Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Episode 7- Emily's Secret, Part Two



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?

*****

She was lying sprawled across the threshold.  Beyond the yellow glow of the porch light, the lawn was covered by a low hanging gray fog.  The air was thick and moist. It smelled of gunpowder and burned flesh.

"Can you hear me?" I asked.

Bending down close to her, I could see that a section of her right side was missing.  The massive wound was sealed over with hardened black ooze.  Her dress seemed to have melted right into it.

I didn't want to move her, but I didn't want to leave her where she was.  My cellphone still had no reception.  I ran to her house phone and lifted it from the receiver.  No dial tone.

Nothing in her medicine cabinet except pills, hydrogen peroxide, bandages and a bottle of cotton swabs.  I shuffled through the contents of the bathroom closet and found a roll of wrap-around gauze bandage and a tube of antibacterial ointment that was nearly empty.

When I returned to the living room empty handed, she stared up at me through half-open eyes.

"Get me to the couch," she said.

Her voice was harsh with pain.

"I don't know if I should move you," I said.

But I did it anyway.

She weighed less than a big laundry basket.  I held her as best I could without touching the place where her side was missing.  When I lay her down on the couch, she gave a little cry and I thought I'd killed her.

"Emily?" I said.

"Gun.  Close the door.  Lock it."

Each word came out as painfully as if it was her last.

Looking at her side made me want to throw up.

I locked the door after taking a quick look outside.  The fog prevented me from seeing anything except my projected fears.  I picked the shotgun up, and immediately felt better even though it was the first gun I'd ever held.

"Do you think they're gone?" I asked as I knelt down next to her and laid the gun on the hardwood floor.

It didn't occur to me to wonder who "they" were.

"Light the lamp," she said, looking at the oil lamp on the small, round table next to the couch.

Badly injured people went into shock and could die.  I didn't know how to tell if she was in shock.  I didn't know what to do if she was.

I found matches in the drawer, removed the glass cone from the lamp and tried to light the wick.  My hands were shaking so badly it took me three tries.

She appeared worse in the flickering light.  Her skin, I realized, actually was light blue.  Earlier I'd thought it was a trick of the lamp light, but one look at her face confirmed the truth.

"Take the Bible with you," she said, "page five hundred seventeen."

It took almost a full minute for her to finish that sentence.

I saw her worn leather covered Bible on the end table next to the oil lamp.  King James Version.  I don't know why I noticed that.  It just jumped out at me.

"Don't talk," I said.  "I can carry you to the car and we'll find a doctor."

Her head rolled to one side, then her eyes snapped open and she said,  "No doctor.  I'm dying. Do what I tell you.  Take the lamp oil under the table, pour some on me and on the floor. Break the lamp on the floor and set fire to this place."

She was in such pain as she spoke that her jaw shuddered and I had to lean down to understand what she was saying.

"I can't.  I can't start a fire.  You'll burn to death."

"If I wasn't dying I'd kill you," she said.

"I'll take you to a doctor.  Don't talk anymore, please.  You need to be in a hospital."

"Too late.  Don't let me die one of them."

Her eyes closed and I felt for a pulse.  I couldn't find one but I didn't really know how to find a pulse anyway.

Don't let me die one of them, she'd said.

I must have gone into shock, too.  I got the small bottle of oil and did it exactly as she said.  I reasoned she was dead and I was fulfilling her last wishes.  She seemed like she wouldn't make it much longer if she was just unconscious.  But I could hardly think.  What was that bright flash of light?  Who or what had she been shooting at?

Running on auto-pilot, I picked up the Bible in one hand and the lamp in the other.

She looked dead.

I threw the lamp down on the wooden floor and ran back to the door.  Flames rose like dancing demons and  the worn fabric couch caught fire.

I saw her eyes pop open when her dress caught on fire and I screamed her name.

Fire engulfed the shotgun, and I turned and ran, carrying the Bible clasped tightly under one arm.  Foggy tendrils clutched at me as I hunted for the car.  Smoke suffused the suffocating mist.  My mind was crowded with guilt and terror and I could not think.  If not for the garish orange-red light of the burning house, I would not have found my car at all.

