Friday, August 31, 2012

Episode 23- Secrets

Outside the cave, the entire forest seemed to be in flames.  I could not understand how the fire had spread so quickly through the rain-soaked woods unless it was caused by the extreme heat generated by the alien ship's destruction.

Smoke rolled through the night.  Acrid, smoldering fumes floated into the cave.

There was nowhere else to go.

When  the  back wall of the cave slide to one side with a soft, grating noise, I stepped into the opening.  Seconds, later, it closed behind me, sealing me in.  I was alone in the dark in a four foot by four foot cube.  The screen of my hand held locating device faded to a soft green glow.

I aimed in different directions, hoping to see a tunnel leading to safety, but all I could see were four walls and a rock ceiling.

"Hello?" I called.

Someone had to have activated the rock door.  I knew better, but it was important to feel like I wasn't alone.  It made more sense that the locating device caused the wall to slide open and close after I entered.

"Anybody there?"

I leaned against the rock wall and waited.

Only two nights ago I'd been sitting in Emily's living room, talking to the old woman about the alien artifacts.  I remembered feeling as though I was balanced on the edge of a great mystery, where a sudden move could plunge me into depths of darkness beyond what I could imagine.  Now, leaning against the wall of a solid rock cage, I realized that I was trapped.  If I died where I stood, no one would ever know.

Somewhere outside, the forest fire raged and the United States military was closing in on the alien crash site.  The flames and scourging heat were burning any evidence I'd been there to charred embers.  Even if I wanted them to find me, there would be no trace.  With the military scouring the area, chances of Mark getting through to me were virtually zero.  And they could be examining the forest for weeks, months, maybe even years.  An alien craft had crashed there, so the prize was worth it.  If any part of the ship survived the fire, the burned out forest would turn into the most important square mile in Kentucky.

"Can you hear me?" I yelled.

If anyone did hear me, they ignored me.

I needed sleep, I needed food and water, clean clothes and most of all I needed the hell out of there.

Using the fading light of the locating device, I scanned the walls for secret levers, buttons or handles but couldn't find any.  Who built sliding doors in a cave, anyway?  Why would anyone do that?  I couldn't imagine Mark doing it.  Maybe I could, but it would take a lot of money and contractors to do the work and he couldn't live with that unless he killed them after the job was done to keep the secret.

Dead men tell no tales, I thought.  Pirates of Kentucky.

I knew I was losing it, but it wasn't like I didn't have good reason.

The only thing I was sure of was that it couldn't get any weirder or worse.

I changed my mind when a skull and crossbones symbol flared on the back wall of the rock cage and a section of it began to swing inward like a door.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Episode 22- The Cave

Running hard.

The woods behind me crackling and burning.  I glanced over my shoulder and saw flames leap to life with terrifying hunger.  They were angry-bright fire demons filled with the lust to consume.

The sky was darkness lit into orange gray by the inferno.  Cones of light shot down and I could make out the dark forms of helicopters above the flames.  The government had arrived, drawn by the crash of the alien ship.  Soon there would be more helicopters, more men, more searchlights.  I could feel them closing in and the thought of it terrified me. 

Branches slapped my face and arms, but I ran faster.  I slipped in the mud, got to my feet and kept going.  Smoke filled the night air.  I drew in deep breaths of it as I ran.  I gagged and choked but didn't stop.

Twice I dropped my electronic tracker.  Twice I pulled it out of the mud, wiped it off and found the blinking green dot again.  If I could just make it to the cave, I might have a chance.  I could hide out and wait for Mark.  He'd said he'd meet me there in two days, but surely to God with the alien ship crash, the raging fire and the arrival of the Feds he would come earlier than that.

I had no idea how long had passed from the moment Mark forced me out of the car and abandoned me with nothing more than a tracking device.  All I could do was to keep running toward the cave.

My legs ached as the elevation increased.  The ground was less mud and more rocks.  The blinking green light was bigger and flashed faster than before as though I was getting closer.  I collapsed on a boulder the size of a Smart car.  I hung onto its slippery, wet smoothness like a drowning man clinging to a wind-tossed reef.  At that moment I was so exhausted and in so much pain that I didn't care if the government finally caught me as long as they gave me a clean, dry cell.

The night roared with fire, jets streaked across the sky and helicopters flashed their searchlights.  The rain and wind grew violent.  I could not understand how anything could burn in such a storm.  My clothes and hair were so wet I felt like I'd crawled out of a lake.

I pulled myself off the rock, straightened up into the storm and started walking.  I was too exhausted to run.  I didn't look back.  My mind couldn't take any more.  I just followed the green blinking light of the locating device.

By the time I found the cave, I was too worn out to worry if it was filled with snakes or bats or bears.  I just shuffled mindlessly forward one painful step at a time, ready to lay down on the rock floor and fall asleep.

I'd walked fifteen feet or so into the darkness when the locating device screen turned solid bright green.  My hand looked like I'd borrowed it from a muddy green goblin, but it was the only light I had so I aimed the device around the emptiness.  I saw rocks and dried, dead wood that looked suspiciously like small bones.

When I aimed the device toward the back of the cave, I saw only a wall of lumpy rock.  The whole cave was only twenty feet deep and four feet wide.  There was nothing to hide behind.  No cracks or crevices to conceal myself in.  If the Feds found the cave, they'd find me.

I opened my mouth to swear just as the back wall of the cave slid aside.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Episode 21- Fire

I got to my feet, still clutching the locating device and nursing my right hand.   My clothes were covered with sloppy, wet mud.  The crashed ship's glow began to fade.  Electrical charges spidered across its surface.  A swath of trees lay cut down behind it.  The night was filled with a soft buzzing sound.  If it had a pilot, it must have died in the crash.  The gargoyle-like creature was buried beneath the mud and rock.  There was no sign of the beast that had hobbled away.

Using my thumb, I swiped away as much mud as I could from the screen of the locating device and saw the green dot still blinking.  I would have to walk past the crashed ship to get to my destination.

Alone in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night, I couldn't see another choice.  I had no supplies and the only way Mark could find me was if I made it to the cave.  The rain came down a little harder.  I could feel the mud washing away from my face and hands.  I looked at the ship.  No way anything inside could have survived that impact, so I started walking.

You'd think as a writer I would have noticed the details, but I walked past the ship without so much as a second look.  I listened for noises, like a hatch opening or something mechanical coming to life.  My only interest was getting to the cave alive.  Five ships in two days was five too many to see.

I was twenty feet past it when I heard the sound.  White noise so loud I could hear it above the rain.  I stopped and looked over my shoulder.  The ship was surrounded by a faint green light.  It grew brighter and I started walking again.  Faster this time.  I didn't know what was going on, but I didn't want to be there to find out.

The sound grew louder, more frantic.  I looked back again and saw that the ship's glow was a painfully bright yellow.  I began to panic.  Green.  Yellow.  I knew what was coming next and began to run for my life, holding the locating device before me to keep on track and to keep a branch from sticking me in the eye.

