Look What I’ve Done to THE TERMINATOR’s Most Famous Line!

From The Inseminator: A Parody chapter 7—

Gloria spoke like a queen [to the Inseminator]: “This is private property. You are not allowed in here. Now leave.”

[snip—Gloria figured that the man would leave.] Gloria went back to working on her crossword puzzle.

“[Sarah Connor] ist hier,” the man said. “I demand to see her.”

Gloria did not reply, or look at the man, but she casually pulled out her can of pepper spray and laid it on the desk.

The man said, “I will return, and you will be punished when I return. I will punish you creatively, and you will weep whenever you remember—”

Gloria did not look up from her crossword puzzle. “Yeah, fine, I get the message: You’ll be back.”

Australia Is Buying My Book with an Aussie Character!

HYPNO-TALKERS OF ZLAR FOUR-IN-ONE Cover

Right now, the ebook The Hypno-Talkers of Zlar FOUR-IN-ONE is number 9,736 in the Australia Kindle Store. Yay!

I’ve written four stories in the “Hypno-Talker of Zlar” series, in which aliens from Zlar kidnap Earth women onto small spaceships, take the women to the Zlarian mothership, and turn the women into surrogate mothers for Zlarian alien babies. How the Zlarians get Earth women to board the small spaceships: by hand-held devices, hypno-talkers, that each look like a computer tablet but with two push-buttons and a speaker grille. The Zlarians hypnotize the women to board the little spaceships; when the women awaken from their trance; it is *ominous music* too late.

I am a writer of softcore-porn mind-control stories, so I was mainly interested in what happened when the alien hypno-talkers fell into the wrong hands. (Meaning, ordinary American men looking for sex.) But I was also exploring the idea of “Why would aliens kidnap Earth women? And what would it take to get the aliens to stop?” So from time to time in the four stories, I returned to what was going on with the Zlarians and the Earth-women kidnappees.

In Book 3 (Revenge at College), one of the little spaceships lands in Wheat City, Kansas—but instead of this spaceship kidnapping more Earth women, nineteen previously-kidnapped women walk down the ramp. These women come from every part of Earth—France, Africa, and Argentina, to name just three. Fortunately for the kidnappees, one of their group is a native English speaker who can talk to the American characters.

But she is not American herself. No, she is Sheila Blackburn of Brisbane, Queensland, in Australia. She soon becomes a major headache for the U.S. Army, after the Army re-kidnaps the just-released women.

****

I wanted a returned-kidnappee character to be a native English speaker but not be American. My first impulse was to make her English. But then I thought about how the Zlarians would wind up with their English-speaking kidnappee. The Zlarians care nothing about Earth’s national boundaries, politics, or history. I’m sorry, UK readers, but the British Isles are tiny, compared to the rest of the world; so to the Zlarians, hitting the UK would be near the bottom of their list. Much higher on their list would be hitting Earth’s major continents. Which means that my not-American, English-speaking woman would have to be either Canadian or Australian.

Now, having pissed off the United Kingdom, let me piss off Canada. Even though the USA and Canada are geographic neighbors and I’m American, I have never been to Canada.

I have, however, visited Australia.

I went on a month’s vacation/holiday to Australia when I was twenty-four. (When was I twenty-four? Sometime between last year and 1770, which was when Captain James Cook claimed Australia for the British Crown.)

I visited Perth and Sydney, with a side trip to Canberra (Australia’s national capital). I traveled from Perth to Sydney by airplane; I regret not having made that trip by train. I found the Australians to be friendly, and I enjoyed their company (despite their puzzling fondness for Vegemite spread). I bought a book on Australia history—which for an American, is fascinating reading at times. (For instance, in 1865 a bunch of disgruntled Confederates emigrated from North America to Australia.)

In Sydney, I lived on meat pies. (For Americans, a meat pie is like a pot pie but with a thicker bottom crust, so that it can stand on its own when it’s out of its pie pan.)

Anyway, all this personal history of mine is how I came up with the character of Sheila Blackburn from Brisbane, Australia, who was kidnapped and in vitro fertilized by aliens, but who now finds herself in Kansas, USA.

(And yes, Australia, I’m very aware that sheila is Australian slang for a desirable woman.)

****

Here is the sales blurb and sales links.

Aliens from Zlar need Earth women to make Zlarian babies. How do the aliens lure the women onto the spaceship? With hypnotic alien technology.

What happens when this hypnotic technology falls into the wrong hands?

What will the U.S. government do when its conspiracy to hush up the alien raids is threatened?

Who will become unlikely heroes? Who winds up getting the girl(s)?

This book holds four stories—

The Hypno-Talker of Zlar—Kevin, an old man, can’t stop his women neighbors from walking onto a spaceship. Then the U.S. Army shows up, and things get worse instead of better.

Hypno-Talker’s First Download—Kevin has put complete plans for building a hypno-talker on the internet, but Netizens think the thing’s a scam. One desperate man downloads those plans, builds a hypno-talker, and tries it out. This is his story.