It started with the first turn of the key. Feeling it come to life while watching flames consume Emily's house and her with it was too much for my mind to handle.  How could I have left her there dying or dead?  What kind of a man was I?

Don't let me die one of them, she'd said.

I hope to God you're right, old woman.

The Bible lay next to me on the front seat where I'd dropped it.  It was open, and I saw an envelope had fallen out.  Saw the page number was five seventeen.

I found a color picture inside the envelope, wrapped in cellophane.  When I saw what it was, I dropped it back on the seat, turned the dome light off, then put the car in reverse and drove down her driveway as fast as I could with the fog lights on.  I was squeezing the steering wheel so tightly that my hands hurt.

It was a photo of a strange creature with large black eyes floating in a jar of bright blue liquid.



Monday, July 30, 2012

Episode 6- Emily's Secret



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?

*****

"Not everything is a government conspiracy,"  I said.

She looked away from me to stare at the oval portrait which hung  between twin strips of peeled and curling wallpaper strips.  Once again I puzzled at the gray-blue tint to her skin.  The lamp near the far wall did little to cheer the living room. Its stand was darkened brass, and the lamp cover looked like a worn doily stretched and sewn onto a wire cage.  I wondered if the bulb was from a time when five to ten watts was considered normal.

My own hands appeared sepia tinged  in the faint light.  Without knowing why, I shuddered.

I looked up again at Emily and was shocked by how fragile she looked.  She was past eighty, and her skin seemed not only pale-blue gray, but faintly translucent.  Old age is both a crime and its own punishment.  In that horrid lamplight, my skin looked older, but hers looked crinkled and clammy as used  wax paper.

"Why'd you come here?" she said.

"You implied that your friend was murdered by the government, but you can't know for sure unless there's something you haven't told me.  And I came here because you asked me, if you'll remember.  I didn't call you, you called me.  Look, I'm spending a small fortune testing your artifacts based on your claims that they're alien.  I'm not rich enough to spend money on projects like this unless I think they could turn out to be real.  Who's going to reimburse me for all that money if they're not real?  So when you claim the government moved an entire town to destroy any clue that these artifacts exist and even killed a man to shut him up, I'm just saying I need proof.  Or enough information to find my own truth.  Whatever you know, I want to know, Emily."

She jerked her head toward the front porch window when something crashed into the bushes beyond the porch.

"What was that?" I asked.  "A deer?"

Emily stared at the window, then stood up and took a step in its direction.

"I'll go with you," I said.

"Sit down," she said.  "I can't look after you and me at the same time."

From a cabinet near the front door she took out a pump shotgun and a box of shells.

I was about to repeat that I would go with her when she jacked some shells into the gun, then turned around and pointed the barrel at me.

"I said sit down," she said.

She kept her eyes locked on mine while I considered my options.  Sitting down was better than getting shot.

"I just want to help," I told her.

"Then do what I tell you."

I was about to protest, but right before I did, I closed my mouth and kept it shut.  The barrel of her gun was steady.  It was pointed right at the center of my body mass.  I finally sat down, but she made no attempt to open the door.  She stood there staring at it for eight or nine minutes.

"Aren't you going to go outside?" I finally said.

A flash of painfully bright light  flared outside the curtain.  I threw my hands up to my face and dropped to my knees.  The air was filled with a rushing, gritty noise like a butcher's saw ripping through bone.

"Emily, what is it?  What's out there?" I shouted.

She didn't answer me, but a few seconds later, I heard the first shotgun blast.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Episode 5- Video Update for First Lab Results on Alien Artifacts- Episode 5





Our team of scientists were shocked by their first series of tests on the artifacts.  We think you will be, too.

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?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Episode 4- The Cover-Up




"New England," said Emily.  "That's all I'm going to tell you.  We followed up what Mr. Trainor wrote.  Tried to get hold of him but never could.  Knowing what I know now, he had good reason to keep to himself."

Her face was thin and  the dim light cast by the lamp in the far corner of the room gave her cheekbones a faint bluish tint.  She wore thick lenses that enlarged her eyes until they seemed to bulge.