Even though I knew I shouldn't, I risked a glance over my shoulder again and saw a bright red.  I ran faster, slipping and sliding but somehow not falling.

The night roared and flared about me like an angry god who knocked me flat with a concussive blast of air.  I scrambled and slid to my feet.   This time a new terror drove me maniacally forward.

The woods were on fire.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tainted Blood Review

In between episodes of "The Alien Diaries," I thought I'd take a minute and share this excerpt of a review of my book "Tainted Blood" from the popular dark fiction review site She Never Slept.  The reviewer was their Columnist & Associate Editor Marc Nacerino.


"When I was asked to review Tainted Blood, by Ferrel D. Moore, all I knew was that there was a werewolf on the cover. I hope there aren’t sparkly vampires too, was my first thought.
I am happy to report that not only were there no sparkly vampires, but the werewolf action was intensely violent and satisfying. Here was a very interesting twist on the werewolf legend, but one that kept all the ferocity and carnivorous lethality that I have been craving in a shapeshifter story. No hokey “ancient bloodline” melodrama, no romanticized “Gaia’s warrior” baloney, and definitely no “team Jacob” treacle.
Not being one for spoilers, I will keep this brief.
The story follows Sveta, a Russian mercenary, on a blood-soaked romp through, and under, the streets of Chicago that involves Russian Special Forces, the Red Mafia, old-school Cold War spy games, and a very unlikely werewolf.
The action begins immediately, thrusting the reader into a black-op assassination attempt. We meet some of the major players here: Hauck, the spymaster who calls the shots remotely; Evgeny, the sniper who never misses; Yuri the tech wizard, and Sveta, the “new girl” on the team. The hit goes horribly wrong when the team is confronted by the patently impossible — their target, Drogol, either is protected by, or is himself, a werewolf.
This book was fantastic. Ferrel D. Moore paints a portrait of Chicago awash in blood with his vivid descriptions, terse dialog, believable settings (for the most part), and layered characterizations. All of this is woven into a rich tapestry of Russian history and alt-history, dating back to the time of the Tsars and the infamous Rasputin."
You can read the full review at She Never Slept

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Episode 20- To the Death

The night exploded with sound and light.

From the bizarre twisting luminescence, the gargoyle creature leaped out and onto the other's back.  I could see its hideous teeth snapping at the dark ape's head.  Its claws ripped at the beast's shoulders and I heard an enraged howl as they tore away strips of flesh.  The awful purple and green light transformed the attack into a violent nightmare.

I stood transfixed as though bolted to the forest floor.

The gargoyle's tongue slapped back and forth while its elongated jaws kept snapping at the ape-creature's head.  Its back claws cut the earth and its front claws dug frantically at the beast's flesh.

The snarling beast jerked its body to one side and slammed the gargoyle ferociously against a tree trunk.  A shower of wet leaves shook loose from the tree and came down like an angry colony of bats.  Both creatures snarled and hissed at each other.  The inside of the gargoyle's mouth glowed a hideous frothy yellow as it tried to bite off chunks of the beast's face.  In a mind bending Hulk Hogan parallel I saw the infuriated dark ape respond by swinging its arms upward in a double hammer fist and then slam them down onto the gargoyle's head, knocking it down so hard I thought its flailing legs would break.

The gargoyle regained its footing and hissed at the beast.  Drops of its saliva sprayed out and I saw smoke rise from where it landed on the ape's long hair.  It howled in pain and leaped at the gargoyle again. The two rolled back and forth across the forest floor like monstrous wrestlers in a death match.

I forgot that I was on the run from the government.  I forgot Emily and her alien artifacts.  I forgot I'd been dumped in the middle of nowhere with no food or water.

The greatest story of my life was playing out before my eyes in those brooding Kentucky hills.  Standing in a primeval fight ring of mud and monsters, I was witnessing something no writer had ever before been gifted to see.  It dawned on me in the midst of my horror that I could only write the story if I survived the night.

Suddenly the gargoyle creature reared back and opened its jaws. The struggle was almost over.

But something astonishing changed that.

From overhead, a haunting, high-pitched sound so sharp it hurt my ears to listen caused me to look up in terror.  It was a familiar whirling silver disk hurtling directly at us.  I looked back at the raging battle in time to see the ape-creature claw its way onto the gargoyle's back and try to snap its neck.  But the gargoyle dug its claws into the beast's leg, causing it to howl in pain and let go.

But instead of attacking the beast at that critical moment, the gargoyle looked up to the sky and saw the careening silver disc coming right at us.  The beast saw it and quickly backed away.  I started running,  but kept glancing over my shoulder.  The trees lit up with as unearthly white light, that entirely washed away the purple-green rift that the creature had burst through.

The gargoyle seemed mesmerized by it.  The craft wasn't just descending, it was out of control hurtling at us like an incoming missile.

Too close, so close I dropped to the ground and covered my head with my forearms.  Trees snapped one after the other like machine gun fire as it mowed down the forest and slammed into the ground.

The impact rumbled the forest floor like an earthquake and showers of light shot skyward.

It crashed into the exact spot where the gargoyle had stood looking skyward.

Crackling, hissing, arcing sounds took the place of the former monstrous howls.  I slithered behind the thickest tree trunk I could find.  The ground was so wet and muddy from the continuing rain that it slathered my pants and chest.  I clutched the locating device Mark had given me in my one good hand.

I held up my injured hand like a cap visor to protect my eyes from the rain.  Smoldering fumes came from the spacecraft. The smell of curdled milk and burning chrome filled my nostrils.


No sign of movement or life.

I'd forgotten momentarily about the dark ape creature.  Then I saw it limping away from the crashed saucer as fast as its injuries allowed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Episode 19- The Creature

I started to run.  My heart was beating so fast I thought it would rupture.

The rain came down harder.  Branches slapped my face and chest.  Vines tangled my arms and feet and I pitched forward.  As I hit the ground something sharp cut through my palm.  I swore and grabbed it with the other.  The sharp end of a pointed stick protruded a half inch through the top of my hand.  I could feel blood running down my wrist mixed with  rain.  From somewhere off to my left I heard a high pitched rough chatter like that of an angry monkey.

I clenched my teeth together hard and pulled on the long end of the stick with my good hand and the other direction with the other.  I saw bursts of white light from the pain and vomited.

A series of sharp wood knocks closer than before.  I wiped my mouth with my coat sleeve.  The smell was nauseating but I had to get moving.

It was then I realized I'd dropped the small device that told me which way to go.

My hand throbbed with pain and I cursed Mark.  He'd left me alone to die.  I swore I'd strangle him if I ever saw him again.

I reached out with my good hand and began feeling around for the device.  My fingers touched wet grass, clumps of mud and branches, but nothing else.  Something wet and slimy slid along my palm and I knew I'd stuck my hand in my own puke.

A sudden wind rushed through the woods.  I shivered and manically wiped my hand over wet leaves.  I almost ignored it when I felt something the size of a cell phone beneath my fingers.  My hand was shaking so badly when I picked it up I almost dropped it again, but fear tightened my grip.  A little red light flashed on the dirty screen.  I stood up, took a step first to my left and then to my right.  The light finally turned green and I started walking.