Revenge at College—A sorority girl publicly humiliates a nerd. But Jerry finds a way to get even.

Nerd Saves Women—Nerd Egbert decides to rescue nineteen women and a sick alien who are being held prisoner by the U.S. Army, merely for walking off of a spaceship. Egbert’s goal seems impossible—for one thing, his only weapon is a wooden sword.

This is the compilation of all four “Hypno-Talkers of Zlar” stories. This book is 88,600 words.

Fiction > Erotica
Fiction > Humorous
Fiction > Science Fiction > Space Opera
Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Fiction > War & Military
Fiction > Thrillers > Technological
Humor > Form > Parodies

Fair-Dinkum Aussie Sales Links for The Hypno-Talkers of Zlar FOUR-IN-ONE
Kindle AU
Smashwords Store—your choice of formats

A Teaser for THE INSEMINATOR: Aqua Net Hairspray

Here’s a riddle for you: I just spent fifteen minutes researching Aqua Net (the hairspray), which is manufactured by Lornamead Brands, Inc. (Lornamead Brands, I have just learned, bought Aqua Net from Unilever in 2006.) How do you think Aqua Net will figure into my Terminator parody?

HINT: I have a weird sense of humor.

WISHES, GENIES, SEX, AND DEATH Is Now for Sale!

WISHES, GENIES, SEX, AND DEATH Cover
Eighteen-year-old Marvin Harper is a good guy: He tutors Anna Kay in trig for free. Admittedly, part of the reason Marvin does this is that Anna Kay Henderson is a big-breasted cheerleader, and Marvin has a crush on her. Marvin is five-foot-two, a bullied nonentity at his high school, and tutoring Anna Kay is the closest that Marvin figures he will ever come to rescuing a damsel in distress.

Then Marvin’s dislikable but oh-so-rich great-uncle dies, and Marvin inherits a brass oil lamp. Marvin is sure that the lamp is an old, cheap fake. He polishes the lamp with brass polish, planning to sell the lamp on eBay.

Surprise, surprise—out smokes green-dressed genie Fatima.

Thus begins the 58-year friendship between Marvin and Fatima. They are always genie-master and genie, yes; but they also become friends and lovers. Marvin treats Fatima with kindness however he can. Likewise, Fatima almost always agrees to Marvin’s magical requests.

Fatima trusts, respects, and admires Marvin—this leads Fatima to give Marvin more than he asks for when he makes his wishes. From Fatima’s wish-grants, Marvin becomes six-foot-eight, the strongest man in the world, one of the richest men in the world, and an alpha male whom men defer to and women desire.

Marvin has not changed inside; he still wants to help people in trouble. Well, now he can. Less than a week after Marvin makes his wishes, he becomes famous as “the hero billionaire” when he rescues two children from a burning house.

Of course, helping people in trouble sometimes means thwarting the schemes of bad guys. In a world where seven genies are real, djinn are real, and demons are real, Marvin discovers that there are all sorts of bad guys—and not all of them can be stopped by a sock to the jaw. Even with all Marvin’s muscles and all his wealth, and even with Fatima by his side, sometimes Marvin must be brave and clever if he hopes to win the day.

Included in this compilation are three previously published novellas/novels, and a bonus short story—

Three More Wishes: Be Kind to Your Genie: an evil genie-master decides she wants more than just her own brass bottle and her own genie. She plans to steal Marvin’s brass lamp, and Fatima with it.

• “Kristin Tells (Mostly) All”: A kidnapper is holding Marvin’s ex-lover Kristin Curry, threatening to kill her if Marvin does not pay a five-million-dollar ransom. Marvin believes that the kidnapper will kill Kristin whether Marvin pays up or not. Kristin believes Fatima is only Marvin’s housekeeper; this limits Marvin’s options.

One More Genie: A Mafia hitman finds a genie lamp. The hitman is evil, and his genie (Kharmesh of the Blue Tribe of Djinn) is Fatima’s sworn enemy. Meanwhile Hakeezib, Chief of the Blue Tribe of Djinn, is working his own evil plan, which will surely kill Marvin.

More Genie Problems: Can the Hero Billionaire Hold off Judgment Day?: The good news is that Marvin becomes Master of two more genies. The bad news is that even three genies working together are not powerful enough to block a demoness’s plot to cause the Apocalypse.

Here’s what you get in this book—
• 4 complete stories
• 8 interior illustrations
• 121 chapters
• 264 thousand words

Fiction > Action & Adventure
Fiction > Fantasy > Contemporary
Fiction > Fantasy > Action & Adventure
Fiction > Romance > Fantasy
Fiction > Thrillers > Crime
Fiction > Coming Of Age
Fiction > Crime
Religion > General

Tags: magic, genie, wishes, romance, action, apocalypse, Judgment Day, male dominant, male-female, sexy, demon pact, mind control, alpha male, billionaire, damsel in distress, female submissive, harem, threesome, oral sex, male virgin, lesbian to bi, lesbian submissive, Mafia, crime, kidnapping, demons and Hell, forced feminization, virtue rewarded

Buy Wishes, Genies, Sex, and Death NOW! You know you want to!

