Wowwee U Kild Ursefl

NOTE: This is final part of the 23 part series, The Cool War. Reading this part first is a very bad idea and will spoil a lot of the story.


평가: 0+x

The Sculptor walked confidently to the grimy wooden door. He turned the brass knob, then pulled the door open.
'조각사'는 확신에 친 채로 더러운 나무 문을 향해 걸었다. 황동 손잡이를 잡고는 문을 열었다.

The Janitor sat in front of him, its arms crossed across its chest. The regular, dull wheeze of the gas mask buzzed throughout the cramped, dilapidated room. The Sculptor let the door swing shut behind him with a small metallic click. He smirked at the masked figure.
앞에는 '관리인'이 가슴팍에 팔짱을 낀 채로 앉아있었다. 가스 마스크를 통해 항상 나오는 둔탁한 숨소리가 비좁고 다 허물어져 가는 방 안에 울려퍼졌다. '조각사'의 뒤로 문이 닫히면서 작은 금속성의 딸깍하는 소리가 났다. 그는 마스크를 쓴 인영을 향해 능글맞게 웃어 보였다.

“Well? Am I The Critic Yet?”
“그래서? 난 이제 '비평가'인건가?”

The Janitor remained motionless.
'관리인'은 미동도 하지 않았다.

“Yes.”
“맞아.”

The Sculptor’s smirk widened to a smile, teeth grinning at his new slave.
'조각사'의 능글맞은 웃음이 함박미소로 바뀌었다. 자신의 새 노예에게 이까지 드러내보이며 웃었다.

“Brilliant. Brilliant.”
“훌륭해. 훌륭해.”

The Sculptor looked down, staring at his muddy, clay-encrusted hands.
'조각사'는 시선을 아래로 내려, 진흙과 점토가 잔뜩 묻어있는 손을 보았다.

“Fucking BRILLIANT.”
“존나 훌륭해.”

He let his head swing back, wildly cackling at the roof, eyes wide open, ecstasy spilling from every pore of his being.

He had won.
그가 이겼다.

“Up you get, Janitor. We’ve got work to do.”
“일어나, 관리인. 해야 할 일이 있으니까 말이야.”

The Janitor stood up, cape billowing out from behind it. The Sculptor turned to the door, ready to leave the fray victorious. He grabbed the brass knob, then twiste-

Wait.
잠깐.

The Sculptor tried to twist the-
'조각사'는 손잡이를-

What?
뭐?

The Sculptor frustratedly rattled the doorknob, then spun around.

“Janitor, open this fucking…”
“관리인, 이 씨발 것 좀…”

The Janitor was gone, a small pink walkie-talkie left on its seat.
'관리인'은 이미 사라져있었다. 그 자리에는 작은 분홍색 무전기만 남아있었다.

“Fuuuuuuck.”
“씨바아아알.”

The Sculptor looked around the room; he hadn’t noticed before, but there were no windows from which to escape. There were no air vents, there was no plumbing system. The only way out of the room was through the door or through the walls. A single, flickering incandescent light bulb glowed obstinately from the roof. The walkie-talkie buzzed, a feminine voice coming through.

“Hello Sculptor. I want to play a game.”
“안녕 조각사. 게임 하나 할까?”

The Sculptor’s jaw dropped. He ran over and grabbed the walkie talkie, holding down the talk button.
'조각사'의 입이 딱 벌어졌다. 그는 달려가 무전기를 집어들고는 통신 버튼을 눌렀다.

“Fuck. FUCK. FUCK YOU, DIRECTOR. FUCK FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK.”
“씨발. 씨발. 씨발 좆까, 연출자. 씨발 씨발 씨발 씨발 씨발.”

The Sculptor released the button. The walkie-talkie released a sigh.
'조각사'는 버튼을 놨다. 무전기에서 한숨이 흘러나왔다.

“See, that lack of creativity is why you’re here. You don’t even swear colourfully. What an utter absence of artistic vision. What a talentless hack you are.”
“있지, 네가 여깄는건 창의성의 결여 때문이야. 넌 심지어 욕도 다채롭게 못하잖아. 정말이지 예술적 안목이라고는 눈 씻고 찾아볼 수가 없네. 정말로 무능한 인간이야.”

The Sculptor threw the walkie-talkie to the ground, stomping on it and snapping the cheap pink plastic. He turned and kicked the door, trying to gain some leverage. The broken device on the ground transmitted a laugh.
'조각사'는 무전기를 바닥으로 내던지고는 마구 짓밟아 값싼 분홍색 플라스틱 조각으로 만들어버렸다. 그는 돌아서서는 문을 걷어차며, 어떻게든 문을 열어보려 했다. 망가진 장치에서 웃음소리가 수신되었다.

“No, you’re not getting out that way. Nor any other way, unfortunately. See, I at least have the foresight to plan for some contingencies.”
“아니, 그 길로는 나갈 수 없어. 안타깝게도 다른 길로도 나갈 순 없지. 봐, 난 적어도 만일의 사태에 대비하는 선견지명이 있어.”

The Sculptor ignored the speech, driving his fists into the unyielding wood, screaming bland variants of the word “fuck”. The flickering light cast deep shadows along the walls, occasionally plunging the whole room into complete darkness.

“You’re going to want to turn around.”
“뒤도는게 좋을걸.”

The Sculptor ceased his assault, looking over his shoulder. A large wooden crate stood behind him, occasionally rattling. A muddy red substance was leaking out onto the ground. The Sculptor breathed deeply in apprehension, getting a pungent whiff of blood and shit. His face paled, his eyes widened. His life flashed before his eyes as he whispered a single word.

“Uścisk.”
“포옹.”

The Director cut in with a parting remark.

“I’d say it was nice knowing you. But it wasn’t.”
“알고 지내서 좋았다고 말하면 좋을텐데 말이야. 좋지가 않았거든.”

The flickering incandescent light bulb turned off for an instant. The Director held her ear to the walkie-talkie. A crunching of wood, a stifled scream, and then a final, echoing crack.

The Director pensively sipped her coffee.


“Joeeeeeeeey, I’m booooooored.”
“조이이이이이이, 나 심심해애애애애애.”

Rita patted one of her invisible spiders’ bristles (or setae, as she knew was the formal name). She lazily lied across the back seats of the van; Overgang sat typing on his laptop in the centre (looking at the screen through his sunglasses, of course), while Joey and Molly sat in the two front seats (Molly being seated behind the wheel).

“Go downstairs, then. We’ve got some video games in there somewhere.”
“그럼 아래층으로 내려가. 어딘가에 비디오 게임이 있을테니까.”

Rita sat up, past over Overgang to reach the front seats. She frowned at him.

“Joey, this is a van. Vans do not have a downstairs.”
“조이, 우리 지금 승합차에 있어. 승합차에는 아래층이라는게 없다고.”

Joey stared back at her, raising an eyebrow.

“Hatch in the middle, watch your step.”
“중앙에 해치 있잖아. 발 조심하고.”

Rita spun around, furrowing her brow in confusion.