I wanted to run as fast as I could to get away from whatever had made the angry chattering noises, but I forced myself to walk so that I wouldn't fall again.  One hand held out before me, the other stuffed deep in my pocket.  The pain grew worse but I kept my mind on following the green dot.

The wind kicked up again as I was trying to remember how long Mark said it would take to get to the cave. A few hours?  A few days.  A fresh burst of lightning splintered the darkness.   Thunder cracked like a whip against sheet metal.

I prayed while I walked.  I didn't know exactly for what, but I kept walking and kept praying.

Kept following the green dot.

It was impossible to say where I was or what direction I was going.  All I could do was follow the green dot.  If it turned orange or red I adjusted my course.  For the last twenty steps I'd been moving in a straight line.

Stay on the line, I thought.

Another flash of lightning.

I looked up to see where I was going.

That's when I saw it.

A gigantic dark shape.  Easily twice my height.

I stopped.  I was frozen where I stood.  Rain coming down hard enough I could feel it squish between my toes.

Behind the creature, the woods suddenly came alive with a purple-green light that seemed to blur and twist the air.  Something hideous burst from that awful radiance and shot toward the thing in front of me.

I watched in mute horror at what happened next.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Episode 18- Dark Noises


Mark was driving.  I'd worn out five miles after we hit the Ohio border.  The stress was too much.  I'd slept until the last good road, which ran out just after dusk.  By the time a cup of coffee cleared up my brain, we were deep into hill country with its sloping, twisting roads and cool night air.

Thermal vision lit the windshield as the night was replaced with heat signatures so we could drive without headlights.  It occurred to me that either Mark had a hell of a lot of money of his own or someone was paying his bills.

"How much further?" I asked.

"You ever wonder what they think you know that they want?" he said.

"I'm so stressed out I have a hard time thinking about it.  And I don't really know that much for them to be coming after me like this.  Maybe they want to know what Emily told me.  Maybe there's something in that letter taped to the picture.  Maybe they think I'm somebody else."

"Might be."

"You going to tell me how much further?"

"You sound like a kid," he said.

I wanted to know what was in the letter he'd found taped to the back of the picture.  One tiny alien floating in blue fluid like it was a biology specimen.  Or a Photoshop freak show clipped off the Internet and turned into a Polaroid photo by a Web Warrior who didn't want to clean his or her room.

"Ever since Emily gave me the alien artifacts my life has turned to shit," I said.  "I'm on the run one day and I'm already so tired of it I could punch myself in the head.  I hate this.  I'm glad you saved my ass by coming to get me, but I feel like I need to be doing something other than running.  And I want to know what's in that letter.  It will give me something to think about.  Something to analyze so I can figure out what to do next."

The van slowed and finally stopped.

"We're here," he said.

His stubbled face glowed orange-green in the light from the windshield.

"I don't see anything," I said.

"That's the plan," said Mark, and he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a gun.

"Why are you pointing that at me?" I asked.

"Time for you to get out?"  he said.

"You're kidding, right?"

"No hillbilly humor tonight, friend.  I'm dead serious.  I'll send somebody for you when I know it's safe.  I got a wife to think of before I worry about you.  Now open the glove box and grab the thing that looks like a cellphone."

"Why are you doing this?" I asked.

"Told you already.  I've got a wife to protect.  She'd do the same for me.  So you just push the button on that thing and turn it on.  You see that little green light near the top of the screen?  You start walking that direction.  Whichever way that dot moves on the screen, that's the way you go.  Long as you do that you'll be alive come morning."

We parked somewhere in the middle of the Kentucky hill country on a moonless night and he was dumping me there.

"What am I supposed to do for food and water?"

Mark raised the gun a little higher.

"Get out now or I'll shoot you and leave you for the bobcats to eat."

I didn't move.

"Last warning," he said.

I opened the van door and noticed the dome light didn't come on.  I realized then he'd planned all along to dump me in the middle of nowhere.  It was so dark outside that I could hardly see the ground.  Something wet hit my cheek.  Then another.  High overhead, the night rumbled.

"It's starting to rain.  You can't leave me out here in the rain."

"Go where the green dot takes you.  Shouldn't take you more than two or three hours to get to the cave.  Keep your hands up and in front of you so branches don't poke your eyes out."

"You're an asshole."

"But I'm an asshole with a gun and you're a federal fugitive.  Now get going and close the door."

I closed the door like he said and he drove away.  He said he'd send someone for me in three days.  I wondered if anyone would show up.

Standing on the middle of a dark highway was a bad idea.  I walked to the side of the road and heard a soft, annoying beep.  The green dot on the screen of the cellphone thing was now angry red.  When I walked toward the other side of the road, it turned a friendly shade of green.

The rain was coming down quicker.  I needed to find shelter.  So I walked the direction that made the locator device happy.  Wet weeds slapped against my pants and I could feel but not see things crunching under my feet.

From somewhere to my left, I heard the solid impact of wood against wood.

A streak of lightning lit the dark sky and turned the forest an electric neon blue-white. I saw that I was surrounded by trees and vines so thick they looked like zoo snakes.  As the  light faded, a dark shape moved across the edge of my vision.

The night closed in.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Episode 17- The Uninvited, Part II

"Is that a rocket launcher?"  I asked nervously.

In the confined space of the van, it looked like a shoulder mounted cannon.  I pressed my cheekbone hard against the driver's side door because my head was too close to where he was aiming.

"Combination of things," he said.  "Controlled pulse cannon, virus insertion tool, software cancer in a tube.  You name it, it does it."

"Okay.  But what does all that mean?"

"No time for that, time to dial.  But don't worry, we're not going to blow anyone up."

With the big-tube contraption balanced on his shoulder, he used his free hand to hand me a piece of stiff paper with a number written on it.  I looked up to ask him what the number was for and noticed him attaching two co-axial cables from his unit to the roof of the van.

"What do I do with this?" I said, holding up the card.

"We don't want government jerk-offs to track our location with all their expensive toys, so you call that number first and listen for three beeps.  When you hear that, you dial the lab's number.  Then you power down the phone, throw it in here and close the lid."

Mark slid an open briefcase toward me with the toe of his shoe.

"Is it lead lined or something?"  I asked.

"Something like that.  Now do it.  Longer you wait, the better prepared they get."

I hesitated for a second, then did what he said.  Got the three beeps then dialed the lab number.  Asked for the head scientist.  His voice seemed odd.   He was too happy.  Right up until I told him to bring the alien artifacts and meet me at the restaurant Mark and I had picked out.

"Right now?"

"Now," I said.

"I might need... hold on."


It was the word he almost said.  I could imagine five or six men and women dressed in government issued hush-hush suits hovering over him.

"No, actually I'm good to leave right now,"  he said.  "It will be good to see you again."

The little bastard was rebelling against the machine.  We'd never met.  We'd talked on line and over the phone, but never met.  I'd UPS'd the artifacts to him so no one could ever place me at the lab.  Just in case.  And now, here was my very own scientist trying to warn me off.