"Can you tell me roughly where the city was located?"  I asked.  "It might be important."

She smoothed her dress flat on her thighs and seemed to be weighing her words carefully.

"Scrubbed clean," she said.

"Pardon?"

"I got a call a while back from the old man who helped us find the artifacts.  Told us never to come to that place again.  Said never to call him or anyone else in that city again.  He was scared.  Voice shaking real bad."

It was my second visit to Emily's farmhouse.  She'd ask me to come at night, like the last time.

"Scrubbed clean," I said.  "What does that mean, exactly?"

"Government came.  Cleared away every bit of evidence there was.  Then they started moving the people out- the ones that would cooperate."

"The whole town?"

Her sudden, manic laugh was so unexpected that I almost jumped out of my chair.

"Whole town was only eighteen or nineteen people," she said when she'd regained control of herself.

"They moved them all out?  Abandoned the whole town?"

The silence began to wear on my nerves.  As a person who's done his fair share of traveling, I can tell you that there are different types of silence.  Even in the bush, far removed from civilization, there are sounds.  Not as loud and garish as city sounds, but sounds nonetheless.  The sound of night predators moving through tall weeds, the sound of a restless wind stirring the trees and the flapping of unseen wings.  But in the old woman's farmhouse, I could hear nothing.

The room was void of the things that we in the city have grown used to- televisions, mp3 players and the ubiquitous computers that demand so much of our attention.

In her living room, I could hear only my own breathing.

"Moved out all but one," she said finally.

"How do you know all of this, Emily?  I mean, how do you know since I'm assuming you followed your friend's wishes and never contacted him."

"Now that's a good question, young man.  The answer is that my husband Edward was the kind of man that couldn't let a matter be.  He had to know what was going on in that town.  Couldn't stop thinking about it. He went there.  We had a hell of a row about it, but he just couldn't let it go."

"What did he find?"

"He found a town was dried up empty.  Food still on the table."

"And your friend?  The one who helped you find the artifacts?"

I leaned forward eagerly in my chair.

"Edward found him.  Had a marker on his grave at the church cemetery.  Gave the date he died as the day after we got the call from him."

*****

Our first test results on the alien artifacts given to us by Emily were so unusual that we have to run them again, which will delay the video release of the data until tomorrow night.

You can learn more by visiting our "Alien Diaries Translation Project" over at Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1078742786/the-alien-diaries-translation-project .

We're soliciting funds over there to be used in publishing the shocking findings in a fictional format so that they can't be suppressed.

Seriously.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Episode 3- H.P. Lovecraft and the Civil War Connection to the Alien Diaries- Episode 3




For those of you now following our new Kickstarter project for the Alien Diaries Anthology over at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1078742786/the-alien-diaries-translation-project this is our first update to the story of how Emily and her husband William acquired the two alien artifacts:



*****


Before I go further, I will tell you that an article by the brilliantly elusive Joseph Trainor was responsible for Emily's husband tracking down the two Alien Artifacts which we call "The Alien Diaries."  Mr. Trainor is best known as the editor of the hard hitting magazine "UFO Roundup." In the December 9, 1999 edition, he published a letter H.P. Lovecraft wrote to the Gallamo Club (comprised of himself, Alfred Galpin and Maurice W. Moe) back in 1920, in which HP told them of a strange dream apparently involving alien grays. 
Emily's husband (William) was absolutely fascinated by Trainor's thinking that it represented a translocation of Lovecraft's consciousness to the Civil War era, and that the story was there actually a re-experiencing of an actual series of events!  In fact, 1864 was a very big year for UFO sightings. 
The intrepid Trainor wrote more on the topic, and I think he and others such as William and Emily began to wonder if the Lovecraft letter hinted that an alien craft crashed near where the letter's events took place.  William and Emily tried to contact Trainor, but he is a notoriously cautious and street smart individual.  Rumors began to circulate that the government wanted the matter dropped. 
William and Emily decided they should investigate further on their own, with or without help.  They would be careful and take precautions.  The chance that they would find some evidence of an alien crash landing, they decided, was worth the risk.
Within a week of reading the Trainor article, William and his wife Emily were on their way to upstate New York in their bright red pickup truck.

