Working serial novel,


Moon Lover


Vance Dick


Chapter 1 - 1373 words

13 lovers, friends ;

37 the family

November of this year – Exact date unknown: 

From the journal of William Driver –

She was a young blonde of the angelic kind, sweet, beautiful, and probably virginal but, like true angels, psychologically distant, as if her mind was in the glades of heaven, not here on carnal earth. Her name was Kina, and she was a Reacher brought in to help with new operations.

   The Vision Group had been brought together in a new installation in the glades west of Miami. Florida. It seems that a nameless researcher in Strategic had speculated that the Group's powers would be augmented by the intersection of one of the Earth's agonic lines, that is a place where a compass's needle points true north, with a ley line, one of the Earth's natural lines of power.

   Whenever we were brought together for a new project, there were always many new faces. The Department of Resources constantly found new candidates for the Vision Group. But there were five of us at the core. We had survived many big ops. Dozens had not, coming and going with the changing tides of back-stab politics. A few had been retired permanently, though we were told that was not the case. We five had formed a working pentad, accidentally or on purpose, and had, on occasion, found the power of magic, or psychic freedom, call it what you like. Anyway, we had stayed alive.

   Colonel Bird whisked this new face, Kina, away before I could meet her. Probably for the best. Janice would be onto it instantly if I even introduced myself. After all, the Vision Group is one of the Company's psychic task forces, so we are all quite sensitive. Janice is a Copier who can "reach" from time to time, especially when she's excited or frightened. I really like her. But Kina is interesting to look at and think about…(end)


Sat Dec 3

2:21pm. Watergate Hotel, Washington D.C.

Kina always put her shoes on first when she got dressed.

   “Shoes before panties?” he commented.

“But you like to look at it, don’t you darling?”

“Yes. I do. I never get to see enough of it. In fact—“ he cleared his throat, “I wanted to ask if you’d  go with me down to S.F. for a while.”

She laughed. “I can’t go to any FEMA parties. Long story. But I can’t. What, are you going down for briefings?

“Games. Big games. Could be a month stay. If it is, I’d guarantee you a big Christmas.” He raised his eyebrows with the tone of his voice. “A big, big Christmas. C’mon! Make me happy.”

“Well, making you happy is what I’m about, darling. But I’m booked. I’m going missionary tomorrow, and I don’t know when I’ll even be back in town.”

“What do you mean? You mean you’re going on a mission?”

“We just call it ‘missionary’,” she explained as she slipped her arms into a cocktail dress

that quickly covered her slender body to mid-thigh. “Going on a mission would mean I’m a spy. Spies go on missions. But sex slaves just go ‘missionary’. It means getting passed around for sex by a lot of important men.”

His face turned unhappy. “Are you still doing that? I thought you were done with that program.”

“Of course I still do it. I love doing the service. I keep up my contacts. Like you. All you important guys. I love to be around you.”

“Well,” he sniffed. “I didn’t realize you were still doing that. I don’t know if I like you seeing a lot of other guys, no matter how important they are.”

“Of course you like me to see other guys. You know how it turns you on when I tell you about them. I actually only see one or two others. But I know you like me to talk about fucking lots of customers. It turns you on. Right?”

“Mm. Are you going to see someone now? After me?”

“In about a half hour a general whose name I won’t mention will be slamming me from behind bent over his desk. He’s hung like a horse, too. Afterward, I’ll probably take a nap with him, then he’ll treat me to a sensual fuck on the couch. I gotta tell you, darling, the long, slow strokes of his big dick make me quiver all over and I come six or seven times. Then I--” Kina stopped speaking and put her hand on darling’s rejuvenated anatomy. She knelt between his open legs and looked lovingly up into his eyes. “I love you, darling. You know how special our thing is.”

Two minutes later, he lay spent on the couch. He lit a cigarette and began to talk softly. “If you really are expecting to see a general in a little while, I think you’re going to be stood up. All the generals I know are going down to S.F. for the exercise. Orders just came down an hour ago. Hundreds of C.O.G people are heading down to S.F. right now. You ought to go with me. It’s a big deal. Who knows? Maybe it’ll go live.”