THREE MORE WISHES—First Three Chapters FREE
First nine chapters of ONE MORE GENIE—FREE!
MORE GENIE PROBLEMS—first six chapters are FREE!
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My Marvin & Fatima Ebook Is Almost Here, and It’s Huge!

WISHES, GENIES, SEX, AND DEATH cover
I’m just one or two days away from uploading Wishes, Genies, Sex, and Death, my compilation of my three “Marvin and Fatima” stories.[*]

I’ve completed the bonus story for the compilation, “Kristin Tells (Mostly) All.” The new story clocks in at fourteen thousand words and nine chapters. The story: Kristin, a young woman formerly in billionaire Marvin’s harem, is interviewed on television; two weeks later, she is kidnapped and held for a five-million-dollar ransom. What does she think about what she sees and hears, when she has no clue that Marvin is a genie-master?

Anyway, back to the compilation. Even I was surprised at how big it’s going to be—

• 4 complete stories
• 8 interior illustrations
• 121 chapters total
• 264 thousand words total

The price for all this will be only one dollar more than Three More Wishes alone.

———-

* To remind you, the three already-published “Marvin and Fatima” stories are—

Three More Wishes: Be Kind to Your Genie
One More Genie
More Genie Problems: Can the Hero Billionaire Hold off Judgment Day?

MARVIN AND FATIMA THREE-IN-ONE: More News

MARVIN AND FATIMA 3IN1 Cover

To remind you, soon I will be coming out with a compilation ebook that will have three genie-related, previously-published novel(la)s in it—

Three More Wishes: Be Kind to Your Genie
One More Genie
More Genie Problems: Can the Hero Billionaire Hold off Judgment Day?

The compilation will also contain a brand-new short story that is set in the MOREverse, “Kristin Tells (Mostly) All.” This blog post is to give you more news about this new story.

Kristin Curry is a former member of Marvin Harper’s harem who now is attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. One day in the Campus Center (a.k.a. student union), Kristin is accidentally outed as a former haremée of “the hero billionaire.” Within a few days, Kristin is interviewed by the college newspaper and she sits down to a national television interview; she also has landed a book deal.

Two weeks after her television interview, Kristin is kidnapped. The kidnapper demands five million dollars from Marvin Harper; else he will kill Kristin. Kristin has good reason to believe that the kidnapper’s threat is real.

If you’ve read the three main stories in the series, you have a good idea how things will play out. (SPOILER ALERT: Good triumphs over Evil.) The fun for me is figuring out how Kristin would interpret what she sees and hears, when she has no clue that her former high-school classmate is a genie-master or that Marvin’s housekeeper Fatima is a genie.

Thank god that Al Gore invented the internet! Fictional Kristin lives at Smith College and attends Smith College, so in the winning-the-lottery unlikely chance that any real-life Smithies read my story, I have to get my facts right. Fortunately, between Google and YouTube, such research is not an impossible task, though I’ve never set foot in the state of Massachusetts.

But folks, appreciate the irony. If you’ve read my books, you know what my opinions about feminism are; and yet I’m trying to accurately portray an elite women’s college, from which Gloria Steinem graduated in 1956.

Why I Wrote THE MIND-POWER AVENGER

THE MIND-POWER AVENGER Cover

Introduction
Sometime when I was a preteen, I watched an old movie (1950s) on TV. The villain, a mad scientist, had a young woman who was a hot babe (by 1950s standards) standing nearby. She was blank-faced and obviously hypnotized. “Kill [the hero],” the mad scientist ordered his hypnotized slave. She walked away; the next scene showed her attacking the hero, trying to kill him. Of course she failed spectacularly.

Even though I was not interested in girls (yet) when I watched that movie, I knew that eventually I would be interested; and I knew that normally, adult men (of which the mad scientist was one) were very interested in beautiful women. After I watched the scene I’ve just described, I wondered why the mad scientist used the hypnotized beauty as a soldier (a job which she was clearly unsuited for), rather than use the entranced beauty for … whatever men did with beautiful women. (At age ten, I was clueless about sex.)

Roughly ten years later, when I recalled that scene, I realized that the mad scientist had been indeed using the hypnotized beauty for sex—but the prim 1950s movie had not shown those times.

This scene with the mad scientist and his sex slave, in some forgotten 1950s low-budget movie, was my introduction to erotic mind control. I have been interested in the topic ever since.

