Marek Huberath: Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo

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Marek Huberath Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo
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    Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo
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    PIASA Books
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    Фантастика и фэнтези / на английском языке
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    New York
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Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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“From Poland we have ‘Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo.’ by Marek S. Huberath, a story of monsters and mutants in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, which does a remarkable job of humanizing its characters while never shying away from their deformations.” From , 2007

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What Piecky relied on was his brain. He would spend hours at the keyboard of a viewscreen and, if one of the Dagses didn’t unscrew his artificial hand as a joke, he would tap at the keys continually. Learning was his passion, and being with the machine. Snorg knew that you could make Piecky happy by setting him down at the keyboard and letting him sit there for hours.


Snorg decided to teach Tib to speak. Piecky advised him to press her hand to his throat so she could feel the vibrations of his vocal cords. For this purpose, in order to stand, Snorg grabbed her by the hips. But he did it too suddenly, and Tib fell. It was the first time he saw her on the floor. One of the Dagses, seizing the opportunity, quickly got between her legs, which had been thrown apart. Snorg swung, and the little one, from the blow, went rolling across the floor. There was blood.

“Snorg! Stop!” cried Piecky. “You’ll hurt him.”

“It’s my blood,” said Snorg, inspecting his hand. “I cut my hand on him.”

Tib had pulled herself together and sat up. The Dagses didn’t approach her, watching Snorg carefully.

“Maybe it’s good you did that,” said Piecky. “I would have, if I could, for Moosy… They do with her what they want, whenever they want.”

Snorg took Tib’s hand and placed the palm on his throat.

“Tib,” he said, pointing at her. She watched him in silence.

“Tib,” he repeated. She looked frightened.

He passed his hand along her face, touched a pink ear, and was surprised: Tib’s ear had no opening.

“Piecky!” he shouted. “You’re a genius! You were right. She’s deaf. Only by touch…”

Over and over, with extreme care to be correct, he pronounced her name. He had complete control of his mouth now. After one of the times, her lips moved, and she gave a muffled, hollow noise: “Ghbb…” She got to her feet and repeated it several times.

“Ghbb… ghbbr.” She said it louder and louder, walking across the Room.

“She’ll wake Dulf,” Piecky said.

Snorg gestured for her to come. She came and sat. Again he started saying her name.


Tib learned quickly. Soon she could say her name, Snorg’s, Piecky’s, and several other words. Piecky was of the opinion that her sight was not good either and that most information came to her through touch. He wasn’t sure, however, whether this was physiological or whether Tib’s brain was simply unable to process all the data entering through her eyes.

Dulf began to wake up more frequently. He never changed his position on the floor, though he blinked and even spoke. His speech was comical: he stammered and couldn’t find words. Snorg wanted to know how Dulf managed without a machine, but Dulf didn’t know the meaning of the word “will,” so there was nothing to discuss between them. The Dagses once tried to straighten Dulf on the floor, but it turned out that his body was actually in a ball. Piecky said that was impossible, the only explanation was that Dulf was twins grown together and he had a little brother on his belly.

“Have you noticed, Snorg,” Piecky remarked, lifting his artificial hand from the keyboard, “how quickly we’ve been changing? Before, I thought everything was fixed for us: you crawled, Tib stood, Dulf spoke only when you slept. And now?”

“What do you mean, Piecky?”

“A big change awaits us, a very big change. Remember how it was at the beginning?”

Snorg nodded.

“Each one of us had a viewscreen in front of his nose. The viewscreens taught us everything, showed us what the world was like and how it should be… We were surrounded with wires, which got our muscles going, our organs, the whole body… and kept us alive.”

“I still use the machine sometimes, but I seem to recall, through a fog, that it was that way with all of us,” said Snorg.

“Through a fog, exactly!” Piecky became excited. “They pump drugs into us, give us powders. We forget… Though maybe they want what we forget to remain deep inside us… in the unconscious.”

Snorg saw that Piecky didn’t look well: his beautiful face was tired, the skin was dark around his eyes, and he was very pale.

“You spend too much time in front of the viewscreen. You’re looking worse and worse…,” Snorg said.

Suddenly one of the Dagses became interested in Piecky. The Dags apparently wanted to carry him to another place, though for the moment he only stroked Piecky’s cheek gently and tugged at his hair. Piecky gave Snorg a knowing look.

“You see?” He smiled. “They understand some things after all. I only became aware of this recently. I don’t know why they both want to pass themselves off as cretins.”

The Dags gave Piecky a slap and angrily left for another part of the Room. Piecky’s grin broadened.

“You think I’m entertaining myself, Snorg? That all Piecky needs is to be put in front of the viewscreen and have his hand screwed on, and he’s happy?”

“Snoegg,” said Tib. She could now take the sucker from the wall herself and didn’t foul the Room anymore, but she wasn’t able to put the tube away. Snorg helped her and returned to Piecky.

Piecky told him, “Thanks to the viewscreen, I’ve learned a lot of things. Did you know, Snorg, that there exist many rooms like ours? The people that live in them, they’re like us. Some more defective, some less. One can see those rooms, because there are not only viewscreens everywhere but also cameras… We are constantly observed. My guess is that the lenses are near the ceiling, but it’s hard to see them. In one of the rooms, a dark blue room, lives a Piecky just like me. His name is Scorp. We’ve introduced ourselves. He looks at me on the viewscreen, and I look at him. He too has an artificial hand…”

“Maybe,” Snorg suggested, “we don’t deserve to live the way the people shown on the viewscreen do, who are correctly formed.”

“So you’ve swallowed that crap! And you feel guilty.” Piecky twisted so violently, it loosened the straps of his hand. Snorg had to tighten them.

Piecky’s eyes roved, glittered. “They feed us guilt,” he spat. “I don’t know why they’re doing it, but I’ll find out… Just as I found out a lot more from those goddamn viewscreens than I was supposed to…”

Snorg was awed by the strength that pulsed from Piecky. “And I thought will was my specialty,” he mused.

Piecky must have read the expression on his face as doubt, because he went on: “Think about it, Snorg. Every program they show us, every fact… it’s all about how a human being should be. The arms, such a way, the legs, such a way, the correct way… And we? And I, what am I? A tatter of a man… And that’s supposed to be my fault? Do you understand?! Why do they keep drumming that into us?”

Snorg said nothing. This proved how extremely wise Piecky was. One could learn from him, learn how to look at the world differently. Tib sat down beside Snorg and began to snuggle her face in his. The touch of her delicate skin Snorg loved more than anything.

“I’m afraid I won’t have time to learn everything. Time’s running out,” Piecky concluded under his breath, seeing that Snorg was no longer listening.


“Pieckyy!…” called Moosy.

“Don’t, he’s sleeping,” said Snorg.

“Then come here and look at Aspe,” she insisted. “She’s not breathing.”

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