Volley Panicminuses

Teach was an unarmed combat instructor, we think. He moves too quickly, into and between spaces. We are all startled all around him. He has started to push his feet into the ground when he steps to make himself louder. I think I am the only one to have noticed consciously. He thinks the words are from a book. “Volume,” he says, “Vol, eh? Then the words at their ends.” Slim disagrees.

“Teach, that’s backwards.” He shakes his head, “You still get books.” He kicks at the corner where their texts sit smouldered, the letters crawling unrecognisably on the pages. We think they are letters. Slim continues.

“No, em before ep, em en ho ep eq re se”. Teach shakes his head yes, “em then se. S’not an em it’s a dash.” He jabs his hand across the air, thumb loose, fingers tight. When this building was being cleared similar movements had helped secure the stairwells. “Dashes can be used to indicate continuation between two parts within a range, ee eg page numbers.” He is not looking at the wall but beyond it as he talks. When he is finished he slams his fist into the case he is packing and it slides shut and rattles. Dust floats up across the surface of the table and the legs scrape across the floor as his whole body pushes a dent into thick black plastic.

You can find the complete version of Volley Panicminuses in issue 61 of TBD.

Andrew Robertson