Decrypted sections of the file are as follows:
Data log attributes: Begun on 5787th day of 23rd Lunar Cycle
Today was the day I started on the gene project. It was not as complicated as I expected. Unit 5481 tells me the beginning is always easy. All you have to do is choose the number of genes you want to work with. It’s maintaining the culture that’s the nightmare.
”You see this meadow, boy? It was a swamp before we moved here. One of the conditions for buying the mansion and the adjoining land was that I paid to have it fixed and also the beach. You enjoy the beach, right boy? The restoration of the pier as well. How do the villagers repay us? They let their dogs shit on the meadow. They shit on the meadow, boy. They want me to pick it up… Look out the window! There’s Andersson with his ugly daughter.” Erik stopped and rolled down the car window. “HEY! Andersson! Pick up after your shitty daughter’s shitty dog! Or I will empty my septic tank all over your ugly house. I’d do you that favour. The shit glaze would probably raise the property value.”
Welcome to two new authors this week, Lee and Ceinwen.
Thank you as always to our readers. We trust you enjoyed the stories. For those taking time to comment — much appreciated. Speaking of which, here are a selection of this week’s comments.
When she left home Briony hadn’t meant to leave so – well, quite so permanently. She went to the shop to buy a cabbage. A medium sized drumhead was what she had in mind, although in fairness there was an option for cauliflower. Dinner was beef, already in the cooker, rich and redolent, herby and delicious. Beef, Beef in beer for Dick and to go with it mashed potatoes and cabbage. His favourite.
When my father came home from work and said we were going to a concert I was thrilled. It was to take place upstate along the Hudson River in a town called Peekskill. To get out of our stuffy Brooklyn apartment at the end of summer was heaven-sent. I didn’t know dark times were swirling around us.
“You’re going to love the concert David. Paul Robeson is going to sing,” said my father.
“Are you sure Frank? You saw what happened the other night,” said my mother.
“It will be fine. More of us will be there and we can’t let them get away with this can we? After all this is America,” he said.
“Of course you can talk to him, off you go.”
I watch as Daniel sprints away. Head down. Arms pumping. Balance ready to fail him at any given moment. Adrenaline fires my heart as he skids on a pine cone at pitch-forward-and-split-head distance from the wooden bench. I breathe again as he thrusts his hands forward and climbs laughing onto the seat and gives the old man a hug who, in return, as usual, pats my son’s head and continues to stare at the trees lining the park.
“I got a book from the library today it’s about a dog and Charlie wanted it but I got it first and gave it to my teacher and…”
Life: what is it all about?
I’d left for the party minimally drunk and maximally desolate. Eva and I had argued earlier. “Laurie,” she’d said truculently, “why don’t you want to go? Who stays in on New Year’s Eve? Jenny and Pete are our oldest friends. But maybe you have your own reasons?”