Saturday, November 10, 2012

Come to Me In These Times of Peace (excerpt)

This is part of a story I started to write and then ran into problems I'm not quite sure how to solve so back-burnered it. I thought since I had it lying around I would post some of it. It was originally written to be my answer to dieselpunk but I'm not sure how much of that comes across.

Contains lesbians making out:
It was raining and cold that day but there was no snow unlike the day before. The sky was a white-grey as if lit from behind, the trees were bare their branches looking black against the sky. Yoshi turned up the collar of her overcoat and slogged across the soggy ground from the house across the field were the bunker was located.

The steal of the heavy vault door glistened slickly from the rain and Yoshi pulled on her black leather gloves before pulling on the wheel shaped handle that unlocked it. The door groaned and squealed but slowly unlocked and Yoshi swung it all the way open. The lights built into the walls on either side of the cement steps the lead down into the ground, shown a dim blue and Yoshi headed down.

When the staircase ended leading onto a cement walkway with brass railing that ran around the whole length of the large room. Lights were built into the ceiling of the room bathing the whole thing in yellow light, and below the walkway was the tank. It was huge filled with brackish water in which Goro swam, a large black shape under the water. The machines built into the walls on level with the walkway hummed quietly to themselves.

"Hello Goro" Yoshi leaned against the railing, "how are you today?"

As ever Goro didn't answer.

Yoshi walked over to the first machine watching the numbers scroll across the tiny green flickering screen.   

"Sujal is coming home soon." Yoshi couldn't help to smile to herself as she said it. Out here it was sprawling farmland through which you could drive for hours before coming across a solitary farmhouse like their own. She walked round the walkway until she came to the iron door in the wall. She unlocked it and swung it open, chill air from the refrigerating system rushed out in a white mist, revealing the meat being stored there.  Picked up the metal bucket which sat next to the tiny meat locker she filled the bucket with meat, and carried it to the edge of the walkway before dumped it into the water.

Goro made a deep warbling noise that reverberated up and bounced off the walls, echoing around the room. He reached some of his tentacles up along with one webbed hand for the meat. Yoshi smiled. She chose to think of that noise as Goro's happy noise although Dr. Browning had scolded her more than once for endowing Yoshi with human emotions.  

Walking around the entire walkway she checked on all the machines, making small adjustments, before turning back to the tank.

"Bye for now Goro" She waved to his dark form under the water as she headed back up the stairs towards the surface. She'd be back in a few hours anyway, with her notebooks and ledgers to take a more careful read of the machines. She also kept careful records of all the sounds Goro made. Dr. Browning was convinced it was a waste of time but Yoshi knew Goro was capable of speech, just had so far refused to talk to them.

She climbed back up the cement stairs and pushed the heavy metal door open. She locked it behind her and then headed back across the field at the edge of which sat their large white farmhouse.

Stepping onto the porch she opened the side door that lead into a mudroom and stripped off her boots. After pulling off her heavy navy issue pea coat, hanging it up the its hook by the door, she padded into the kitchen, filling the kettle and lighting the stove for tea.

The old farm house was large, really too large for just two people but with only her there it seemed to echo around her. When the kettle whistled she filled the teapot and took her cup and the pot with her into the sitting room.

The sitting room had been decorated with a great many of Sujal's mother's old things. There was a stately grandfather clock which Sujal assured Yoshi had been her pride and joy along with a loveseat, the a large red roses on its upholstery a little faded. There was a hope chest now decorated with a lovely linen runner and framed photographs sitting under the large front window and a cherry wood tea table Yoshi was particularly fond of.   

The only thing to remind Yoshi of either of her parents was her father's shamisen, the only thing she'd managed to find after the war.

Yoshi sat on the loveseat and placed the teapot and cup on the tea table next to her. There was a book already lying open on the loveseat where she'd left it that morning. She picked it up now, letting the tea steep a little. The book was a collection of poems by e.e. cummings she had first read as a girl and still enjoyed to read especially on days like today when the sky was grey.

She paused to pour herself a cup of tea after a time and sipped it while she continued to read. The grandfather clock struck the hour. Yoshi stood, putting her book aside and carried her tea things back into the kitchen placing them into the sink. She picked up her work satchel instead, containing her notebooks, sketchpad and ledgers. She pulled back on her coat and her boots and headed back out to the bunker and Goro's tank.

She pulled open the heavy vault door and descended into the ground once more. Goro was as she had left him swimming lazily on the tank.

"Hello," She greeted him as always getting no answer in return.

