The clarkl soup kitchens, p.16

The Clarkl Soup Kitchens, page 16

 

The Clarkl Soup Kitchens
 


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  November 14, 2143 – Whoring this month! I signed up for three days per week at the Castle and another year on Clarkl for a bonus of $35,000. That brings my release date to November of 2145.

  Actually, I am having a wonderful time here, with all the ladies who call and the helpful churchwomen in the kitchen. I have never had so many easy sexual conquests, and the kitchen help is always friendly and anxious to do good deeds to help our friends the Drones.

  I am able to add about $4,000 each month to my bank account, without counting the bonuses. The bank statements are sent via the electronic channels about once a quarter, and I am always pleasantly surprised to see the accumulated interest and the automatic deposits from the government. If I stay until 2150, I probably could live very well in some retirement community for the remainder of my days.

  In 2150, I will be forty-five, a very good age to start a second family. However, if I go, instead, to a posh American retirement center, perhaps in Havana, I could play golf and screw the many widows until I die.

  It is worth a consideration, I think. This job on Clarkl has been very satisfying, and I might be able to continue with my program as a retiree.

  If I could abandon those Monarchs, everything would be perfect here. They continue to order me about in my own kitchen and ask me to supervise several very incompetent helpers.

  I suspect the Batwigs are the ones in charge, though. Certainly they have the brains to run the country, but everyone looks to the Monarchs for leadership when the weather wrecks the houses and roads and when a harvest is ruined by poor planning. I wish I could slip into a meeting between the Batwigs and the Monarchs to see how they interact.

  Meanwhile, our farms are feeding nearly all the people of this planet. We always have plenty of produce, and this month we have been inundated with apples and pears. The churchwomen have been going without days off to can and freeze slices of both fruits.

  I have been working almost nonstop on applesauce and a tasty pear and quince marmalade. The churchwomen pare the fruits between the time we close the dining room at night and the time I report in the morning to cook breakfast, and then I start the giant kettles with the fruit slices. I wish we could send some of that marmalade home to America to give away to the bishops and the laity who manage our relationship with Clarkl.

  That won’t happen, of course, because the spaceships are filled with all the minerals the government needs. The people who are returning are weighted down with so many souvenirs that I can’t believe any of them would take my glass jars.

  On the return trips the spaceships are filled with various wheat products, of course. Everything we order comes within six months, so we have standing orders for flour, sugar, and rice. I order my sherry, and the dining room manager orders toiletries to sell in the commissary. I also have a good supply of condoms on each craft, and I often wonder what the bishop thinks about that.

  March 2, 2144 – We have twelve dining rooms here, almost in a circle around the capital of Gilsumo, and the Monarchs have a number of castles near the capital, too. Now I have been asked to go to two other castles to train the chefs there. These are Americans, too, from the other dining rooms, and I suppose they have been recruited with the same heavy-handed methods used to ensnare me.

  My grand tour starts next week, and the churchwomen are making lists of what I will need to take. The Slinkers will arrange all the transportation, but they won’t have any spare time to fetch things I may have forgotten.

  Of course, the living quarters will be dirty, and I need to get used to cleaning every evening before I can go to bed. The only good thing is that bugs are not common here.

  In fact, there are very few animals here other than the Clarklians themselves. We were told not to bring pets with us on the spacecraft because the Clarklians are not used to seeing them. I have seen a few monkeys and a few birds, but they don’t have much more luck than the Drones with finding food in the wild.

  April 9, 2144 – The training at the two other castles is finished, and I am worn out. In addition, my shoes are nearly soleless after tramping around on those rough stone floors that are common in the castles.

  The chefs are, of course, very anxious to work hard to get everything right, but the helpers are no better than the ones I found in the castle near our dining room.

  Things are certainly not right, though, with the delivery of supplies. About half the food coming from America is going to the castles. Our orders are always short, and we are getting very low on flour.