“Overgang, move your feet.”
“오버갱, 발 치워.”

Overgang shuffled to his right, making room for Rita to slide open the carpeted trapdoor. She sat and dangled her feet into the hole; with a quick hand gesture, her pet spiders all moved down through ahead of her. She grabbed onto the ladder, and started descending into the non-Euclidean room.

Rita got to the base of the short ladder, and looked out at the vast space she had entered. She appraised the place as she descended a staircase into the well-illuminated foyer. Some walls were brick and mortar, some built of bright plastic, some of glass or Perspex, some of metal. It was an eclectic mishmash of materials and design, with huge marble columns sitting adjacent to enormous Campbell’s Soup cans, both supporting a twisting, unevenly-shaped roof. Rita walked along the closest wall, glancing into different rooms. Pantries, a dining room, bedrooms, an enormous entertainment room with a television filling an entire wall. Rita couldn’t stop grinning.

An impossible mansion was hidden beneath the floor of their van.

Rita saw Overgang drop down through the hatch and walk over to the dining room table, holding his laptop in one hand and typing on it with the other. Joey followed, walking into the pantry and grabbing an apple, crunching off a mouthful. He threw Rita another apple; she caught it and took a bite. She pursed her lips, wincing softly as Joey chuckled to himself.

It tasted like lemons.
레몬 맛이 났다.


“So what do I do with you two?”
“이제 그쪽 둘은 어떻게 하면 좋을까?”

Agent Green sat across from The Painter and The Builder. The Painter had dried blood around his mouth, with dark splots of it across his chest; The Builder had deep bags under his eyes from stress and sleeplessness. Agent Alcorn was watching a video feed from the other room.

“On the one hand, the pair of you are threats to society at large. You’re near the top of the largest group of anartists this side of the equator. You’re dangerous. Admittedly you’re both comparatively incompetent, but still dangerous. If we were doing this by the book, you’d both already be dead… sorry, ‘terminated’.”

Green stood up and started to pace in the cell; the pair of anartists looked down at their knees.

“At the same time, you know things. Your brains are potential assets. As such, I am reluctant to do any damage to them.”

Green turned and sat down.

“Luckily, I’ve found a solution to this problem. Would you like to know what it is?”

The Painter looked up at Green, spitting in his face.

“Fuck you.”

Green wiped the saliva off, smiling condescendingly. He pulled out a long, thick syringe from his pocket, a brown, uneven mixture swirling inside. Green walked around behind The Painter, who was still sitting bound to the chair. The Painter started to struggle, anticipating the worst.

“DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME!”

“Shhhhh.”

Green stuck the hypodermic needle into the back of The Painter’s shoulder, pushing the liquid in. As the last drop was squeezed from the chamber, The Painter shuddered slightly, then let his head fall limp onto his chest.

“Only dreams now, Robbo.”

Green walked to the other side of the table, looking into The Builder’s tired eyes.

“As for you, Bob, you get a few more precious minutes of consciousness before we pump you full of barbiturates.”

The Builder gazed dully back.

“Ah. Chemically induced coma. Well, at least I’ll be able to get some sleep.”

“Quite. Anything to say before we put you under? Some piece of valuable advice? A nice, profound little phrase on the subject of the human condition and art? Anything useful at all?”

“No. No, I don’t think so.”

“I don’t think so, either.”

And then The Builder’s world was nothing.


Ruiz Duchamp was dead.
루이즈 뒤샹은 죽었다.

A lot of invitations were sent out, regardless. Some to academic professionals, some to world-renowned artisans, some to homeless people, and some to people believed to have been long since dead. The source of the invitations was indeterminate; it was as though the letters simply popped into existence on the insides of the mailbags. That was, of course, impossible, and therefore exactly what was happening.
그래도 많은 양의 초대장이 배송되었다. 일부는

Most of the recipients had never heard of Ruiz Duchamp.
수신자의 대다수는 루이즈 뒤샹이라는 이름을 들어본 적이 없었다.

Most of the world had never heard of Ruiz Duchamp.
세상의 대부분이 루이즈 뒤샹이라는 이름을 들어본 적이 없었다.

Most of the world did not care about Ruiz Duchamp.
세상의 대부분은 루이즈 뒤샹을 신경쓰지 않았다.

Three people in the world cared that Ruiz Duchamp was dead.
세상에서 세 명의 사람이 루이즈 뒤샹이 죽었다는 사실을 신경썼다.

And even then, they didn’t care that much.
그들마저도 그렇게까지는 신경쓰지 않았다.


Rita danced across the rooftops, grinning happily to herself. She threw neon-coloured smoke grenades into the alleyways below, carried and shielded by her cadre of invisible arachnids. Molly and Joey sprinted up the rusty outer staircase, carrying briefcases filled with art supplies. Rita pulled out her phone, shouting over the gunfire below:

“O.G., roof! Corner of Fourth and Second!”

Molly passed her briefcase to Joey, then pulled a slingshot from her pocket, firing high-velocity jellybeans at the GOC agents chasing after them. The building started to shake violently; Rita looked over the edge of the building, watching Overgang drive their van vertically up its side. He reached the top, the van shot upwards, turned parallel to the roof surface, and then came crashing down with a violent thud. Overgang pressed a button on the dashboard, and a long, multi-jointed robotic arm burst from the side of the vehicle. It weaved out and latched solidly onto Joey, grabbing him by the back of his belt and pulling him into the vehicle. Molly continued shooting jellybeans; Rita rode her spiders into the vehicle and down into the hidden mansion through the centre trapdoor. Overgang pushed down on the accelerator, turning in an arc that moved just behind Molly; Molly, in turn, shot a final bean into the chest of a well-armoured soldier, then jumped into the van.

The GOC agents’ bullets ricocheted off the van, leaving small dents and loud metallic dings wherever they hit. Overgang hit the accelerator, shooting the van off the roof. For a few seconds, he was weightless, freefall grabbing at him; then the van hit the ground. If it weren’t for the intricate anomalous dampening system he’d installed in it the previous week, they’d all be dead. He grinned from the adrenaline, glad that it had worked perfectly the first time.


"I met a wise man, once. I climbed great mountains and crossed vast chasms, and found him sitting in the centre of the world. I asked him who he was, and he told me he was a student. A student of who, I asked; a student of the only teacher, he said. Are there other students, I asked; we are all students, and in turn, we all become teachers, he said. I asked him who he was. He told me he was the Buddha. Unfortunately, a different wise man told me this: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him."
"한 번은 현인을 만난 적이 있었어. 난 높디높은 산을 오르고 어마어마한 협곡을 건너, 세계의 중심에 앉아있는 그를 보았지. 난 그에게 누군지 물었어. 제자라고 하더라고. 누구의 제자냐고 물었지. 유일한 스승의 제자라고 하더라고. 다른 제자들도 있냐고 물었지. 우린 모두 제자고, 차례차례 모두 스승이 된다고 하더라고. 누구냐고 물었지. 부처라 하더라고. 안타깝게도, 또 다른 현인이 내게 말했었어. 부처를 만나면, 부처를 죽이라고."

