I, Effing Feline, chose this week’s snippet only because Ed, aka Mr Valentine, says it’s crucial to understanding the heroine of Constellation XXI. Personally, though, I don’t understand it at all.
Guilt? What the dogfart is that? To quote a famous cat (who really wrote those plays), guilt is “but a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the page and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot.” (If the shoe fits, Mr V . . .)
Sienna Dukelsky captains a tugship, outer space’s answer to a tugboat. She has just matched speed with an incoming ship captained by Crispin Hunt, her first and best lover; she had parted with him years ago under circumstances that still caused insomnia and guilty tears.
But when she finally sees her again, he hugs her like a long-lost love. The final lines last week were: He didn’t know what she’d done to him, then. He didn’t know!
If she’d thought about it, she would’ve guessed discovery was the worst possible thing that could happen. Even as a girl, she’d feared having her little misdeeds come to light.
Her siblings were at least ten years older and they seemed perfect. They could run faster, stay up later, think quicker, eat without spilling, get every schoolwork question right — and for a perfectionist-in-the-making, that was intolerable. They never wet the bed, or left their clothes on the floor, or hid half-chewed stringcorn under the rim of their plates.
If no one said anything about Sienna’s stringcorn, she felt as perfect as the big kids who always ate their stringcorn even it if was slimy. But if her misdeeds surfaced —
And now, if Crispin spoke of her gravest misdeed — worse than anything a decent woman would even contemplate — or if he hinted that knew she’d gotten him expelled from the academy, she might have a heart attack and die. Or at least want to.
But didn’t she wish that already, sometimes?
Effing Feline here again. Okay, now I sort of understand where this woman is coming from. Getting in trouble is something that any cat not as brave as I am can understand.
Guilt, though? Ridiculous! Do anything you can get away with, that’s the Feline Motto!
Rediscovering Love at the Worst Possible Time
When her tugship inexplicably loses power while aimed straight at her space station home, Sienna Dukelsky tries frantically to get her ship working in time. But can she cooperate with Crispin Hunt, a former lover she’d once betrayed, to create a way to regain control before the ship kills thousands?