The next morning, he couldn’t get up. Every muscle had seized, locked stiff with pain, and he burned with fever. He knew the fever was partly from the ‘tropes, which ran him on overdrive when they kicked into repair mode. He knew it meant he was healing. That knowledge didn’t make the pain any easier to bear.
Kistur, dressing, came to stand over his bunk. Martin shut his eyes. “Ought get up,” Kistur advised.
Martin didn’t answer. He felt awful. Kistur grunted and went upstairs.
Later in the morning, Pia fetched him some beef tea, which Martin was too queasy to eat, despite the furious hunger the nanotropes were rousing in him. When Pia tried to argue, Martin swore at him until he went away.
Shortly after that Kistur came down again. “Get up.”
Martin was lying as still as he could. “Fuck off.”
Kistur said, “You need to move.” Martin opened his eyes. “Once you start, ain’t be bad.”
“What are you, high?”
Kistur ignored this, ignored his whining, dragged him to his feet and into the scrub, where he stripped off Martin’s clothes and got him in a warm shower. He soaped up a cloth and scrubbed him down, all as professionally as though Martin had been a sorrel yearling, and not someone’s boy. Which Martin wished he was, by that point.
Chapter 14 of Kelly Jennings’ novel Broken Slate is now on the website! We’re fast approaching the conclusion, which should be posted on March 22!
This tense, invigorating novel shows the origin of Martin Eduardo, a “contract” who must battle not only societal discrimination and oppression, but also the indoctrinated restrictions within his own heart and mind. Broken Slate is being serialized online for free. It updates every other Tuesday.
Read a short story about Martin Eduardo, published in issue 13 of Crossed Genres: Lunch Money.
Mirrored from Crossed Genres.