Ever since the alien invasion Jim had cycled into the village every three or four days to sell a few vegetables, buy necessities and do a bit of espionage. But when he arrived today the village was in turmoil. Two of the alien vehicles were slewed across the road outside Henry's bakery and guards stood in front, their carapaces shining in the morning sunlight. Jim dumped his bicycle and slipped into the greengrocer's shop.
"What's up, Fred?" he asked.
The proprietor, shaking with fear, crouched behind the counter.
"They came this morning. I thought they were coming for me."
Jim grimaced. He had a lot more to fear from them than the shopkeeper.
"What's happening at Henry's?" he asked.
"I know nothing!" the quaking shopkeeper told him.
"Well at least buy some of my vegetables. I need the cash."
In the evidence locker at the police station, a plastic evidence bag lays on a shelf marked Current. There is a label on the bag, and on the line marked Suspect is the name Robert “Bob” Schroeder. Inside the bag is a greeting card, on the front of which is a drawing of a cake that’s been decorated with these words: Congratulations from all of us! What follows are the comments that were hand-written on the card by the colleagues of Robert “Bob” Schroeder at the Caring Hands Insurance Agency.
A Position to Fill
What had happened was this - at the time of the Great War, fought between Angels and Demons, Hell had not been completed. So when Lucifer and his fellow fallen were cast out of Heaven they had nowhere to go, other than to try and mix in with the inhabitants of the Earth and hope that nobody noticed. Apologies from the celestial council had been forthcoming with the promise that their new abode would be ready in time, but as to what time was never made clear. During this time the great Architect, The Watchmaker himself had decided to take a vacation, as he was about due and quite frankly needed the rest. Obviously the job of running everything, everyone and every time was not something that could not be left to its own devises, and so an advert was placed in the job vacant section of the Celestial Times and read thus:
Mike watched the rain droplets roll down the driver’s side window. The small drops beginning at the top slowly joined more droplets, eventually creating one single raindrop to travel down the window. A smile stretched across his face as he remembered the days of riding in the back seat of his parents’ car, choosing raindrops to win in races down the window.
The Importance of Documentation
Just recently I had dinner with my old friend, Margaret Hanson, a retired psychiatrist in whose guesthouse I had lived during my two post graduate years at Stanford University. Although nearly 80 years old, she still had it together and always proved delightful company. I made a reservation at Le Pot Au Feu in Menlo Park, one of her favorite restaurants, now in its third incarnation: mother to son to grandson.
I picked Margaret up at 7:00 p.m., and fifteen minutes later I gave my car keys to the parking valet. As we entered the restaurant, a handsome young man took Margaret’s hand and kissed it.
“Good evening Mrs. Hanson. Grandmother sends her greetings.”
“Good evening Charles.”
The young man immediately seated us at the celebrity table, next to a door-sized window overlooking the beautiful, lighted back garden, a position that Margaret and her husband, Hans, had gradually earned over their almost 30 years of patronage prior to his death.
The restaurant still served classic French cuisine, steadfastly refusing to adopt the current, California healthy/French style of preparation that used reduced butter and cream.
Dr. Fleming's Fatal Mistake
It was night when Alana drove to the Brighton Inn, a less-than stellar motel that was a favorite getaway destination for Jack Warden and his mistress, Sherry Taylor. Alana parked, waited, and watched. Finally, the car she had been waiting for pulled into the motel's parking lot and Jack and Sherry got out and went into the motel. Alana looked in the rear-view mirror and straightened her wig, took her shoulder bag, walked quickly into the motel, and got in line behind them. As soon as she heard the hotel clerk tell Jack that he had room 132, she went to a couch in the lobby and watched Jack and his mistress went to their room. When they got in the room, Sherry took her overnight bag and went into the bathroom, and Jack quickly undressed and got into bed. A few minutes later, Sherry appeared wearing a sheer negligee and holding a pair of handcuffs.
‘We were done making our rounds and heading home, walking, we’d cut through the woods. Then there was an opening and we come on it.’
‘Blood, everywhere. Splattered on the trees, the grass, the creek, everywhere. At first, we figured it was a pack of wolves. We’d seen it sometimes, they can’t scavenge and start hunting deer. The worst was when they breed with feral dogs. But this wasn’t like that.’
‘Something had run up on a den of deer. Wolves won’t attack a den, Coyotes neither, because they’d get too much of a fight. There were three, I think, three bodies. Just torn apart. You’d see a head here, a leg here, and a torso there. Predators don’t do that. They don’t leave behind scraps. What had done this hadn’t done it for food. It had done it for fun.’
Morvah was falling behind her lover – she was heavy with child. They had been walking for hours through the dense forest looking for a suitable site to start their new life. Morvah was very young; she wore her long brown hair in plaits. She was dressed in a gown that dragged through the mud and constantly caught under her feet. The thick mud sucked at her feet and covered her sandals, making it hard to walk without slipping. She had a cloak wrapped round her shoulders; this did not shield her from the elements and her body was hunched over trying to keep herself warm from the heavy rain and constant wind. Her face was pale and raw from the rain and wind; her eyes almost shut.