Kina was dressed and ready to leave. “I’m taking all your money, darling,” she said, then flipped his empty wallet onto the dresser. “I’ll call you when I get back. If I find out you’ve been with another woman, you’ll never see me again. Understand?”

“I understand,” he whispered.

“It’s a joke, darling. See whoever you want. You know I can’t live without you. I want you to have fun with other girls if you want to. I love you, darling. Really. I’ll call you.” She blew him a kiss and closed the door behind her.

The unnamed general stood her up, having flown down to S.F. with his staff in a helicopter.

She discovered that all her Washington appointments were cancelled.

Kina tried to call her lover, William Driver, to see if he knew what was going on, but his phone just rang to message. She called Janice, another woman in the group.

“William escaped this morning.” Janice explained. “They’re out looking for him now,”

“Something big’s going on,” Kina said ”I wonder if that’s why William took off. Right this minute, Continuity of Government people are closing in on Mount Weather by the hundreds. Do you know anything about it?”

“We’ve been told it’s games,” Janice said. “But William’s bust out doesn’t have anything to do with that. He just wants to be free. You know.”

“Yeah.” Kina said. “I know.”


Brandon called his secretary, Marianne, to his office. She was a pretty young woman, expensively dressed in a dark blue pinstripe business suit, who now stood at attention in front of Brandon seated at his desk, his eyes studying her face.

       “Did you get your sister?”

       She hesitated a second. “Yes.”

       “Is she here?”

       “She’s waiting in the car.”

       “What’s her name, again?”


“Does she know what to do?”

       Marianne hesitated a second. “Yes.”

       “Whatever I ask,” Brandon said.


       “All right, Marianne. Good work. Take the rest of the day off. Go home. Take a long bath.”

       Marianne felt weak in her right knee and almost fell. “Home?” she spoke the question as if this were the last word she expected to hear. “What about the alert? Aren’t we going to Domicile?”

“Your sister and I will be going alone this time. Maybe next time you can go. You can assist with her orgasms.”

“But the alert. It’s real! The city will be—The whole world will be-- I’ll be…”

“You’ll be dead. But it won’t be so bad. You’ll conflagrate, it’s true, but only for a millionth of a second, an exquisitely short time to suffer the ultimate pain of burning out of existence. then you’ll vaporize. Not a moist morsel of the marvelous Marianne left for a lick or even a suck.”

“Brandon—please don’t do that. Is the alert real?”

“You’ll know soon enough,” Brandon smirked. “Remember to get naked before the fireball blossoms, and you’ll burn clean.”

       As he left the office, Brandon considered how he would murder Marianne when the time came. She was so co-operative, he might force her to smother herself with a pillow. But Brandon knew he would cut her up with a slow knife. She should suffer for being so accommodating.

       Brandon was not going to Domicile. He knew that the alert was just a drill. He had ordered it himself.

Marianne’s sister, Margaret, he used somewhat in his limo, then sent her and his driver on down to Domicile to prepare the installation for his own visit, whenever it might come.

His driver, Harry “Curly” Moore, was also his first enforcer, and would be using Margaret himself while they were there.


6:30am Forward Operating Location “Cypress”

A courier had landed a Bell Jet Ranger in the compound and naively left it running. William Driver didn’t hesitate, and flew the bird toward Miami. He landed in a soccer field in the middle of an amateur game, and made a friend who drove him to downtown Miami, as per his request.

William went to the back doors of several restaurants before he got a job cleaning the kitchen. Charming and hard-working, he made such a good impression that the boss gave him a small advance on his wages and a co-worker took him home as a new roommate.

William would sleep a little, but knew he would have to run before dawn.

Actually, the MPs woke him up about three hours before dawn. The four of them surrounded him in the government car for the ninety minute drive back to the compound. Nobody spoke for the whole ride.


6:01pm Manhattan

Brandon served dinner to Susan and himself at a small table in his spacious apartment.

“You are the loveliest young woman that has ever been in this apartment,” he said as he sat beside her.

“Thank you.”

“There is something sweetly virginal about your manner.”

“Thank you.”

“I am going to love getting between your legs.”

       “Are you sure you will?” she asked indignantly.

 “Would you take your dress off for me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“That cocktail you just finished made you my sex slave.”

“Are you insane?”