After I'd punched the END button, threw the phone in the briefcase and told Mark about what the scientist said.

"They'll put his head in a microwave oven and set it to explode for that," he said.


"Get ready to drive when I say go.  Be smooth about it.  Don't draw attention to us.  Don't act like Harrison Ford in the Fugitive.  Just drive down Farmington Road til we hit I-96 and head East til we get to I-75 then head south.

"What are you going to do with that cannon thing?"

"I'm going to lock onto their communications system and follow it up the food chain.  First agent I can sight, I aim, pull and we're connected to their network.  Agent calls into their superior, our software goes with that call and monitors the superior's call to his superior.  The calls will be quick and go straight up the line about this one.  So we stay with them.  We record each conversation so we get a better idea of what's going on and so you can hear it for yourself.  It's good to know what the enemy's thinking.."

"Is that possible?"  I asked.

He grinned and rubbed the back of one hand across the stubble on his chin.

"They'll be loud and clear through this blue-tooth,"  he said, pointing to his ear.  "And lookey here- I'd say you've got some uninvited guests."

I saw the helicopter coming over the top of an office complex.  There were men attached to the runners.

"Ready, aim, communicate," Mark said.  "Now get gone, brother.  Drive like we're on the way to the bowling alley."

"Are they coming for me?" I said.  "This is insane."

"Shut up and drive.  Their black sedans will be here in three or four minutes and when they find out we gaslighted them they'll be closing down traffic.  We want to be in Toledo, Ohio by then."

I was officially on the run.  Emily was dead and the government had the alien artifacts.  There went my story.  Nothing left but to hide out in the hills and pray they never found me.  I couldn't believe it was happening to me.

Mark disengaged himself from his electronic cannon and hung it on a hook that stuck out from the side of the van.  He sat down in the passenger side front seat and buckled up. 

Six black cars passed us before we got to I-96.  I felt physically ill.  I wanted to pull over, get out of the van and throw up on the side of the road.

"So far so good," he said.  "Where's that Bible with the picture of the alien?"

That picture was the only thing I had left.  In today's world, pictures were so easy to fake, it was useless as evidence. Without evidence, I didn't stand a chance of getting my life back.

"Under my seat," I said.  I'll get it."

I found it and handed it over to him without taking my eyes off the road.  I couldn't afford a traffic accident.  I couldn't afford to make any mistakes at all anymore.  I was a federal fugitive.

"It's a Polaroid," he said.  "Haven't seen one of these instant pictures in a long time."

"Does it look real?"

"Anybody can fake anything anymore.  Short answer  is who the hell knows.  We'll run it through the lab and see what we can see.  It's this sheet of paper with writing on the back that's more interesting to me just now."

"What sheet of paper?"  I asked.

"The one with your name on it," he said.

"Give it to me," I said.

"Keep your eyes on the road, ace.  We have to get out of this state before they find us.  You should hear what they're saying about you."

He was pointing to his bluetooth.

"What?" I asked.

"Not now.  Later you can hear it for yourself.  But just so you know, you're lucky you don't have a wife and kids."


"Because they'd be feeding them to the pigs by now."

Behind me, I heard the big Rottweiler get comfortable for the long drive ahead.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Episode 16- The Uninvited, Part I

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


The van seemed to get smaller.

I was looking straight ahead at the women on the tennis court, realizing for the first time that Mark was probably crazy.  It was a safe bet that he had at least one gun under his coat and the fact that his trained Rottweiler was lying on the bench seat behind me made me nervous.

But I had to ask the question, so I finally did.


"Why what?" he said.

"Why would a computer program decide I should be killed?"

"You still got that second phone, don't you?" he asked.

"Yes," I said.

"I know you think I'm a moonshine swigging hyped-up hillbilly who thinks The X-Files and Warehouse 13 are documentaries, but I'm going to let you get a look at a different world so you'll have a better chance of staying alive.  Now where's the lab you got the artifacts at?"

His train of thought was confusing, but I told him that the lab doing the testing on the artifacts was in Livonia. He brought up a map on the dashboard interface and asked for the exact address.

"Now what we need is a restaurant in a strip mall," he said.  "Like a Coney Island.  Best case it should be ten to twenty minutes from where the lab is and there's got be a shopping center or another strip mall across the street.  We want a busy area with no construction.  This van will have to blend in but be able to get out quick.  No easy throttle points and plenty of traffic."

We scrolled through the map, found out what we were looking for and then Mark kicked the view up to 3-D and looked at the intersection from different angles.

"What you have to remember," he said, "is that the government has military technology in your home town.  Once you get by that, you'll start to understand how deep a hole you're in."

I heard springs creak behind me.  In the rearview mirror I saw the Rottweiler named Patriot was standing up for a stretch.

"Does he have to go the bathroom?" I asked.

"Patriot, sit your ass down," Mark said.  "And according to our on-board computer we're about twenty-five minutes from the strip mall that's near the lab.  That track with you?"

"What?  Sure that's about right, depending on the time of day.  Rush hour it's thirty-five to forty-five minutes from here."

"But it ain't rush hour, is it?"

"Well, no, not yet."

"Then let's make tracks.  When I tell you to, you dial up your friend on that second pre-paid phone you got.  You tell him to meet you at the restaurant we're going to stake out and to bring the alien artifacts with him.  We won't be there. We'll be in the parking lot across the street counting how many feds show up to take you down."

"Do we have to do this?" I asked.

I was already nervous and headed toward meltdown.  UFO's and aliens were bad enough.  Being hunted by the government wasn't something I wanted to think about more than I had to.

"Yep, let's roll."

As I pulled out of the parking lot and left the women in tennis outfits, the picnic tables and the trees behind, I couldn't get the idea of the Secret Enemy out of my mind.  The image of an eye rimmed with barbed wire was too weird to let go of.  I had to find out more.

"What is this Secret Enemy?"  I asked.  "is it  a Secret Society?  Like the Illuminati or the Masons if they were armed and dangerous.  It sounds sort of like Fu Manchu pulling the strings on the New World Order.  Is it something like that?"

The dashboard computer pointed out we should turn left.  That irritated me.  I hated being stuck half-way in evolving technological worlds.  Why bother telling me I need to turn?  I knew cars could turn themselves, accelerate, brake, open and close the doors for us.  Ten more years, twenty more years and nobody would need a Driver's License anymore except the cars that drove them.  If technology would move a little quicker, I wouldn't need some dashboard harpy telling me it was time to turn.  I had enough stress as it was.

"Let's talk evolution," said Mark.

Patriot snuffled like a pig and I almost laughed, but checked myself when I realized it wasn't a good idea to laugh at a two hundred pound Rottweiler when she was only two feet behind me in a van that suddenly seemed smaller still.

"What's evolution got to do with it?"

"Watch how fast you're going.  We don't need to get pulled over for speeding.  Better.  Just try to stay three or five miles below the speed limit.  Now think about this- how much have the birds and bees and dogs and monkeys and human beings evolved in the last two hundred years?"