Sometime between 2000 and 2009, I discovered http://www.MCStories.com, a website where people posted mind-control (MC) porn stories. After reading enough stories, I discovered that in some of them, the mind-controller was out-and-out evil; he would destroy someone’s life on a flimsy pretext or for no reason at all. (For instance, turning a momentarily impatient Starbucks barista into a one-dollar streetwalker.) Anyway, I decided that I did not like mind-control stories where the mind-controller was sociopathic. In the other direction, I read stories where the mind-controller was a truly nice guy—when he wasn’t boinking a babe, he was trying to make life good for her. “Nice-guy mind controllers” realized that because they could control a woman’s mind, they now had responsibility for her life; and nice-guy mind-controllers took their responsibilities seriously.

So needless to say, when I wrote my first two stories for MCStories, “Names Have Power” and “Three More Wishes,” those stories featured nice-guy mind controllers.

Once I started writing stories for publication, I mostly continued to write nice-guy mind controllers. Only James Upton (The Bimborg) and John Fairchild (Ye Olde Book of Magic) have an attitude of I’m going to use my mind-control powers to get sex with a hottie, and I don’t care about the woman at all. Some of the heroes of my stories are motivated by a need for vengeance against a woman who “done him wrong.” Kevin MacDonald (The Hypno-Talker of Zlar), Odysseus Popeil (Hypno-Talker’s First Download) and Jerry Green (Revenge at College) are this way—they don’t always act like choirboys, but the reader understands why, and the reader understands that this is not how these characters normally behave.

But these characters are truly nice toward the women they’ve mind-controlled—

• Tim Hanson (Names Have Power)
• Marvin Harper (Three More Wishes/One More Genie/More Genie Problems/Marvin and Fatima THREE-IN-ONE)
• Charlie-Bob Owens (The Bimborg)
• Egbert Whitehall (Nerd Saves Women)
• Jimmy Bailey (Bimbo-Midas)
• Charlie Moore (Ring of the Wizard Vampire)
• John Bradford (The Mind-Power Avenger)

Some years back, I had an idea
The idea was this: When a nice-guy mind-controller is not schtupping hot babes, how else is he using his mind-control powers? He is righting wrongs that only he can make right again.

We all know that there are bad guys who do evil things but don’t need to worry about consequences. If they’re crooked cops, other cops will lie for them. Crooked lawyers can pretty much use the court system as their personal playground. (Google “Prenda Law”; what Steele and Hansmeier did was outrageous—yet nothing has happened to them.) Rich guys can hire lobbyists to bamboozle legislators into passing weaker laws; rich guys can bribe legislators directly; and if government investigators do come, rich guys can hire lawyers to create legal smokescreens.

So what I’ve done was to invent a hero who can bring belated justice to those kinds of bad guys. Unlike Batman, John Bradford doesn’t punch out the bad guys; unlike the Punisher, Bradford doesn’t shoot the bad guys. If the bad guys subject John to a metal detector or a patdown, they discover he’s carrying no weapons. So the bad guys think John Bradford is harmless and they underestimate them. BIG mistake—because John Bradford is a mind-controller, and a powerful one.

In this and future books, John Bradford will be able to find out who the bad guys are (no matter how much they try to hide their true identities), John will be able to get to the bad guys (no matter what kind of gatekeepers and bodyguards they have), then John will deal out justice.

I’m looking forward to writing those stories, for the same reason I enjoyed watching episodes of “Tales from the Crypt.” That reason is: John will bring justice to bad guys. Justice, at its most basic, means “Nobody can shit on someone else and get away with it.”

 

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THE MIND-POWER AVENGER: Now for Sale

THE MIND-POWER AVENGER Cover

Ploryunv, an alien, is stranded on Earth, and eighteen-year-old John Bradford helps Ploryunv fix his spaceship. In the process, Ploryunv uses an alien device on John—the result is that John now uses all of his brain. John, besides becoming smarter, now can read minds, take control of another person’s body, and plant suggestions in someone’s mind that she thinks are her own idea.

With his new mental abilities, it would be easy for John to score sex with hot babes. BUT—

The same day that John gets his new mental powers, John’s parents are murdered by mobsters. John decides to use his new powers to hunt down the scumbags and to take deadly revenge on them.

Sex with hot babes will have to wait for later.

This is the first story in the THE MIND-POWER AVENGER series. Think what The Shadow would be like if he weren’t so prissy about using his “power to cloud men’s minds”; or imagine The Punisher with mind-control powers. John will rid the world of evildoers who, because of money or lawyers or a gold badge or hired muscle, think themselves safe from justice.

Fiction > Action & Adventure
Fiction > Mystery & Detective > Amateur Sleuth
Fiction > Science Fiction > Alien Contact
Fiction > Thrillers > Crime
Fiction > Coming Of Age
Fiction > Crime

Tags: action, alien, alien contact, coming of age, crime, female virgin, male dominant, male-female, mind control, murder, oral sex, revenge, virtue rewarded

The novella is 25,900 words.

 

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THE MIND-POWER AVENGER: First Three Chapters

THE MIND-POWER AVENGER cover

Chapter 1
On the Run

Early Saturday morning
Sometime between bedtime and dawn
A house in suburban West Burlington, Iowa

My shoulder was being shaken. “John, wake up,” Dad said.