The Snipper spun around, grinning.
'절단사'는 미소 지으며 뒤로 돌았다.

"So, of course, I slit his throat."
"그래서, 당연하게도, 목을 그어주었지."

There were no corpses. The corpses reminded him of the dead, and the dead reminded him of his brother. His brother was dead. Ruiz was dead.
시체는 없었다. 시체를 보면 죽은 사람이 떠올랐다. 그리고 죽은 사람을 보면 그의 형이 떠올랐다. 형은 죽었다. 루이즈는 죽었다.

What a fucking spoilsport.
거 참 존나게 흥을 깨는구만.

“Where are my corpswitzers? Let them guard the door.”
“내 시체 경비원(corpswitzer)들은 어디 있는가? 그들이 문을 지키게 하여라.”

Such a disappointment.
실망스럽기도 하지.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
“선도 악도 없지만, 그렇게 생각을 하면 그렇게 되는 거지.”

Then why think?
그렇다면 왜 생각이란걸 하지?

“Why think indeed.”
“그럴 이유는 분명 없어.”

Here I speak plainly.
이 자리에서 숨김없이 털어놓도록 하지.

“To you, dearest brother, to you.”
“친애하는 형, 너에게 바치는 말이야.”

Pico walked to the wall, picking up a bottle of vodka and pouring it into his open mouth, speaking and sputtering through a stream of alcohol.

“What’s the purpose? The meaning? The ‘raison d'être’, I would say, if I wanted to be obnoxiously condescending and unforgivably French.”
“목적이란 뭐지? 이유란? 내가 거슬릴 정도로 잘난척하고 싶고 참을 수 없을 정도로 프랑스인인 척을 하고 싶다면 ‘레종데르트(raison d'être)’ 라 하겠지.”

I’m beginning to sound preachy, here.

“Good morning, living earth.”

Pico took the bottle and smashed it onto the ground.

“What did that mean, I wonder? What, what, what…”

We’ve been over this. The meaning of things is in the thinking of their meaning.

“Meaning needs people. Without people, there is no meaning, and the world is nothing.”
“의미에는 사람이 필요해. 사람이 없다면, 의미도 없고, 그렇다면 세상은 아무것도 아니겠지.”

The world is nothing.
세상은 아무것도 아니야.

“Have you ever tried… killing yourself?”
“혹시… 자살을 시도해본적 있어?”

I have.
있지.

“What was it like?”
“어땠어?”

It was not… comfortable.
그다지… 편안하지는 않아.

“I expect not.”
“그럴것 같아.”

Then you expect correctly, figment.
제대로 생각한거란다, 이 허상아.

“Figment?”
“허상?”

Figment. A figment is all you are.
허상. 넌 허상에 불과해.

“Hah. You would know better than I would.”
“하. 나보단 더 잘 알겠지.”

I certainly hope so.
분명 그럴 거라 생각해.

“A good figment, though? A pretty little fragment?”
“그래도 아주 괜찮은 허상이지? 이쁘고 작은 허상?”

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
선도 악도 없지만, 그렇게 생각하면 그렇게 되는 거지.

“You stole that from me.”
“내 말 베낀 거잖아.”

You stole that from me.
내 말을 베낀 거지.

“Well, what do you think?”
“어쨌든, 어떻게 생각해?”

You stood on the opposite side of the room, staring at the madman talking into empty space. You wondered who he was talking to; that is, you wondered who I was, or perhaps am. Past continuous verb tense is a tricky business, is it not? The Snipper Speaks:
당신은 방 반대편에 서서, 미친 남자가 허공에 대고 말하는 모습을 바라보았다. 당신은 그가 누구에게 말하고 있었는지 궁금했다. 그 말인 즉슨, 당신은 내가 누구였는지, 어쩌면 누구인지를 궁금해했다는 말이다. 과거 진행형 동사란 까다로운 법이다, 안 그런가? '절단사'가 말한다.

“That it is.”
“그렇지.”

And you respond with silence. Or do you? How would you react, how did you, how do you? Would you kill this man?
당신은 침묵으로 대답한다. 정말 그러나? 당신은 어떻게 반응할 것이고, 어떻게 반응했고, 어떻게 반응하나? 당신은 이 남자를 죽일 것인가?

I place a knife in your hand; Pico Wilson offers his throat. The decision [was/is/will be] left to you.
난 당신의 손에 칼을 놓는다. 피코 윌슨은 자신의 목을 들이댄다. 결정은 당신에게 달려 [있었/있/있을 것이]다.


Agent Green took a deep breath, puffing smoke out into the street. He idly rubbed his teeth with his tongue, watching cars speed by from his seat outside the café. He stubbed out his cigarette into the ashtray, then picked up his cup of tea and began to drink.

Agent Alcorn pulled out the seat across from Green, sitting down and pulling out a cigarette of his own. Green offered his lighter; Alcorn waved his cancer stick across the flame until it took. Alcorn raised the cigarette to his mouth, breathed in a warm lungful of noxious fumes, then blew a stream of grey across a similarly grey city. He turned to Green.

“You’re shit at your job.”

Green stared into his reflection on the surface of the tea.

“Yeah.”

Alcorn took another drag from his cigarette.

“Better than I’d be, though. Better than most.”

“The problem is people.”

“Everything’s people, Green. The problem and the solution. You’re the closest solution we’ve got to a shitty, shitty problem.”

Alcorn threw his cigarette to the ground, putting it out with a twist of his shoe.

“Man. Fuck artists. Fuck artists and fuck art.”

Green continued staring into his cup of tea.


“Have you ever tried… killing yourself?”
“혹시…자살하려 해본 적 있어?”

I have.
있지.

“What was it like?”
“어땠어?”

It was exhilarating. Everything up until then was just… nothing. I stood in the fresh breeze of a wintery July. The coarse gravel crunched beneath my sandals, my legs ached from the long uphill walk. The night was dark, as nights tend to be. I was twelve at the time.
아주 즐거웠지. 그 전까지는 모든 게…아무 것도 아니었어. 난 추운 7월의 흔들바람을 맞으며 서있었어. 굵은 자갈이 내 샌들 아래에서 아작아작거렸고, 오랫동안 오르막길을 올라 다리가 아팠지. 밤은 언제나 그러하듯 어두웠어. 난 그때 12살이었고.

“Twelve? A touch too young.”
“12살? 조금 너무 어린 것 같은데.”

Too young to be a part of the world, yes, but not too young to hate it. The world is rotten, fragment. My world, at least. Yours is a touch more pure.
세상의 일부분이 되기에는 너무 어렸지만, 세상을 싫어하기에는 어리지 않은 나이지. 세상은 썩었고, 부서져 있어. 적어도 내 세상은 말이야. 네 세상은 조금 많이 순수하지.

“You digress.”
“말 돌리고 있어.”

