Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

‘The Companion’: chapter 30 (content warning)

Content Warning.

The racist language in this chapter (and the remainder of the book) is used to depict a racist character and should not be taken out of context.  Some readers may find even this offensive.


After Kelvin had been asleep for a few hours, I decided to go to the bathroom.  I don’t have to pee if I don’t want to, but it is easier for me if I do.  I extricated myself from him without waking him up.  I didn’t turn the light on.  It was so dark that light-intensification wouldn’t work.  The toilet doesn’t have a heat signature, unless some-one has just been sitting on it, and so infra red was also no good.  I was using microwave reflection (essentially a very short-range form of radar).  When I went to rinse my hands, I noticed some kind of weird pattern around the frame of the mirror above the sink.  Pattern is not really the word, because it seemed rather irregular. 

I touched it with my fingertips.  The frame of the mirror was wooden (there are a lot of ‘natural’ surfaces around the ship – they are supposed to make it seem less of an alien environment) and each side was about two inches across.  The marks on the frame were letters.  I traced them with my finger, and ‘looked’ at them with higher-resolution microwaves.  The message spelt CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE – VIOLET

I cried again, and was still crying when I got back into bed beside him.  I put my arms round him, hugged him to me, and let the tears run down my face and onto his naked shoulder. 

Look it up if you don’t know what it means.


I’m putting together the front page of the next issue of Cosmography.  Everybody knows what is going to be on it.  What has Kelvin done now?  Has he gone out of his tiny mind?  What has that hideous woman done to him?  Is it witchcraft?  Possession? Drugs?  Hypnotism?  Blackmail?  I bet it’s blackmail.  Pamela Collins has some pictures of Kelvin doing something perverted, yucky, and humiliating, and has threatened to publish unless he pretends to be going out with her.  And I bet she is after his money. 

They have started going to this disgusting bar on Deck 6 called O’Mally’s.  I don’t know if I can describe it properly.  It is dark, dingy, has no décor; the music is really old-fashioned, and all the drinks seems to have froth on them.  Pam the Tram drinks pints (plural).  She must be a dyke.  I must admit, though, to do the poor creature justice, the last time I saw her, she was in heels.  She walked as if it wasn’t the first time she had worn them, as well.  I know this sounds incredible, but I think she even had make-up on.  I got a few not-very-interesting pictures of them.  I was afraid at first that Pam the Tram would crack the lens, if not with her ugly countenance, then with her fist. 

If there is something to this affair (if that is really what it is) then I wish I could find out what Kelvin sees in her. 

Oh, my god – I have just realised something.  I bet she’s pregnant.  They must have gone to the Temperate Zone, had a roll among the dry leaves, and now she’s up the duff.  I wonder if the pharmacy has any testing kits?  How would I get hold of some of Pam the Tram’s wee?


Pamela and I are not only having a relationship, we are also about to start a joint business venture.  We were talking recently about our work and our plans for the remainder of the journey, and I happened to mention that I have spare capacity in my factory: spare space, and spare energy, mainly in the form of hot water.  Pamela asked me if I could spare any of my growing-space in the farm for a few herbs and things, to which I said that I could.  She said that she was thinking of starting her own range of bath and skincare products.  Most of the women on board had stockpiled their favourite products before embarking on the ship, but many of them are now running out and a sustainable solution is required.  At exactly the same moment, we both had the idea of putting the two ventures together and opening a spa. 

Kerr McLean’s men are building most of it, and my brewery team will do the plumbing.  Pamela is going to do all the wiring: she is an electrical engineer after all.  We are going to have a big, society opening when it is finished.  Pamela and I will have to test all the facilities first, of course.  Pamela, who is very efficient and well-organised, has started writing a guest-list.  She thinks we ought to invite Cerise Vallance and her harpies.  I am wondering if I ought to invite Anna.  I have a feeling that Anna would not come, but some of the ladies might.  And I should invite Prudence. 


My name is Wayne Moxon.  I work for Mr McLean.  Mr McLean’s Scottish.  That means he is from Scotland.  I’m not from Scotland.  I’m from Garforth.  It’s my birthday soon.  I’m twenty-three now, but soon I’ll be twenty-four. 

