Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Number 22, Mister Bond

Ranking the James Bond movie songs! What this is about: https://timsusman.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/an-odd-little-project/

22. Die Another Day, Madonna. Uninspiring song, has little to nothing to do with the Bond movies. Generally agreed by my small survey of friends to be the worst of the Bond themes, and remember, this is a list that includes Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones crooning about “the Moonraker” and “that Thunderball,” respectively.


Die Another Day

Jorgen didn’t register the alarm consciously until he was already two steps outside the greenhouse, joining the hurried, silent crowd on their way back to the living quarters. A few of the newer employees glanced up, as though you could see the weight of two miles of water through the projected blue sky and fluffy white clouds. The blaring horn sounded a rhythm that the crowd fell in step with, though it wasn’t fast enough to match their urgency, so Jorgen found his right foot coming down on each note, his left falling into silence.

In the residential neighborhood, the river of people reversed the process by which it had formed, breaking into streams in each sector, tributaries that held the secured doors open at each building for the people behind them, drops landing in each individual room. As Jorgen nodded to an engineer holding the door of his building for him, their eyes met and Jorgen saw reflected in the older man’s expression his own worry and resignation.

The engineer lived on three, Jorgen on two. When he applied his finger to the scanner at F2-23, his hand trembled. He willed it to stop.

Davis looked up from his seat on their bed, a wan smile across his pale features. Jorgen pushed the door shut and crossed the room in five strides to sit next to the short, blond man. Their hands clasped without a word.

There was something hypnotic to the rhythm of the alarm. In the spaces between the beats came the noise of hurrying feet, opening and closing doors, and the background murmur of the emergency channel from other rooms. Jorgen and Davis kept their radio off during the alarm; listening to the Integrity Team’s chatter about the progress of their work was as pointless as putting on the pressure suits. They would get the all-clear, or they would hear the panic around them a few seconds before the ocean reasserted its presence in this space they had carved out and defiantly held. The pressure suits had only saved fifty-one of the six thousand at the Triton mine when the ocean fell on that bubble, the lucky residents being the ones who happened to be near the airlocks, avoided the swirling mass of debris, and didn’t die of depressurization complications during their ascent to the surface of the ocean.

Jorgen and Davis, and most of Neptune, preferred to spend their potentially final moments together, some in private rooms, some in small groups in lounges. Theoretically, the undersea installation was compartmentalized, but the inner walls had never been tested against the full rush of the furious ocean.

“How are the plants?” Davis asked.

“Doing well. I think the maples are going to recover. How’s the cafeteria?”

“The dal curry smelled really good.”

Jorgen’s hand stopped trembling. He drew in a breath, caught the hint of spice on Davis’s shirt, and rested his head against the cotton fabric. “I can smell it on you.”

“You smell like dirt.” Davis disengaged his hand and wrapped an arm around Jorgen’s shoulders. Jorgen slid his hand behind Davis’s back and cupped the softness of his stomach.

“You should work out with me.”

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

He could feel Davis’s heart beating, a rhythm out of time with the alarm. Jorgen focused on that, on the warmth of the body beside him, the smell of curry and dish soap, and, yes, the dirt he’d been working with. He closed his eyes and thought about how far he was from everything else, thousands of miles from his family, his hometown, his college, all the people who’d told him he was crazy for taking this job, no matter the money. His arm squeezed Davis, and the other man squeezed him back.

The horn of the alarm changed, sounding three long blasts, then a long, short, long, and then it did not sound again. The space after that signal was the purest silence Jorgen ever heard.

Stirring and rustling sounded around them, the sound of Neptune coming back to life, exhaling after a long held breath. Jorgen lifted his head and kissed Davis’s cheek. “I suppose I’ll get to try that curry after all.”

Davis kissed him back. “I’ll see you there in an hour or so.”

They stood together, crossed the room, and left to go back to work.

3 responses to “Number 22, Mister Bond

  1. Pingback: Try To Return #21 In One Piece, Bond | Writing and Other Afflictions

  2. Pingback: Writing and Other Afflictions

  3. Pingback: Three: You Know My Name | Writing and Other Afflictions

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