This is the first part of a two part story. I haven't edited it or anything. I'm just asking for some feedback, even if you hate it lemme know.
this takes place in October, 1953.
Roger Cluck lay in bed, letting the cool breeze from his open window blow lightly across his torso. He was beginning to doze off into sleep, thinking of how his family had just begun to settle here in Window Rock when the offer to be the news editor at one of the larger papers in Phoenix arrived. Wondering what he was going to do. Alan was just turning five, he didn’t need to be moving so much at such a young age. And Gretchen loved camping near Window Rock National Monument, and had even made a few friends in town. He didn’t want to move either, but he’d make a lot more money in Phoenix. He wondered if he could somehow commute. He lay contemplating, dozing, and sleep had just about come when his phone rang. It was Larry Dogwood, one of the ranchers who lived east of town.
“Roger,” Larry began, he sounded startled, “this is Larry Dogwood, listen, I’m sorry to wake you, but, ah, I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I think a meteor or something just landed in my back pasture.”
“Are you sure?” yawned Roger.
“I’m serious as a heart attack. I really think you oughtta come out here and look at this thing...”
Roger sighed and massaged the back of his neck.
Larry sounded a bit more agitated. “Now, Roger, I don’t want to be a bother, but this thing, it’s, it’s scaring my cattle.”
“I’ll be there first thing in the morning, Larry, okay? I don’t think it’s going anywhere.” Larry and his neighbor, Bruce Carter, had made a bet a few weeks earlier on who could get their name in the paper the most. Bruce was one up already, having won first prize at the county fair livestock show. But calling after ten about a chunk of rock, that was hardly like Larry at all. He wondered about it for a moment until sleep finally overtook him.
The next day Roger drove his Chrysler up to Larry’s ranch to find that several Army trucks had beaten him there. Larry came out to greet him. He was a short Navajo, who wore his hair in two long braids, one of which he was tugging on rather furiously. “They got here a few minutes ago,” he said, “they’ve already started cordoning everything off.” There were several soldiers running this way and that, taking things off the trucks and putting outhers back on again, and heading back out to Larry’s pasture.
“Well, let’s see what this is all about, shall we?” Roger said, heading in the same general direction of the soldiers, many more of whom were arriving as he and Larry headed to the crash site.
Something large had hit, there was a tremendous gash in the earth where it had dropped and skidded to a stop. Bits and pieces of twisted silver material was scattered everywhere. Groups of soldiers in twos and threes were picking the pieces up and putting them into large plastic bags, while others took notes. The smell of burnt metal stung Roger’s nose. He could hear something, a high, grating wailing sound. It sounded like something was in pain. There was a commotion near what looked to be the main part of the wreckage, and one soldier turned away to vomit. An officer close to the wreck waved a soldier off, Roger heard him say “hold it still” before he turned to see the tall blond man and the Indian approaching. “there’s nothing to see here,” he said. He didn’t look pleased that they made it that far unnoticed. Roger figured that whatever was in that piece of wreckage might have a lot to do with that. Two soldiers came to restrain them, Roger struggled, tripping on his own feet and falling hard on his rear. He spotted something, roughly the size of a pocket calculator, laying next to him. He discreetly picked it up and put it in his pocket, dusting himself off as he got up. the soldiers escorted he and Larry all the way back to his car, all but shoving them both inside. Roger got the hint and told Larry they would be going back to his house. On the way, they passed more trucks. Larry stared out the window. “You have any idea what that was?” he asked.
Roger shook his head, “Don’t know. Guess it’s some kind of plane crash, that’d explain the Army being involved.”
“That didn’t sound like no human in there, Roger. You think it was one of those flying saucers?”
“I don’t believe in that sort of thing.” Roger chuckled. “Why would little green men want to come here anyway? Well, I got a piece of it.”
Roger took out the chunk of wreckage. It was a silver oblong, heavy for its size, with a row of purplish bumps along one side. He turned it over, there was nothing but a charred spot on the back, no way to tell whether it was attached to anything or not. “What does that look like to you?” he asked. Larry took it and held it up to look at more closely. “Looks like a radio to me.” Larry passed it back. “Aren’t they gonna know a part’s missing?”
“Lots of broken parts lying around that field. The important stuff’s probably still inside the main part of the wreck anyway. I doubt they’ll miss that little thing.”