It was an ordinary night, leading into an ordinary day. In my dark bedroom, the clock said the time was—

“Lemme sleep,” I mumbled, as I tried to turn over.

Dad slipped into his “controlled” voice—

“John. You’re eighteen. I need you to act eighteen. I need you awake and helping us.”

By us, Dad meant Mom and me. I was the only child of Josh and Jen Bradford.

Usually Dad slipped into his “controlled” voice when he was angry but would not let himself show it—when he was talking to a difficult customer at Bradford’s Furniture Paradise. But Dad had also spoken in “controlled voice” whenever weather in Iowa had acted especially crazy.

Dad is scared of something, I thought. I completely woke up in an instant.

Seconds later, I was on my feet and pulling on my clothes. Dad said, “As soon as you can, back your car up to the garage and pop the trunk.” Dad rushed from the room.

****

Minutes later

I walked down to the dark curb and started my car. Motion caught my eye: Two dark shapes moved across my rear-view mirror.

The garage door was open, and all the lights were on. Mom’s and Dad’s Ford Expedition SUV was turned around, facing the street, and was parked on the driveway almost to the grass. The back of the SUV was open, granting access from the garage.

I backed up my old Impala next to the SUV and popped the Impala’s trunk. Dad immediately yanked the trunk-lid as high as it would go.

Meanwhile, I had set my car’s parking brake. I was just about to turn off my headlights and shut off my engine, when I saw—

Mom standing on the front porch of the Olsens’ house, with Fatso on a leash.

(Fatso was our Greyhound dog. The name was Dad’s idea of a joke—no matter how much dog food any greyhound eats, the dog always looks like a starveling.)

I saw old Mr. Olsen take Fatso’s leash. He and Mom said a few more words, then Mom hurried off the Olsens’ porch, straight for our house.

As soon as I killed the Impala’s engine and climbed out of my car, Dad said, “John, there’s a bag of dog food in the laundry room, and another bag here in the garage.—”

WHUMP. What made that noise?

“—Carry both bags of dog food over to the Olsens’ porch.”

My brain was still trying to figure out the WHUMP. I looked in my trunk—now there was a big olive-drab canvas duffel bag in there. “Dad, what is that?”

Dad answered in “controlled voice”: “Something that never leaves your trunk, till I say it’s safe. Got me?

“Um, sure, Dad.”

He nodded. “I need you to haul dog food over to the Olsens’ now. Go.”

As I was carrying two big bags of dog food across the street, I thought, Now we won’t be unique anymore. Nobody else I knew—none of my relatives, none of my friends, none of my neighbors, none of my former classmates at West Burlington High School—owned a greyhound dog.

It was only later, as I was carrying armfuls of clothes and throwing the clothes onto the back seat of the Impala, that I realized, Not having a greyhound with us makes it harder for someone to trace us.

****

A half-hour later
In the garage

The SUV and my Impala were all loaded up, mostly with ugly piles of clothes. We had chosen speed of loading over grace—if we had not had a cardboard box in the house to put things inside of, we had not bothered with driving to an all-night Wal-Mart to beg boxes.

I did not ask Dad why we did not drive over to Bradford’s Furniture Paradise and pull cardboard boxes out of the Dumpster. I already knew that the cardboard boxes that came to the Receiving dock of a furniture store were usually way too big to fit in an SUV, much less my car.

Anyway, now we were ready to leave—for where, I still had no idea—when Dad held out a hand to me and a hand to Mom. “Give me your phones.”

Mom and Dad exchanged looks, then Mom opened her purse. But I hesitated. “What do you need my phone for? I have pictures on it. And apps.”

“John, I don’t have time to explain.”

Please, John,” Mom said, “give your father your phone.”

It was obvious: Mom was scared of whatever Dad was scared of. So I handed over my smartphone. Dad disappeared into the house. When he returned to the garage, his hands were empty.

I thought, If we used our phones, we’d be easy to track. Without our phones, we can be tracked only by credit cards.

Dad said to me, “Stay behind us on the road, but close enough that you can see what we’re doing. If we get separated, we’ll pull onto the shoulder so that you can catch up to us. If you need to talk to us, honk your horn three times and I’ll pull onto the shoulder. You got all that?”

I nodded.

“One other thing: Don’t speed, don’t run any lights. Do nothing so any cop notices you.”

Again I nodded.

“Great. Let’s go.”

Mom and Dad got into the SUV, I got into the Impala, then I followed the SUV down the driveway.

Under a black, nighttime sky.

Thus I left the house where I had lived since I had been three years old.

I was sure I would never see that house again.

****

Map of IA, NE, and SD

A little after nine that morning

In Fort Dodge, Iowa, my parents’ SUV and my Impala were parked at the edge of a grocery-store parking lot. Dad told me to pop the Impala’s trunk. Dad was holding packing tape in his hand; Mom was holding an empty cardboard box and a paper grocery sack.

