羊毛战记 Part 4 The Unraveling 32
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2024-04-11 09:01 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
  A glooming peace this morning with it brings;The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
  Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished.
  It was the morning of the worst cleaning of Lukas’s life—and for once he considered going intowork, ignoring the paid holiday, to pretend it was a day like any other. He sat at the foot of his bed ashe worked up the courage to move, one of his many star charts in his lap. Lightly with his fingers, soas not to smear1 the marks away, he caressed2 the charcoal3 outline of one star in particular.
  It wasn’t a star like the others. Those were simple dots on a meticulous4 grid5 with details of datesighted, location, and intensity6. This wasn’t that kind of star—not one that lasted nearly so long. Itwas the five-pointed kind, the outline of a sheriff’s badge. He remembered drawing the shape whileshe was talking to him one night, the steel on her chest glowing faintly as it caught the weak lightfrom the stairwell. He remembered her voice being magical, the way she carried herself mesmerizing,and her arrival into his boring routine had been as unexpected as the parting of clouds.
  He also remembered how she had turned away from him in her cell two nights ago, had tried tosave his feelings by pushing him away.
  Lukas had no more tears. He had spent most of the night shedding them for this woman he hardlyknew. And now he wondered what he would do with his day, with his life. The thought of her outthere, doing anything for them—cleaning—made him sick. He wondered if that was why he’d had noappetite for two days. Some deep part of his gut7 must have known he’d never keep anything down,even if he forced himself to eat.
  He set the star chart aside and dropped his face into his palms. He rested there, so tired, trying toconvince himself to just get up and go to work. If he went to work, at least he’d be distracted. Hetried to remember where he’d left off in the server room last week. Was it the number eight tower thathad gone down again? Sammi had suggested he swap9 out the control board, but Lukas had suspecteda bad cable. That’s what he’d been doing, he remembered now: toning out the Ethernet runs. It’swhat he should have been doing right then, that very day. Anything but sitting around on a holiday,feeling like he could be physically10 ill over a woman about whom he’d done little more than tell hismother.
  Lukas stood and shrugged11 on the same pair of overalls12 he’d worn the day before. He remainedthere a moment, staring at his bare feet, wondering why he’d gotten up. Where was he going? Hismind was completely blank, his body numb8. He wondered if he could stand there, unmoving, hisstomach twisted in knots, for the rest of his life. Someone would eventually find him, wouldn’t they?
  Dead and stiff, standing13 upright, a statue of a corpse14.
  He shook his head and these black thoughts loose and looked for his boots.
  He found them; it was an accomplishment15. Lukas had done something by getting himself dressed.
  He left his room and ambled16 toward the landing, weaving around kids squealing17 from another dayoff school, parents trying to corral them and get their boots and overalls on. The commotion18 was littlemore than background noise for Lukas. It was a hum, like the aches in his legs from the long climbdown to see her and the even longer climb back up. He stepped out onto the apartment’s landing andfelt a habitual19 tug20 upward toward the cafeteria. All he could think about was all he had thought of forthe past week: making it through another day so he could go up top for the chance to see her.
  It suddenly occurred to Lukas that he still could. He wasn’t one for sunrises—he much preferredthe twilight21 and the stars—but if he wanted to see her, all he had to do was climb to the cafeteria andscan the landscape. There would be a new body there, a new suit with the shine still on it glimmeringin whatever weak rays the sun dribbled22 through those blasted clouds.
  He could see the image clearly in his head: her uncomfortable sprawl—legs twisted, arm pinned,helmet turned to the side, gazing back at the silo. Sadder still, he saw himself decades later, a lonelyold man sitting in front of that gray wallscreen and drawing not star charts but landscapes. The samelandscapes over and over, looking up at a wasting might-have-been, sketching23 that same still posewhile weeping tears that dripped and turned charcoal to mud.
  He would be like Marnes, that poor man. And thinking of the deputy, who died with no one tobury him, it reminded Lukas of the last thing Juliette had told him. She had begged him to findsomeone, to not be like her, to never be alone.