  I figure there are about twenty of these ugly Monarchs in each of the fifteen castles I know about. That makes about three hundred of the Monarchs in total. By comparison, we have six hundred Drones and what-nots coming to our dining room each day on average. The other dining rooms do a similar business, although our dining room is usually at the top of the statistics each week.

  I figure half the food from America is being diverted to feed three hundred Monarchs while we are struggling to feed about seven thousand entities with the other half. Something has to change.

  We have cut down on pies and cakes, of course. Our broccoli crop is very good and a really fine pumpkin crop is just a week or so away. But, we are taking our frozen assets out of the freezers at a fast rate. So far, nobody has left the dining room without a meal, but the Wolpters, never ones to let any complaint go unheard, are starting to clamor for the sweets.

  In two weeks I go on the road again to train three more chefs in three more castles.

  June 13, 2144 – Back home in my little cabin now, and continuing with my work at our dining room.

  My adventures at the castle in Monnusa are worthy of documenting here. I had sex with Clarklians!

  Monnusa is the castle most remote from Gilsumo, perhaps two hundred miles away. Of course, the only landmass on Clarkl is this one large continent, except for a couple of small, uninhabited islands, and most of the people live very close to the planet’s equator. Monnusa is further from the equator than any other castle.

  Things must be very different there. Certainly we are not running any dining room in that locale. Perhaps the entities there are not familiar with the work of the Americans on Clarkl.

  Whatever the reason, those Monarchs and Batwigs at Monnusa probably thought we were just more of their own kind, come to visit. It should have been very clear even to the weakest of intellects that the complete kitchen was being built there for some purpose, but I was shocked when I found a Monarch in my bed in the middle of the night.

  It wanted to cuddle, of course. It grasped my member and was surprised when that part of me responded. I, being not unreceptive to different sexual situations, put my hands on the Monarch’s bare, rough skin. That was the beginning.

  The Monarch quickly redirected my hands to various places on its body, and I was very willing to reciprocate. In a minute the Monarch had ejaculated into my hand, and I had ejaculated onto its abdomen. The Monarch slipped away almost immediately.

  The next night, I had three Monarchs in my bed. They played with me and with each other for about an hour. They ejaculated into each other, as androgynous beings do, but they did not attempt to penetrate me and I did not attempt to put my large member into their tiny honeypots.

  These nightly visits continued for the rest of my stay in Monnusa. It was the best sex I have had on Clarkl.

  September 30, 2144 – My reputation as a bedfellow has been circulating among the Monarchs. Lordy, I hope the bishop has not gotten wind of all this, but it has been fun.

  Strange things are happening here, though. The Fundamentalists of Christ, the group that runs a single dining room here, have had their minister and choir kidnapped. Earlier this month, their meeting room, a rather primitive structure, was torn down. This has the entire American colony in a buzz, and we are very concerned for our future here.

  Our dining room manager called all of us together for a meeting. We decided to press on, telling each other the best plan was to be as helpful to our Drones and our o
ther guests by continuing to serve good food in an atmosphere of cordiality, cleanliness, and comfort.

  In the last six months, I have visited twelve castles and have continued with my regular trips to the one that is near here. I have been smuggling flour, sugar, and rice from my castle to the dining room each week. There is, by now, an enormous quantity of each of these staples in the several storerooms at the castle, and I have been stuffing the pots and pans and bags I carry to and fro with at least fifty pounds of food each week. The Slinkers may have become suspicious because I won’t let them carry anything.

  The farm managers have started to plant wheat in an attempt to make up for the diverted supplies, but I believe it will be several years before we have a good crop and a post-harvest processing plant.

  Sugar, of course, is another matter. The climate at the farms is always artificially controlled, but growing sugar cane or sugar beet has not been tested on cold Clarkl.

  We are forgetting about rice now, serving what we receive but not counting on additional supplies. The farm managers have no plan for growing rice in this climate.

  January 22, 2145 – We are still unsettled about the recent kidnapping. There has been no news of any kind from the nine people who are missing.