Once the Impala’s trunk lid was up, Dad told Mom and me to stand close to the trunk, “so other people can’t see what I’m up to.”

I asked, “What are you up to?”

Dad did not answer with words. He unlocked the padlock on the olive-green duffel bag—which now I noticed, had his name and initials and his Social Security number stenciled on it. Dad reached into the bag and pulled out light-blue shirts with Bradford stenciled on the shirts, bell-bottom blue jeans, and a weirdly shaped brimless white cap—

Then Dad pulled out cash. Lots of cash. Handful after handful of cash.

I choked. “Dad, where did you get all this?”

It was Mom who answered: “John, it’s best you not know.”

It took forty-five minutes, but Dad pulled out at least 106 thousand dollars in bills; I know the amount because Mom and Dad counted it. Dad put $106,483 in the paper grocery sack, and taped the sack shut. Mom wrote on one side of the sack, “To pay off Bradford’s Furniture Paradise loan.”

After that, things were almost normal. The paper sack full of cash was placed in the cardboard box (message-side up), the box was taped shut, and the box was addressed to the loan officer at the Community Bank back home. Then we drove around till we found a post office, and Dad mailed the box.

In the parking lot of a post office in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Dad explained, “The West Burlington Community Bank loaned me money for the furniture store. I had to default. This has always bothered me, but now we’re square.”

Naturally, I had questions then. Neither Mom nor Dad answered my questions.

Before we parted to get back into our respective cars, Dad looked at me and repeated, “My seabag never leaves your trunk. And you don’t open your trunk for anybody but your mother or me. You understand?”

****

The next day, we arrived in Crawford, Nebraska. Crawford was where my cousin Danny owned a junkyard. Dad and I swapped out our Iowa license plates for Nebraska license plates (of which Cousin Danny had plenty).

By then, I did not feel an urge to comment on the swapping-out of license plates. I had figured out that we were fleeing from someone. The police? The FBI? Interpol? John Gotti? The Russian Mafia? It would have been nice to know what resources our mysterious opponent commanded, but Dad and Mom still were being closed-mouthed.

After we swapped out the license plates, I asked Mom and Dad, “Now where to?”

Mom said, “South Dakota.”

I asked, “What’s in South Dakota?”

“Good question,” Dad said. Mom and Dad had another looks-conversation, then Dad opened the SUV’s door and pulled out the road atlas.

Dad opened the road atlas to the page that showed South Dakota. “What’s in South Dakota?” he repeated.

Dad looked up at the sky, as his finger stabbed down. Then Dad looked down and lifted his finger. He announced, “The town of Fishy Lake is where we’re going.”

On the South Dakota map, Fishy Lake was a dot a little west of Sioux Falls.

We arrived at the real Fishy Lake, the town, the next day in late afternoon.

Chapter 2
Normal Life—for a Few Days

We arrived in Fishy Lake, South Dakota, 2-1/2 days after we fled West Burlington, Iowa. The first thing we did in Fishy Lake was to stop at Martin’s Family Restaurant.

Once we had been seated at a booth, Mom said, “I need to call Joan Olsen. About Fatso.”

Dad said, “No, Jen, you don’t. Otherwise we might as well buy an ad in the New York Times: ‘We’re in Fishy Lake.’ ”

I asked, “Why do you need to call Mrs. Olsen about Fatso?”

Mom said, “Because I didn’t tell Harold that Fatso is allergic to shellfish, so read the ingredients before you buy dog food. Fatso almost died when he was a puppy, and I don’t want his death on my conscience.”

Dad said, “If it keeps my family safe, I can let all sorts of things bother my conscience.” Dad shot Mom a look.

By now, Mom had pulled a five-dollar bill from her purse. As she stood up, she said, “It will be one phone call, Josh, and it won’t even be my phone.”

Mom walked away, asking other customers whether she could “rent” somebody’s phone. Meanwhile, Dad was muttering, “Jen, I left your phone on the kitchen counter just so I wouldn’t have to worry about this exact shit.” Dad huffed in annoyance.

When Mom returned to our booth, she was biting her lip. After she sat down, she leaned forward and said quietly, “Last night, our house was broken into.”

****

It turned out that Fishy Lake was nineteen miles from Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Sioux Falls was within rock-throwing distance of Iowa’s northwest corner. Sioux Falls was nowhere close to West Burlington, Iowa—but couldn’t Dad have picked a place in west South Dakota? If the geography also bothered Mom or Dad, neither one mentioned it.

It took less than a day to rent a house in Fishy Lake. Perhaps the rental process was quick because Dad paid for the first month’s rent, the last month’s rent, and the security deposit all with seabag cash.

As soon as we could, the three of us went to the local DMV office. We got South Dakota plates on our cars, and applied for South Dakota driver’s licenses. Admittedly, we did this not because we were law-abiding citizens but because these actions made our cars unnoticeable again.

