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It’s bad enough that Buzz always made comments about the aliens wanting to fatten us up for meals. It was worse that the morgue reminded me of a commercial kitchen with the stainless steel door on the cooler and all the stainless shelving and equipment.
“Won’t take long,” the sheriff said as he walked me down the corridor and through the swinging door to the place where they housed the recently departed for processing. “This is the tough part.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Poor Buzz. He didn’t deserve to die early.”
I didn’t mean for that to come out as an accusation, and I hoped it didn’t sound that way because it might signal that I knew more about what happened a few hours earlier than I was letting on. No such luck, as usual. Continue reading →
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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 →
I honestly can’t fully believe this is true, given all that I know about Geoff Gunderman from being his friends and hearing his music all of these years, but he said it on his deathbed, so maybe. Continue reading →
Short Short Story
The artist painted the sky and the trees and the water and somehow the breeze and the call of the birds.
The cynic jogged by, glancing at his watch that monitored his breaths and his pulse and the distance he’d run. He looked up and stopped.
“Tom?” said the jogger. Continue reading →