I do. The ground crunched beneath me. I stood at the top of the hill; the train station was below. The bells and lights and everything flashed. Ding ding ding ding… and the train was gone. I stood in star embroidered pyjamas. I looked up at the sky and there were no stars. Too close to the city, to light, to massive stadiums of glorified idiots. The people of the earth got in the way of the world. They didn’t deserve it. They didn’t deserve me. I didn’t deserve them.
맞다. 발밑에서 땅이 아작아작거렸어. 난 언덕 꼭대기에 섰고, 그 아래에는 기차였이 있었어. 종이 울리고 빛이 번쩍이며 모든 것이 환해졌지. 땡 땡 땡 땡…그러곤 기차가 사라졌어. 난 별무늬 잠옷을 입고 서있었지. 하늘을 올려다보니 별은 없더라. 도시와, 빛과, 미화된 멍청이들로 가득찬 커다란 경기장에 너무 가까웠으니까. 지구에 사는 사람들은 세상의 길을 가로막고 있어. 가치가 없어. 나와 함께 할 가치가 없어. 난 그들과 함께 할 가치가 없고.

“You sounded like me.”
“꼭 나처럼 말하네.”

Perhaps I was; though where you are gleeful and free, I was bitter and entrapped. Trapped in a world that didn’t think, couldn’t conceive, or comprehend. I walked down the hill and tripped. Small rocks stuck to my hands and palms and fingers. I picked them up and dusted them off and my skin turned a little red. I walked to the road and looked from side to side.
그랬을지도 모르지. 그렇지만 넌 유쾌하고 자유롭지만, 난 씁쓸하고 갇혀있었지. 생각하지 않고, 상상하지 않고, 이해하지 않는 세상에 갇혀있었어. 난 언덕을 내려오다가 넘어졌어. 작은 돌들이 내 손과 손바닥과 손가락에 박혔지. 다시 일어나서 먼지를 털고 보니 피부가 빨갛게 변해있더라. 난 도로로 내려와서는 양옆을 살폈지.

“How ridiculous.”
“거 참 이상하네.”

Safety first. A car would not be certain. The key here is efficiency. I crossed the road and crossed a bridge. The people from the last train were leaving. You would think, perhaps, I would be stopped. That one of those ‘people’ would kneel down and say hello, or ask who I was, or where I was going, or remark on the handsomeness of my star embroidered pyjamas. But none did, and so I kept walking.
안전이 제일이니까. 자동차 가지고는 확실하지가 않아. 여기서 중요한 건 효율성이야. 난 길을 건넌 뒤 다리를 건넜어. 마지막 기차에 탔던 승객들이 내리고 있었어. 넌 어쩜 내가 여기서 멈췄다 생각할지도 몰라. 그 ‘사람들’ 중 한 명이 허리를 굽히곤 내게 인사를 하거나, 내가 누군지 묻거나, 어디로 가는지를 묻거나, 아니면 내 별무늬 잠옷이 정말 예쁘다 말했다던가 생각했겠지. 하지만 아무도 그러지 않았기에, 난 계속해서 걸었어.

“People don’t notice what doesn’t concern them.”
“사람들은 자기와 관련없는 것은 신경쓰지 않지.”

True, and people are never concerned. Everything is alright. Everything is always alright, everything is always under control. I walked past the horde of zombies and down to the station. The lights were on, you see, but nobody was there. I walked to the edge and dangled my legs from the side. The people left, and so I dropped. The gravel crunched beneath my sandals as I hit the ground. I walked to the metal tracks, then lightly hit the side with my foot. It felt more real than anything. That single piece of track was the only thing that could do anything for me. The only thing that could save me. I lied down across the tracks and prayed for salvation.
맞아. 그리고 사람들은 결코 신경쓰지 않아. 모든 것이 괜찮았어. 모든 것은 언제나 괜찮고, 모든 것은 언제나 통제 하에 있지. 난 좀비 떼 옆을 지나 역으로 향했어. 불빛은 켜져있었지만, 아무도 없었지. 난

“And did G-d hear?”
“그리고 신은 들어주었어?”

He heard and did not stop the train.
그는 들었고 기차를 멈춰주지 않았어.


Rita sat at her computer, tapping absent-mindedly at the keys. She had already seen everything that was new on the internet for today; she was getting no new messages via phone or email. She had entered into a strange kind of feeling. Rita wanted to do something, and yet, nothing seemed particularly interesting. She lied at eternity’s gate, waiting for the doors to open. They never even moved. She rested her head on its side atop the wooden table.
리타는 컴퓨터 앞에 앉아서 아무 생각없이 키보드를 두들기고 있었다. 그녀는 이미 오늘 인터넷에 새로 생긴 일은 전부 보았다. 전화나 이메일로도 새로운 메시지는 오지 않았다. 뭔가 요상한 기분이 들기 시작했다. 뭔갈 하고는 싶지만, 무엇하나 딱히 흥미로운 것이 없었다. 그녀는 영원의 문 앞에 누워 문이 열리길 기다렸다. 진동조차 없었다. 리타는 나무 탁자 위에 머리를 뉘었다.

Nobody was sitting at the table beside her, and so she started speaking to him.
아무도 아닌 자가 옆 테이블에 앉아있었기에, 그녀는 그에게 말을 걸었다.

“Hey, Tan.”
“안녕, 탠.”

The man who was once called Tangerine raised his eyebrows in surprise.
한때 텐저린이라 불렸던 남자는 놀라움에 눈썹을 치켜 올렸다.

“You aren’t supposed to remember me.”
“날 기억해서는 안되는데.”

Rita tapped her skull, expression vacant.
리타는 공허히 자신의 두개골을 가볍게 두드렸다.

“Eidetic memory, locked in for life. No forgetting your stupid shirts.”
“사진적 기억. 평생 갖고 살아가지. 그 바보같은 셔츠는 잊을 수가 없어.”

“Still, though.”
“그래도 말이야.”

“It’s just a hat, Tan. No more magic or omnipotent than anything else we do. Smoke and mirrors.”
“그건 그냥 모자야, 탠. 우리가 하는 것들 만큼만 마법적이고 전능하다고. 교묘한 속임수일 뿐이야.”

Nobody pulled the hat from his head, running his fingers through his unkempt red hair.
아무도 아닌 자는 모자를 벗어, 헝클어진 붉은 머리카락에 손가락을 집어넣었다.

“You may be right at that.”
“그럴지도 모르겠네.”

“So what do you want?”

“Nothing in particular.”

Rita sighed.

“Why are you here, Tan?”

“Keeping tabs. Checking up on old friends.”

“Why are you here, Tan?”

Nobody frowned at the girl sitting across the table.

“Am I not welcome?”

“No more or less welcome than anyone else. Just curious is all.”

“You know what they say about curiosity and the cat.”

“Something something I hate Mondays.”

Rita stood up and walked over to the refrigerator, pulling out a can of grape-flavoured soft drink. She flicked up the tab, cracking it open with a hiss of escaping gas.

“The question stands, Tan. You get nothing until you answer.”

Nobody sighed.

“What is it that you’re doing then, Rita? Why are you here?”

Rita took a gulp of bubbling purple fluid.