Dropping her satchel onto the walkway she unpacked it and picked up the ledgers. She did the her cycle of the machines, noting down each set of numbers dutifully. When that tasks was completely she put the ledgers away picking up the notebook and sketch pad. She made a note of the sound Goro had made earlier and how much he had been fed before turning to the sketchpad. She sat on the metal walkway, the chill seeping through her trousers, sketchpad on her knees and began to sketch him as she did most days.

He had a stately grace to him she had come to believe after all these years, the way he moved through the water, his fragile fins and stronger tentacles. It was hard to make out his coloring in the murky water of the tank. She could remember though the dark purples and different shades of grey, his indigo spotted markings up and down his back and the blackness of his eyes.  

Around her the machines hummed and lights have off a soft buzz but besides from that all was still. She finished sketching and set the pad aside.

For a little while they were both silent, her and the great beast in the water below.

Finally Yoshi shook herself and stood, stuffing the notebook and sketchpad back into her satchel.

"Goodbye again Goro." She called to him before making her way back up the stairs to the surface.

It started to rain again as she crossed the field towards the house. Yoshi turned her collar up and hunched a little, walking fast until she reached the partial shelter of the porch.

Coat, boots and satchel stored safely away, Yoshi made her way into the kitchen. The refrigerator was looking rather bare. Yoshi supposed she would need to drive into town within the next day or so.

She started the rice she'd set to soak, then rolled up the sleeves of her white men's dress shirt so to be out of her way as she cooked. Pulled some chicken and eggs out of the refrigerator and brought them to the counter. She hesitated hand on the bottle of soy sauce before putting it back. She'd found herself hoarding things like rice and soy sauce, knowing she would only get them when Sujal or her traveled either coast on business. A small town like this one, in the middle of America had none of the things her mother had used to cook with at the local store.

As Yoshi cooked she listened without really meaning to for the telephone. Sujal might call or Dr. Browning or General Hathfield. Yoshi didn't let herself thinking about how long it had been since either Dr. Browning or General Hathfield had called. She sent off her observations of Goro every month, and every month a paycheck came in the mail.

Almost without meaning to Yoshi's eyes strayed to the black telephone on the wall. It had been a long time since she'd been called to Washington for a meeting to report in person, a very long time. Yoshi sighed and moved her attention back to the pan on the stove and dinner.  

She ate by herself at the kitchen table since neither she nor Sujal bothered much with the dining room. She'd made too much as always, she found when carried her dishes to the sink. She packed up the leftover and put them in the refrigerator for the next day.

The weather outside was getting cold as the day wound into night and old house tended towards draftiness. Yoshi climbed the stairs to the second floor and made her way down the hall to her room. She pulled out a cardigan, a little too large for her but warm and soft, and pulled it on.

Since she did not feel like listening to the radio that evening, Yoshi curled back up on the loveseat with her book of poetry again.

When the telephone rang Yoshi nearly dropped her book even though she'd been half expecting the call.


"Hello yourself." Sujal's voice was warm over the line making Yoshi smile.  

She sat at the kitchen table and cradled the heavy black phone against her ear.

"How was the meeting?" She asked and heard Sujal sigh in a soft gusty crackle.

"I … It's was alright." Sujal said. "it's hard being not really a civilian not really a soldier anymore. I wish they'd make up their minds."

Yoshi felt the recognition in her own chest at that, the dull knowing ache. She wanted to ask Sujal if she would be home soon but didn't.

"I wish you were here." Sujal's words echoed her own thought even with the distance between them, "I want to see you."

"Someone needs to be here to look after Goro." Yoshi pointed out and heard Sujal sigh again.

"I love you." Sujal said instead and Yoshi smiled.

"I love you too."

"I'll be home soon." Sujal's voice was low now almost a whisper, "sleep well, love."

"And you." Yoshi wished not for the first time that sweet words of endearment came as easily to her as they did to Sujal. I miss you, she thought then reminded herself she could say that now. "I miss you."

"Yeah me too, baby. Don't worry, I'll be home soon."

"Good night." Yoshi answered.

It was Sujal who hung up first and Yoshi sat there for a long moment holding the phone before putting it back in its cradle.

The night was going to be a cold one, rain still beat against the roof and sliding along the windowpanes, distorting and warping the view. The whole house creaked and made the small groaning noises of old houses at night.

Yoshi took a hot water bottle to bed with her and reread Mary Shelley's Frankenstein under the covers.

The next morning she gets up and makes herself coffee and toast for breakfast.

