The detectives milled around the ‘head’, trying to determine just what kind of break in the case this was. No one had believed aliens were robbing banks in the quad state area. But so far all the video tape reviews reflected a flawless execution of robberies with a crew dressed as aliens. From head to toe every detail was covered.
“Someone spent a fair amount of cash to make all this happen. How much do you think they would have to steal to break even?” one detective asked his friends.
“A considerable amount. It kind of makes you wonder what is the point?”
“The amount they have taken has increased each time. The alien factor has made the bank folks kind of skittish. They put up no opposition when it happens.”
“They are a bunch of weirdos. My buddy Todd sais they all want the aliens to visit their bank. Says its a kind of game to them,” an older detective shared.
“What are you saying man? They are in cahoots with the aliens?”
“Aliens? Don’t tell me you are a believer. Look at this thing.”
Pope stood with his arms crossed huffing and puffing. He would rather huff and puff on the cigarettes stuffed in his pocket, but that wasn’t allowed here. No what was allowed was for everyone to crowd around the one pay phone in all of the Manning Airport to charge their cellular phones. Pope hated the annoying little devices. He lived firmly on the grid and cursed those who didn’t.
He imagined a spider looking exactly like the tangle of charger cords from all the outlets nearby. How could he get to this phone to make his call?
No one believed Brendan could cross the lake alone.
Everyone declared he was at the least foolish and surely insane to take his boat a cross the big lake alone. But Brendan believed in himself. So much did he believe that he made a wager with his friends that he could cross the lake faster than anyone before. Sure Brendan could have cheated in his quest, but there was this code of honor that everyone confidently believed would be his doom. No, Brendan would do it the hard way even at his own peril.
The time came for his great adventure and Brendan made every effort to assure his body was ready. The weather was perfect, the water as calm as could be expected and he set off. Chopping into the water made Brendan feel so alive he found extra strength in his work. His friends watched from afar with binoculars as he made his way wave by wave toward them.
The best project managers know how to pick their award winning teams. Such was the reputation of Harry Warner. But when it came to finding the best engineer for his masterpiece project Harry only wanted one: Special Al. Special Al was formally known as Aloysious Fremin Cuyahoga.
But as Harry reflected on all the choices he made that particular one may have been his doom. Right now his million dollar sea craft was not sliding through the water. No it was still on its way into the sky. Because Special Al had live up to his reputation of once in a while missing the mark by just a fraction. Physics sometimes threw Special Al a big curve.
“I told my mother she ruined me with that online school Al said as he watched the ground below still growing smaller,” Al protested.
“I think it was all the ship launch fail videos you watched,” Hamilton the project financier chimed in. “You were sure that would happen to us.”
“What I wanted, intended really was something that would guarantee a smooth launch,” Special Al replied.
“If we survive the fall,” Harry said, “It will be the launch to remember!”
“There is scientific proof,” Alex declared, poking his bony finger in his old friend’s chest. It was an exchange that repeated itself so many times over their eighty year friendship that no one even reacted any more.
“My old friend, you are slipping,” Burt exclaimed, lifting his hands in the air to accentuate his feelings of despair at how errant his friends opinion could be. He studied the opening again, nodding knowingly about how this particular natural phenomenon had come to be. “There is no way a meteor could have done that. The damage would have been much more substantial!”
“Don’t you know meteors are whittled away by our atmosphere,” Alex protested. “It’s in there, I promise you!”
Burt knew the only way to satisfy his friend was to join him in an impromptu expedition into the opening. It took some time for the two octogenarians to accomplish the task of reaching the opening, but alas they stood in the mouth, staring at something incredible.
“That’s the smallest I have ever seen!” Alex declared triumphantly.
Sally never expected to be here. She even took steps to correct her errant ways, joining a group formed to assist those with impulse problems.
Yet, here she was with her hands on the opening of a small aircraft tasked with delivering her to the ‘jump off’ point of her first skydiving attempt. While staring at the checkerboard of specks below she thought about the disapproving visage of Mr. Elliot, the group leader.
Her face screwed into a look of terror when she remembered the ‘drop in’ picnic for her group in the park below. There was no escape!
Harmon was the best landscape professional in Calaveras County. Truly the best in the whole state if people were honest. This truth was not lost on Alec. But Alec and Harmon had been rivals since first grade. Harmon succeeded in spite of the ‘condition’ most people allowed to separate him from the normal societal circles.
When the fellow labeled as obsessive-compulsive was chosen to design and install the twenty-eight steps into the hillside leading to the old cemetery the haters said he would never finish. At the front of that chorus was Alec, who wanted him to fail miserably.
Harmon did not realize it, but as he began work on the stones he needed, Alec would slip in at night and swap his prefect sized stones with some just off enough to delay Harmon. But Harmon had a secret weapon in Penelope, his therapist and new love interest who saw what Alec was doing. She convinced Harmon to use the ground to hide the imperfections.
Alec stood amazed in front of the immaculate steps, shaking his head in dismay.