“It’s more interesting than the alternatives.”

“Why?”

“These people are more interesting than the other people.”

“So you’re driven by interest?”

“Sure.”

“Then that’s my answer too.”

Rita sat down at the table again.

“Okay. Okay, Tan, it’s like… okay. What’s the worth of a person?”

Nobody rubbed his chin, making dull scratching sounds against his stubble.

“The potential of their contributions, I suppose.”

“The sum of their parts, then.”

“Sure.”

“Alright, then. Let’s say we’ve got two people, right?”

“Okay.”

“Completely identical in every way except one: one of them has a different, unique offering to reality. A differentiator of worth.”

“Hm.”

“They can both go off and do the same thing. They’d get paid well for doing what they can. But that one with the potential offering never gets to show it. That potential dies.”

Nobody said nothing.

“I’ve got lots of stuff that I can do better than everyone else, right? I’m a genius, Tan. You pick any job, and I can do it better than anyone else can. But that’s meaningless, that’s not the point, that’s not my worth, right? The worth is in uniqueness. And that’s why I’m not sitting in a classroom, doing easy little sums, learning how to spell. I’m doing stuff that only I can do, and above that, I’m doing it because it makes me happy, usefulness be damned. You get it?”

Nobody placed the hat back on his head.

“What about obligation?”

“Obligation to who?”

“The world, I suppose.”

“Capability does not equate to obligation. I’m not indebted to anyone.”

“That’s selfish.”

“Yes.”

“You’re selfish.”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you feel guilty?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I’ve done nothing to warrant guilt. The world owes me nothing, and I owe the world nothing. Obligation is bullshit, Tan.”

Nobody smiled faintly.

“Perhaps it is.”

And then Nobody went off and did something else and Rita did nothing and sat at the table tapping the keys on the keyboard until she fell asleep.


“Have you ever tried… killing yourself?”

I have.

“What was it like?”

It was morose. Everything up until then was just… nothing. I stood in the cool breeze of a wintery July. The coarse gravel crunched beneath my sandals, my legs ached from the long walk. The night was dark, as nights tend to be. I was sixteen at the time.

“Sixteen? A moody teenager, then.”

Nothing of the sort. By then I was a wise man. I was… disillusioned. The world had become boring again. I had already died once, in a way of sorts. But it hadn’t taken well, so I took to taking my life again.

“Resolute in the decision?”

I was resolute the first time. By the second, I was simply going through the motions. I guess… I was driven [by/to] insanity. Doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. So I walked across to the old building, tall and wooden and long since condemned, and yet nobody wanted to waste the time to knock the thing down. I’d always loved the house. It seemed… mysterious. Otherworldly. If there was anything interesting on the face of the planet, it would be in that house. And then I went inside.

“And was there anything interesting inside?”

Nothing but me. I made my way through a window; locked, but it was an old lock, and not hard to pick. I cut myself a little on the frame. Old paint made its way under the skin; it would have become infected, if I lived beyond that night. The place was interesting, of course. The floor was textured hardwood; I took off my sandals and walked around. The texture beneath my feet was unspeakable, and yet, the happiness was hollow. There was a table, some chairs. Three floors tall in all.

“And the death?”

The death was morose. I walked up the creaky staircases, looking through every room. I coughed from the dust; I brushed aside a cobweb. A spider jumped from the web and bit my hand. I crushed it and threw its body to the ground. I got to the top floor, then kicked out the rotten handrailing. The impact was not a certain death; I took my pocket knife and slit my wrists, my legs, my ankles. I slit my throat, then fell forwards. As the wind rushed past my face, I prayed that I was wrong, that this was a dream, that the world had meaning. I was trapped in a world that understood the symptoms but not the cause. A transient physician, not one that offered a cure, merely blind treatment. One that didn’t care. All there was to do was hope and pray.

“And did G-d hear?”

He heard and did not stop the fall.


Ruiz Duchamp was dead. The funeral was short, boring, and Catholic, though two of those adjectives are redundant.

Funerals, normally, are attended by those closest to the deceased. Ruiz, having been an abrasive asshole for the majority of his adult life (and the entirety of the time before that) had never found much time for ‘friends’. Acquaintances, yes; Ruiz knew a lot of people, but the difference between acknowledgement and acceptance is… hmmm. Not as much as you’d think, really. Simply a matter of opinion.

He did extract a sort of grudging respect from most of the people he mocked. He wasn’t really a good artist, or at least he wouldn’t think so himself, yet somehow, through a strange series of coincidences, he’d convinced an astonishing number of people into thinking he was. Perhaps he was just a really, really good liar. If only he’d gone into politics.

Of course, for every lie Ruiz told, there was some truth. Nothing comes of nothing; the web of lies caught glistening segments of the ‘real’ him. A million shattered pieces, intricately refracting a single source, reflecting a presumably coherent whole.

Or was it?

Of course it was. People are, after all, just people. After all the condescension and mad artistry and utter insanity, there was a thinking, living, breathing human being, seeking validation through the only source he could. And when validation ran out, there was nothing left for him.

His eulogy didn’t really mention any of this. This was because Ruiz wrote and delivered his own, recorded as always with a banged up Betamax recorder. When it was left to Ruiz to sum up his own life, this was what he said:

“Greetings friends, enemies, frienemies, enemiends, cyborgs, wizards, dogs, cats, mice, flies, microbes, virii, supermarker cashiers, and other subjective existences potentially living in a comparatively relative future. Best regards from beyond the grave!

“CUT. Alright, I’m going to record this bit a few times. When you’re, y’know, actually airing this, just pick whichever one seems… valid, the most. And then everyone will be all like “woah, he was psychic or something, amazing!” and everyone will think I was a cool guy, or psychic or something. Okay? Okay.

“ONE. This one you air if I die of old age, or by accident, or something boring. This is basically the generic one. So when you’re clipping all of this together, start from here:

“So I’m dead now. I bet I went out with a bang, no? Some enormous fiery explosion got me, most likely, while saving a sack of kittens and orphans. I went out bravely, unwavering in my convictions in the strength of the human spirit, or something.

“CUT, and TWO. This is for if some asshole kills me. Start from here:

“So I’m dead now. And I’ve got a confession to make… I know who murdered me. Spooky, no? That person, in fact is sitting in this very room. The police will be along to take statements shortly, and probably kill the one judged guilty.

“CUT, and THREE. Alright. This one… well, this one’s for if I see myself out. Starting:

“So I’m dead now. I’ve ragequit reality and left the lot of you morons behind.

“CUT. Yes, I know, it’s short, but fuck it. Nobody likes funerals. Hell, who’s to say I’m ever going to die anyway? Dunno why I’m even bothering to record this. Okay, from now until the end, just keep it all in. Well, I mean, not this bit. After I finish this sentence.

“So here’s my eulogy to you, people of a boring planet, insignificant blobs of pus and flesh with delusions of importance and grandeur; may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. May you sit and be entertained in masturbatory bliss, may you rot forever in your filthy sty. I cannot live to hear the news from England, so burn my mail for me while I’m away.