She dressed, and then headed down the hall to her office. She passed by Sujal's office with it's blueprints pinned across the walls and drafting desk set up by the window. The room next to it was her own office, walls lined with bookcase and desk piled with notebooks and scientific journal articles.

The colt she pulled from her desk drawer was a heavy silver thing with a wood grip. The sling holster was hanging in her closet next to her tweed sports jacket. She put the holster on, stowing her gun and then buttoned the jacket up over it.

She looked at herself in the full the mirror on the back of the closet door, seeing a small person dressed in men's trousers, button down shirt, and large tweed sports jacket. Her straight dark hair was cut into a round bop that would need to be trimmed soon. When Sujal got back, Yoshi thought, she would do it for her.

She left the house, carefully locking the doors and headed to the truck.

The closest town was a good forty minutes drive away and small. Its one tiny store sold a little of everything. Yoshi ignored the stares as she climbed out the truck and headed for the store. The overweight, balding man behind the counter glowered as she walked in and watched her make the rounds of the shelves as if she might try to pocket something. Two women in long, old fashioned skirts whispered to each other watching her out of the corner of their eyes.

She didn't listen to what they said, instead concentrated on picking out flour, sugar, coffee, tea, some canned vegetables, eggs and butter delivered fresh from one of the local farms.

She brought everything to the counter, when she was done and watched the greed war with the hate behind the storekeeper's eyes as he decided whether or not to deny her service.  She waited patiently until greed won out and he rang her up. She paid, and piling the food into the bags she'd brought.

He muttered something ugly and venomous under his breath as she turned away towards the door. She pretended to not have heard him and kept on walking.   

There was a small group of young men at the end of the street whispering to each other and eyeing her truck. She watched them without appearing to do so as she loaded the bags into the truck's cab. They were looked too young to have served in the war but just young enough to do something stupid. They didn't move though as she got into the truck and she watched them in the rear view mirror as she drove away.  

When she got back to the house she unpacked the groceries and stowed the gun away in her desk again. She pulled on her boots and heavy pea coat and heads out the bunker to feed Goro. He much preferred fish she knew but this far from the sea fish was not possible to get and so they made do with offal from the local farms.

He made that deep thrumming noise to her again and she recorded it carefully.

Back at the house she pulled out of the sketches she'd done of Goro many years ago. He looked wild and almost mythical in the sketch, his top half almost human except for his webbed hands, and fins on his arms and back, a slit were his nose should be and no hair at all. His eyes are dark without lids or pupils, and the tentacles that make up his lower half are long and strong and can eject poison. She had watched them crush through steel bars with ease, watched him devour much large creatures them himself with his needle sharp teeth.

Once she had thought her sketches would be used in the scientific articles she would no doubt write about him, now she very much doubts it.

She pinned the page to the top of her desk and took out ink and a pen and began to carefully ink it. She colored him from memory all greys and purples fading to the darker colors of his indigo markings and black eyes.

She reheated the rice and chicken for her lunch and ate at the kitchen table while making notes for her monthly report. She would be sending it out soon, and as always she wondered if she will get a reply.

Maybe this month will be the month they called her back to Washington. Maybe.

She shivered a little as she brought her dishes to the sink and headed up to her bedroom to put on a cardigan. Winter would soon be upon them and any day now the snow would start to fall. Pulling her sweater on Yoshi wished for a moment that she had been allowed to remain in Hawaii where at least it was warmer.    

Going back downstairs she gathered up her notes and brought them up to her office. She began typing up her notes into her official report on the typewriter.

Yoshi wasn't sure how long she'd been working, maybe an hour or so when she heard a car pull into the driveway. She stood and walked over to the window looking down at a cab parked in front of the house.

A woman unfolded herself out of the backseat of the cab. Yoshi turned and rushed out of the room and down the stairs.

Sujal was hauling her suitcases onto the porch next to the wicker love seat, as the taxi pulled out of their driveway Yoshi found when she flung the door open. Sujal looked ridiculous in high-waisted women's trousers, a blouse that did nothing to flatter her large frame, with her powerful chest and muscular arms. She wore a hat to disguise as short her dark hair was. Yoshi laughed and then hugged her, helping her carry the suitcases into the house.

Sujal swept her up in her arms again as soon as they were inside and kissed her on the lips. Sujal's hands were large and cupped the back of Yoshi's head with ease and her lips were hot and demanding against Yoshi. They parted only when the needed to breathe won out and Sujal grinned down at her.

"Hey beautiful."

"you're early." Yoshi told her before pulling Sujal down into another kiss.

Sujal pulled back with a little laugh and then made a face. "Let me go get out of these close first and then you can tell me about what I missed."