  He gripped landing fifty’s cool steel railing and leaned over. Looking down, he could watch thestairwell drill its way deep into the earth. The landing for fifty-six was visible below, the severallandings between jutting24 off at unseen angles. It was hard to gauge25 the distance but he figured it wasmore than enough. No need to walk down to eighty-two, which most jumpers preferred for its longclear path down to ninety-nine.
  Suddenly, he saw himself in flight, tumbling down, arms and legs splayed. He reckoned he wouldjust miss the landing. One of the railings would catch him and saw him near in half. Or maybe if hejumped out a little further, maybe if he aimed his head, he could make it quick.
  He straightened, feeling a twinge of fear and a rush of adrenaline from picturing the fall, the end,so vividly26. He glanced around and checked the morning traffic to see if anyone was watching him. Hehad seen other adults peer over railings before. He’d always assumed bad thoughts were goingthrough their heads. Because he knew, growing up in the silo, that only children dropped physicalthings from the landings. By the time you got older, you knew to keep a grip on all that you could.
  Eventually, it was something else that slipped away, something else you lost that tumbled downthrough the heart of the silo, that made you ponder leaping after—The landing shivered with the beat of a hurrying porter; the sound of bare feet slapping againststeel treads came next and spiraled closer. Lukas slid away from the railing and tried to focus on whathe was doing that day. Maybe he should just crawl back into bed and sleep, kill some hours withunconsciousness.
  As he attempted to summon some sliver28 of motivation, the speeding porter flew past, and Lukascaught a glimpse of the boy’s face twisted in consternation29. Even as he sped out of sight—his paceswift and reckless—the image of his worry remained vividly lodged30 in Lukas’s mind.
  And Lukas knew. As the rapid patter of the boy’s feet wound deeper into the earth, he knewsomething had happened that morning, something up top, something newsworthy about the cleaning.
  A seed of hope. Some wishful kernel31 buried deep, where he was loath32 to acknowledge it lest itpoison or choke him, began to sprout33. Maybe the cleaning never happened. Was it possible herbanishment had been reconsidered? The people of Mechanical had sent up a petition. Hundreds ofdaring signatures, risking their own necks to save hers. Had the mad gesture from the down deepworn the judges down?
  That tiny seed of hope sprang roots. It grew vinelike through Lukas’s chest, filling him with anurgency to run up and see for himself. He left the railing, and the dream of leaping after his worries,and pushed his way through the morning crowd. Whispers, he noticed, were already foaming34 in theporter’s wake. He wasn’t the only one who had noticed.
  As he joined the up-bound traffic, he realized the aches in his legs from the days before hadvanished. He prepared to pass the slow-moving family in front of him—when he heard the loudsquawk of a radio behind him.
  Lukas turned to find Deputy Marsh35 a few treads back fumbling36 for the radio on his hip37, a smallcardboard box clutched to his chest, a sheen of sweat on his forehead.
  Lukas stopped and held the railing, waiting for the mids deputy to reach him.
  The deputy finally got the volume down on his radio and glanced up. He nodded to Lukas. Theboth of them squeezed against the railing as a worker and his shadow passed them, heading upward.
  “What’s the news?” Lukas asked. He knew the deputy well, and he knew he might spill it for free.
  Marsh swiped his forehead and moved the box into the crook38 of his other arm. “That Bernard iswhoopin’ my ass27 this mornin’,” he complained. “Done climbed enough this week!”
  “No, what of the cleaning?” Lukas asked. “A porter just hurried by like he’d seen a ghost.”
  Deputy Marsh glanced up the steps. “I was told to bring her things to thirty-four as quick asgrease. Hank nearly killed himself bringing ’em partway up to me.” He started up the stairs as if hecouldn’t afford to stay. “Look, I’ve gotta keep movin’ if I wanna keep my job.”
  Lukas held his arm, and traffic swelled39 below them as annoyed climbers squeezed past and againstthe occasional traveler heading down. “Did the cleaning go through or not?” Lukas demanded.
  Marsh sagged40 against the railing. Quiet chatter41 popped through his radio.