“Good night, dead society. The rest is silence.”

The church, of course, didn’t have a Betamax player, and so nobody heard the eulogy.


“Have you ever tried… killing yourself?”

I have.

“What was it like?”

It was frightening. Everything up until then was just… nothing. I stood in the freezing breeze of a wintery July. The coarse gravel crunched beneath my sandals, my legs ached from the long downhill walk. The night was dark, as nights tend to be. I was twenty at the time.

“Twenty? Tired of stacking shelves, perhaps.”

Quite the opposite. All I wanted was simplicity. I had long since given up on choice, I had long since given up on hope, I had given up on life and love and everything. Self-preservation is not an emotion. Fear, yes; fear of death is emotional, but the drive itself is not. Nor is it logical. The drive to keep existing is common among things that exist, simply because that which lacks the drive does not exist for long. Even bacteria try to live, but not for fear of death. They do so because they must.

“You digress.”

I do. The ground crunched beneath me. I stood at the bottom of the hill, the beach stretched out in front of me. Salty sea air ripped against my lips, flaying my skin in the lightest of blows. I took off my sandals, sinking my feet into vaguely damp sand. I wiggled my toes, working tiny granules behind my toenails. I walked towards the ocean. Such a powerful thing; waves crashed down unrelentingly. I took my phone from my pocket and threw it far away, unable to hear a splash above the constant roar of wind and water.

“I’ve never seen the ocean.”

It is a thing to see. As, I suppose, all things are. Raw, unharnessed energy, tearing out the ground from underneath. I walked through, goosebumps up my arms, shivering from the wintery gusts, breathing shallow breaths and still placing one foot in front of the other. The icy water hit my legs and I fell over from the shock.

“And then?”

I stood up again. I kept moving, striding through the fear. It needed to end. It had to end. I just wanted to cash out, I needed to leave the table. I had all the chips, why was the game still going? When you win, the game is over, and you move to another. But the universe likes this game, and it makes me keep playing. I scooped a handful of seawater and threw it in my mouth. The cold numbed my taste buds, but not enough for the salt to shine through. I walked more, and then the wave hit, and I collapsed. I opened my eyes; again, the salt stung, but I did not mind. The water pulled me out, the currents kept me down. I breathed in and felt heavy and full. My body matched the ocean’s density. I was one with it, at its mercy, and soon, ideally, to pass. And so I prayed that this time would change. That anything would be different.

“And did G-d hear?”

He may have heard, but Poseidon won.


Carol gave Sandra Paulson and Felix Cori their beverages, then walked back behind the counter. Felix blew softly across the top of his cup of coffee, then raised it to his lips and took a tentative sip. Sandra closed her eyes, rubbing her forehead with her palms, grumbling a query.
캐롤은 샌드라 폴슨과 펠릭스 코리에게 저마다 주문한 음료를 건네고는 카운터 뒤로 돌아갔다. 펠릭스는 가볍게 바람을 분 뒤, 컵을 입가로 들어올려 머뭇거리며 한 모금 들이마셨다. 샌드라는 눈을 감은 채, 손바닥으로 이마를 문지르며 의문을 늘어놓았다.

“What happened?”
“무슨 일이 있었던 거에요?”

“Does it really matter?”
“그게 정말 중요한가?”

“It kind of does.”
“어떤 의미로는.”

“You’d know more than I would. Gallivanting around like a pair of idiots…”
“나보다 더 많이 알고 있을 텐데. 바보 한 쌍 처럼 여기저기 돌아다녔으니… ”

“We know ‘something’ happened. All communication gets cut, stops living in the gallery, and, y’know, actually releases wowwee to the public.”
“‘뭔가’ 있었다는 걸 알고 있는 거죠. 모든 통신 수단을 끊고, 갤러리에서 사는 것도 그만 두고, 아시다시피 실제로 이얏호를 대중에 공개했잖아요.”

“So glad you’ve thinned it down to ‘something’.”
“그걸 전부 ‘뭔가’로 함축시키는 구만.”

“How well did you know him?”
“그에 대해 얼마나 잘 알고 계셨어요?”

“Pfffff, not at all. Only met him after he sent that stupid video. You?”
“푸후, 전혀. 그가 그 바보같은 영상을 보낸 직후에 만났지. 자네는?”

“I knew him a bit. We went to school together, see. I think he might’ve had a crush on me or something for a while? I dunno. I’m not good with things like that. Fuck, he definitely wasn’t.”
“조금 알고 지냈죠. 같은 학교를 다녔었거든요. 잠시동안 저를 짝사랑 했을 지도요? 잘 모르겠네요. 그런 방면은 잘 몰라서. 젠장, 분명 아닐 거에요.”

“What was he like back then?”
“그 때의 그는 어땠나?”

“Pretty much the same.”
“비슷했어요.”

“Condescending asshole?”
“잘난 체하는 개자식?”

“Yeeeeeep.”
“네에에엡.”

Sandra cracked her knuckles, then picked up her mug of green tea. She sipped it, swilling around the bitter liquid in her mouth.

“He stopped taking his pills.”
“그는 약을 끊었어요.”

The pair of them looked towards Carol, the disingenuous smile common to food service workers plastered across her face. She slipped out from behind the counter, sitting at their table and resting her elbows on its surface, her chin in turn resting in her opened palms.

“He used to come in here around midday, order a few coffees, then drink with a handful of pills. The last few weeks, he’d still come in here and order the same thing, just never taking anything with them. It was almost as though he had completely forgotten, because of ‘something’ happening. Like someone made him forget… but that’s just silly, isn’t it?”
“그는 한낮에 여길 와서, 커피 몇 잔을 시키고는 약 한 줌을 집어삼키곤 했죠. 지난 몇 주간은 여전히 여길 와서 같은 일을 했지만, 커피만 마셨어요. 마치 ‘뭔가’ 일어났어서 약 먹는 걸 완전히 잊은 것 처럼요. 누군가 잊게 만든 것 처럼…바보 같은 소리죠, 안 그래요?”

Carol continued smiling blankly, tapping the side of her knows. Sandra and Felix glanced at each other, Sandra uttering a question they both wanted answered.

“And who are you, again?”
“그래서 당신은 누구라고요?”

“The Janitor.”
“'관리인'이요.”

Felix spat tea all over the table, drawing the attention of people seated nearby. Sandra froze, processing the new information, comparing it to what was known previously. Carol continued.

“I could have drawn that out longer, but there’s no real point in hiding it.”
“더 오래 숨길 수도 있긴 했는데, 숨길 이유가 없어보여서요.”

Felix pulled some napkins sitting in a holder, wiping the table clean while posing a query.

“Can you prove that?”
“증명할 수 있나?”

Carol pulled out a dark black gas mask from behind her apron; Felix stared at the object with the same feeling of awe and fear that it forced in anyone who looked upon it. A cheap trick, arguably, but one that served the position well. Carol dropped the mask into the front pocket of her apron and Felix felt a weight lift off his chest.