“Did it ever occur to you that a young woman might be invited to dinner on the basis of her beauty and her small size? In a few minutes, I’m going to throw you into my trunk.”


8:30pm Upstate New York.

       “Susan, your body is perfect.”

       Susan was lying naked on a soft cushion bed as she came to.

       “You’re going to be my pet.”

She recognized the scene as a 1960s psychedelic blacklight crib with loud rock and roll music to a poetic ambiance.

       He lay down beside her. “Don’t you find me stimulating?”

       He wrestled her down and tied her hands behind her back; he tied her legs apart and took his time rolling naked between her legs. He worked his penis into her two times, once with ejaculation, without her resisting too much. Then he left her there and went to work.


11:59pm. The deep woods atop one of the Ozark Mountains in central Missouri. The full Cold Moon was at its zenith in the clear, night sky.

A hundred voices chanted and sang, slowly. “Moon love. Earth love. Moon love. Earth love.”

Many of the uninitiated at the fringes of the gathering laughed at the chanting and made jibes, but the three concentric circles of devotees ignored them and kept their magic music rising.

Robert Lee was fascinated. He had been driving past on the main road when he saw a hundred or so cars out in the fields beneath a forested mountain and pulled in to see what it was about. It attracted his eye because there were no lights out there. Hundreds of people and no lights. 

Then the magic happened. The inner circle bound the earth and the moon together with love. Everyone felt it, The secondary and the tertiary circles, lost in the magic, faltered in their chanting. The time-space continuum took a rare configuration and the eternal revelations were available for any who cared to see them.

Nicole was the focus of power. Her beauty, her faith, her purity made it work. It seemed to some in the inner circle that the moon actually started to come down to the earth. An eruption of human confusion made itself heard as hubbub circulated through the uninitiated observers who were at the fringes of the setting, perplexed by whatever was going on.

But Nicole and the inner circle held the spell for what seemed more than an hour. When they let it go, the spell, though it could not be seen, seemed to float upwards, and slowly spread across the whole moon-beamed sky.

Later, in the woods, Robert Lee introduced himself to Nicole. He liked her. He even took an oath to explore the earth-spirit with Nicole and her inner circle, especially Valerie, a young American Indian woman. He was introduced to principals in the Gnostic Order of the Moon. One of them was Douglas Kirk, a man about fifty years old with charisma.

Robert Lee felt a little awkward with his new friends. They seemed far removed from the world of his profession, that being military life.

Valerie smiled smiled and winked at him. “Feeling like a fish out of water?” she asked. “Are you a soldier?”

       He nodded. “Yes.”

       “Good. We need soldiers.”

“Why would you need soldiers?”

“For the conflict. To prevail.”

       “What conflict?” he asked.

       “There are many conflicts,” she said. “But, for now, we can speak merely of the most pervasive one. The conflict between right—and not so right.”

       He smiled. “Okay. So how are we going to explore the earth spirit?”

       Valerie tilted her head and looked at his eyes. “Tell me what you experienced when the moon came down to us.”

       Robert shook his head. “I can’t say.”


“Die Pretty”

A short story


Vance Dick

(3230 words)


I met her at the jukebox. She seemed to be alone and was hot in a low-cut, lacy white blouse with a very short blue denim skirt. She had a cigarette in her mouth like she was tough and a sneer on her face like she was looking for trouble.

          “Hi.” I said, looking down at the list of songs.

          “D-9,” she mumbled, as if to herself as she pressed those buttons. “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” She sucked on the butt.

          “Alive!” I muttered.

          She looked at me and smiled a little. “Dead,” she said, letting the breath of smoke leave her nose and mouth.

          “Dead, then,” I conceded. “Whatever you prefer.”

          “That’s what I like in a man,” she said smoothly. “Conviction.”

I looked at the tops of her tits in the white blouse. She saw me looking and inhaled a chest full of smoke, making those tits seem to swell up in my view.

“Can I buy you a drink?” I asked.

“What’re you driving?”

“Old mustang,” I said. “On a steely horse I ride.”

She hitched a long-strapped purse up onto her shoulder and said, “Get a bottle of rum and take me for a steely ride. We’ll get a couple a six-packs of coke.”

Outside, she lifted a suitcase out of the bushes and tossed it into the back seat as she slid into my car.