They rode on in silence until the Chrysler pulled into Roger’s driveway. Gretchen had made lunch already. Roger told her about what happened at Larry’s ranch, Larry filling in the details about what happened before Roger got there. The officer from the wreck told him that they’d been tracking the craft on radar all night, but wouldn’t say anything else. They’d pretty much taken over. Larry wondered whether he would be allowed to go back home. He called to see if his wife was still there, another Army officer answered, said Larry’s family had been taken to a “safe location.”
Later that day a car pulled into Roger’s driveway carrying two more Army officers. They introduced themselves as Lieutenants Lennox and O’Brien. The didn’t wait to be invited in. O’Brien took a seat on the sofa while Lennox began going through Roger’s cabinets. O’Brien began, “Mr. Cluck, Mr. Dogwood, what you saw this morning was a crashed experimental aircraft. The pilot was badly injured.”
Roger gestured towards Lennox, “Why are you going through my cabinets?”
“It’s a matter of national security that you don’t mention what you saw to anyone.”
Gretchen ran into the kitchen, yelling “hey!” as Lennox began throwing plates onto the floor. O’Brien went on. “Did you remove anything from the crash site Mr. Cluck?” Alan wandered in from his room, looking a little afraid, Gretchen picked him up and carried him with her.
Roger looked at Larry, Larry shook his head. “No, Lieutenant, we did not.” He was getting very angry. Alan started to cry. “You’re scaring my kid, sir.”
“It’s a matter of national security that you tell the truth, Mr. Cluck.” O’Brien said sternly.
“I didn’t take anything,” Roger bit back. Lennox continued going through the kitchen drawers anyway. O’Brien got up and handed Roger a business card. “If you think you may have found anything, it’s a matter of national security that you get in touch with me.” Lennox gave the house another glance, and with that they left.
“Bastards,” Gretchen growled as the car turned down the street. Larry got up to help clear up the broken dishes.
“I think they missed it.” Larry said, as Roger got a dustpan. “What is that thing, do you think?”
“I don’t know, Larry. But I think I’m gonna find out.”
Later that night, Roger sat up with the object on the kitchen table. He stared at it, trying to figure out what it could be. He’d gotten some batteries and wires, touched them to various places on the thing, with no results, other than a couple minor shocks. He turned it over in his hands, listening to Larry snore on the couch. Gretchen stepped groggily into the kitchen, “It’s the same as it was when you found it, hon, come on back to bed.” as she sat down next to him at the table. He traced the knobs with his fingers, and a ripple went through the room. He felt Gretchen sitting down next to him, saying “It’s the same as it was when you found it, hon, come on back to bed.” He started, nearly falling out of his seat.
“Didn’t you just say that?” he asked.
“Say what dear?” Gretchen’s eyes were half closed. “I’m gonna go make some coffee.”
“You just said the same thing twice,” Roger stood up, knocking over his chair.
“About making coffee?”
“No, before that.” Roger’s mind was having trouble comprehending what had just happened.
“You need to go back to bed.” Gretchen said, putting cupfuls of coffee into the filter.
Roger looked at the device again, he was beginning to have an idea of what this thing could do.
Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.
Posted 15 November 2003 - 03:03 AM
OK, I will try again. This will be the second time I’ve tried to reply to your thread, lol, but the kids in my apartment building keep flicking the switches in the underground car park, to turn all the power in the apartments off. You wait till I get my hands on the little…
Anyway, back to business…
Mr. Snuffypuffer, firstly, Stephen King once said (paraphrasing) “You have either got the gift or you don’t, you can’t just become a writer, you are a writer!” Or something along those lines. And Mr. Snuffy - you my friend - are a writer! I enjoyed you work that you posted, it flows easily and is the kind of work that a person would sit down and read in one sitting… myself including. I would defiantly read more if it was posted, and I think you should seriously think about spending more time writing, and getting a complete manuscript together, and getting it out to the publishers!
may the horse of Caligula drop one in your senate building.
Posted 15 November 2003 - 09:03 AM
I really think you are an awesome writer. Infact, I am jealous. I have been writing for a long time but I cant seem to get the flow that you have. I tend to get stuck in dialogue. Anyway, feedback. Roger: Im having trouble picturing him as you didnt really describe his appearance. I know the point of the tale is not roger's appearance, but you said you wanted feedback, so there ya go.
aside from my 2 cents, great work snuff!! and I am really looking forward to part 2.