campaign sign becomes
campaign sign becomes
Chet thumbed the safety off and gripped the pistol with both hands. He held it in front of him as he listened to the quiet, guiding noises. They had led him from his bedroom down the hall and toward the kitchen.
He stopped at the entrance to the living room. A half moon gazed through the bay window, affording just enough light to keep Chet from bumping into things. He stilled his breath and listened closely. Were there two intruders? The noise, or at least a noise, was now coming from the living room.
There … on the north … by the bookcase. Yes.
crosses my path
Ship’s Captain Lut Nansen awoke from a dreamless nap. He was still in the pilot’s chair of the shuttlecraft.
No … I haven’t spoken with my brother for years. He never listened to me.
No … that’s not right either. I haven’t seen my son since he was six. He was so difficult to deal with. And so was his mother, by then.
On the floor around him were a few empty packets of food concentrate he didn’t remember eating.
He looked around. Yes, he was alone. He now remembered that part clearly.
Now that the rush of terror had dissipated, the other events of three days earlier were coming back to him and fitting into place. It had begun with an urgent beeping from the engineering status board on the Maher‘s bridge.
smoke floats low
between rain clouds –
Beevey woke up. Large, dark eyes opened in a thickly furred head. Something had changed, Beevey – short for Black Velvet – knew.
The cat listened for a moment. Both the adult humans were still asleep. So he unfolded himself from the closet floor and set off into the dark to peruse the rest of the upstairs.
Beevey padded down the hall to the baby’s room. With the aid of a soft night light, he hopped up on a chest of drawers and looked down into the crib. The little girl was also asleep. Of course, had that changed, there would have been lots of noise and one of the adults would have gotten up.
low gray clouds
begin to break up
Seven-year-old Macey Yager tiptoed through the darkened house before dawn’s first light. She painstakingly unlocked and opened the kitchen door – the one farthest from her parents’ bedroom – and ever so carefully closed it again. She walked quickly and silently down the path away from the house and barnyard and toward the road.
Once there, she ran. She took nothing with her but her memories and her hope.
At the beginning of the summer, Macey’s dad, Ken, came home one day with an energetic bundle of fur, a one-year-old border collie.
“He looks like a panda,” Macey said, and Panda became the dog’s name. Ken built a doghouse and put it under a tree near the house and Macey and Panda played every day from sunup to sundown.
She gave Panda his breakfast and supper every day and sat with him while he ate. She threw a ball for him to fetch. She used him as a pillow and looked at the clouds and talked to him about everything.
Everything was fine until school started, she thought, walking around a road-kill possum.
the rain shaft