We were all alone on a moonlit road. She liked speed and my old car cruised fine at 100. It was a little loud but we weren’t talking anyway.         

A solitary convenience store on the edge of the glade had all our needs: plastic cups, cokes, chips, ice, and cigarettes for us, and repellant for the bugs.

          I found a dry field deep in the glade and pulled well off the road. When I turned off the engine, the loud sounds of frogs, bugs and birds filled the otherwise silent night.

          We got out of the car and sprayed each other with repellant. I made the rum and cokes and handed her one. “What’s your name?” I asked.

          “It might better if you don’t know my name,” she answered, walking a few slow steps toward the darkness of the trees. She stopped, gulped down her drink, and asked for another. “Make this one real strong,” she said.

          I poured mostly rum into her glass of ice, splashed a little coke into it for color, and handed it back. She drank the strong mix down like it was milk and thrust the empty cup toward me for another.

          I made another one for her. “I need a little time to drink myself,” I joked, sipping my neglected liquor. “Maybe I spend too much time in the service of others.”

          She was quite drunk already. “Are you in my service?” she slurred as she turned toward me.

“Sure,” I said cheerfully. “I’ll take you for rides. I’ll make your cocktails. What else can I do for you?”

“Could you kill me?”

“Well, that’s a service not usually much in demand.”

“Maybe we could serve each other,” she said. “I’ll serve you and you serve me.”

I just listened to this. It was like she was saying lines in a play.

“First, I’ll serve you.” She said thickly. “What do you want me to do for you?”

She wobbled the few steps necessary to lean the front of her body against the front of my body and she looked at me with glassy eyes gleaming in the moonlight. I was not sober myself, but I could smell the alcohol on her breath. She emptied her cup and rattled the ice in my face to request another.

I mixed another and gave it to her. She drank half immediately. “How can I serve you?” she asked with difficulty. “Do you want to fuck me?” She put her hand on my cock, which was already answering, “Yes.”

“You can fuck me. I’ll serve you if you serve me. If I serve you, will you serve me?” She was unzipping my pants and my cock was eager for her service.

“Sure I’ll serve you. What do you want me to do?

She reached into my pants and worked my stiff cock into the open air. “What do I want you to do?” she repeated the question as she caressed my throbbing cock. “I want you to kill me. Tonight.”

I leaned back on the hot hood of my car with my cock angling toward the stars. “Gimme some head,” I said.

She cradled my cock in her hand and looked into my eyes. “Will you do what I want you to do?”

“Sure,” I said, figuring this was nutty, drunken nonsense that meant nothing.

“If I suck you off, will you kill me? Tonight?”

“Well,” I said. “Suck and fuck. You know. Half and half.”

“And you’ll kill me afterward? Tonight? Back there in the woods?”

“Yeah, sure!”

“Ok. Shake on it.”

I shook her hand

“It’s a deal,” she said.

“Yeah. Lemme see your tits while you gimme head.”

She took off her blouse and then the rest of her clothes, except her shoes.

I pushed her head down on my cock while she sucked it deep. Soon I bent her over the fender and fucked her from behind. I came quickly even though I was fairly drunk.

“Clean it up with your mouth,” I said.

She sucked and licked my cock until it was as clean as it could get.

We said nothing as we got dressed in the cool night air.

She lit a cigarette and I made two more rum and cokes. The bottle of rum was close to bottom.

“Are you ready?” she asked.

“Sure,” I answered.

She took up her long-strapped purse and began to walk slowly toward the darkness of the trees. “C’mon.”

I walked a few steps behind her.

The grass and weeds around the trees were high and scratchy, but she walked in eagerly, despite her bare legs. I trudged close behind. We continued a little ways and she stopped. She turned to face me and I could see that she had a pistol in her hand pointed at me.

I stumbled back. “What the fuck?”

She stepped toward me. “A bullet in the back of my head,” she said, and handed me the gun. It was a five-shot 38 revolver.

She turned away from me and looked at the moon. “Go ahead,” she said softly. “Do it.”

I knew I wasn’t going to do it, but I also thought this was just a bullshit bluff of hers. I wanted to scare her, so I pressed the muzzle of the barrel against the back of her head.