“It’s just a mask and a meter, though it would disagree. That said, housekeeping. The only remaining members of our shady little cabal are sitting at this table. Everyone else is either predisposed or dead. We are looking for new members.”

Felix raised an eyebrow, Sandra still occupied in thought.

“I kind of quit.”
“난 은퇴하긴 했는데.”

“You didn’t quit. You took a break. Now you’re coming back.”
“당신은 은퇴한 게 아녜요. 휴식을 가진 거지. 이제 복귀하는 거죠.”

Felix sighed.

“If you say so.”
“그렇게 말한다면야.”

“I’ve composed a shortlist for your perusal. Nibman and Aldon are probably the best bets at this point, though the final decision rests in your hands.”

Sandra interjected.

“Ours?”

“I’m not the one who makes the decisions. It’s your club, I’m just the cleaning lady. By the way, one of you has to be The Critic now, so-”

“Not it.”
“패스.”

“Not i… damn it.”
“패…젠장.”

The Critic sipped his cup of coffee.
'비평가'는 자기 커피를 한 모금 들이켰다.

“Then that’s resolved. You need three new members in the next week. Titles are up to you, as is everything, when it comes down to it. You’ve got my number, of course, and I’m normally in here if you just want something to drink.”

Sandra returned to the original topic.

“What about Duchamp?”
“뒤샹은?”

“He’s dead. The suits didn’t kill him, but they gave him the rope to hang himself. Your actions would not have changed the outcome regardless. There’s little else to say on the matter.”
“그는 죽었어요. 양복네들이 그를 직접 죽이지는 않았지만, 목을 메달 줄을 제공했죠. 당신의 행동은 그 결과를 바꾸지 못했을 거에요. 그 문제에 관해서는 말할 것이 별로 없죠.”

“If you say so.”

A familiar customer walked through the door, cigarette smoke still trailing behind him.

“Why are you working at a coffee shop, though?”
“근데 왜 커피숍에서 일하고 있는 거야?”

Carol stood up, smiling the same emotionless smile.
캐롤은 자리에서 일어나, 언제나와 같은 감정 없는 미소를 지었다.

“Because I like coffee.”
“커피를 좋아하거든요.”


“Have you ever tried… killing yourself?”

I have. Many times.

“What was it like?”

It wasn’t like anything.

“Nothing was alike?”

No, everything was alike. It felt like anything else.

“And what was that feeling?”

Nothing. Everything up until that point was nothing. And yet, what followed was nothing too. Nothings on nothings on nothings.

“Nothing comes of nothing, live again!”


Mister Redd walked.
정리정돈 씨는 걸었다.

Mister Redd had been walking for a very, very long time. His shoes, once clean, shiny, polished and black, were tattered, scuffed, soleless and a dusty, non-reflective grey. His socks had worn through hours after the soles fell out. The skin on his feet had taken days, but in time, it too fell through. Mister Redd walked, leaving bloody footprints along miles of forests and freeways.
정리정돈 씨는 아주, 아주 오랜 시간동안 걸었다. 한때 깨끗하고 반짝거리며, 윤이 나고 검은색이었던 신발은 너덜거리고 흠집이 나있으며, 밑창이 떨어지고 먼지가 잔뜩 묻은데다가 얼굴이 비칠일 없는 회색이 되어있었다. 밑창이 떨어져나가고 양말이 헤지기까지에는 몇시간이 걸렸다. 발바닥이 떨어져 나가기에는 며칠이 걸렸다. 정리정돈 씨는 숲과 고속도로에 피로 발자국을 찍으며 걸었다.

It had been years since he’d been home.
집에 온 것은 몇년만이었다.

Mister Redd could not quite recall what had made him decide to go home, but then, he could not recall things well at the best of times. He shoved his fists in his pockets; his right hand brushed against the paper of a forgotten invitation, and he remembered why he was going home. He pulled his hands from his pockets and promptly forgot. All that was real was walking. The raw flesh of his feet on the hot tar of the road. Walking and walking and walking. Fists into pockets, out of pockets, into pockets. Day into night into day into night into weeks of walking through fields of broken glass with nothing to eat or drink or do but to walk and think of nothing but the walk.
정리정돈 씨는 어쩌다가 집으로 되돌아가려는 생각을 하게 되었는지 기억나지 않았지만, 언제나 기억하지 못하는 것들이 대부분이었다. 그는 양 주먹을 주머니에 쑤셔박았다. 오른손이 잊힌 초대장에 스쳤고, 그는 왜 집으로 가는지 기억해냈다. 정리정돈 씨는 주머니에서 손을 빼내고는 곧바로 잊어버렸다. 실재하는 것이라곤 걷는것 뿐이었다. 도로의 뜨거운 타르 위 맨발. 걷고 또 걷고 또 걷고. 손을 주머니에 넣었다가, 뺐다가, 넣었다가. 낮에서 밤으로 또 낮으로 또 밤으로 또 부서진 유리가 널린 장소를 몇 주에 걸쳐 걸으면서 먹을 것도 마실 것도 할 것도 없지만 걷는 것 외에는 생각할 것도 없이 걸었다.

For the first time in his life – though, of course, he could not recall such – Mister Redd’s mind was focused on a singular objective. the lowercase AND UPPERCASE And The Friend Who Talked Like This withered away into dust, succumbing to the walking, the motion, subsuming themselves into an intensely coherent whole. Mister Redd walked for forty days and forty nights.
살면서 처음으로 - 물론, 삶이란 것 자체를 기억해내지 못했다 - 정리정돈 씨의 정신이 한 가지 목표에 집중하였다. 작은 글씨와 큰 글씨와 이 따위로 말하는 녀석 모두가 먼지가 되어 사라지면서, 걷기라는 바로 그 행동에, 아주 일관성 있는 전체에 굴복하였다. 정리정돈 씨는 40일의 낮과 40일의 밤 동안 걸었다.

And then he stood outside the Wonderworks.
그리곤 곧 원더웍스Wonderworks 바깥에 섰다.

Mister Redd walked up to the chain link fence. He cracked his fingers one by one, then leapt up, grabbing onto the interlocking wire mesh. He shoved his flayed feet into footholds, staining the grey metal with red. He continued climbing upwards, then grabbed onto the roll of razor wire when he reached the top. Mister Redd silently grinned as blood dripped from fresh holes in his hands; he pulled himself up and over the roll of steel barbs, then fell in a crumpled heap on the other side of the fence. He felt his shoulder dislocate from the impact; smiling faintly, he stood and shoved it back into position with an uncomfortable crunch. Mister Redd stretched his arms into the air, blood dripping from his fresh stigmata.

Mister Redd licked his digits, grinning as his mouth filled with the taste of iron. He walked over to the building proper; as he approached, glass doors slid apart automatically for him. He moved into the empty lobby, dying the white marble floors crimson. The front desk was unmanned.

Mister Redd dinged the call bell sitting on the table. There was no response.
정리정돈 씨는 책상 위의 초인종을 울렸다. 답은 없었다.

