[Junk XIII] Almost Like Home (K 8-7)

edited January 2014 in Junkworld XIII

You traveled with the Candies back to Salt and set up in Jemma's old shack for the night. After a day of work, your Ma, Kit Kat, Svenja and a few other girls are able to cobble together a functioning franken-truck out of some scrap. Your Ma has been incredibly happy this whole time. Giggling happy, working with the Candies, being around you, putting together a truck with tools and spit, all of it has her in a great mood.

Junk Radio has been interesting, with their new DJ Dior. Dior cuts in some eclectic tunes, mostly stuff people have never heard before. But you have, of course, your Da educated you well. What's playing outside by the franken-truck right now?

What have you been doing while they worked on the vehicle?


  • Well, seeing as Ma' and the Candies insisted on working through the day, I didn't really have much to do... I wanted to avoid Gob for a while, so I grabbed some tools for the girls from the old tool shed, and spent a minute reminiscing about Rinso and me's first time together in the hayloft. I took Brillo and Caesar out to lunch at Ollie's, where Matel played some Santana. I poked up into Junk Radio tower to see what this new DJ was up to – I mean, how could I not? She was playing BT. I even took Junker on a long walk out around the mines.

    Eventually I was feeling good enough that even Gob couldn't spoil my mood, so I bit the bullet and went to see how the girls were doing. Ma' was beaming, proud of her work. I never understood why she never took up the job at the garage when they built it at boomtown... She's fantastic at shit like this. I stand back, patiently watching them put the finishing touches on the truck, and helping out however I can.
  • Your Ma grunts as she stands up from her work under the engine of this beast:


    "Its slow as frak, leaks like Junker when he's in a new place and smells like rotten ass." You Ma announces as she puts an arm around you. "But shell deliver that bomb right up that mountain's ass."

    Mallowcup practically skips over, "What you think, Kiddo? Good enough?"
  • I giggle at Ma's remarks and look up at it, impressed. "The "Z" on the door is a nice touch," I offer up, as Mallowcup comes skipping over. I smile and give the truck one last look over before answering Mallow, "I think it's pretty bad ass — but I'm not the one driving it. Are you girls gunna be able to get out of the blast range in time?"
  • Svenja answers that one, "As long as they don't fuck around, we're good. Can't set the thing to remote, gotta use a timer. I mean, shit, if you give me a week, I could maybe find one, but that's a whole lotta maybe. Complex shit, you know?"

    Zero answers, "We should be ready to drive north tomorrow. Let's all get a good meal in us." She looks around, mostly to the new girls, "A couple o y'all oughta get laid, too." The Candies all chuckle.

    Mallowcup exclaims, "Motha frakkin throwdown at Ollie's!" The girls whoop, and start heading that way. Svenja jogs ahead with Mallowcup, they seem to be getting along.

    You end up walking slow with your Ma. "You alright, Kiddo?"
  • Well, so long as the job gets done as quickly and painlessly as possible, I don't really give a frak if the bomb can toast bread or not... I sigh and watch as the Candies run off for Ollie's to have their night of fun before riding north. It has been 3 months, 4 weeks, and 3-and-a-half days since I've had a drink of alcohol, and the thought of going out to a bar with the Candy Bars doesn't make that easier... They drink like fishes.

    I look over to Ma' with a tired look in my eyes and smile, "yeah, just a little exhausted. Too much walking... I guess I'm just anxious to get home to the family." I nudge her playfully and add, "you look good... Fixing stuff really makes you happy, doesn't it?"
  • Zero nods, not even denying it, "Yeah, it's pretty good playing with stuff like that franken-truck. I wish people were as esy to get as trucks and bikes sometimes." She pulls off ehr working gloves, puts them in a pocket, then throws an arm over your shoulder while you walk. "You wanna head back to Jemma's and crash early?"
  • I nod, my eyes already feeling a little heavy, but Leah disagrees and my stomach growls loudly. I giggle, "well, if there's some food there, then absolutely. Otherwise, I don't mind grabbing something first. What do you wanna do?"
  • Your Ma grumbles, "Nah, the Candies cleared us out." She nods at Ollie's with her head, "Looks like stew is on the menu, again."

