If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1078742786/the-alien-diaries-translation-project and donate will you?
I couldn't seem to process a rational thought until I stepped out of the car.
Thirty minutes ago I'd seen an alien craft tractor beam up, up and away three thugs and the body of the E.T. I'd run over. I'd sat there in my car twenty feet away watching it happen like I was a crash test dummy at my first moving picture show. When the alien tracker took off and left me behind like I wasn't there it took me a full minute to floor the gas pedal and fishtail up the incline til I was back on West Jefferson.
"Where's the cops when you need them? That's all I'm saying is where are they?"
I was mentally numb enough by that time that I repeated it six or seven times before switching over to my next line of thought.
"Where's Homeland Security? What the hell happened to radar?"
No answers to anything and I blew through three of four red lights before I noticed I was doing it.
At Fort and Outer Drive, I pulled into the all night convenience store, turned the engine off and went inside while I thought through what I was doing.
I was way over my head and desperately needed help. I went through my mental contact file while I bought two prepaid cell phones, six energy drinks and a sandwich that the label said was egg salad.
"Anything else?" asked the woman behind the bulletproof glass.
"Do you need a bag?"
Back in the car I ate the sandwich and guzzled down two Monster energy drinks.
Time to call the crazies.
"It's me," I said. "No names."
His voice was a coarse, gutteral demand.
"No names. I'm the writer. We met at the bigfoot hunt. We talked about the first time you saw a squatch. Then we found the print and the nest."
"Uh-huh. What was in the nest?"
My mind went blank.
"I can't remember. I don't know. Wait, wrappers and an empty peanut butter jar."
"I don't remember anything else. Seriously, I don't remember."
"Wait. Please, give me a second will you? I'm under some serious stress here."
"I'll give you a minute."
I pictured Mark and his wife Susie surrounded by guns, rows of computers, and survival food packets in their hand-built Kentucky log home. Bigfoot casts lining the tables, rottweilers running loose in the yard and a satellite dish big as my kitchen bolted to the roof of their house.
"Wait, I've got it. Those twisted stick figures, like in the Blair Witch project."
Dead air on the other end. I checked the screen to see if he'd hung up.
"You a traveler?"
Shit again. It was a Masonic thing. I hadn't been to lodge in so long I couldn't remember what the hell to say.
"I forgot how it goes. I just don't remember. I told you I'm under a lot of stress."
"You alone, brother?"
"More than you know. I need help. I need you to come get me right now. I'll park the car in the long term lot at Detroit Metro. I know it's a bitch, but when you get here, you'll never regret it. It's what you've been looking for and more."
"You got a live one?"
"Not that," I said. "Better. Bigger than that. I'll meet you at the Bob Evans. I'll walk from the Airport to get there."
"Don't do that," he said. "They got cameras all over the airport. Park in the off-site long term parking near the Ramada. It'll take me a while to get there, maybe-"
"I know how long it'll take. I'll be there."
"You know what you're asking?"
I did. I told him so and we hung up.
For the first time since the whole thing started, I felt better. Help was on the way.
He'd get the whole alien artifacts thing.
He'd hide me from the authorities while we worked out what to do. I needed to contact the scientist examining the artifacts before the government got to him. No way I was doing that without Mark. Once we retrieved the artifacts we'd head to Kentucky to hide out in the hills.
If they came after us, we could disappear into Townsend Cave.
Mark and I both had an interest in Townsend Cave. For me, it was the land my family owned for generations until it was taken from them. Lots of history there.
For Mark, it was where Bigfoot lived.
When you're on the verge of going insane, it doesn't matter which asylum you hide out in.