A day after this, Dad landed a job as a salesman at Furniture USA in Sioux Falls. This annoyed Dad for two reasons. The bigger reason was that going from furniture-store owner to furniture salesman was a big comedown. The second reason that Dad was unhappy was that Furniture USA in West Burlington had been the main reason that Bradford’s Furniture Paradise had struggled to stay in business these last few years.

Meanwhile, Mom papered Sioux Falls with résumés for bookkeeper, but these things take time. For the moment, Mom was back to being a housewife.

I took a job at Chick-fil-A. The job turned out to be what I expected, except that their “You get Sundays off” rule did not have any wiggle-room or fine print in it.

In theory, guaranteed Sundays off meant that I could plan on spending Sundays with my mother, and either Sunday mornings or Sunday evenings with Dad.

In practice, I was not spending any more time with my parents than I had to, since we had arrived in Fishy Lake. By Sunday, it had been eight days since I had been roused from bed and we three had fled the only home I had ever known; and yet my parents had never offered any explanation for their panicky behavior.

So Sunday, I slept late, ate breakfast with Mom (Dad was already at work), then I climbed into the Impala. I spent the entire day (and some of the night) driving aimlessly around rural southeastern South Dakota.

The last time I saw Dad alive was Saturday night. The last time I saw Mom alive was Sunday morning.

Chapter 3
I Meet Ploryunv the Alien

I found the abandoned farm on Sunday afternoon, while aimlessly driving on some farm road. A big “FOR SALE” sign was visible from the road. The farmhouse was surrounded by a white picket fence; the half-acre of grass enclosed by that fence was knee high. I found nothing in the barn except some moldy hay and a rusty tractor-seat. The farmland that surrounded the farmhouse and barn was not tilled, and only weeds grew there.

I cannot say why I parked my car at that abandoned farm and walked around, instead of driving on. Maybe because of the novelty of the place—I was a city boy, and I had never seen a real farm before. But part of the reason I stayed at that farm was because how alone I was there—I knew only two people in all of South Dakota, I did not want to talk to either of them, I did not want to talk to anyone else, and here I was where not even a chicken could be seen.

So I sat on the hood of my car, which was parked by the empty barn, and I listened to birds and breezes as I watched the sun go low in the western sky.

I watched the sun set.

Ten minutes after sunset, I watched a spaceship come down from the sky and land in the weedy field.

****

I saw no falling fire like what a meteor makes, or an Earth-made spacecraft performing atmospheric re-entry. Instead, I heard a rumble and I felt a downward wind that made my ears pop. Also, a moving part of the sky shimmered.

I ran around the corner of the barn to watch the shimmer-thing hit the ground. But it did not—at least not forcibly. Twenty feet off the ground, I heard a loud hisss—like air brakes venting—and the shimmer-thing gently dropped onto the dirt of the neglected farm-field.

The shimmer-effect stopped; I was looking at a spaceship.

On the spaceship, a rectangular piece of the hull lifted up, revealing a door underneath. This door opened from top to bottom, becoming a ramp.

An alien walked from inside the spaceship to the top of the ramp.

The alien was about four feet tall. He had thick, wrinkled skin, like an elephant; but his skin was the light yellow-green of an avocado. His arms and legs had no joints; they curved as needed, like tentacles. Each leg-tentacle and arm-tentacle ended in a three-fingered (three-toed) appendage with suction-cups at the very tips.

The alien had a face like a human, with nose and mouth, and ears on the side of his head. But the alien’s eyes traveled on horizontal tracks on his face that started on just outward of the nose and went out and back to just above the alien’s ears.

When the alien first appeared at the top of the ramp, both of his eyes were on the side of his head, like a bird’s eyes. For a minute, maybe two minutes, the alien stood there, not moving except to turn his head back and forth. One “hand” was holding what looked like a computer tablet in a green case; the other “hand” was touching something inside the ship and beside the door.

By now I was forty feet in front of the ramp. I did not move closer, wanting to not frighten the alien. Eventually the alien’s eyes tracked forward to either side of his nose, and the alien tilted his head down to look straight at me. The alien walked down the ramp.

The alien spoke; his tablet spoke to me in Russian. I walked close to the ramp and replied, “This is not Russia. Do you speak English?”

The alien heard my words (translated), then spoke. The tablet said, “Duly noted. Is this Canada or Oosa?”

I replied, “You are in the United States of America. And the abbreviation is pronounced ‘Yu-Ess-Ay,’ not ‘Oosa.’ ”

“Duly noted. My name is Ploryunv.”

“My name is John.”

Ploryunv taught me how to greet someone by bumping our arm-tentacles together, and I taught him about greeting someone by shaking hands.

Then Ploryunv paused, and his eyes slid to the side of his skull. “Will you help me, John of Earth?”

“I’ll help you if I can,” I said. “What help do you need?”

“The uranium-235 oxide in my ship-engine is chemically contaminated. Can you bring me more engine-grade uranium-235 oxide?”