I thought about it, trying to guess where he was going before answering.   I hated set-up questions.  Always had.  Finally I gave up.

"Not too much,"  I said.  "But the evolutionary process is slow.  Two hundred years isn't anything when you're talking evolution."

"Is that so?  How much have machines evolved in the last two hundred years?  Computer hardware?  Computer software?"

"A lot, I guess.  But what's that got to do with the Secret Enemy?  Are you saying computers are the Secret Enemy?  Like in The Terminator where they are self-aware or something?"

He lifted his thermos bottle up, unscrewed the lid and poured himself a cup of coffee.  The smell hit me the right way at the right time.

"Styrofoam okay for you?" he asked, and reached behind the seat to get a short stack of cups.

"Definitely," I said.

Mark poured me a cup, then passed it over.

"It's still hot," he said.  "Picked it up at the Detroiter truckstop just before I showed up to get you."

"Thanks, I needed this."

"Things aren't like what you're thinking,"  he said.  "There's no grand conspiracy going on.  The Secret Enemy is you and me and what we do and how we do it.  The way we're always building better roads to drive over the edge into deeper and deeper holes.  Machines don't need to think.  There's no artificial intelligence mastermind behind the software decision that you needed to die.  It's just that we're always killing ourselves by bad decisions based on good ideas.   Then they get out of control and turn into good decisions based on bad ideas.  And we get more and more efficient at it by passing it over to software that can't question what we're instructing it to do.  It can't really say, Wait a minute, is this a good idea?

"So when government drones put together their ever evolving event-handling protocols and tell the software what kind of decisions need to be made, eventually the software takes over making sure these protocols are followed.  Computers move along a lot faster than we do, friend.  So the software was making the decision it was programmed to by ordering your death.  Part of the extra terrestrial meets civilian contact module.  You think I'm nuts, I know, but they have event modules for every contingency.  They're always tinkering with them and making up new ones."

"That sounds kind of paranoid," I said.

"Did you know sixteen percent of the people on Facebook aren't real?  They're artificial intelligence modules in place to establish civilian control.  You think that Arab Spring Twitter and Facebook stuff came from real people?  You're just not getting it.  Did you see that Curiosity has a Twitter following?  You know, Curiosity- the robot ship that we landed on Mars.  Think about that.  The government can activate an army of artificial Facebook people to shift opinion when they want people's thinking to go a certain way.  Same way they do with Twitter."

"How do you know that for sure?" I said. "How do you know there really is a software program for handling things like what to do when someone discovers evidence of alien intervention?"

"You have arrived," said the dashboard computer.

"You're about to find out.  Going to see a whole lot of people you didn't invite show up at that restaurant.   Park over there," he told me.  "Where that cluster of vans are.  Be the one on the outside two spaces apart from the rest.  We don't want anyone looking in at what we're carrying."

"They've seen dogs before," I said.

Mark was up and in the back of the van, breaking open cases and making noise.  Every time I turned my head to see what he was doing he told me to keep my eyes on the place across the street.

"Okay, time to make that call to your scientist friend," he said.

I turned to see what he'd put together.

"Is that a rocket launcher?" I asked nervously.

MySpace Tracker

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Episode 15- The Secret Enemy

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


I drove.

I'd gotten two hours sleep in a mall parking lot before heading to the Bob Evan's restaurant where I would meet Mark.  The prepaid cell phone was supposed to be my alarm clock, but I didn't need. it.  The sun was heading up high and the driver's seat was so uncomfortable I couldn't have made it another hour.

"Turn there, at the entrance to the park," Mark said.

He'd thrown a rock at the window of where I was sitting at Bob Evan's.  I got the idea and headed out to meet him.  He didn't want anyone at the restaurant to remember him.

His black van had something lettered on a magnetic sign about "Books for the Blind."  The back seat was stacked with plastic cases, a tripod and a medical kit the size of a briefcase.  On the middle short bench rested a black and tan Rottweiler.

"Nice dog," I said.

"Not hardly," said Mark.

"What's his name?"


"Sorry, her.  What's her name?"

"Patriot," he said as he unbuckled his coat and got in the passenger side.

"Sure you want me to drive?"

"Get in or I'll tell Patriot you're a commie."

We drove around and I told him everything I could remember since the day Emily contacted me.

"Keep your eyes on the road," he said.

Re-telling the most intense days of my life made it hard to be a good driver.

By the time we got to the park, I was mentally exhausted.  Even with Mark and his dog as reinforcements, I couldn't see any way things could end except with me in a secret government prison or on the run for the rest of my life.  We pulled over to the painted yellow lines that defined the curbside parking and left the engine running.

"Why are we sitting in the park looking at the tennis courts?"  I asked.

"There's good looking women in tennis outfits playing tennis.  Unless my van's on the radar, nobody's going to bother us.  They'll figure we're normal."

The sun was yellow as a happy face button, but a mass of dark gray clouds were sneaking up on it to ruin its day.  A scattering of people wandered the park, feeding the ducks or geese or whatever they were.

"We should have brought french fries to feed the birds," I said.  "We'd fit right in."

He hit a button on the dashboard and the on-board computer screen came to life.  Rows of numbers and then the image of an eye ringed with barbed wire appeared.  It flashed green before disappearing.

"New GPS?"  I asked nervously.

"Here's the deal," he said, turning to face me.  "If that picture would have flashed red, you would have spent the night in a tank of nitric acid and nothing would have been left of you by morning."

My stomach went weak.  I was wrong thinking I couldn't get any more afraid than I already was.

He let it sink in.  Waited until I calmed down a little.

"I'm not going to kill you," he said.

It felt like my heart would never quit beating too fast.

"Thanks," I said.

"But the Feds will if they catch you," he said.

"What was that picture?"  I asked.  I was trying not to think about what he'd just said.  "Is it supposed to be the Feds?"

It was a stupid question.  I just couldn't think of anything else to say.

"One brother to another?"

"Do I have to say the Masonic oath?  If I do, don't kill me because I can't.  I forgot how it goes.  You don't have to tell me what the picture on the screen stands for."

He frowned and stroked the stubble on his chin.

"If anybody needs to know, it's you," he said.

"Okay, what is it?"

"It's our symbol for the Secret Enemy."

"And what is the Secret Enemy?"

"It's the software program," he said, "that ordered your death."

MySpace Tracker

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Episode 14- The Survivalist Calvary

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to 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."

"Me who?"

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."

"Good bye."

"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.

"I'm trying."

"Too bad."

"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.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Episode 13- Abduction

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


Three men, faces too dark to see beneath their hoods, the one in the center pointing a gun at me.  The other two splitting off three feet to either side.  A cold shiver I couldn't stop.  My skin pimpled with fear.

"It's dead," I said.

"Get the bag," said the one with the gun.

Behind them, highlighted by the lights of a flare stack, I could see the small craft coming closer, getting larger.  It was highlighted by jagged electric arcs that sparked across its surface like a Tesla globe.

