It ain’t right. I knowed that my brain pan aint right, not since the war. I knowed that I fought in the war, but I cain’t recall none of it. I aint got no family I ken recall, nor any real name neither. Sometimez I jess sit in mah bunk, tryin ta remember, an I think I git sum lil idear or sum kinda memory or sumtin, but it jess slips away like itz a rattler slidin down a hole. Sometimes I jess lose it, blank out fer sum time, useless, but it aint ever been like this. Not inna time when I waz needed. Lez face it, I ain’t needed much. Alwayz afeared as sumone will find me out and knowed that I aint who I sazy I am, that I got no past, an prolly no future. All Iz gud fer is ifin therez sumtin to be shot, or punched, or a lock ta be picked. I’m mostly useless anymore doin much elze, save whorin an drinkin. If it werent fer Alice alwayz sticken up fer me an sayin that she wont werk lessen I git signed up too, I’d still be killen fer money back on Sephanie. Now I aint even gud fer that. It aint that I feel sorry fer meself so much. Shit happens, and sumtimez it even happenz to you. Its jezz that I kept tellin meself that it wernt what it waz, an thatz jess stupid talkin. Now, I caint say it aint no more, cauz it iz what It iz an everyone knowed now. Imma dead man walkin, a man with no past aint no man a’tall, an now I seez that Imma likely as not ta get one of my own kilt cauze of mah shit.
I blanked agin, cept’n this time it waz on mah watch. Some reel shit came downa road an I jest fell apart. Walkin zombie iz what they sayz. Folk were gitten shot, and Reaverz were onna deck an I waz jess stumbling around with mah finger up mah noze usless asa turd inna fridge. Werse. Them haffin ta babysit mah ass meant they could ave been shot cause of me. Anna Preacher Man? I guez he showed sum mettle in mah place. He aint no yeller bellied skinwaste liken I thought. Guez he manned up iz what he did, and what I outta been doing instead, kicken Reaver ass and bustin heads. I think I dun him wrong an I caint figure what ta do bout it. I caint face none ov em. I aint dun nuthin right sinz ah left Sephanie, lest there I did sumtin as needed doin, killin folk as needed it, an I was gud at it. I caint jez leave Alice, she haz a shine on me, though it aint cause she wanz me nun, but ah caint stay here no more neither. The Captin an Rokitt, they run a gud ship and theyz need a man is kan get the job dun right. Not sum half man thing as ken never be counted on inna pinch. I think Imma hafta vanish on hayseed.
5 days later, 6:41am Core Time****************************
Gotz us ta Hayseed today. Fokz is still talkin ta me onna boat, but I caint figure why. Gotz us a new feller, Alliance solder. Young’en, full ov spunk and spit. I like em. He talks a gud talk, an he knowed lots about gunz an stuff. Mebbe I won jump at Hayseed right off. Mebbe I’ll stick about a short bit an see what the Capt’n duz. Alice keeps at me ‘bout meetin her folks. I aint comfertable with that so much. Juz seemz weird ta me, we aint hooked nor nuthin. Alice iz Alice though, shez a pushy lil cuss an with that damn smile of herz I caint seem ta never say no to her. Imma prolly hafta go. Jez fer a good meal tho, quick in an out. First thangs first, Imma get me sum whiskey an sum trim, an not in that order neither.
9.5 hours later, 5:11 Core Time****************************
Alicez family iz nice homey folk. Her momma keepz lookin at me funny, like mebbe she thinkz Imma doin her daughter. I caint even tellya how that kreepz me out. Dunno why neither, shez sumptin ta look at all right, but it juz aint there twixt us. They let me in an gave me the run of the plaze, an I gotta say, I liked all at ferst. Kinna homey inna way that makes a man feel… hell I dunno, makez me feel like I wished I had me sumtin like this in mah past. Wishin dont git cow pie off yer boots though. As I got ta lookin at all the pikturz it started ta make me feel real strange like. I dunno what it waz, like I couldn’t breathe none. I started ta get real hot anna I had ta go. I jez couldn’t stay no more. I caint ‘splain it, makes no damn sense ta me. I don wanna go back though. No damn way.
25 hours later, 6:15pm Core Time************************
Alice gotz meh goin back ta her folkz place. Capt’n werent no gud in gittin me outta it, hells tits, the woman iz parkin her ass onna ship an sendin the whole krew off with Alice. I caint place it, but I think she wantz me to go out there agin. It aint right, why iz Alice so hot on me bein out there an why is the Capt’n not given me a scuse not ta go? Shez always been eazy on that kinda thang afore, what gottin inta her now? That place kreepz me out. Therz gunna be food, and her momma knowed how ta cook, better’n the Preacher Man, an thatz sayin sumptin, but I jez don wanna go. I caint say no ta Alice though, an I knowed thatz gunna git me kilt some day.
15.25 hours later, 9:30am Core Time************************
I’m goin krazy. Mah brain pan is fried now, an I jez knowed I is gunna crap out again an itz only dayz from the last time. Itz too much, I caint live like thiz no more. Itz happening more n more ta me, and it aint no way fer a fellah ta go, like some kinda crazy coon hound with the flush on him. This house, these folk here, mah brain is itchen like ten thousand bugs is crawling over on it an bitin, an bitin. I’m reel sorry Alice, ya dont deserve this from me. I ‘preciate all ya done fer me, an I caint figure why ya done any ov it, or why ya even care ta begin with. Yer jezz that gud a person I guess. Too gud ta get stuck on thiz waste of skin. Thiz is eazier. I gotz this stuff breakin up inna mah brain pan an I caint figure it none, an, an… I’m tired ov being scared alla time Alice. Sorry Lil Peaches.
(-sound of gunshot…. recording ends-)
(Little Peaches was Billy’s nickname for Alicera before the war.)