No way,” I said. “Only the USA government can give you this. The problem is, if my government learns about a space alien in South Dakota, I don’t know what exactly will happen next—but you repairing your ship and flying away won’t be what happens next.”

“This is unhappy-making. What about you bringing me pure Uranium-235, and I react it with oxygen myself?”

“Same answer. I cannot, and if you asked my government, my government would grab both you and your ship and never let you go.”

“Again this is unhappy-making. What about you bringing me natural uranium of mixed isotopes?”

“Same answer. I’m sorry.”

Ploryunv worked his tablet then, holding it horizontal as the “fingers” of his other “hand” tapped the tablet’s surface. I was surprised to see that three-dimensional images and diagrams appeared (and soon disappeared) a few inches above the tablet.

About ten minutes later, Ploryunv said to me, “Crystalline carbon, I can use it as a catalyst to remove the contamination. Or is crystalline carbon also blocked by your government?”

I did not know what he meant by crystalline carbon; the alien had to show me a three-dimensional diagram. It turned out that he meant diamond.

“Yes,” I replied, “I can manage that.” I was sure there was enough cash still in the seabag for me to go to a pawnshop and buy a ring set. But I did not have the key to the seabag; I would have to ask Dad for the key.

I told Ploryunv, “If worse comes to worse, I won’t be able to bring you the diamond till tomorrow, and I’ll need to bring another Earth man out here to meet you.” I added bitterly, “Don’t worry, he’s great at keeping secrets.”

It was almost full dark by then, but I was worried that at sunrise, anyone flying overhead (a U.S. Army helicopter, for instance) could see the spaceship. I said as much to Ploryunv. It turned out that while he could not fly his spaceship out into space, he could move it along the ground just fine. He blew air out the bottom of his spaceship, and I gave him guidance with the headlights on my Impala, and between us, we got his spaceship hidden away in the empty barn.

I drove home carefully in the darkness, writing down landmarks, road signs, and trip-odometer readings, so that I could find the abandoned farm again. By the time I was driving on the streets of Fishy Lake, I was in a good mood. I’ve met an actual, no-shit space alien! And better than that, I’m going to help him out!

Jeez, I was so naïve about my future.

My good mood vanished when I turned onto my street.

Three Fishy Lake police cars, two unmarked police cars, two ambulances, a Sioux Falls PD crime-scene van, and a TV-news van, all were parked in front of my house.

 

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MARVIN AND FATIMA THREE-IN-ONE: Cover Picture and News

MARVIN AND FATIMA Cover PictureCover art by Commotion22

As a reminder, this book will be a compilation of my three previous novels about wishes and genies—

Three More Wishes: Be Kind to Your Genie
One More Genie
More Genie Problems: Can the Hero Billionaire Hold off Judgment Day?

Along with those three novels, I also am writing a short story for the compilation, “Kristin Tells (Mostly) All.” Kristin Curry is a freshman at Smith College, the elite private women’s college in Massachusetts. After she is accidentally outed as a former haremée of Marvin Harper’s, she gives an interview to the school newspaper that becomes national news. (I haven’t figured out what happens after that, and right now I’m working on finishing up The Mind-Power Avenger.)

For more information about the individual novels in the compilation, including links to sample chapters, click on the “About Doctor MC, Mad Scientist” tab above.

Thank You Much, Vampire-Readers, for Buying RING OF THE WIZARD VAMPIRE

RING OF THE WIZARD VAMPIRE Cover, small

March’s Kindle sales numbers for Ring of the Wizard Vampire are out, and I’m amazed. Kindle readers bought 203 copies of the book in March, all over the English-speaking world (USA, UK, Canada, and Australia). This was a stunning surprise. What really surprised me was that RotWV sold another three English-language copies in Germany (home of the silent-movie classic Nosferatu and its villain, Graf Orlok). Vielen dank, Germany buyers!

If you haven’t read Ring of the Wizard Vampire yet, and now you’re curious, go here.

THE MIND-POWER AVENGER: New Cover Picture

THE MIND-POWER AVENGER cover

As I told you in an earlier post, I’m working on a new story about a mind-controller who chases down bad guys who are “above the law.”

Here is the unofficial sales blurb for the book—

Ploryunv, an alien, is stranded on Earth, and eighteen-year-old John Bradford helps Ploryunv fix his spaceship. In the process, Ploryunv uses an alien device on John that enables John to use all of his brain. That same day, John’s parents are murdered by mobsters. Yes, John has mind-control powers now; and yes, John uses those powers to get sex; but mainly what John wants is payback against scumbags who think themselves safe.

This is the first story in the THE MIND-POWER AVENGER series. Think what The Shadow would be like if he weren’t so prissy about using his “power to cloud men’s minds”; or imagine The Punisher with mind-control powers.

To repeat: In this the first book, John goes after the lowlifes who murdered his parents. (And yes, at one point in the story, a bat flies up against John’s window.)