The man to my right walked over, pushed me so hard I fell back on unforgiving stones and took the bag back to the man with gun.  I felt a sharp pain in my elbow as it struck something metal.

"Open it," said the man with the gun.

The car engine idled a constant reminder that I could save my ass if only I could get inside without getting shot.  But guys like the man with the gun pulled the trigger fast and first.  Better to stay where I was.

I heard a rustle of plastic as they undid the bag to get a look at what was inside.  I'd already seen the blue skin and big dark eyes and didn't need a second look.  I just needed to get away.

One of the three shone a flashlight on the alien's head.

"What the fuck is this?"  said one of them.

"It's coming," I said and pointed behind them.

And it was.

Descending from the dark sky.  I could feel the hair on my head jump like I was standing too close to a transformer.

A spinning disc the size of an old Buick, coming alive with a surge of twisting electric arcs and headed our way.

"The fuck you say?" said one of them.

Three street thugs looking to do damage, looking to score, suddenly nervous.  It was in the one's voice- the corrosive angry sound of fear.

"Up there," I said, still pointing at the sky.  The sound of electrical discharge and a flash of white-blue light caused me to scramble to my feet.

They turned at the same time and craned their necks upward.  Saw it for the first time.  It was only fifty feet overhead and descending like Judgment Day.

By the time they started shooting at it, I was in the car, had the door closed and my foot on the pedal.  I spun the car in a wide arc.  My headlights lit the scene and I stopped, actually put my foot on the brake when a bright beam shot down from the craft and I saw my tormentors for the first time.  I saw their legs flail as they lifted straight up in the air, screaming like their spines were being pulled through the top of their heads.

The alien body bag floated up after them.

I held my breath and wondered if I'd be next.

Episode 12- Alien Body Drop

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


When I turned onto Jefferson Avenue, I risked a glance in the rear view mirror and saw the alien tracker was getting closer.  Two more hours until daylight.  Ten more minutes to the dark waterfront downstream from Zug Island.  I pressed the pedal down and cranked out some speed.  I couldn't tell if the tracker was gaining or staying even and I didn't care.  I just wanted the E.T.'s body out of the trunk before I died of a heart attack.

The streets were shiny and slick like it rained while I was inside selling my soul to Adele for fifteen thousand.  I needed the run money.  I drove by boarded up buildings and broken sidewalks that huddled in  darkness by the side of the road.  Roving gangs stripped the wires out of the streetlights to sell the copper.

Not a good neighborhood for a flat tire.

But I couldn't worry about that.  The alien tracker was after the E.T. in the trunk and me along with it.  Getting rid of the E.T.'s corpse was job one and only. I just had to get past Zug Island so I could dump the body in the river before its owner sucked me up into the sky along with the dead alien.

Maybe I'd get lucky, but I couldn't count on it.  Homeland Security was always at Zug because of the steel mill.   Maybe they'd notice the spinning light moving through Detroit air space.  They had firepower on the island, serious firepower.  Maybe they could shoot it down.  Probably not.  I was on my own.

Downstream of Zug, nobody was on the alert for anything except not getting their ass shot before the sun came up.  That's where I'd pull over and dump the body.  Let the river carry it away to wherever it was its polluted waters flowed.

At night  fiery plumes of sparks shot into the air above the giant ovens at Zug and made the island look like a lunatic's version of twenty-first century Oz.  Night people lurked in the shadows playing dead men's games.  No better place to toss an alien corpse into a river in the whole damned state.

Eleven minutes later I turned left onto a gravel road that headed toward the waterfront.  The windshield was fogging because I was hyperventilating fear.  I pushed a button and the driver's side window growled and rolled down into its slot.  I stuck my head out to see where I was going while the wipers smeared the windshield.

A bottle broke beneath the tires.  Another and then two more while I kept my eyes on the road in front of me for twisted metal frames or piles of fractured cement blocks or anything else large enough break my car.

Five feet from the railing, I turned of the lights and pushed the trunk button.  When I heard it pop, I opened the door and ran to the back of the car without even turning off the engine.  I stepped on a pile of something that squealed like a pack of rats.  I jumped back and looked frantically around.  Pit bulls were terrified of Detroit rats and so was I.  I waited.  Nothing moved.  I thought I saw tiny red eyes staring at me from beneath the bumper.

Suddenly I remembered what I was running from and looked back at the sky.

The alien tracker was close enough that I could see electrical waves rippling along its metal skin.

I went to the trunk, moved the blanket aside and pulled out the garbage bag containing the dead alien.  Before I could take my first step toward the river, I heard a voice from somewhere behind me say, "Hey, bitch, what you got in that bag?"

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Episode 11- Alien Bloodhound

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


"Sorry.  I think I have the wrong house,"  I said.

"You got that right."

I know exactly what he said, but it still sounded like I'm going to kick your ass.

"I'll be going," I said.

I had the right address. It really just never occurred to me she'd have another guy over for the night.  Maybe if I'd called her sometime during the last week or two I would have known better.

The red-bearded guy slammed the door in my face, but I thought he called me a dumb ass when he did.  It wasn't what he said, really, it was the inflection in his voice that pissed me off.

But it would be bad to have it out with him.  The neighbors might remember that when the police or Homeland Security came looking for me.  I was sure they'd get around to Adele eventually.  They'd be talking to everybody I knew.  So I knew it was better to duck out.  Especially with a dead E.T. stuffed in the  garbage bag in my trunk.

Instead I pounded on the door and then waited.

His face was red as his beard when he opened the door.  It might have been just the porch light or the fact that I was tired, but he looked a lot angrier than when he last opened the door.

"Adele home?"  I said.  "I just remembered I got the right place."

"Why don't you just get lost?" he said.

"I'm a friend of Adele's.  Her regular friend.  I need to talk to her."

"We're sleeping," he said.

Big bang as the door slammed shut again.

We're sleeping?  He could have said I'm sleeping or she's sleeping, but he had to say we're sleeping.  I hammered on the door three more times.  A part of my brain knew she had a doorbell, but another part knew with absolute certainty that I should be pounding on something.

The door opened again.  This time the red bearded guy held his fist up, squeezed tightly shut to show me he knew how to do it.

"You're starting to piss me off," he said.

"Is she here?  I really need to talk to her."

"It's three o'clock in the morning, asshole."

"We're both writers.  We're up all hours of the night.  We talk a lot.  She writes stuff for my magazines."

"She never said anything about you," he said.

He could punch my ticket.  I knew that.  He knew that.  He had a weightlifter's arms and chest.  Thick neck like a football player.  I weigh about one sixty.  Each of his legs looked to weigh that.  But he was starting to look more confused than angry.

"What's it about?"

"Writer stuff," I said.  "I'm her publisher."

"You're her boss?"

"Yeah, like that."

"Shit," he said.

We both heard her muffled footsteps coming down the hallway behind him at the same time.  He turned his head.  Stepped off to the side a little as Adele pushed her way between him and the door jam.