  Each time I visit a castle, I attempt to investigate. Is too much food disappearing? Can I hear any extra noises? So far, I have not discovered anything unusual.

  The storerooms at my local castle are overflowing, and some sugar is ruined by the ever-present humidity. I have found an even larger carryall, and I can stuff it with about seventy pounds of food each week. If I could have one of my lady friends accompany me in her car, we could take several hundred pounds back each week.

  Supplies other than flour, sugar, and rice are continuing to be delivered to the dining room. All the spices I ordered four months ago arrived this week, and my order of six cases of sherry arrived just before Christmas.

  I am running short on condoms, though, so I will need to cut back on visits from American women. I am so tired most of the time from this stressful schedule that it will be somewhat of a relief to entertain less.

  This is the last page of this journal. I will start a new one with my next entry, and I will carry the new one in my duffle bag for safekeeping. There is no need to let the Slinkers find out any more about my investigations into the disappearance of the Fundamentalists.

  Harvey Hallorin’s Memoranda

  January 22, 2136, 2200 hours, St. Louis, Missouri – We are just waiting here for the spacecraft to board, and I’ll write a few notes in my journal.

  No trouble, so far, but I am about to start my great acting career. Can I play the part of Eugene Warburton Emmentino for ten years?

  It was just a crazy idea a year ago. Gene was very sick, of course, and very lonely. I agreed to take care of him through his final days.

  “I live just across the hall, Gene,” I insisted. “I’ll stop in after work, cook us our dinner, make sure you are taking your treatments, things like that….”

  “What’s in it for you, Harv? All my money goes to my niece.”

  “That doesn’t matter,” I said. “Just a good deed for another fellow. Maybe somebody will help me when I’m near the end.”

  Now, of course, I am off to Clarkl, that place where people go when they have become tired of London or tired of life. The plan includes a ten-year tour of duty away from Hagerstown and then a triumphal return as Eugene.

  How well have I studied his handwriting? I practice every morning, and still I can see room for improvement.

  Gene rests near Cumberland, under a monument that reads “Harvey Edgar Hallorin, COL, U.S. Army, 2084-2135.” The bugle blew, and Gene was lowered into my grave, in my best uniform and with all my ribbons. I couldn’t bring myself to let him take my Bronze Star to his grave, but he wore the star’s ribbon like a hero.

  Then, the letter to Genuvusa, the niece, in my best forger’s style. Off to Clarkl, with the New Christian Congregation’s mission, to spend my last days in service to God’s other creatures. Will write often. Use this check for $50,000 to help with the down payment on your new apartment.

  Plenty of letters from Genuvusa in Gene’s desk. Plenty of stored electronic messages he had sent to her. The $50,000 was about average for his contributions.

  Too many hardships after a career of hard work and daring. Had to live in that tiny apartment after I retired.

  Two apartments on each floor, one big and one small. Gene had the big place, and he could have had one five times larger.

  Lucky we were built alike and had enough similar features. I put some of the lightest of Chanel’s makeup on his face and hands. No, don’t want a viewing, just get the Colonel ready for burial. All the papers are signed.

  He slept after dinner, and I washed him and put him to bed before I went home each evening. Lots of time to look through the bank statements. Eighteen million dollars was too much to turn down.

  Simple matter to write to Genuvusa, saying I was on the road to recovery. New treatments, miracles of modern medicine.

  The end came much too soon. I wanted more time to plan and to practice.

  About 1.5 billion years B.C. – We are going back in time, of course, but I can’t understand how it works. The Captain has a sign posted that tells us about where we are. Very unsettling.

  My cabin is adequate. I have a double bed, a small sitting area, and a complete bathroom. Most of the other church workers are in tiny places, two and three together. This has cost me $60,000 of Gene’s money, but I am comfortable.

  Remember Louise’s continual complaints about the Army’s quarters! Never enough bedrooms, certainly can’t live with only two bathrooms, why don’t they have more robots in the kitchen, on and on.

