Some big personalities visit the bar. People have had a long old time to sit in space, and gone through a lot of trials and tribulation. Many realize quite how small they are. Why they should let their true personas taste the world.
The pilot wore sunglasses, and kept her feet propped on the table all evening. She called me over with a flick of her finger to ensure another bottle of beer joined the six there already.
It got a bit annoying, but I relent because I know her job is a tricky one. A brave one.
Imagine ferrying food to those corners of the universe where there’s nothing but tinned peaches and dried meats. Upon arrival you have the dead swarming round you. The smell will hit you straight away. You have to wrap your cargo in layers of plastic to keep it away from rotting teeth, and force a path through the graves of old trees to get to a settlers desperate for Vitamin C.
So yeah, I don’t mind the table service.
Pilots usually have a partner. I asked what happened to hers. From there I found out her name was Mingzhu, and she agreed to let me share me what happened to him.
M: ‘I’m guessing by now that parnsipheads are a novelty to some of your patrons. That they get freaked out by them in the same way as when a spider scuttles across the floor. But spend enough time with them, and you can only feel contempt.
They move like glaciers, have a chameleon level of intelligence, and fold like umbrellas after one blow to the head. At least if they were aggressive, then I’d have the respect danger brings. But sit in a room with potted plants, and they will treat you like a piece of furniture.
Which is why getting bitten by one of them is such a bad way to die. Is there anything more embarrassing?
My partner and I were offloading crates in the remains of a jungle. We stood up to our knees in mucky swamp water, and only the stumps of trees and some rotting corpses of vines remained. The parnsipheads marched around us, never guessing about those delicious oranges, carrots and onions inside each box. The mosquitos caused us more hassle.
Round the neck of a nearby parsnipheads glinted a polished ammonite, on the end of silver chain. My partner smirked. Just a small grin, showing off a hint of teeth.
He wrapped one hand around the pendant, and yanked. I never found out if his aim was to keep the necklace, or sell it on. There were no time for questions. The foul head wrenched down, and three of those filthy teeth embedded just below his knuckles.
On the way home we pretended things would be alright, even when he started sweating. He washed his hands again and again. But we both knew it wasn’t going to be long
What an embarrassment. This is why you always wear gloves.’
She will be up there again by now. I wonder what happened to the necklace.