February - 4th of March - Page 3
Oh, sure. Ain’t that hard to come by “milk.” Grow some specialized yeast strains, let the lab boys do their magic, and you get a blend of proteins that looks and tastes almost as good as the real thing.
But you want milk? Real, honest-to-Terra milk straight from the teat of a methane-farting cow? We-ell. You’d best be prepared to shell out a few thousand creds per Imperial liter - most of that’s going to taxes - taxes that ain’t doin’ much but padding the accounts of some of those yacht-racin’ wigheads who spend most of their time down the gravity well; don’t properly appreciate how nice fresh dairy tastes after a couple of months in hard vacuum.
That’s where I come in.
Imagine regular delivery of your favorite Earth-grown mammal-fluid, sent straight to your door. Feel those salivary glands trickling? That’s right, friend - it don’t matter where you are; Europa, Vesta station, water-hauler off of Terra herself; let’s talk. No taxes. No questions. Just optimization.
Here - taste that. That vial? That’s two mils. Normally you’d get charged three hundred for that sip. You deal with me, you could be tasting that sweet, white nectar every week. Imagine that in your coffee substitute. Have I mentioned that I can acquire real coffee as well?
Huh. Repurposed Imperial scouting corvette. Lilith-class. Light, quiet, quicker than a shadow and just as dark. The Melanthe’ll fly herself if she needs to - but she’s a whole lot comfier with me at the tac-sys. ‘Sides, old habits die hard.
No, it’s not stolen. What do you take me for? It’s just on permanent loan.
Yes, there is a difference. I’m no crook - just a man with a debt to repay.
Only one condition: I get wind that your gums are flapping, you get a special delivery. In the form of six pounds of tungsten, delivered straight to your doorstep from orbit at an appreciable fraction of light-speed. I encourage you to make your payments on time - would hate to have customs come a-knocking.
"And so", says Antishuis- you can hear him running a hand distractedly through his bristly thinning hair, a habit that's beyond annoying- "you had to quit. The question is.. you know the question."
Pause. If you twisted your neck around, he'd be staring out at the steel-grey morning, fiddling with the arm of his glasses, perhaps rearranging pencils on the desk beside him. What do you expect? You've been through this a thousand times. Company X buys brand Y, thereby diversifying its portfolio. Read the WSJ any day you like, or, you know, there's this new thing now, they call it AOL...
No amount of therapy is going to help. You've shredded your archive, what Antishuis called a symbolic farewell, although you didn't tell him you'd kept a few pieces, things that you'd made for yourself, like a ceremonial garb, to carry you through into whatever came next... which, of course, was the question.
The art world? Everything seemed so weirdly insubstantial, strained references to obscure philosophers glossing artifacts seemingly made by schoolchildren- imagine, you're supposed to admire the flaws..
You miss the fevered workdays in your atelier, obsessing over a canvassed moquette; the perfect simplicity- it took three years to really learn the method- of a shoulder transitioning to sleeve. Even further back, remembering your grandfather's voice, those early mornings on the Untersburg- 'You see Helmut. Each piton at an angle to the last, then the ropes strung tight.' A former carpenter, first he'd guided your hands, then let you do it by yourself. " Has to fit exactly into place, you see. Otherwise the system won't work."
And so.. nights of solitary drinking followed by empty afternoons, watching the impatient sun track across the floorboards. Until- one insomniac dawn- you heard something outside, the chink of glass on concrete, looked out and thought.. why not this?
You wouldn't wear the uniform, you were adamant about that from the start. At first the bosses kicked up a fuss but then you devised a system to carry out your deliveries in less than half the time. You even have a plan now, re-imagining all the routes, you can see the whole thing mapped out: a series of hubs, each pushing out gleaming threads that, sooner or later, must intersect- building to a crystalline structure whose complexity grows at every moment...
In one of the houses you visit towards the end of your route you've noticed a woman, tall, dark-haired- not beautiful, probably never was, but there's a lustre to her skin and her eyes run over your moleskin-draped shoulders as you walk up the path. These conscientious Salzburg husbands, they leave for work so early...
Edited by robinsongreen68 - 3/4/16 at 1:00pm
It wasn't like every other day, I finally felt as if I was adjusting to living off the grid. That gap between my new life and old life was starting to feel permanent. El Niño had really hit hard the past these days I had hardly seen any sunlight, yet I couldn't sleep. I had an overwhelming urge to leave the house, I couldn't explain it. And as I went out on to my porch, there he was. I never found out who he was. His stare was as if he was looking straight through me. Maybe he knew who I was. What scared me the most was that his eyes didn't look frightening. It was as if I knew him. He smelt of very good cologne, I didn't really recognize it, and my eyes just wondered. He had written on the ground "smells like phys ed" I had heard before but I didn't know what it meant. Every minute he sat there quietly felt like hours, in the back of my mind I kept replaying my steps. Had someone seen me and finally figured out who I was? I just began to speak of random things, I'm sure he could hear my nerves nous but I tried to down play it. I asked him if he wanted anything to eat, he said "no, smells like phys ed" and he stood and continued to stare. I looked away not knowing what to do. I quickly glanced at what he had on. He looked as if he had been many places yet his coat was still a clean white. His pants had many pockets but they appeared empty. I could hardly remember his face but his posture was strong. Before I went off the grid I had gotten some sleeping pills for my insomnia, they had finally started to kick in. I could hardly keep my eye lids it's at the visible light was flickering. I had decide to go back in, I locked my door and if something happened I'd rather go through it sleeping. When I had woken it was night, I was still numb I could hardly move from the pills. Yet I felt at ease, all my senses felt sharp and there strong smell of fish head I hadn't noticed before. As I tried to crawl out of bed my handle stumbled off the empty bottle of sleeping pills. I fell like a "just born" baby horse; my body still felt weak. As my face was on the ground I saw the empty bottle of sleeping pills are my eye level, so I turned it over to see what I had taken.The label said "fish head oil" Dr. Ed Physh. After a few minutes of just lying there, I noticed the door open but I was still alive. I knew what I had to do. So I walked outside and he was gone. I didn't know if it was a nightmare from the sleeping pills or if he had ever even been here. But again I felt free from the grid.
Greetings, subjects. MilkLord here, TrashLord's curdy cousin reporting live from the Locale of Lactose, the Aisle of Ambert, the corridor of cream. A shockwhey of imposters rippling through the lactosphere has churned me from my bovine bedrest.
I plead of you: ignore these frothy frauds - these offer you nothing but sweetened condensed dairy deception.
You're butter than this - don't be a half and half wit and vote for me, your humble homogenizer. Your duke of dairy, your Sultan of Skim, your Emperor of Emmental.
Bejaysus you guys I've been so sick and didn't check back until just now, while currently waiting for a delayed flight at Shanghai at 1 AM. Coughing so badly I fear I may be banned from boarding the plane. Thank you for all the participation so far.
Now let me look through thy most valuable contributions.
I'd like to extend the challenge until this Sunday, 13th of March. However I am having difficulty finding out how to change the title of the thread. Could anyone kindly point this out please?
As a form of appreciation for taking the time to post your photos and most importantly, your backstories, I would like to offer the top 2 winners, each, a small random object I can find in Shanghai, possibly milk-related.