I couldn’t come here at first when Mr Stark asked me to come, because I had to look after my mum, but my mum died.  I had to look after my mum because my dad had died, and I don’t have any brothers or sisters.  Cheryl has two sisters and a brother, but I don’t.  Cheryl is my friend.  She’s nineteen.  She works in the kitchens.  I work for Mr McLean.  I work in his sorting office, sorting parcels and sometimes letters.  I don’t know why people are bothered about sending letters, because you can send messages on your computer.  It’s like sending a letter, but it’s on your computer.  You can send any message you like.  I tried to send a message to Cheryl once which had some rude words in it, because I didn’t think it would work, but it did.  Cheryl read the message, and she said there were some words in it she didn’t understand.  I tried to say to her what the words meant, but she told me to go away.  I don’t like it when she tells me to go away, so I stopped.  We had a cuddle after that, and it was nice.  I like Cheryl.  Cheryl’s nice.  Cheryl’s really, really nice.

When we get to where we are going, me and Cheryl are going to get married.  I asked Cheryl to marry me and she said yes, but she wanted us to wait until we get to where we are going, and have a proper house to live in.  Cheryl lets me go to her cabin and sleep over sometimes, but she says her cabin is too small for us to live in.  And my cabin is too small for us to live in, too.  None of the cabins are as big as a house.  That is why we need a house. 

I have to go back to work soon.  It is ten past ten.  It is time to go back to work at a quarter past ten.  My break finishes then.  My lunchtime starts at one o’clock.  I get one hour for lunch.  Then I have to go back to work at two o’clock.  I finish work at five o’clock, and then I can go and see Cheryl.  I mustn’t think about that,  because I’ll get too excited.  I’ve got letters and parcels to sort.  Look – this one is addressed to Mr Stark.  It’s got some labels on it.  This one says THIS WAY UP.  This  one says FRAGILE.  I had better be careful with this one.  It’s fragile and  it’s for Mr Stark.  I quite like Mr Stark.  I helped to move some stuff for him the other day, and he gave me five shillings.  I put them in my Leeds United piggy bank.  Mr McLean pays me five shillings per hour, and I work six hours per day.  That means I get thirty shillings per day.  Cheryl gets more than me, but I don’t mind.  We share our money.  We’ve got some saved up. 


My name is Darren Cartwright.  I’m an apprentice machinist.  I hope to be fully-trained soon.  I like anything to do with metalwork.

I’ve been working at an industrial museum recently, in the workshop.  We make parts for the old machines in the museum.  We learn how to use the lathes, saws, drills, and all the other stuff.  It’s really good.  We learn about safety.  That sounds really boring, but it’s important.  I was using the circular saw the other day, and I nearly had my thumb off.  The supervisor went mad.  He told me I wasn’t listening to him and I was thick.  I don’t like that supervisor.  He’s a nigger.  I hate niggers.  It doesn’t seem right to me that a nigger works at a museum about British industrial heritage.  We didn’t have no niggers here in the Industrial Age.  There were only whites.  And there were jobs and homes for all.  No immigration: no unemployment.  You know there are loads more immigrants in this country than there are unemployed.  Stands to reason: if we got rid of all the niggers, Pakis, and all the rest, we’d have full employment. 

The BFTB is committed to full employment for white, British workers.  That is why I joined.  I go to branch meetings once a week, and regional meetings once a month.  I prefer the regional meetings, because they have really good speakers, and we usually have an action afterwards.  The actions are brilliant.  We get to kick shit out of queers and Pakis and other scum.  Lefties and stuff.  We burn loads of books and sometimes we even set fire to buildings.  The Regional Organiser is called Richard Spalding.  He holds special meetings where only a few Party members are invited.  I got permission come to them a few months ago.  He said I was good racial stock.  He said I was “im-something” with the Spirit of National Socialism. 

At the last meeting, Richard Spalding said he had been selected to lead a special mission, and he was picking us to be members of his special task force.  He said we would have the chance to fulfil our racial destiny.   He said we would be building a new nation on the ashes of the old order.  If we are going to build a new nation, I’m guessing there will be machinists required.  I wonder what kind of alloys we’ll be working with.


My mission of racial purification is about to begin.  My men will be going into suspended animation for the duration of the voyage.  The crew of the ship and I will remain active.  The voyage itself will take four years.  That is four times the length of time that Hitler spent imprisoned in Landsberg Castle.  I think I will take a secretary with me, and dictate my great work on racial politics and political destiny.   I must remember to ask for volunteers at the next regional Party meeting.  I have recently been reading an interesting pamphlet about Aktion T4.  I must include some of its ideas in my book. 

I have decided what my name is now that I am the Führer.  I am called Wolf.  Those who address me must give the National Socialist salute, and say Hail Wolf!

There is absolutely no place for women on this mission. 



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