Some women look great when you wake them up in the middle of the night.  Some look like they've been run over.  I'd hate to know what they say about men.  Adele was in the "looks even better when she crawls out of bed than when she lays down in the first place" category.  Mid-thirties.  Short blond hair tinged blue.  Wearing a fluffy white robe with a monogram from the hotel we stole it from.  Kind of tacky and maybe it came with the room, but I like to think it was the diamond thief in me showing through.

"You could have called first," she said.  "This is a little awkward."

"It's important.  Really, it is.  Private business," I said jerking my chin toward the red bearded guy.

"I don't think so," he said.

Adele turned on the serious porch light.  The halogen one.  The one that almost blinded me.  The one they turn on you when you're caught making a prison break.

"What's in it for me?"  she asked.

"I need somebody to take over the company.  Got a lead on a story that I'm going track down.  Iffy but spectacular if I can pull it off.  But I can't run the company and follow the story at the same time."

"You want me to take over the company?  What do I get out of that except more work?"

She pushed past red beard, came at me eye-to-eye.  Hands on her hips.

"That's between us,"  I said.  "We work it out just the two of us or we don't do it.  I need to do this quickly or find someone else."

The other guy wasn't happy and he wasn't poetic.

"Bullshit," he said.  "We don't have to listen this."

"You don't have to listen to this," she told him.  "Pack up and go home.  My career is calling."

"That's bullshit, too.  This guy shows up in the middle of the night and you're throwing me out for him?  I thought we had something going on?"

Adele didn't like the fact I'd show'd up without calling.  Wasn't happy about that at all.  But I could tell by her thin smile that she was getting into the idea of tossing the other guy out.

"We did," she said.  "But it's time for me to get back to work.  Maybe I'll call you when I'm done."

"Maybe?  Maybe?  This is bullshit, Adele, and you know it."

As loudly as he stomped down the hallway, I just knew he'd been practicing it since childhood.

"Men are such whiners," she said as she let me in and steered me to the kitchen .

"Where'd you meet this guy?"

"Used to be married to him."

"You're kidding, right?"

"How much do I get paid for taking over the company?" she asked.

"Much as you want to pay yourself.  I want you to buy the company, not promote you.  Not some of the stock- all of the stock.  You'll be both the owner and publisher.  You'll finally be totally  in charge."

She thought about it for awhile.  Pulled her robe tighter and fired up her coffee maker.  The only light in the kitchen was one she'd turned on over the sink.  It was like a movie image.  Like the cameraman had asked for the light to be right over her so the audience could see  how it lit her hair and transformed it from blond to gold.

"How much?  What's the price.  And Leonard?"

The last part, the and Leonard part, she shouted.

"What?" came his answer from a few feet down the hallway.

"Don't eavesdrop.  It's rude.  I want to hear the door slam on your way out and don't try slamming from the inside or I'll have my publisher shoot you."

Silence for a moment, then, "This is bullshit.  I mean it."

The front door slammed shut thirty seconds later.

"How much?" she asked again.

"I don't carry a gun.  You know that."

"How much?  And he doesn't know that."

"Much cash as you can get me tonight.  Minimum fifteen grand."

Her eyes got bigger.  She turned and poured each of us a cup of coffee.

"I don't have that much cash lying around."

"Bullshit," I said.  "You've got twenty in that urn in your living room.  You know, the one where you keep your dad's ashes.  Money's folded up in a sandwich bag with the ashes on top to hide it."

We both sat down at the kitchen table with our coffee.  We were quiet.  She was thinking, I was hoping.

"How'd you know about that?"  she said.

"You shouldn't drink and play strip poker."

"I told you about it when I was drunk?"

"Yes, you did."

"What else did I say?"

"Let's get  back to how much you're going to pay me."

Finally, she said, "You're in big trouble, aren't you?"

"Yes.  I'm in big trouble."

"How big?"

"I've got a dead alien in my trunk, Adele."


"I'm serious."

"For real?" she asked.

"For real," I said.

She blew across the top of the hot liquid for a few seconds, then took a long sip.

"The only way I'll buy the publishing company is if we write it up now with you having no interest or say so or any association with the company the second we ink the deal and I give you the check."

"Cash," I said.

"You are in deep, aren't you?"

"I really am serious, Adele.  I've got a dead alien in my trunk and I watched three UFO's shoot down three Air Force planes in a little over five to ten seconds after they noticed them."

"Where'd you get the alien?" she asked.

"I ran into him or her or whatever it is with the car."

"Of course," she said.

"It was foggy."

She ran her finger along the edge of her coffee cup.

"I don't want to know you after we do this," she said.

"You won't," I said.

It's the wrong thing to say to a woman you wake up at three in the morning.

I was still thinking about that when I was walking to my car.  It really didn't seem important anymore when I looked down the street and something hovering over the rooftops four or five intersections down from where I was standing.  Iridescent gray.  Smaller than the three ships I'd seen earlier.  Spinning like  an extraterrestrial gyroscope.

It's tracking the thing in my trunk, I thought.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Episode 10- Telling the Right Lies

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


Cruise control is a wonderful thing when it's raining hard and you're on the run.  Turn the windshield wipers on, drive five miles an hour less than the speed limit, set the cruise control and you're good if you don't do anything stupid.  No need to worry about driving too fast or driving too slow and some cop noticing.  You have to be careful when you're about to be hunted down by the military-industrial complex and you don't know exactly when that timer will start.

Eventually they would show up at my house in the middle of the night.  Or maybe in broad daylight.  The only news story big enough to cause CNN, Fox News and MSNBC to ride in the same van.  Homeland Security could call me a terrorist or say that I was Julian Assange's nephew.  Everyone would understand why I was taken away in chains with a black bag over my head.

So I didn't go home.

Going home would have been a stupid idea.  A smarter idea was to drive to the house of the best looking female writer I'd ever known.  I needed someone to dump my company on someone until things blew over or I got blown away.  She'd do it.  Not because she'd care I was in trouble, but because she'd hope I didn't come back alive so she could keep it.  She could always find someone else to sleep with, but to take control of a profitable publishing business- that was a permanent relationship.  Good-bye writer and hello businesswoman.

I drove for four hours with only three stops.  Once for gas.  Once to load up on coffee.  The last time to use the bathroom.  Not once did I call Adele to let her know I was coming.  I was done calling anyone- I'd tossed the phone out the window, over a railing and into the first river I'd driven over.  Then I just kept driving.  First time in my life I'd driven over fifteen minutes without music.

Thinking all the way.  Listening to news reports.  Looking out the window and checking the side and rear view mirrors for anything in the sky that shouldn't be there.

I wasn't thinking about what was in the trunk.  I was thinking about how the thing in the trunk would change my life.

No way the military wouldn't own the burned ashes of Emily's farm by morning.  They'd totally control the traffic coming and going for a fifty mile radius before dinner time.  Maybe before lunch.  They wouldn't stop til they'd quarantined and grilled every witness they could find and I sure as hell didn't want to be quarantined.

Three UFO's rising up in the sky.  Three fighter jets vaporized.  I couldn't know for sure that they were fighter jets, but that was what my gut told me they were.  I'd waited in the fog after the three UFO's disappeared, then drove away with my fog lamps on.  Sweating like it was July instead of early October.