Here is the letter written by H.P. Lovecraft which Mr. Trainor once again brought to the world's attention and started in motion the journey that ultimately resulted in the recovery of the two alien artifacts and William's disappearance, or "abduction" as his wife Emily believed to the day of her death:

                                                         *****

"I have lately had another odd dream--specially singular because in it I possessed another personality-- a personality just as definite and vivid as the Lovecraft personality which characterises my waking hours."

"My name was Dr. Eben Spencer, and I was dressing before a mirror in my own room, in the house where I was born, in a small village of (in- FM) northern New York state. It was the first time I had donned civilian clothes in three years, for I was an Army surgeon with the rank of 1st Lieut.."

"I seemed to be home on a furlough--slightly wounded. On the wall was a calendar reading FRIDAY, July 8, 1864 I was very glad to be in regular attire again, though my suit was not a new one, but one left over from 1861."

"After carefully tying my stock (tie), I donned my coat and hat, took a cane from a rack downstairs and sallied forth upon the village street. Soon a very young man of my acquaintance came up to me with an air of anxiety and began to speak in guarded accents. He wished me to go with him to his brother--my professional colleague Dr. Chester-- whose actions were greatly alarming him."

"I, having been his best friend, might have some influence in getting him to speak freely--for surely he had much to tell. The doctor for the past two years had been conducting secret experiments in a laboratory in the attic of his home, and beyond that locked door he would admit no one but himself. Sickening odours were often detected near the door...and odd sounds were at times not absent."

"The doctor was aging rapidly; lines of care--and of something else--were creeping into his dark, thin face, and his hair was rapidly going grey. He would remain in that locked room for dangerously long intervals without food and seemed uncommonly saturnine. All questions from the younger brother were met with scorn or rage--with perhaps a little uneasiness, so the brother was much worried, and stopped me on
the street for advice and aid."

"I went with him to the Chester house--a white structure of two stories and attic in a pretty yard with a picket fence. It was in a quiet side street, where peace seemed to abide despite the trying nature of the times. In the darkened parlour, where I waited for some time, was a marble-topped table, much haircloth furniture and several pleasing whatnots covered with pebbles, curios and bric-a-brac. Soon Dr. Chester came down--and he had aged. He greeted me with a saturnine smile, and I began to question him, as tactfully as I could, about his strange actions."

"At first he was rather defiant and insulting--he said with a sort of leer, 'Better not ask, Spencer! Better not ask!'"

"Then when I grew persistent (for by this time I was interested on my own account--HPL) he changed abruptly and snapped out, 'Well, if you must know, come up.'"

"Up two flights of stairs we plodded, and stood before the locked door. Dr. Chester opened it, and there was an odour. I entered after him, young Chester bringing up the rear. The room was low but spacious in area and had been divided into two parts by an oddly incongruous plush red portiere. In the half next (to) the door there was a dissecting table, many bookcases, and several imposing cabinets of chemical and surgical instruments. Young Chester and I remained here, whilst the doctor went behind the curtain."

"Soon he emerged, bearing on a large glass slab what appeared to be a human arm, neatly severed just below the elbow. It was damp, gelatinous and bluish-white, and the fingers were without nails.

"'Well, Spencer,' said Dr. Chester sneeringly, 'I suppose you've had a good deal of amputation practice in the army. What do you think, professionally, of this job?'"

"I had seen clearly that this was not a human arm, and said sarcastically, 'You are a better sculptor than doctor, Chester. This is not the arm of any living thing.'"

"And Chester replied in a tone that made me blood congeal, 'Not yet, Spencer. Not yet!'"

"Then he disappeared again behind the portiere and emerged once more, bringing another and slightly larger arm. Both were left arms.

"I felt sure that I was on the brink of a great revelation, and awaited with impatience the tantalisingly deliberate motions of my sinister colleague."

"'This is only the beginning, Spencer,' he said as he went behind the curtain for the third time. 'Watch the curtain.'"

