Good Morning Ted and Jody:
With over 6700 miles on the Ridgeline and still 30% oil life left, I got to thinking I used to rotate tires every 3,000 miles (at every oil change). So, I went to Les Schwab when they opened and got the tires rotated. They have hot coffee and hot popcorn at Les Schwab and they don’t charge to rotate new car tires or tires purchased from them. They even have multiple copies of the local paper at tables in their waiting room—can’t beat the service for the price. My brother-in-law introduced me to Les Schwab over 35 years ago. So, whenever I drove out here, I would use them. Then when I moved here, they got all of my tire business. But then I’ve gotten a lot of hot popcorn from them in return. If I was a coffee drinker, I’d be making out like a bandit. As it is I try to show some restraint with the popcorn and leave some for other customers.
Nancy had a class yesterday. She was learning to use her fabric cutting machine. From what I can tell, it is quite an operation. She has to spray the material with a heavy starch like stuff, partially dry the sprayed material, iron it and then weigh it down so it doesn’t curl too badly. Then she takes the stack of stiff material in to cut it by machine. About half way thought the day she called to have me come in and meet her for lunch. Swell, I got to thinking about the sewing process, the cutting is now done by machine, the sewing is now done by machine. The only part of the whole process that isn’t done by machine is lunch with me. (I suspect I am replaceable by a lunch eating machine any day now).
The lake was a bust for sunrise. However, when it came time to get on I-5, there was a photo opportunity. You know me, I took it and now have to inflict it on you.
I did start another Sci-Fi novella yesterday between contemplating my future when replaced by a lunch eating machine. Needless to say, the first episode is below—there is no escaping it. I thought I would write about something more conventional than reverse-plagiarism and little girls popping out of thin air and focus on the ever-popular crime of murder this time. Alas, I do not have a working title for this novella either.
I trust this finds you warm, healthy, happy and not too bored with murder he wrote.
Warmest regards, Ed
001 Where did she come from?
Fiction in 781 words by T. Edward Westen
“Man, you can take that 15-minutes of fame stuff and shove it,” said Andy Kellog to his passenger.
His passenger, a man, appearing to be in his late forties, dressed in the standard, conservative business attire of the day, looked up from his newspaper in the back seat. He caught Andy’s eye in the rearview mirror, and asked, “Yah, why is that?”
Andy was not used to passengers interrupting his monolog; for a moment, he was not able to reply. Since the man asked him a direct question, Andy had to formulate an answer rather than just rattle on. Andy’s rattling on was how Andy negotiated a day carrying people six blocks to there and eight to here and maybe a few miles to the airport. No one ever wanted to talk; they were always too engrossed in where they had just been or where they were going. A passenger asking him a simple question was not part of Andy’s typical day. The man kept watching in the rearview mirror, waiting for an answer. Finally, Andy told him. “I was famous once for several days. The Enquirer printed that aliens abducted me. I wasn’t you know, it was a time traveler that done it. He did ask first. How do you know where you are going to go when a time traveler comes up to you and says, ‘Andy could you come to the future with me and testify in a tribal thing?’ Sure, I said. Who knew the guy wasn’t nuts? So, I got taken there, I testified, and then he put me back right where he found me. I say put me back, as that is the only way to describe it. One second I was sitting in my cab over on Mulberry the next I was sitting in a room with lots of people, and they asked me questions about one of my passengers from several weeks earlier. She was a nice woman with a little girl. She needed an RV and had only a learner’s permit. So, I helped her learn to drive, buy the RV and we had a nice breakfast at Mick’s place. You know they serve seven different kinds of pancakes at Mick’s? Well then, the next second I was sitting back in my cab on Mulberry Street. No one noticed I was gone and back. No one and Mulberry Street is busy that time of day. But people chased me around to get my story. Well, I can . . .”
The passenger loudly cleared his throat and interrupted to ask another question. “How did anyone know if no one saw you leave and come back? If no one noticed, that is.”
Andy looked into his rear-view mirror and thought ‘Why is that man flickering? No can’t be flickering. I have to have my eyes checked.’ Then out loud, “What to hell. Where did she come from?” As a nude woman with gaping wounds in her head popped into the passenger side of his front seat, wedged between the door and the meter.
Andy pulled his cab over to the curb, picked up the mic for his two-way and said, “Angel, this is Andy. I’m at,” looking around, “Phil’s Bakery on 38th. I have a passenger, and a dead lady just showed up in my cab. Send the cops.”
“Andy, you off the wagon or got aliens?” said Angle’s voice on the cab’s speaker.
“I haven’t got time for drinking,” replied Andy. Besides my wife would beat knots in my head if I fell off the wagon after 36 years Besides, they were time travelers, not aliens, how many times I got to tell you?”
“sure Andy, sure.” Replied Angles voice over the radio.
“You called the cops yet.” Demanded Andy.
“They are sending a car, an ambulance and a crime scene unit. Be there in a minute or two,” Angle replied.
As Angle was talking Andy could see the flashing lights converging on him from front and back. He picked up the mic, “They are here. I will be here for some time I suspect.” He turned to his passenger. “I appreciate your sticking around, man, I really do, most folks would run like the dickens if a dead body just popped into the cab with them.”
“Frank, I’m Frank Millard,” said the man. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world. If you thought you were famous before, it is going to be double that now. You see, I work for the Enquirer. And, you are, Andy Kellog. Kellog, with one g, of alien abduction fame,” he added smiling, as he took out a device and started making notes.