Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
After peddling the exercise bike in three bouts yesterday, and being subjected to news accounts of the pestilence in his travels, I was hard put to decide if the 1958 Book, “The Ugly American” was published 59 years too early and about the wrong foreign policy arena. However, after the talking heads got done, I was convinced it is time for “The Ugly American, II.” I have been critical of public education of late, however, the pestilence’s performance in the Middle East and Europe has convinced me that private schools do worse than the public ones when it comes to little things like manners, deportment, and just plain politeness. Private schools where were the pestilence supposedly got his formative educational training. Ranging from his not inviting his primary press spokesman to the meeting with the Pope to his elbowing a Prime Minister of a Balkan Country out of the way to get to the front row, one hardly needs to address what he said.
Yesterday after a stop at the doctor’s office for a prescription for an antibiotic we went to Vancouver to get Nancy’s glasses adjusted. On the way back, there was an accident in the southbound lane that backed traffic up for 11 miles. Driving past all those backed up vehicles, I could not help but be impressed by the number of tractors with trailers—semi-trucks. While a large number of the trucks on the interstate advertising, that drivers are wanted, I am acutely aware that in less than a decade vehicles of all sorts will be self-driven. Given the number of truck drivers now, that portends a surge of unemployment for them in the fairly near and foreseeable future.
Summer came back from its Sabbatical yesterday and the forecast is for it to stay through a week from this coming Tuesday.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, holding winning lottery ticket and ready to rock and roll.
Warmest regards, Ed
035 Crossing in Time
Fiction in 877 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Outreach Agent Johnathon Simmons held a small object between his fingers. “Here is a beacon that fits over the smallest button.” He used two hands to demonstrated how the back of the device was hinged and flayed out in a fork to slip between a button and the cloth to which it is attached.
“How will that help if the child wears bedclothing that does not have buttons?” asked Agent White.
“The device can attach to any seam using this backing,” replied Outreach Agent Simmons. “I recommend one attach it to the back of clothes up near the neck so it looks like a normal part of a garment.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked, “How do we track it.”
Outreach Agent Simmons pulled a small flat object out of his pocket and handed it to Special Agent Fleishman. “As you can see it registers as being here and now. The device is always on. I have set the present in Ms. Gunderson’s office to be the devices home for reference.
“Ms. Gunderson and I checked on the child and she was asleep at 7:45 P.M,.” said Agent White. “The child does not appear to be wearing anything with buttons. I recommend Ms. Gunderson and I attach the device at that time.”
Ms. Gunderson asked, “Won’t we show up on the camera in the child’s room?”
Outreach Agent Simmons held up his hand and said, “The second you go in I put their camera on a closed loop which replays the last two minutes before you went in. The camera becomes live then. That gives you two minutes.” He paused and the said, “Go on the count of three. One, two, three.”
Agent White and Edith Gunderson vanished.
Materializing in Becky’s bedroom,
Edith Gunderson immediately went to the door and Agent Amanda White went to Becky’s crib. Leaning over the crib, Agent White quickly attached the beacon to the toddler’s pajama top. She dad told up and silently beckoned Edith Gunderson: and, the two women vanished.
When the two woman reappeared in Edith Gunderson’s office,
Outreach Agent Simmons held up his hand with forefinger and thumb circled and said, “Thirty-one seconds. Good show.” He then looked at the beacon’s receiver and said, “My that little girl gets around.”
Wilbur Seams with Becky in his arms materialized
in her bed room and put her in her crib. Unbeknownst to him her beacon had become detached and lodged in his shirt pocket. He paused and looked around. Seeing a radio, he switched it on to get Becky’s parents attention and then vanished.
Still watching the beacon’s receiver, Outreach Agent Simmons said,
“she is still on the move.” A frown formed on his face. “Strange, but she seems to have doubled back to her room for a quick visit and then gone back to a place she spent a few minutes after a fairly long stay in one place. Most strange.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “Let’s check her room. Do you still have her camera feed?
Outreach Agent Simmons nodded and switched Edith Gunderson’s computer screen to the overhead camera in Becky’s bed room and said, “I’ll be damned. She is there with her parents.” Checking the beacon’s receiver, he said, Who has the beacon?” Turning to Agent White he asked, “Where and how did you attach it?”
Agent White said, “On the back of the collar to her pajama top.”
“Fastener in or out?” Asked Outreach Agent Simmons.
“In with the button part out,” replied Agent White.
“I would guess it snagged on the kidnapper’s clothing,” said Outreach Agent Simmons. “Since it is still moving, anyone up for nabbing a kidnapper?”
Special Agent Fleishman, Agent White, Outreach Agent Simmons, Detective Philipson, Captain Batan, and Edith Gunderson all said “Yes,”
Special Agent Fleishman turned to Outreach Agent Simmons and said, “Jonathan, please do the honors.” All six vanished from Edith Gunderson’s office.
Materializing in Momma Seams kitchen
where she was with her two sons put nine people in a kitchen with a maximum occupancy rating of seven. That proved to be most fortunate as it made it impossible for Momma Seams to lower her shot gun. Nevertheless, they were showered by plaster after she discharged the weapon straight up. Captain Batan, closest to Mrs. Seams, managed to wrest the shot gun from her before she could cock and discharge it again.
Everyone seemed to be talking at once. Their mouths were moving. But, until they regained hearing after the contained sound of the shot gun blast in the small kitchen they could not hear each other.
Wilbur and Walter Seams vanished.
As the ringing in everyone’s ears began to subside, Mrs. Seams’ calling out for her sons, “Wilbur, Walter, Wilbur, Walter, where are you?” predominated.
Outreach Agent Simmons was the first to respond. Looking at the beacon’s receiver he said, “I believe they took a runner, Mam. Would you like me to fetch one of them?”
“Wipe that smirk off your face young man and show some respect to your elders, ” Mrs. Seams growled
“As you wish,” replied Outreach Agent Simmons. Turning to his colleagues he said “The game’s afoot. Tally ho.” And the six of them vanished leaving Mrs. Seams standing alone in her kitchen wondering what had just happened.