"And now ends the fictionally available part of my dream, for the residue is grotesque anticlimax. I have said that I was in civilian clothes for the first time since '61--and naturally I was rather self-conscious. As I waited for the final revelation, I caught sight of my reflection in the glass door of an instrument case and discovered that my very-carefully-tied stock was awry. Moving to a long mirror, I sought to adjust it, but the black bow proved hard to fashion artistically. And the whole scene began to fade--and damn the luck! I awaked in the distressful year of 1920, with the personality of H.P. Lovecraft restored. I have never seen Dr. Chester, or his young brother, or that village since. I do not know what village it was. I never heard the name of Eben Spencer before or since. Some dream!" (Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft, volume 1, Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin, 1965, pages 100-102).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dr. Bob Introduces The Alien Diaries Project- Episode 2

video


The Alien Diaries Translation Project is now live over at Kickstarter.  Here's the head our our science team introducing the project.

We're paying this guy a lot of money for this, but he's still weird.

But even though he's crazy, won't you go over and take at look at what we're doing?  We have some excellent rewards for donations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Alien Diaries Anthology- Episode 1




I started another project over at Kickstarter for an anthology titled "The Alien Diaries," which I'll soon put up over at White Cat.  This might lead you to think I'm going nuts, but I'm having fun!

They'll let me know if it goes through in a day or so.  Here's the project description:

*****



As a paranormal investigator, writer and amateur UFO-ologist, I receive a lot of strange calls.  But none as strange as the one I received early last year from an elderly woman I'll call only "Emily."
She'd read a copy of my alien werewolf book "Tainted Blood," heard that I lectured on Ghost Hunting Technology, and told me she thought I was just the person to solve the mystery of two alien artifacts that were left behind the night her husband was "taken."
If it weren't for the tone in her voice, I would have thought she was a crackpot.  Ninety nine times out of a hundred, when a total stranger tells you they have alien artifacts, they are in fact crackpots.  But Emily sounded different.  So I said yes. At the very least, I could come away with an interesting story.  
She lived on a small farm in the middle of nowhere, five hours driving time due south and east, according to my GPS.  The last twenty five miles or so were dirt roads twisting through fields, dense woods and a brutal thunderstorm.   By the time I reached her house, her long driveway was was more like a seldom used cattle trail and so muddy my car slid onto her lawn and stopped four feet short of crashing into her front porch.
I'll tell you more about that night with Emily in the weeks to come, but for now I'll tell you that Emily was telling the truth.  In her living room, in the light of a lamp that dimmed in and flared with each thunderous gust of wind, she sat across from me in a faded upholstered wing back chair and said, "If you can't keep a secret, you'd best leave now."
I assured her I could.
"Not a word of this until I'm dead and gone," she said.
I agreed.
She looked me over carefully, saw that I was sincere, and picked up an old, latched wooden box from next to her chair.  With a flick of her yellowed fingers, she flipped the latch and then lifted the lid.  Carefully, almost reverently, she withdrew a swatch of folded black velvet.  She held her breath for a second, then shook her head once as though she'd made up her mind.   A warning blast of air shook  the windows, but she ignored it as she unwrapped two iridescent purple-red metal plates the size of playing cards and laid them in front of me on the coffee table.
"What are they?"  I asked.
"I think they're record books.  If you look at them close, under a reading glass, you can see the markings and patterns."
"What do you want me to do with them?"
"Figure them out," she said.
"I'm going to need some help," I said.
And I would.  Lots of it.
"Same thing goes for them," she said.  "Not a word of this gets out until I'm gone."
"I'll put a team together," I said.
"Just don't any of you look at them too long in one sitting.  You'll start to hear voices and see things that aren't there."
                                                    *****
Like I said, I'll tell you more about Emily and what she told me that night in the coming weeks, but for now I'll tell you that my team and I have made significant progress in decoding the information contained in the Alien Diaries. But we need your help.
Using the latest in computer analytics and technology that's too complicated for anyone but our scientists to understand, we believe we've been able to decipher scattered words and phrases.  Problem is, we need imaginatively gifted people to help us string together the stories that will make the content come alive.
So we're asking your help to fund and participate in this project.  We'll make the fragments available (three to five words) each week, give you what geographical links and time coordinates if they're available, and ask the writing community to construct plausible scenarios to explain what they could mean.  We'll solicit artists of all ages and backgrounds to submit drawings to supplement the stories.
When we've accumulated and sorted through the stories and drawings, we'll collate them into an anthology which we hope will reveal for the first time the records of our Alien visitors and perhaps explain why they keep coming to our planet.  We want to answer important questions such as those raised by great thinkers throughout the centuries such as whether they are planning an invasion or just hanging out, whether their itineraries coincide with concert schedules and/or whether or not they are responsible for the evolution of our species. 
Those are just some of our thoughts.
And we'll need to pay the story contributors.  That's where your financial support will be available.
For too long we've been in the dark as to why they keep coming to our planet. We know they're here.  We've seen the lights in the sky, heard the abduction stories and watched world governments scramble to suppress the facts.
The truth isn't "out there," it's in the Alien Diaries.  Help us decode them, will you?  Who knows what we'll discover?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sequel Excerpt