    Gobstopper is waiting up for you both. She grins, "Nice work on the truck, right, Kiddo? I did the carbo-rater. Pretty frakkin flash, right?" Your Ma offers her an arm, and she slips under it, the three of you walking abreast.
  • edited January 2014
    Damn it... Frakking Candies stealing Gramma Jemma's good preserves — they're like Pigby when they're hungry, but women. I nod and follow Ma' over to Ollie's — that name still makes me feel weird. I tense a little when I hear Gob's voice.

    Frakking fantastic, right? Now I have to complement her too, right? Ma'd be so proud, right?

    I nod, "yeah, you girls did a good job," I look over to her and give her my best "professional smile", "I pity the girl who has to sit in that stinky thing for more than a few minutes, but the effort is appreciated." Gods... Please let it be her...
  • Zero looks at you, "It doesn't stink so bad. I mean, lil Ollie and Leah should stay away, but one of the new girls can drive it, no problem." Your Ma gently shoves you, "Bitchin about the smell. You're just jealous of our mechanical talents, Kiddo."

    Gobstopped throws in with, "Your Ma's a wonder with that stuff, Kiddo. You don't even know."
  • Really? My Ma's a mechanical genius and I never frakking knew it? Wow! It's like I didn't grow up watching her fix all the Candy's bikes, or build a frakking solar generator out of spare parts, or tear down four broken trucks and build one working one out of them when Boomtown needed to start trading with neighboring villages... Yeah, I haven't been secretly hoping my daughter has my Ma's smarts or anything.

    Besides – the thing smells like sulfur and burning tires from years of sitting in the frakking Valley. How the frak was Ma' gunna fix that? A spit shine? My stomach growls again, this time out of nervousness – I may bitch-slap someone if I don't get some frakking food in me.

    I laugh nervously and nod, "yes... Yes she is. Always has been." Frakking Gobstopper wouldn't have made a stupid joke like that... And apparently she can rebuild a frakking carburettor, too. Isn't she frakking fantastic?

    Please have something good on the menu tonight...
  • Something good is on the menu. Stew. With meat. Nobody asks about the meat, but it's fresh and not so tough. The Candies are eating and joshing, lots of nervous excitement. It's like the idea of partying down and then taking off has them worked up. The laborers are leery, but of course, interested. I mean, what normal guy wouldn't be?

    Gob stopper suggests a "skins night", but your Ma shoots it down, and Kitty mentions she'd rather scratch an itch, which you know is code for, "get friendly with locals". Svenja-Sky moves chairs to sit near you, not saying anything, just switching up.

    Mattel brings on some dancing music, probably requested, since Mallow went up to chat with him. A few of the girls get up to dance, several of them making an impromptu "skins night" of their own, except without the I will shoot you if you look part.

    Your Ma stays seated, eating, and probably ready to leave soon. What do you do?
  • I'd much rather sit near Svenja than Gob, so her switch up was a welcome change of pace — especially when Gob suggested having a skins night. I'm happy to just eat my stew, listen to some music, and chat with folks for a while... When Mallow and the girls get up to dance, I'm not feeling it — especially when the tops come off. Gods... Some people think men are unpredictable, but you get a bunch of drunk girls together in the same spot, and you've got yourself one hell of a shit-show.

    Anyway... I've had enough of this. I look back to Ma' and smile, "I'm good to go whenever you are." I turn to Svenja, "you gunna stay and dance? I wanna hit the road at a decent hour tomorrow."
  • Svenja-Sky shakes her head, "No thanks. I got to babysit a nuke. A hangover aint a good idea. I'll head with you." She waves at the girls, and a couple make some rude remarks, but Svenja-Sky laughs it off.

    On your way out, your Ma joins you. "I'll get an early sleep, too. Damn lil Ollie making me weak. Fussy cuss already."