"you didn't miss anything." Yoshi called as Sujal headed for the stairs.

"Oh, I brought you some stuff. It's in the second suitcase." Sujal called back.

Curiously Yoshi knelt and opened the second suitcase pulling out a few paper bags. Opening them she pulled out another bag of rice, a bottle of soy sauce, dashi flakes, and a jar of pickled ginger.

She looked back up as Sujal came back down the stairs, dressed in men's slacks, a button up shirt and suspenders. She was bare headed now, no longer trying to disguise the fact that her hair was cut short in the style of a serviceman.  

"Thank you." Yoshi began putting away the food, "we were almost out of rice."

"you're welcome." Sujal smiled easily.

She slid her arms around Yoshi's waist from behind and pulled her close, so they were pressed back to front. Sujal kissed Yoshi's neck and nibbled lightly at her ear.

"How is Goro?" Sujal asked and it took a moment for Yoshi to focus on the question and not on the feeling of Sujal's hands and lips.

"Fine." She said, trying to keep the faint tremor from her voice, "same as always, I wish we could get some fish for him. I think he enjoys that more."

Sujal made a thoughtful, humming sound and sucked a mark onto the skin of Yoshi' throat.

"I went into town and picked us up some food yesterday." Yoshi told her trying to keep her voice calm and level even as Sujal's hands wandered.

"Did anyone give you any trouble?" Sujal asked a note of seriousness creeping into her voice and Yoshi shook her head.

"It was fine," She turned her head to kiss Sujal, a light press of lips more in comfort than anything and Megan kissed her back hard.

"I want you," Yoshi smiled against the curve of Sujal's jaw at her frankness. "now, and then we can eat dinner after."

"Yes," Yoshi turned, wrapping her arms around Sujal's neck and kissing her hard this time and demanding, "yes I want that too."

Sujal led the way upstairs to their bedroom and Yoshi pushed her up against the door as soon as it closed behind them kissing the corners of Sujal's smiling mouth. Her hands strayed to Sujal's belt and then lower pressing her hand between Sujal's legs cupping her there, pressing against her hard until Sujal groaned into her mouth.

Sujal's own hands pulled the plain light blue button up Oxford out of the waistband of Yoshi's trousers and slipped up underneath. Yoshi shivered a little as Sujal's fingers skimmed across her belly following the curve of her ribcage.

They pulled apart, Yoshi's hands going to undo the buttons at her cuffs and neck. Sujal undid her own suspenders letting them hang down behind her has she started unbuttoning her own shirt.

"So beautiful baby." Sujal murmured her hands reaching to pull Yoshi's shirt up and over her head.

Yoshi blinked at her, brushing her hair out of her eyes. Sujal's shirt hung open off her own shoulders, revealing the sleeveless undershirt she worn underneath, Yoshi let her eyes wander from the strong long lines of Sujal's shoulders down the barrel curve of her chest to her wide full belly and large hips and ass. Yoshi stepped into the circle of Sujal's arms kissing her lightly before drawing back again.

"And you." Yoshi's hand cupped the back of Sujal's hand, digging her fingers into too short hair. She kiss her again, slow wet and thorough. "I missed you, so much."

Their lips parted finally and Yoshi panted watching Sujal blinked down at her, cheeks flushed, wet and a little swollen. She reached up and ran her fingertip across Sujal's bottom lip, tightening her hold on the back of Sujal's head. Sujal's lips parted and Yoshi pushed the tip of her fingers slowly into the wet warmth of Sujal's mouth feeling the slight scrape of teeth across the pad of her finger. She slowly pulled her finger free and then pressed two against Sujal's lips, pushing them into her mouth. Sujal's tongue swirled around Yoshi's fingertips and and Yoshi gasped, hand tightening on the back of Sujal's head. Sujal's own hands fist into the heavy fabric of Yoshi's trousers at her waist.

Yoshi slowly pressed her fingers into Sujal's hot mouth and then pulled them out so that her fingertips rested against Sujal's bottom lip and then pressed them in again. Sujal's hands slid around her waist to grip her ass through the fabric of her trousers. Yoshi rocked their hips together in time with the push and pull of her fingers.

She let her fingers slip from Sujal's mouth finally. Yoshi's breathing came unsteady and too loud in her own ears and Sujal panted hot breath against gusting against the spit slick fingertips that still rested against Sujal's bottom lip.

"I want you to fuck me." Sujal confessed voice soft and rough and Yoshi made a hungry noise pulling Sujal close and kissing her.

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