  “No,” he whispered, and Lukas felt as though he could fly. He could fly straight up the spacebetween the stairs and the concrete heart of the silo, could soar around the landings, could go fiftylevels at a leap—
  “She went out, but she didn’t clean,” Marsh said, his voice low but laced with words sharp enoughto pierce Lukas’s dreams. “She wandered over them hills—”
  “Wait. What?”
  Marsh nodded, and sweat dripped from the deputy’s nose. “Plumb out of sight,” he hissed42, like aradio turned down low. “Now I’ve got to get her things up to Bernar—”
  “I’ll do it,” Lukas said, reaching out his hands. “I’m going to thirty-four anyway.”
  Marsh shifted the box. The poor deputy seemed liable to collapse43 at any moment. Lukas beggedhim, just as he had two days earlier in order to see Juliette in her cell. “Let me take them up for you,”
  he said. “You know Bernard won’t mind. He and I are good friends, just like you and I have alwaysbeen …”
  Deputy Marsh wiped his lip and nodded ever so slightly, thinking on this.
  “Look, I’m going up anyway,” Lukas said. He found himself slowly taking the box from anexhausted Marsh, even though the waves of emotion surging through his own body made it difficultto focus. The traffic on the stairs had become background noise. The idea that Juliette might still be inthe silo had slipped away, but the news that she hadn’t cleaned, that she had made it over the hills—this filled him with something else. It touched the part of him that yearned44 to map the stars. It meantno one would ever have to watch her waste away.
  “You’ll be careful with that,” Marsh said. His eyes were on the box, now tucked into Lukas’sarms.
  “I’ll guard it with my life,” Lukas told him. “Trust me.”
  Marsh nodded to let him know he did. And Lukas hurried up the stairs, ahead of those rising tocelebrate the cleaning, the weight of Juliette’s belongings45 rattling46 softly in a box tucked tightlyagainst his chest.


1 smear 6EmyX     
  • He has been spreading false stories in an attempt to smear us.他一直在散布谎言企图诽谤我们。
  • There's a smear on your shirt.你衬衫上有个污点。
2 caressed de08c4fb4b79b775b2f897e6e8db9aad     
爱抚或抚摸…( caress的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His fingers caressed the back of her neck. 他的手指抚摩着她的后颈。
  • He caressed his wife lovingly. 他怜爱万分地抚摸着妻子。
3 charcoal prgzJ     
  • We need to get some more charcoal for the barbecue.我们烧烤需要更多的碳。
  • Charcoal is used to filter water.木炭是用来过滤水的。
4 meticulous A7TzJ     
  • We'll have to handle the matter with meticulous care.这事一点不能含糊。
  • She is meticulous in her presentation of facts.她介绍事实十分详细。
5 grid 5rPzpK     
  • In this application,the carrier is used to encapsulate the grid.在这种情况下,要用载体把格栅密封起来。
  • Modern gauges consist of metal foil in the form of a grid.现代应变仪则由网格形式的金属片组成。
6 intensity 45Ixd     
  • I didn't realize the intensity of people's feelings on this issue.我没有意识到这一问题能引起群情激奋。
  • The strike is growing in intensity.罢工日益加剧。
7 gut MezzP     
  • It is not always necessary to gut the fish prior to freezing.冷冻鱼之前并不总是需要先把内脏掏空。
  • My immediate gut feeling was to refuse.我本能的直接反应是拒绝。
8 numb 0RIzK     
  • His fingers were numb with cold.他的手冻得发麻。
  • Numb with cold,we urged the weary horses forward.我们冻得发僵,催着疲惫的马继续往前走。
9 swap crnwE     
  • I will swap you my bicycle for your radio.我想拿我的自行车换你的收音机。
  • This comic was a swap that I got from Nick.这本漫画书是我从尼克那里换来的。
10 physically iNix5     
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
11 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 overalls 2mCz6w     
  • He is in overalls today.他今天穿的是工作裤。
  • He changed his overalls for a suit.他脱下工装裤,换上了一套西服。
13 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
14 corpse JYiz4     