    Do you all talk about anything on the way?
  • Such a loving group of women... I put a hand on Svenja's shoulder as she joins us and beckon her to follow us out. I turn to Ma' when she jokes about li'l Ollie making her weak, "I'll be sure to tell Dad his little boy kept you in line — he'll love that." I giggle and hold the door open for Svenja and Ma' as we step out into the cool night air. "so once that thing goes off... What should we expect at the Ascendant in terms of ... like... shaking, and damage, and stuff."
  • Svenja-Sky runs down the particulars about controlled nuclear blasts. It is the nuke as much as the after effects. Which part has you most worried after she lays it out, Kiddo?
  • That lake's going to be entirely undrinkable after the fact for "thousands of years"... The whole frakking thing will make people sick, and they'll die if they drink from it. That's a big frakking lake to write off as undrinkable... And what the frak are we going to tell our kids? Or their kids? How will they know not to drink it? ... That's bad, but I suppose it doesn't change much. At least then the water won't be forced down their throats.

    I nod to Svenja and thank her for being honest, and watching over the nuke tonight. I'm feeling nostalgic tonight. I wanna know what Ma' wrote to Simon. I kinda wonder what that song is Dad wrote for him...
  • Well, Kiddo. She's not the volunteering type when it comes to information. You gonna ask her again? I assume so, right?

    What did she tell you about Ollie's song to Simon?

    Here's what she wrote to Simon:

    "My son,
    You will never know hunger. You will never be lonely. You will never feel fear.
    You will never sit on the engine of a purring Harley. You'll never sleep in the arms of someone you love. You'll never hear your father's songs.
    I took these things from you.
    But I will hold them in a secret place in my heart until I see you.
    Your Ma"

    She tried to read it to you, but lost it at being lonely, and just handed you the wrinkled paper.
  • edited January 2014
    There's a picture I drew in crayon in that jar... I'd forgotten I made it. Ma', Dad, Kiddo, Baby... All together under a tree. I guess it's ironic the damn crayon was red.

    You should know this about my Dad: he's written like a hundred songs, that he's played thousands of times, and Ma's heard each and every one of them at least a dozen times a piece. She can sing any one of them off the top of her head at the drop of a hat — even "badass biker chick", which she frakking loves to hate — and Dad has never turned down a request of hers. Ever.

    Ma's never asked Dad to sing this song, and he's never played it for anyone, but she knows it more intimately than any song Dad's ever written. She knew what it meant from the minute she first laid eyes on it — even though she swore to herself she never would. I took a look at it before we got to Ma's note. The chords scrawled at the top, the tempo, the phrasing of the lyrics... I know this song. Ma' does too, but I doubt she realizes it. Upper10 bought a piano for Dad in Boomtown that's currently gathering dust in Loot's. This song — or the chord progression, at least — is the first thing he ever played on it. Ma' asked him if that was a new song he was writing, and he answered, "Just a li'l somethin' I've been hearin' for a while, yeah?"

    Ma's been humming it when she thinks nobody's listening ever since. Maybe that's why she called it, "your Dad's magnum opus." Dad keeps using that term jokingly when he's working on a new song — he's always kidding, but we all know it means "great work". That Ma' called it that... I know what that means to her — and I know what it'd mean to him.

    I'm a little teary eyed.

    But then she starts reading her note, and I'm a sniffly hormonal mess. I barely made it to "You'll never hear your father's songs," but reading, "I took these things from you," is just too much. I can't help but think back to that night in Boomtown when I found out about Rinso's list — about how I almost took those things from Leah — and I feel horrible. I read the last couple of lines out of this weird sense of duty as a mother to be... I need to see this. This is important. When I finally get to the end, I gently put it back into the jar, and wrap my arms around my Ma'...

    There are bits and pieces of my Ma' I've gotten to see, and I feel like Leah's given me a glimpse into parts of her I've never seen before — but now I'm convinced that I don't think I've ever really known my Ma'. She's a woman who's been through hardships like I can't frakking imagine, blames herself for all her failures, never frakking forgives herself... And yet she keeps pressing right the frak on anyway.

    "I'm sorry Ma'," I whisper between sniffles, "I had no idea..."
  • Your Ma looks at you with this raw lack, this loss that the note unravels in her. She leans into you, steps close, as close as two pregnant women can be face-to-face, and just puts her head on your shoulder.

    For a moment, its like she's trying to summon the strength to make a comment about life being hard on everyone, or that it was her own fault, or maybe warn you. But she doesn't. Lil Ollie won't let her, or maybe she just feels like, for once, she doesn't have to say anything.

    --END SCENE--
Sign In or Register to comment.