She didn’t react at all.

The hammer made a loud “click” as I cocked it.

No reaction.

“Good bye, Beautiful,” I said as if I really was about to pull the trigger.

“Good bye,” she answered. “And thank you.”

I lowered the gun and let the hammer down gently. “Bullshit!” I said.


I backed away from her and stopped.

After a few seconds, she dropped to her knees and wept quietly, then with audible sobs.

I walked back to the car and mixed myself a new highball. The gun I put in my pocket.

After a while, she came out of the trees and put her face close to mine as if ready to fight.

“We made a deal,” she said.

“Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not gonna fry in the electric chair because of your deal. People in that bar saw us leave together. They find your body in the woods and they’re gonna come looking for me.”

“Give me my gun,” she said softly.

 “Not right now.”

“Give me my fucking gun!”

“You might shoot me.”

“Damn right I will. You fucking reneged on our deal!”

“So get a lawyer.”

“That’s not funny.” She hit me in the face a couple of times before I blocked her punches and pushed her away with a good arm. She came back for more and I gave her a slap across the face to remind her who was stronger. Then she backed off and cried more and muttered complaints about what a worthless son of a bitch I was.

“I’m a cowboy,” I said, and emptied my cup. “You want a cocktail?” I asked.


I split what was left of the rum between us and topped it off with coke.

It was late. The air was damp and whippoorwills were calling to each other across the distances.

“I’ll do what you want,” I said. “I really will. But later.”


I thought about it. “Tomorrow night. But you’ll have to do it my way. One strike and you’re out. Because I have to make sure I am never charged with murder. You understand? This is murder. I’m taking a big chance. It’s not really worth my while. I’m just doin’ it for you.”

“I’ll do whatever you say. What do you want me to do?”

“Get in the car.”


Drove to my trailer deep in the woods.

“Make yourself at home,” I said, lighting the kerosene lamp. “We’re out of rum, but I can make you a whiskey and coke.”

I also scrambled four eggs, but she didn’t want any. But she quickly finished her whiskey and coke and made herself another.

“You’re too nice,” she said, sitting opposite me at the table. “I don’t think you’re for real. I don’t think you can do it.”

“I’ll do it all right. I’ve killed big animals before.”

“What have you killed?”

“Deer. Big deer up north, not these little Florida deer.”

“So you killed deers so you think you can kill me? It’s the same?”

“Killing with bullets is easy.”

“And you’ll do it tomorrow night?”

“Yeah,” I said. “In the moonlight.”

Her gaze drifted off into the distance, as if she were imagining it. She smiled.

I emptied her purse on the table and found nothing of interest except her wallet, from which I removed her driver’s license, a photo of an older woman, and every bit of money.

I examined her driver’s license.

“Maybe it would be better if you didn’t know my name,” she said.

“So, Jennifer Johnson from St. Louis, Missouri,” I murmured. “Twenty-two years old. Why do you want to die so much?”

She just shook her head.

“Where have you been staying?”

“Motels around Orlando.”


She grinned and waved a hand, “No, I’m all alone.”

“No friends?”

“No.” She shook her head and emptied her glass. “Nobody’s gonna be looking for me. You don’t have anything to worry about.” She made herself another.

“How did you get to that bar?”

“Guy left me there.”

“What happened?” I asked. “Who was he?”

“I wouldn’t even know his name except he insisted on telling me. I met him at a bar south of Orlando. He fucked me late in the afternoon and said he was heading south and did I want to make it for a few days. I said, ‘Sure. Why not?’ He was paying good. But we went into that bar for refreshment and he started hitting on this other chickadee so I told him, ‘Fuck you,’ I says, ‘I’ll find my own way home.’ She was a dog. He wanted her? He embarrassed me. I don’t have to take that shit. He got mad and split.”

“How many guys have you asked to kill you?”

“A few.”

“How many?”

Oh, ten. Fifteen, maybe.”

“Then you found me.”

I counted the money. “Nine hundred and eighty-nine,” I said.

“And welcome to it,” she said. “It’s a bargain if you do what you’re supposed to do.”

“So you’re a whore?”

