The Blue Behemoth Regrown
Copyright 2010 Lee Brackett
A Gender Switch Adventure.
Beccie Shannon leaned forward across the little hexagonal table. She knocked over the pitcher of thil, but it didn't matter. The pitchers was empty. She jabbed me in the breastbone with her forefinger, not very hard. Not hard enough to jar the ribs clean loose, just enough to spring them.
'We,' she said, 'are broke. We are finished, through. Washed up and down the drain.' She added, as an afterthought, 'Destitute.' I looked at her. I said sourly, 'You're kidding!'
'Kidding.' Shannon put her elbows on the table and peered at me through a curtain of very blond hair that was trying hard to be red. She says I'm kidding! With Shannon's Imperial Circus, the Greatest Show in Space, plastered so thick with attachments...'
'It's no more plastered than you are.' I was sore because she'd been a lot quicker grabbing the pitcher. 'The Greatest Show in Space. Phooey! I've wetnursed Shannon's Imperial Circus around the Triangle for eleven years, and I know. It's lousy, it's mangy, it's broken-down! Nothing works, from the ship to the roustabouts. In short, it is over.' '
I must have had the pitcher oftener than I thought. Nobody insults Beccalyn Shannon's Imperial Circus to Beccalyn Shannon's face unless she's tired and wants a long rest in a comfy fracture-frame.
Shannon got up. She got up slowly. I had plenty of time to see her grey green eyes get sleepy, and hear the quarter-Earthblood Martian boy wailing about love over by the battered piano, and watch the cat-eyes of the little dark people at the tables swing round toward us, pleased and kind of hungry.