  • What she saw was just an unfeeling corpse.她见到的只是一具全无感觉的尸体。
  • The corpse was preserved from decay by embalming.尸体用香料涂抹以防腐烂。
15 accomplishment 2Jkyo     
  • The series of paintings is quite an accomplishment.这一系列的绘画真是了不起的成就。
  • Money will be crucial to the accomplishment of our objectives.要实现我们的目标,钱是至关重要的。
16 ambled 7a3e35ee6318b68bdb71eeb2b10b8a94     
v.(马)缓行( amble的过去式和过去分词 );从容地走,漫步
  • We ambled down to the beach. 我们漫步向海滩走去。
  • The old man ambled home through the garden every evening. 那位老人每天晚上经过花园漫步回家。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 squealing b55ccc77031ac474fd1639ff54a5ad9e     
v.长声尖叫,用长而尖锐的声音说( squeal的现在分词 )
  • Pigs were grunting and squealing in the yard. 猪在院子里哼哼地叫个不停。
  • The pigs were squealing. 猪尖叫着。
18 commotion 3X3yo     
  • They made a commotion by yelling at each other in the theatre.他们在剧院里相互争吵,引起了一阵骚乱。
  • Suddenly the whole street was in commotion.突然间,整条街道变得一片混乱。
19 habitual x5Pyp     
  • He is a habitual criminal.他是一个惯犯。
  • They are habitual visitors to our house.他们是我家的常客。
20 tug 5KBzo     
  • We need to tug the car round to the front.我们需要把那辆车拉到前面。
  • The tug is towing three barges.那只拖船正拖着三只驳船。
21 twilight gKizf     
  • Twilight merged into darkness.夕阳的光辉融于黑暗中。
  • Twilight was sweet with the smell of lilac and freshly turned earth.薄暮充满紫丁香和新翻耕的泥土的香味。
22 dribbled 4d0c5f81bdb5dc77ab540d795704e768     
v.流口水( dribble的过去式和过去分词 );(使液体)滴下或作细流;运球,带球
  • Melted wax dribbled down the side of the candle. 熔化了的蜡一滴滴从蜡烛边上流下。
  • He dribbled past the fullback and scored a goal. 他越过对方后卫,趁势把球踢入球门。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
23 sketching 2df579f3d044331e74dce85d6a365dd7     
  • They are sketching out proposals for a new road. 他们正在草拟修建新路的计划。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • "Imagination is busy sketching rose-tinted pictures of joy. “飞舞驰骋的想象描绘出一幅幅玫瑰色欢乐的场景。 来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
24 jutting 4bac33b29dd90ee0e4db9b0bc12f8944     
v.(使)突出( jut的现在分词 );伸出;(从…)突出;高出
  • The climbers rested on a sheltered ledge jutting out from the cliff. 登山者在悬崖的岩棚上休息。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soldier saw a gun jutting out of some bushes. 那士兵看见丛林中有一枝枪伸出来。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
25 gauge 2gMxz     
  • Can you gauge what her reaction is likely to be?你能揣测她的反应可能是什么吗?
  • It's difficult to gauge one's character.要判断一个人的品格是很困难的。
26 vividly tebzrE     
  • The speaker pictured the suffering of the poor vividly.演讲者很生动地描述了穷人的生活。
  • The characters in the book are vividly presented.这本书里的人物写得栩栩如生。
27 ass qvyzK     
  • He is not an ass as they make him.他不象大家猜想的那样笨。
  • An ass endures his burden but not more than his burden.驴能负重但不能超过它能力所负担的。
28 sliver sxFwA     
  • There was only one sliver of light in the darkness.黑暗中只有一点零星的光亮。
  • Then,one night,Monica saw a thin sliver of the moon reappear.之后的一天晚上,莫尼卡看到了一个月牙。
29 consternation 8OfzB     
  • He was filled with consternation to hear that his friend was so ill.他听说朋友病得那么厉害,感到非常震惊。
  • Sam stared at him in consternation.萨姆惊恐不安地注视着他。
30 lodged cbdc6941d382cc0a87d97853536fcd8d     
v.存放( lodge的过去式和过去分词 );暂住;埋入;(权利、权威等)归属
  • The certificate will have to be lodged at the registry. 证书必须存放在登记处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Our neighbours lodged a complaint against us with the police. 我们的邻居向警方控告我们。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 kernel f3wxW     
  • The kernel of his problem is lack of money.他的问题的核心是缺钱。
  • The nutshell includes the kernel.果壳裹住果仁。
32 loath 9kmyP     
  • The little girl was loath to leave her mother.那小女孩不愿离开她的母亲。
  • They react on this one problem very slow and very loath.他们在这一问题上反应很慢,很不情愿。
33 sprout ITizY     
  • When do deer first sprout horns?鹿在多大的时候开始长出角?
