Insomniac Window Frosting

Insomniac Window Frosting

I leaned forward in my chair, half-heartedly tapping at the few buttons and switches the computer was telling me were needed for the course correction.

         ‘Stupid thing,’ I grumbled to myself. ‘Smart enough to know what to do, too dumb to do it yourself.’

         ‘Talking to the ship again, Captain?’ a voice chuckled behind me. ‘They say that’s the first sign.’

         I didn’t turn to look at him, afraid I’d let a small smile peek out.

         ‘First sign of what, Reddick?’

         ‘Madness.’ He yawned, jumping up to the co-pilot’s seat next to me and flicking a few switches of his own. ‘Or is it space madness? I lose track.’

         ‘Why are you up so late, anyway?’ I sighed, ignoring him and leaning back in my chair.

         ‘Couldn’t sleep,’ he shrugged. ‘What about you?’

         ‘Someone has to steer,’ I said, gesturing at the stick in front of me.

         ‘You could have parked it, gotten some rest.’

         ‘Not if we want to make that rendezvous. Besides, if I’m going to be looking out at the black nothing,’ I said, gesturing vaguely at the viewscreen in front of us, ‘then I’d rather it be when I’m flying than when I’m trying to sleep.’

         ‘You could find a business to install frosted window glass,’ Reddick offered. ‘It’s not actually a law that you have to be able to look out of your window.’

         ‘Then I feel claustrophobic when we’re planet-side,’ I sighed.

         ‘I hear they invented this new thing, actually,’ he nodded seriously. ‘Might be perfect for you. I think they’re called… curtains? No, I’m sure I’m pronouncing it wrong.’

         I searched vainly for something to throw at him. He laughed.

         ‘When we land, I’ll track down a company that installs commercial decorative windows near Melbourne,’ he said. ‘They’ll be able to find a solution for you.’

         ‘Thanks,’ I nodded sincerely. ‘Now, get to bed. Captain’s orders.’

         ‘Aye, aye.’ He saluted me mockingly. ‘Do me a favour and don’t fall asleep and crash? I just redid the paintwork.’

         He smiled and slipped away down the corridor.