She gulped down half her glass and looked at me with glazed eyes. Her mouth eased into a little smirk. “Yeah. A whore. I fuck for money. And suck cock too. I’ve sucked a couple hundred cocks. And about that many men have fucked me, too. Does that make you want to put a bullet in my head? Do you hate whores?”

“Not especially.”

“Not especially?” She lit a new cigarette and blew the smoke at me. “Did you ever love a girl that you later discovered was a whore?”


“You did, didn’t you!” she laughed as if she knew a secret.

“No.” I had to smile at her teasing.

“You have a girlfriend?”

I shook my head.

“Well, who do you fuck? A horny bastard like you must have somebody!”

“I’ve had a few girlfriends, but they never stick.”

“Did you bring them here?”


“And they ditched you soon after, right?”

“I don’t know. Later.”

“They ditched you because of this trailer, Champ. It’s a dump.”

It was getting light outside. The sun would rise before long.

“Let’s take a shower and go to bed,” I said.

She stood on her tiptoes in the shower while I fucked her from behind, but I held off coming.

The sun came up while we were rolling around in bed, playing and laughing. She was wet and my cock easily slid in deep. We kissed. I pumped sperm into her while she groaned and writhed.

While she was in the bathroom, I hid her gun and the car keys with my rifles.

“Wake me when you’re ready,” she said.


Slept only about four hours. We fucked again. She was so sexy, I wished it could go on forever. But it was my job to make sure it never could.

“Dress pretty today,” I said. “This is your last day.”

The coke was all gone, so we drank whiskey and water highballs after showering.

The 11am sun was mottled by the thick trees as she and I started the trail. I had her carry the shovel along with her suitcase and purse. I carried the bedroll and every other thing we needed in my kit. We kept a good pace and were mostly silent as we walked miles through shady forest glades. Sometimes we broke into the open sun and got sweaty.

We saw birds, of course, of every feather, big and little, but also a pair of armadillos scuttling across the scrub. The bigger one actually growled at us. At a creek, I showed her two baby alligators about a foot long, wrestling like kittens. These were rare sights, even for me.

The sun was settling low in the western trees when I brought us to a stop. We had passed the last couple of hours wandering through random waves of trees. This was the spot.

We drank water and nipped at whiskey.

“You should start diggin’ your grave,” I said. “I think it should be over here.” I showed her the exact place, which happened to be under an oak tree.

She dug and I heard her sniffle, like she was crying. I reconnoitered a large circle around our camp to make sure we were alone. When I got back, she was still digging and had hit water in the ground table. “That’s plenty,” I said. “Let’s have a picnic.”

I emptied her suitcase on the bedroll. “Wear this for me,” I said, handing her a yellow sun dress, bikini panties, and red high heels. She had long, beautiful legs. “I want you to die pretty.”

The woods turned dark and night came down. I made a small fire to roast hotdogs. She was hungry. We drank whiskey with water backs. I had brought marshmallows, which made her laugh.

In the fire, I burned her driver’s license. “Who is this?” I asked, showing the one photo to her before dropping it into the flames.

“My mom. She’s dead.”

Luna was rising in the eastern trees. Wind gusts rushed occasionally in the tree tops.

“Let’s walk around,” I said.

Moonbeams shone through the trees. I nuzzled her against a tree and kissed her many times. I hugged her and put my nose against her neck.

“Why do you want to die so much?”

She was gazing over my shoulder. “Let’s do it now,” she said softly.

We went back to camp and hit the whiskey hard. I drank more than she did.

I fucked her dog style on the bedroll. She performed very sensually, bending her back and hunching her hips to stroke my appreciative cock with her pussy. I don’t think she climaxed, but I did. Later, she cried again, as we lay close looking at the moon, which was high now, and giving good light.

Finally, she sat up. “Are you ready?”

I was not ready.

“C’mon,” she said sweetly. “Let’s do it naked.”

She got to her feet and walked in the moonlight to the edge of her grave. “You want me to stand here, right, so I just fall in?”

I was naked too, with her 38 in my hand, and stood next to her. She was facing the moon.

“Aren’t you going to pray?”

She clasped her hands together over her pussy and said, “God, please forgive me. Please.”

Time passed, and she said no more.

“Amen,” I said.

“Yes.” She smiled at me. “Amen.”

“Don’t you haunt me,” I said.