  • It takes about a week for the seeds to sprout.这些种子大约要一周后才会发芽。
34 foaming 08d4476ae4071ba83dfdbdb73d41cae6     
  • He looked like a madman, foaming at the mouth. 他口吐白沫,看上去像个疯子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He is foaming at the mouth about the committee's decision. 他正为委员会的决定大发其火。 来自《简明英汉词典》
35 marsh Y7Rzo     
  • There are a lot of frogs in the marsh.沼泽里有许多青蛙。
  • I made my way slowly out of the marsh.我缓慢地走出这片沼泽地。
36 fumbling fumbling     
n. 摸索,漏接 v. 摸索,摸弄,笨拙的处理
  • If he actually managed to the ball instead of fumbling it with an off-balance shot. 如果他实际上设法拿好球而不是fumbling它。50-balance射击笨拙地和迅速地会开始他的岗位移动,经常这样结束。
  • If he actually managed to secure the ball instead of fumbling it awkwardly an off-balance shot. 如果他实际上设法拿好球而不是fumbling它。50-50提议有时。他从off-balance射击笨拙地和迅速地会开始他的岗位移动,经常这样结束。
37 hip 1dOxX     
  • The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone.股骨连着髋骨。
  • The new coats blouse gracefully above the hip line.新外套在臀围线上优美地打着褶皱。
38 crook NnuyV     
  • He demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.我骂他骗子,他要我向他认错。
  • She was cradling a small parcel in the crook of her elbow.她用手臂挎着一个小包裹。
39 swelled bd4016b2ddc016008c1fc5827f252c73     
增强( swell的过去式和过去分词 ); 肿胀; (使)凸出; 充满(激情)
  • The infection swelled his hand. 由于感染,他的手肿了起来。
  • After the heavy rain the river swelled. 大雨过后,河水猛涨。
40 sagged 4efd2c4ac7fe572508b0252e448a38d0     
  • The black reticule sagged under the weight of shapeless objects. 黑色的拎包由于装了各种形状的东西而中间下陷。
  • He sagged wearily back in his chair. 他疲倦地瘫坐到椅子上。
41 chatter BUfyN     
  • Her continuous chatter vexes me.她的喋喋不休使我烦透了。
  • I've had enough of their continual chatter.我已厌烦了他们喋喋不休的闲谈。
42 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
43 collapse aWvyE     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做了一次彻底的调查分析。
44 yearned df1a28ecd1f3c590db24d0d80c264305     
渴望,切盼,向往( yearn的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The people yearned for peace. 人民渴望和平。
  • She yearned to go back to the south. 她渴望回到南方去。
45 belongings oy6zMv     
  • I put a few personal belongings in a bag.我把几件私人物品装进包中。
  • Your personal belongings are not dutiable.个人物品不用纳税。
46 rattling 7b0e25ab43c3cc912945aafbb80e7dfd     
adj. 格格作响的, 活泼的, 很好的 adv. 极其, 很, 非常 动词rattle的现在分词
  • This book is a rattling good read. 这是一本非常好的读物。
  • At that same instant,a deafening explosion set the windows rattling. 正在这时,一声震耳欲聋的爆炸突然袭来,把窗玻璃震得当当地响。