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I got up and started pacing around the room, looking for a way to escape the sudden breakout of a UFO hunters’ convention.
“Give me one freaking break,” I said, trying not to shout or descend into hysterical hysteria. “Please don’t tell me this is all about Roswell and big government cover-ups.”
“No,” Stella said. “It’s not about Roswell. Well, only to the extent that Roswell is part of the cover-up.”
“What in the hell is that supposed to mean?” Continue reading →
He turned the corner and the snake-like things were there, slowly slithering toward him. His heart was beating hard.
“Now,” he said, charging the makeshift device, “let’s see if this works.”
He was awakened by his wife stirring from sleep beside him. It took a few moments for his quick breaths to become even.
“Ow, wow,” she purred. “I just had the weirdest dream. There were these things, sort of like snakes or caterpillars but with each segment made of everyday things. When we were able to dissect them, one link in the chain would be, I don’t know, a Lego brick, and the next would be like a food item, and it was only every few links that there was something – alien – and it was those alien segments that gave the snakes life. But it seemed like I was the only person who cared that these things were taking over, and – why do you look so upset? It was just a freaky dream.”
“I was having the same dream,” he said. “We had just figured out what it would take to defeat them, and I was just powering up the machine to go after them when I woke up, and you woke up at the same time.”
She looked at him with alarm, and then smiled, touching his face.
“Wow, now we’re having the same dreams together,” she said. “Aren’t we the cutest couple?”
The morning calm was broken by a snakey sound outside the door.
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The first thing I heard that damaged my calm was the sound of two doors slamming. The sheriff had help with him.
Up until when I opened the door to the cabin, I half expected the big, four-armed, whatever-it-was to be standing behind him, electric ray gun at the ready.
But it was just Maynard, the chief deputy, looking stern, a step behind Sheriff Belloc like he always was.
“Hey, Francis,” I said to the sheriff. He hates being called Francis. “Hey, Maynard. What are you guys doing out here this early?” I figured it wasn’t 5 yet, by the light or general lack thereof.
“Mind if we come in, Hank?” Continue reading →
- Photo © Erikamit | Dreamstime.com
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We piled into the truck, Stella, Buzz and me. We all had black on – Buzz and I with our black floppy T-shirts and black jeans and black gloves. Like everything else about her, Stella’s outfit was efficient – the T-shirt fit just fine, and so did the jeans. I know I’ve been using the word too much, but she looked trim. The clothes fit her trimly, and her blond hair was tucked into the black baseball cap so that the only thing that would reflect light would be her face.
The strap for the 9 mm Luger at her ribs lay comfortably across the center of her chest, accentuating her trim – well, accentuating her trimness, let’s say.
She also had a hunting knife strapped to her belt.
“You came loaded for bear,” I said, looking at the gun and the blade when she walked up to the cabin.
“You didn’t,” she noted. “Never hurts to be prepared.”
“I’m more of a run and hider than a stand and fighter,” I said.
“What if you have no choice but to stand and fight?” she said with a glint in her eye that suggested maybe she’d faced such a choice more than once. Continue reading →
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She walked up to the cabin same as before, a week pretty much to the minute since she first appeared, not a word until we were face to face. The only difference was she walked up to the porch this time.
“Hi, Kathy,” I called, and she stopped dead in her tracks.
We looked at each other for a few seconds, calmly.
“I see you talked with Pete.” It was hard to make out her eyes under the baseball cap, so it was hard to tell what she was thinking. Continue reading →
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The old truck rattled a lot. I probably should have taken better care of it when it was newer, so it wouldn’t rattle so much now. I suppose.
The important thing is I kept it running now – I know how to take care of it, and it gets me where I need to go. It’s old enough that it doesn’t have computers and GPS and all of the things that track where it is and where it’s been. Not that those things aren’t important – to me – I just don’t know whether they’re important enough to anyone else who’s minding their own business.
After awhile the rattles just fade into the background, and I don’t notice them unless I have a passenger who says, “Whoa! This truck rattles a lot!” or if the rattle changes. Change means something shifted and I should make sure I don’t need to shift that something back into place. Continue reading →
(Our story thus far)
I figured I could trust her at least as far as I could throw her, and she was a trim thing, as I said, so I could probably throw her farther than a lot of folks if she were to let me close enough to throw.
Besides, she came with a recommendation from Pete Bratcher. Or, at least, she came with a name drop. I would have to check with him about that.
Pete and I go way back. Back to before there were cameras in every nook and cranny of civilization to surveil the guilty and the innocent alike. We would scope out the new cameras as they were being installed and figure out how to beat them. The train station was one of the first to be outfitted, so the tech was a little older, a little more primitive, a touch easier to beat. But just a touch. I’d still have to be careful. Continue reading →