Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
A short sci-fi story by Chuck Keyes
"Detective Stone, you need to come down to autopsy right away," said Dr. Herbert Eckerd.
"Alright, doctor, I'm on my way," replied Travis. He slid his cell phone into his pants pocket and headed for the nearest elevator.
Travis hates to visit the autopsy lab. It's not seeing the blood and gore he dislikes. What troubles him is the smell of death, but to maintain his Dirty Harry image, he would never admit this to anyone. Every time he walks into the autopsy lab, he imagines the death smell is mingling with his clothing, contaminating every thread with the dark evils of the underworld.
Detective Stone stepped into the autopsy lab. "Dr. Eckerd, what do you have for me?"
The forensic doctor waved his hand toward the four stainless steel autopsy tables containing the Delaroca family. Each family member has had the top of his or her skull removed.
"Yeah, I see the Delarocas family, so what the hell killed them?" sputtered Travis.
"Each family member is missing a large section of their brain."
"Their each missing a section of their temporal lobes, which is associated with recognition, perception, memory, stimuli, and speech."
"Holy monkey s***, Herbert…how can they be missing large sections of their brains? There were no head wounds, no blood, and no signs of a struggle!"
"I found traces that something entered their nostrils and burrowed tunnels to their temporal lobes," replied Dr. Eckerd.
"Something…something, what the hell does something mean?"
"It means I don't know what entered their nostrils. I've never seen anything like this. I don't think a medical instrument was used to remove the same sections of each brain."
"Weren't mummies made by sliding a hook up their nose and yanking their brains out through their nostrils?" asked Travis.
"Yes, but the mummy hook and pull method removed their entire brain, and what I'm seeing is a clean surgical removal of most of their temporal lobe, which is located on the underside of the brain."
"So what we have here are four murder victims?"
"Yes," replied Herbert along with a sharp nod of his bald head. "Did the older Delarocas daughter say if she saw anything?"
"As of yet I haven't had a chance to question Nancy Delarocas. She's currently under her doctor's care for shock. Doctor, for what reason would anyone surgically remove a person's temporal lobe?"
"I don't know. The temporal lobe has no value."
"I believe an ugly green insect has something to do with killing my family," sputtered Nancy Delarocas. She's standing in the doorway, wearing a Dallas metro police officers uniform.
"Excuse me, Miss Delarocas, but you're not supposed to be down here," voiced the doctor.
"I'm a cop, and they're my dead family," she said while pointing her index finger at the bodies. "I have a right to be here!"
Travis and the doctor quickly approached Nancy to block the gory view of her family with the tops of their skulls removed like large open jars of pickled pork brains in milk gravy.
"Miss Delarocas, please, let's step out into the hallway and talk," said Travis. "It's really not a good thing for you to see your family laid out on the autopsy tables."
She backed out of the doorway. Travis and the doctor joined her in the hallway.
"Are you the detective investigating my family's death?"
"Yes…I'm Detective Travis Stone." He paused to roll his eyes slowly from her face down to her enormous breasts. She's a very attractive woman for being a redhead, and being extremely tall, maybe over six feet. "I'm in the process of determining if your family was murdered. At first we thought they past away from carbon monoxide poisoning."
"Yes, I've heard about you, Detective Stone. You're the hero who single handedly shot and killed five of John Delaney's top hit men."
Travis offered Nancy a half grin. "It was either them or me, and I don't consider any day being a good day to die. Are you all right, Miss Delarocas? They said you were in shock."
"At first I was in shock, but I got over it, and now I'm royally pissed off. I want to know who or what killed my family!"
"You said something about an ugly green insect?"
She brushed her long red hair away from her attractive face. "On my way home I stopped by my parent's house for a quick visit. When I walked into the parlor, I found my father dead. He was sitting upright in his favorite chair. When I approached my father, a green hideous insect crawled out his right nostril and swiftly scurried away. I've never seen an inset like it. It was long, with many legs, and a bulbous clear rear end that's filled with what looked like brain matter. Its head has pinchers attached, like earwig pinchers, and it has two large red eyes."
"Yes, that would explain the burrowed tunnels," excitedly said Herbert. "Nancy, did you see more than one of these bugs?"
"I saw only one, and as I said it was in hurry to leave the murder scene."