Still cranking away on the sequel to Tainted Blood.  Here's an excerpt:


*****



“Could I see you alone for a minute, Hauck?”
“No,” said Sveta, “you can’t see him alone.”
Yuri had never seen her in a dress before.  She was draped over the arm of a red velvet recliner trimmed with gold fringe, swirling an amber drink before her at eye level.  As she leaned forward to look more closely at it, Yuri saw the hem of her black dress slide up to mid-thigh.  Black hose, black shoes trimmed in gold.  Hair long, thick and colored blue-black like a Siberian sable.
Yuri tried to concentrate on the liquor glass Sveta found so interesting.
“Thirty seconds,” said Hauck.
He stood on the far side of the room watching seconds flick forward on a holographic presentation that floated a foot above a digital map of Detroit.
“I’m trying to concentrate,” said Sveta.
“It’s important, Hauck.”
Hauck pulled at his shirt cuffs, tilted his head and looked into the full length mirror near his rosewood desk.  Perfect.  Dark blue suit, brilliant white shirt, and a stunning red tie designed for the French president to wear to the G8 conference had not a friend of Hauck’s stolen it first to give him as a present.   One final look.  Excellent.  He could not see the scar that raked across the base of his neck no matter how he turned his head.
The beauty of high collared shirts.
“Fifty seconds,” he said.
“Hauck?”
“Just a few more seconds, Yuri.”
Sveta’s frustration was beginning to show.
“I need to concentrate,” she said.
“Too late,” said Hauck.
“Yuri, I’m going to kill you.”
“Sorry.”
“What was the trick?”  Sveta asked Hauck.  “How was I supposed to tell it was poisoned if this was a real event?”
“But it is a real event,” said Hauck over his shoulder.  “You drank from the glass and that was the first component.  You are in no danger unless you ingest the second component.”
Sveta’s eyes narrowed.
“You mean you actually put the first part in my drink?”
She pulled a gun from her purse and pointed it squarely at the middle of his back.
“If you don’t tell me the second component I’ll shoot you.”
Hauck inserted a handkerchief into his coat pocket, trimmed it and turned to face her.
“First you must tell me how I did it.  Our glasses were filled from the same bottle, yet yours gave you the first half of the poison but mine did not do the same to me.”
“It was already in my glass.”
“Bravo,” said Hauck.  “But no. Try again.”
Yuri had never seen anyone so furious as Sveta.  He stood transfixed, unsure what to do.  In Hauck’s luxurious apartment, which occupied the entire fourth floor of a renovated building on the South side of Detroit, Yuri did not blend in well. In the living room, where each lamp fixture was a work of art, each chair or sofa a masterpiece of good taste, the disheveled computer genius looked like a sweaty rag tossed on folded, fine linen. His long, tangled moustache was wet with perspiration as he worried that Sveta really would pull the trigger.
“Just tell her the second component,” said Yuri. “That way she won’t shoot you.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
A sudden thought struck Yuri.
“Weren’t you guys on your way out to dinner?”
“One last chance, Hauck,” said Sveta.
Hauck smiled.
She pulled the trigger.
“No,” screamed Yuri.
But all that happened was a loud click.
“Caffeine,” said Hauck. “No coffee, no tea or any kind of caffeinated beverages before midnight. Caffeine will combine with the first component to create a poison in your bloodstream. Alcohol is not a problem, of course.”
He was backing away from her as he said it.
She looked at her pistol in disbelief.
“You took my bullets,” she said.
“Knowing your temper,” he said, “I didn’t want to get shot before dinner.”
“You son of a bitch.”
“Now, Yuri, what is it you wanted to tell me?” asked Hauck.
Yuri cringed.
“What, what is it that is so important?”
“Well, first off,” said Yuri, “she’s got another gun.”
Hauck glanced at Sveta, ignoring the new pistol she was pointing at him.
“Lipstick,” he said.  “I added the other component to your lipstick.”
“You think you’re so smart,” she said.  “I’ve got news for you; I’m not a pawn to be pushed around your mental board.”
“I can see that,” said Hauck.  “I apologize.  Yuri, what was so important that you had to interrupt us?”
“Don’t ignore me,” warned Sveta.
“You’re my first thought when I wake up and my last as I go to sleep, my dear.  Now Yuri, what is so urgent?”
The look on Sveta’s face as she lowered the pistol was something Yuri had never seen before.  Hope mixed with amazement.  A touch of vulnerability.  Hauck, of course, paid no attention.
“We’ve been hacked.  No, that’s not exactly it.  It’s more like our computer system has been infiltrated.”
“By whom?” asked Hauck impatiently.
“It’s more like by what.”
Sveta stepped over to stand next to Hauck.  They looked like a royal couple on a wedding cake.  Both of them staring at him, waiting for an answer he didn’t know how to explain.
“You’ve got to see it for yourself.”
“No time for that,” said Hauck.  “If we’re compromised, we’ve got to wind up this operation and get out of here.  If they’ve penetrated our systems, we don’t have much time to act.”
“It’s not like that,” said Yuri.  “Just take a look.  It’s been asking for you.”
And now it was Hauck’s turn to look both amazed and vulnerable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Little Irresponsibility is Good for the Soul





