Not Unrecorded

Susan’s leaning against a tree looking at the sky when the star falls down.

He’s got bright gray hair, like it’s lit up inside, and there’s a spike in his lower lip. He’s wearing enough leather to apoplecticize six PETA warriors and a pair of fuck-you shades. He lands hard, but he lands rolling, and when the dust settles, he cracks his neck and looks pretty much okay.

“I’m late,” he says.

He looks around.

There’s a freeway not too far. There’s Susan’s bike parked on a bed of gravel. There’s a tree and dead withered grass. There’s Susan. There’s the cigarette that Susan dropped.

“Hey,” he says. “Do I know you?”

Susan shakes her head.

“No,” he says. “I’m sure I know you. Names are hard. Sharon? Siffer?”

“Nobody’s named Siffer,” she says. “I mean, hardly anybody.”

“That’s fair,” he agrees.

He stares at her for a moment longer. Then he grins. “Susan,” he says. “That’s right. I flared in the sky over Corner Road to celebrate your birth.”


“Like with Bethlehem,” he says. “Only, you know, for you, rather than for a messiah.”


“Glad that’s settled,” he says. “It’d be nagging me all day.”

He walks over to her bike. He gets on it. He grips the handles. Somewhat to Susan’s surprise, the engine turns on.

“Um . . .”

He kicks up the kickstand.

“Um, that’s my bike,” Susan says. “And this is the middle of nowhere. And it’s getting cold.”

“There’s a sparrow that’s going to die of malnutrition thataways in about thirty-seven minutes,” the star says, “and I’m on watching-sparrow-die duty.”

She lurches forward, but she’s slow and clumsy compared to the movements of the star.

The bike roars out, and there’s a bit of gravel on her face, and blood slowly trickling down from it, and he’s gone.

12 thoughts on “Not Unrecorded

  1. Not Unrecorded, Coprocessor, The Passion of the Joy Thing: A few legends which seem to have a related theme. In each of them we see a non-human entity going off and doing what it wants to do, rather than what humans want it to do.

    An obvious interpretation is that Jane is saying that gods may be created for a particular purpose, but after they’re created they are independant actors. It’s rather less clear which gods she’s writing about. Given that the star is so cool, I think he might be meant to be Martin.

  2. Nice analysis, Graeme. Another recent theme I notice recently is religion: “Daphne and Her Dog”, “Evil Chair”, “Good Potato and Bad Potato”, “It’s Just That Easy: ‘The Baby'”, “(Update)”, “The Passion of the Joy Thing”, “Oublient: ‘The Dream of Faith'”, and “Not Unrecorded” all take various specifically religious things and, well, twist them.

  3. Er — rebecca can undoubtedly write for herself, but from my own point of view, I would be a bit disturbed to find out that someone was tracking my various Internet writings to the point where they were enquiring about whether I was OK if I hadn’t written for a couple of days.

    But this brings up a good end-of-month question, if it isn’t too late for this month. Um, how should we address the author of these writings within our comments? Is “rebecca”, “Rebecca Borgstrom”, or “Ms. Borgstrom”, “R. Sean Borgstrom”, or some other varient preferred? Just rebecca feels most Internet-styled, but it does seem a bit informal for someone who I don’t know.

    Also, how often should we expect Audience threads, in general?

  4. well, she goes by her real name on :p

    and no, i’m not “keeping track”, I just haven’t seen her around where I usually post.

  5. Hm. I wonder if we could call her, “Her Ladyship Rebecca, of the Violet Stars Between Worlds”?

    (I like violet, what can I say?)

  6. I seem to recall someone accusing her of being the Maiden of Secrets around the time of the E:tS release :) But that was elsewhere.

    Here, she signs everything as simply “Rebecca”.

    On the net, I generally make a point of using the name people use for themselves. I consider it good netiquette, and thus a sign of respect.

    If you want to get really formal though, you could probably go with Dr. Borgstrom, as her bio mentions a Ph.D. in CS.

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