  What did I get for all that complaining? No children and a black mark on my record when she ran off with the general. He already had two stars, so he didn’t care.

  An electronic message today to Genuvusa, in the style of Gene. I often wonder if she had any idea of his bank balance? Hope not.

  About 3.4 billion years B.C. – more comfortable now, getting used to the atmosphere.

  A nice setup, with a buffet around the clock. I’m trying to lose a pound or two to be more comfortable in Gene’s clothes, so I’m not always in the mess.

  Some of the other church people are working on the trip, cleaning rooms and assisting the chef.

  One lady has smiles for me, though. Can’t seem to shake her. Comes from the lowest desk. Probably sees a single man with a fortune, surely in need of a wife.

  About 14.6 billion years B.C. – the Captain announced over the squawk box when we were traveling in space and not time. Just a few hours of space, really, and then forward in time. Can’t get my head around all of it. Gene would understand it, with all his intellect.

  Now in Cumberland, in the Hallorin plot. Last of my family. All the graves are full now.

  Assignments are being made this week. I have received orders to a small unit about thirty miles from Gilsumo, the capital. Supply officer. Only forty-five other people on that base, mostly women who work in the kitchen.

  Many of the dining operational units are much larger, with over one hundred Americans.

  Supply is important, of course. The job is completely documented in a training manual, and I have been working my way through it on this flight. Not much else to do.

  Tata keeps running into me, even though she is supposed to keep to her own deck. Very unsophisticated and very predatory.

  The other people on my deck are couples, mostly my own age. This flight is one leg of a tour of the universe that is popular with the moneyed classes. They don’t mix with me unless they need a fourth for bridge.

  Bad bidders, nearly all of them. Open on next to nothing and raise you with two cards in your suit. If success with money is based on taking risks, these people are sure to be in the top percentile.

  Can’t play too often, though. They want me to put money on the tabl
e, and I’ve already lost over $10,000.

  About 10.8 billion years B.C. – more unpleasantness with Tata today. She delivered a letter to me just after breakfast. I forced a smile and tucked it into my jacket unopened.

  My God, it was essentially a proposal! She says she is deeply in love with me, wants to get assigned to the same place on Clarkl, perhaps live together in a double cabin.

  I need to work out a response that is polite but not encouraging in any way. I’m no good with letters. I have borrowed heavily from Gene’s correspondence so far, but there’s nothing to help me there.

  Cut her off clean. That’s the only thing to do.

  About 9.4 billion years B.C. – had the steward deliver the response to Tata this morning. Made so many mistakes. Took four hours to write it out, making sure Gene’s handwriting was as perfect as possible. Used a tablet of lined paper. Didn’t want Tata to believe I had gone to any expense with bond or rag.

  Just a few words. I do not have similar feelings. That was the theme.

  The steward came back to tell me he had placed the envelope in Tata’s hand. Another twenty dollars gone.

  About 6.8 billion years B.C. – a message from Genuvusa today. Needs money. Sent $45,000 over the wire.

  This is probably a lifelong situation. She had hit up Gene pretty regular for similar sums.

  The interest income on Gene’s money for the several months since he died is $592,000. I’m still ahead, what with the payments to the mortuary, the cemetery, the New Christian Congregation’s pirates, and various others.

  His apartment is leased, bringing in next to nothing after the real estate people are paid. My apartment has been sold and the proceeds have gone to my brother’s children, none of whom was notified of the burial until it was all over.

  That lawyer who handled the will was surprised Gene was not named as a beneficiary. Everything to the two children, even though Gene handled all the arrangements.

  About 3.4 billion years B.C. – just a week or so more on this spacecraft.

  My bridge loses are now over $15,000. I will stay in my quarters after dinner from now on. Paid all the debts via interplanetary cash transfers. Good as gold. People squawked, but I can’t give up my folding money this early in the trip.

 
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