I have so many deadlines for publishing magazines and other people's books, that my own writing has been getting pushed aside lately, so I sat down and cranked this out for my upcoming novel "The White Death."  Five minutes of writing and I felt like I'd taken a week's vacation.  I think I'll ignore a few deadlines and write some more.  The deadlines will still be there in the morning.

*****

“I’m being followed,”  said Kirk.  “So I need you to get something to someone for me.  You got to help me, Charlene.”
He was breathing hard.  Out of shape as always.  Served him right climbing up her fire escape at two in the morning.  He stood near the window silhouetted in the nightlight’s soft glow like a mugger in a dimly lit alley.
“You can’t keep breaking into my place,” said Charlene.  “You scared me half to death.”
“Sorry.”
“I get a boyfriend someday and you might get shot.  You ever think of that?  And where’d you get that raggedy-ass jacket?”
“In a dumpster,” said Kirk.
One arm held a typing paper sized box to his chest.  The other held the bottom of his coat tight over his stomach like he was about to throw up.
“You’re wearing something from a dumpster?”
With his silvered sunglasses and leather hat, he looked like a park ranger on dope when he nodded his agreement.  He was the only man she knew with eyes so sensitive he wore sunglasses at night.  And she wasn’t sure how Kirk managed a coherent thought, but he did seem to know when to nod even when sloshed.
“You like it?”
Quarter inch of stubble on him looked like fuzz on a turkey’s neck in the dim light.
“You have to go in the other room while I get dressed,” she said.
“I thought I was in the other room.”
“Go,” she said.
Blankets held clutched in front of her breasts, she pointed toward the living room.
“You got beer?”
“Kirk, get out and close the door behind you so I can get dressed,” she repeated.
“Don’t turn the lights on, okay?”
“Go.”