When I finally pulled into Adele's  driveway it was three in the morning and her house was dark except for one light in the living that stood just on the other side of the pulled curtain.  She wouldn't be happy with me for showing up without warning  She might not even be alone.  Four plus hours of driving and I'd never even thought about that.  We'd never talked about it, but you can tell when someone's not seeing someone else.
Lot of guys probably thought that's the way it was.

I bent over and picked up the Bible and the photo from the passenger side floor mat, tucked the photo of the creature back inside and hid it under my front seat.  Adele didn't need to know about it.  She thought I was crazy as it was.

There seemed to be no one up except me.  No lights on anywhere except streetlights and Adele's living room light.  She could still be up writing or reading.  Writers did that a lot.  Slept for most of the day and stayed up all night.

I slid on my jacket as I walked up her driveway and made an effort to tuck in my shirt, then straighten my collar.  The whole trip down I'd been working on what to to tell her and what not to tell her.  Keep it simple was always the best bet.

The thing was, I needed cash- more cash that I could pull out of my ATM's.  More than that, I needed someone to take over the publishing until I came back.

I'd killed an old woman and set her and her house on fire.  Trying to get away before anyone knew I was even there, I'd crashed into a strange blue creature and killed it.  Emily didn't need to know about any of that or the three UFO's and what they'd done to the aircraft coming after them.  All she needed to know was that I wanted to offload my company for cash in the middle of the night, and I'd better have a damned good story to explain why.

By the time I pushed the electronic doorbell button, I thought I had it all figured out.  I waited a few minutes and pushed it again.  Things were coming together more clearly.  I had a good story that she just might buy.

But when the door opened and I came face to face with a thirty something red faced guy who looked like he wanted to punch my ticket, I couldn't think of anything to say.

Later I found out that at about the same time as I stood there stammering, a Homeland Security team was going through Emily's phone records.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Episode 9- Body Bag & Sky Wars

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


I backed the car up, got out and popped the trunk, trying not to think about what I was doing.  I dumped the contents of my thirty gallon black plastic trash bag of emergency supplies.  Flares, first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlights, batteries and other necessities fell into a jumbled heap that I pushed toward the back.  I found a pair of work gloves and slid them onto my hands.

The fog made it easier.  I was alone in the middle of nowhere.  It would be days before anyone noticed that Emily's house burned to the ground.

The corpse smelled like a mixture of windshield wiper fluid and sulfur as I stuffed and slid it into the bag.  I tried not to look at the blue skin, the three broken fingers with tiny suction pads scattered across the palms.  The stomach area had burst under the weight of the car.  A dark gel-like substance coated my gloves and I slid what was left of the organs into my improvised body bag.

A sudden nausea swept over me.  I turned to one side and vomited

The taste of bile filled my mouth.  The corpse-odor caused me to throw up again.

I placed one palm on the packed dirt road to keep from losing my balance.

When the dizziness passed, I wiped my mouth and chin with my sleeve and turned back to finish the job.  The flashlight lay on the ground and was shining directly at the bag.  I could see that I had most of the thing in, but it's head and neck and the top half of its torso stuck out.  It's dark black eyes seemed to be staring in my direction.

"Quit looking at me," I said.

I took a deep breath and went back to work.

One glove on the top of its head, careful not to look at its eyes.  One foot on its exploded stomach- if it was a stomach.  I lifted the head and pushed it forward by placing my knee on its back.  The force of the car lying on top of it must have snapped its spine- if it had a spine- because it bent right over.  Maybe they didn't have rigor mortis wherever it came from either, but only a half an hour had passed since I ran it over.  I didn't know how long it took for a human body to stiffen, much less whatever it was.

Road kill.  The thought flashed through my mind as I pulled the garbage bag back up and over it and cinched the drawstrings.  I was just cleaning up roadkill.

The truth was so much worse I couldn't even think about it.

I closed the lid on the trunk after covering the bag with the emergency blanket.  The sound of the latch engaging was like a cell door closing on my life.

My legs were shaking by the time I reached the driver's side door.  Then I heard a sound that put an end to all that.  A high-pitched keening, like the sound of a dentist's high speed drill.  It came from somewhere up and behind me.  I stood completely still, willing myself to be invisible in the billowing fog.

It rose in pitch, and then brilliant white flashing strobes suddenly turned the night into a rural disco.  I turned to look up into the sky and saw something that filled me with terror.  Three gigantic silver discs appeared a quarter of a mile above where Emily's house still burned.  They separated with amazing speed then stopped dead in the sky like points of a triangle.

Further away but coming in fast across the sky I saw what could only be three jets racing toward the crafts.

"No," I thought, "go back.  Don't do this."

But before I could think another thought, a matrix of green laser-like rays shot from the crafts and vaporized the jets.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Episode 8- First Contact

If you have the cash to spare to help us out with the Alien Diaries Anthology, head on over to and donate will you?


Head craned forward, peering through the windshield as the wipers fought back against the ghostly fog.  A yellow-white glow from the fog lamps penetrated three feet into the mist then disappeared.  Visibility was so bad I couldn't see the trees.  Twice I found myself driving on grassy weeds and pulled the wheel frantically to find the driveway again.

The flames from Emily's burning house were twisting, fiery smudges in my rear-view mirror.  I clenched my teeth and kept driving.  Somewhere up ahead the gravel driveway would turn onto a dirt road.  From there I could make a paved road in an hour or so.

I remembered pouring lamp oil over Emily the way she told me to, smashing the burning lamp onto the floor and running toward the door.  The image of her dress catching fire played over and again against the theater screen of fog.  I remembered her eyes popping open and me screaming.

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

I did what she told me to do.  If she was right, maybe I'd done a good thing.  If she was crazy, I was going to hell.

Something was suddenly standing in front of my car.

I slammed on the brakes and said, "Oh shit, shit, oh shit."

Too late, I knocked it over and under the car.  I felt a horrible, squishy slide as it went under the tires and then the car stopped moving.

The drainage ditch on the far side of the road was just behind the front hood.

Sweat slid down my scalp and onto my cheeks.

What had I done?

What had I killed?

My hands trembled on the steering wheel.

I didn't want to open the car door and go see what I'd done.  Didn't want to feel the touch of the clammy moist air against my skin.  Didn't want to see who or what I'd hit.

The flashlight was in a compartment beneath the mid-seat arm rest.  I took it out, flipped the switch and the car interior lit up in a cone of white light.  I saw the Bible and the photo laying on the floor where they had landed.

Stones crunched under my feet as I stepped out onto the road.  The night was filled with a sense of ominous presence.  I aimed the beam at the fog and it lit up but revealed nothing.  I listened for sounds.  A voice begging for help.  A twisted moan.  A dying gasp.  But the night was silent as if the murky miasma surrounding me had absorbed everything.

I took a deep breath, then aimed the light at the front of the car.

A mangled blue arm stuck out from beneath the tire.