 She laughed a little. “I won’t. I’m going far away from here.”

I stepped behind her.

“I want my soul to go to the moon,” she murmured.

“Maybe I’ll join you there.”

The whippoorwills had begun to call to one another. Millions of frogs were rattling a loud ruckus in the night.

I could hardly speak as I cocked the hammer back. “Good bye, Jennifer.”

“Good bye. And thank you.”

The shot tumbled her right into the grave. The report echoed briefly among the trees. The frogs never noticed and the whippoorwills paused only for a few seconds. Then the woods and the night continued in their eternal course. My hand was speckled with blood and I knew droplets had also hit my legs and feet.

I shined a flashlight down. She was crumpled up at one end of the grave with her face in the water. Blood was still pumping out of the back of her head, slowly, little by little.

Climbed down to turn her over onto her back and straighten her body so she looked comfortable. Her eyes were shut and her bloody face was grinning.

“I hope you’re happy,” I said.

I washed myself all over, got dressed, and buried her. There were fields of grass nearby with good roots, so I cut several squares of it with the shovel and fashioned them on her grave to make a good mat that would be impossible to see in a few days of natural growth.

Buried her clothes in another part of the forest, the purse and suitcase someplace else. The gun I threw into a deep lagoon.

Tied my kit together and was ready to go. Stood over the grave and finished the whiskey bottle she and I had been sharing.

“Here’s to us,” I said.

As the moon set in the west later while I was heading home on the trail, I thought of her soul being up there, sinking with Luna beneath the horizon of woods. I missed her. A tear formed in my weaker eye.

I arrived at the trailer at dawn. Took a shower and got in bed. There, in the bedroom, in the stillness, I could feel her presence.


# # #




“The Devil’s Promo”

(425 words)


 Dreamed last night the devil was my literary agent. He was telling me what a flop I was. He said that my stories were uneventful, my characters were lifeless, and my writing was sophomoric. “Nonetheless,” he went on, “you might do very well with the right handling. To start, you need a good pen name.” He came around from behind the desk and sat on the edge of it, gazing down at me with an odd expression. His tail curled and writhed behind him like a snake with its head cut off.

            “I have a pen name,” I said.

            “A very poor one,” he sniffed. “No. It won’t do. But I have a complete plan that will take you to the top.” He tilted his head to the side slightly and studied me. I could see the little horns sticking up through his hair.

            “Let’s hear it,” I said, unable to keep skepticism out of my voice.

            He left his perch and paced around the room, gesturing with his hands and gazing into space as he spoke.

            “There were a number of female writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who disguised their gender by adopting masculine names. George Sand, George Eliot, Ellis, Acton, and Currer Bell-- ”

            “Andy Stack,” I interrupted. “Don’t tell me your gimmick is to give me a woman’s pen name?”

            “Precisely!” the Devil affirmed. “Times have changed. The prejudices that worked against women then will now work to your advantage. We’ll market your works under the name Tiffany Dairiay. And for your television appearances--” From somewhere, he produced a low cut evening gown with a fiery design in shades of orange and red. “Just keep an open mind,” he anticipated my objection with a wave of his open hand, but, actually, it was a nice looking gown and I was somewhat curious how I would look in it.

            “Please allow me,” he asked charmingly as he slipped my feet into red high heels. He let his hands caress their way up my calves and stole a kiss and a lick from my right knee.

            Before I could react, he was on his feet again, handing me an 8 by 10 color photograph of an attractive African-American woman wearing my gown and the red high-heels. “We’ll darken your skin to a more sensual tone. America will love you!” he almost crooned the words in an emotional voice.

            I woke then, happy that I was finally on my way. The euphoria lasted until I was about halfway into my first cup of coffee.




Bad-news angels sitting on the fence watching me walk by don't bode good.     

   So I am loading up on pussy. When I go out, they may say, "I don't know if his writing was any good, but at least he could get pussy."

 There's a certain type of skinny blonde girl that I especially like to arch the back of.

   But now I've turned into a bore.


Why do I write so much about sex and violence? I'm a stylist, a stylist of meat and potatoes. Want to stay crisp but hot and juicy when the time is right.


(Stage manager: "Get him off!").


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Vance Dick

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