No matter. He turned and started to walk through the labyrinthine corridors of the Wonderworks, aimlessly stumbling past innumerable doors. The décor was consistently ‘shiny’. Polish on marble, polish on glass, polish on cases of thousands of toys. Everything was reflective. Mister Redd’s footprints echoed throughout the corridors.

Mister Redd turned around a corridor and found himself looking at a small army of corgis. They excitedly barked at each other, then dissipated, waddling off in every direction. Some of them walked past him; one of them stopped at his feet, sitting at attention. Mister Redd scowled at the dog, blood dripping from his hands onto the floor.

Jeremy barked helpfully, and started leading the guest to his master.
제레미는 유익하게 짖으며, 손님을 주인에게 안내했다.

Mister Redd shuffled along behind the dog’s skittering little legs, keeping its eyes fixed firmly on its wagging tail. The dog weaved through passages, finally stopping at the large wooden doors of office of Isabel Helga Anastasia Parvati Wondertainment V, PhD. He turned to Mister Redd, barked a parting farewell, then left to take care of other business.
정리정돈 씨는 개가 마구 흔드는 꼬리를 계속 쳐다보며, 그 경쾌하게 움직이는 짧은 다리 뒤로 발을 질질 끌며 걸었다. 개는 복도를 이리저리 누비더니, 마침내 철학박사 이사벨 헬가 아나스타샤 파르바티 원더테인먼트 5세 사무실의 큼직한 나무 문 앞에 멈추었다. 그는 정리정돈 씨를 향해 돌아서서는, 작별의 의미에서 한번 짖고는 다른 일을 하러 떠났다.

Mister Redd twisted the handle and pulled the door open.
정리정돈 씨는 손잡이를 돌려 문을 열었다.

Isabel Wondertainment had been rolling around on the floor while eating a chocolate bar. She heard the door open, then looked at the man standing there. The man was taller than her, which was unusual to begin with; furthermore, he had deep red strawberry ice cream all over his mouth, feet and hands. Why did he have strawberry ice cream on his feet? She shouted out to him across the large and open office.
이사벨은 초코바를 먹으며 바닥에 굴러다니고 있었다. 그는 문이 열리는 소리를 듣고는 문가에 서있는 남자를 보았다. 처음에는 자신보다 키가 크다는 것이 색달랐다. 게다가, 짙은 빨간색 딸기 아이스크림을 입과 발, 손에 잔뜩 묻힌 상태였다. 왜 발에다가 딸기 아이스크림을 묻혔을까? 이사벨은 넓고 탁 트인 사무실에 울려퍼지게 소리를 쳤다.

“Why were you walking on ice cream?”
“왜 아이스크림 위를 걸었던 거에요?”

Mister Redd started walking slowly towards her, growling a query.
정리정돈 씨는 그를 향해 천천히 걸어가며, 으르렁거리듯 질문을 던졌다.

“Where’s your dearest daddy?”
“네 사랑스러운 애비는 어딨어?”

“Dead! I think.”
“돌아가신것 같아요!”

Mister Redd stopped walking. Isabel watched him freeze up, then fall to his knees. He rubbed strawberry ice cream from his hands through his hair, then looked to the roof and started to scream. Isabel shoved her fingers in her ears and closed her eyes, wincing at the volume; then, the scream turned into great peals of cackling laughter. When Isabel opened her eyes, Emma Aislethorp-Brown was standing between her and the man who maybe liked strawberry ice cream too much for his own good. Mister Redd cackled, then fell to the side, lying on the ground while lightly convulsing.
정리정돈 씨는 발걸음을 멈추었다. 이사벨은 그가 굳어지더니 무릎을 꿇는 것을 보았다. 그는 손에 묻은 딸기 아이스크림을 머리에까지 잔뜩 묻히더니, 지붕을 쳐다보면서 비명을 지르기 시작했다. 이사벨은 큰소리에 놀라 손가락을 귀에 쑤셔넣고는 눈을 감았다. 곧, 비명소리는 큰 소리로 킥킥대는 웃음소리로 바뀌었다. 이사벨이 눈을 떴을 때, 엠마 아일소프브라운Emma Aislethorp-Brown이 아마도 딸기 아이스크림을 너무나 사랑하는것 같은 남자와 그 사이에 서있었다. 정리정돈 씨는 킥킥대며 옆으로 쓰러지더니, 가벼운 경련을 일으키며 바닥에 누웠다.

And then it stopped. Mister Redd cracked his fingers again, then pushed himself up onto his feet. He rubbed blood into his eyes, then looked over to the woman standing between him and the girl.
그리고는 멈추었다. 정리정돈 씨는 다시 손가락을 퉁기더니, 제 발로 자리에서 일어났다. 그는 피를 눈가에 문지르고는 자신과 소녀 사이에 서있는 여성을 살펴보았다.

“And who’re you?”
“댁은 뉘슈?”

“Emma Aislethorp-Brown. Miss Wondertainment’s assistant. You?”
“엠마 아일소프브라운. 원더테인먼트 양의 조수. 당신은?”

“Redd. A… ‘product’ of her father’s. As is she if you think about it. We’re siblings, after a fashion.”
“정리정돈. 그의 아버지의…‘제품’. 생각해보면 저 여자도 마찬가지지. 어느정도 남매라 할 수 있을거야.”

Mister Redd grinned widely, bloodstained teeth poking out from between his lips.
정리정돈 씨는 입술 사이로 피에 절은 치아를 내보이며 크게 미소지었다.

“I did say I was coming. I sent a lot of letters.”
“온다고 말은 했었어. 편지를 잔뜩 보냈거든.”

Emma stared plainly at the man standing across from her.
엠마는 반대편에 선 남자를 분명하게 바라보았다.

“What do you want?”
“무엇을 원하지?”

“Just saying hello. Thought I might ask the old man for some new toys. One of mine seems to have broken, you understand. I’d be looking for something new. If he’s not here, though, then I guess nothing can be done.”
“인사나 하러 들렀지. 늙은이한테 새 장난감이나 달라고도 할겸. 내가 가지고 있던것 중 하나가 망가져서 말이지. 새로운게 필요했어. 하지만 그가 여기 없다면 어찌 할 방법이 없겠네.”

Mister Redd stared past Emma, looking towards Isabel, who was still chewing her chocolate bar. The old man was dead. There was nothing left to do here.
정리정돈 씨는 엠마의 뒤에, 아직도 초코바를 씹어먹고 있는 이사벨을 보았다. 늙은이가 죽었다. 여기서 더는 할 일이 없었다.

Mister Redd was no longer angry. There was nobody left to be angry at. He smiled.
정리정돈 씨는 더 이상 화나있지 않았다. 화를 낼 사람이 남아있지 않았다. 그는 미소를 지었다.

“I’m past my warranty regardless.”
“어쨌든 난 보증 기간이 끝나버렸거든.”

He turned and shuffled out the door, trailing scarlet behind him.
그는 돌아서서는 발을 질질 끌며 문을 나섰다. 진홍색 자취가 그 뒤로 남았다.


Let us not burden our remembrances with a heaviness that’s gone.


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