"Doc, are you thinking these bugs ate their temporal lobes," asked Travis.
"It is a possibility, and from what Nancy described, the clear bulbous area maybe a storage area for the temporal lobe brain matter. Similar to a plump mosquito full of blood."
"I've never heard of an insect that burrows into someone's head and eats their brains."
"Nor have I," voiced Herbert, "and what's puzzling, is that within each victim the exact amount of brain matter was surgically removed, as if for a purpose. To accomplish this task, the insects would have to be somewhat intelligent."
The detective's cell phone played to his attention with the ringtone, 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown', and he swiftly answered it. "Yeah, Detective Stone here."
Travis listened for a few minutes. "Okay, Chief, I'm on it." He slid his cell phone back into his pocket. "We have another dead family."
"Where?" asked Nancy.
"Not too far from your parent's house. I need to head out there right now."
"I'm going with you," demanded Nancy.
"No…I work alone."
"Because I don't like babysitting pain in the ass partners!"
She stepped closer to the detective and pressed her large beasts against his broad muscular chest. "Please, Detective Stone, as you can tell, I'm a fully developed woman. You won't need to babysit me. I need to know who or what killed my family!"
"Oh, all right, but I know I'm going to regret this!"
She gave the detective a quick kiss on his bristled cheek. "Thanks for helping a grieving officer of the law seek justice."
Nancy followed Travis out to his truck, they jumped up into the cab, and Travis drove out to the crime scene. "Nancy, we're only a few miles from your parent's house. Do know who lives here?"
"No." She shook her head. "This house was built after I moved out to Dallas."
A waiting police officer lifted the yellow crime scene tape over their heads. "Detective Stone, the meat wagon is waiting for you to release the bodies," voiced the officer. "There are three bodies in the house. The mother is in the kitchen, the father is in the front parlor, and their teen son is in his bedroom. We didn't touch anything but to verify their deaths."
"Did anyone see any strange looking green insects?" asked Nancy.
"I don't think so," replied the officer. "There's really not much to see in there except for the dead bodies. There are no signs of a struggle. They just died."
Travis and Nancy entered the house. The officer was correct, there wasn't much to see. No evidence to indicate foul play. They checked out the father, the mother, and now their standing in the teen's room. The young man is sitting at his desk in front of his computer, and his head is leaned back, as if he fell asleep. On the computer monitor's screen, the teen's FaceBook account is open. His right hand is still positioned on top of his computer's mouse. Travis leaned forward to see how many friends the boy has. "S***, I hear something in the kid's head!"
"What?" asked Nancy.
"Quiet." He placed his ear closer to the teen's head. After a long moment, he hurriedly backed away. "I can hear a sloshing sound."
"Travis, give me two of your forty-five bullets," demanded Nancy.
"Just give them to me!"
He removed two bullets from his extra clip. "Here, take them."
She grabbed the bullets and shoved one each up into the young man's nostrils as far as she could. "Damn, I need something to hold the bullets in place." She looked around the room, and then she removed a framed picture of Britney Spears from the wall.
"What the hell are doing?" Travis asked while expressing a puzzled expression.
"I want this nail" She wiggled it and pulled it out of the sheetrock.
"I need to hold the bullets in place." She took the nail and shoved it through the side of the teen's nose, entering and exiting each nostril, just under the bullets. "Hopefully that'll prevent the insect from escaping."
"Damn, Nancy! Piercing the dead kid's nose with a nail was a gory thing to do."
"Hey, it was the only thing I could think of doing. The insect may decide to push an eyeball to escape, so we need to have the ambulance rush the teen's body to the autopsy lab."
"Yeah, with a creepy crawler surprise sealed in the kid's head," said Travis.
With the truck's blue emergency lights flashing and the siren screaming, Travis followed the ambulance to the hospital. He asked Nancy to call Herbert to prepare him for the teen's body. She explained there might be one of those ugly green insects trapped within the kid's skull.
Again, Travis is in the autopsy lab, surrounded by the smell of death. He figures if he spends too much time in autopsy, there won't be enough water or detergent in the world to wash the smell of death out of his cloths.
"Who the hell pierced the young man's nose with a nail?" asked the doctor.
"I did," admitted Nancy. "The nail is retaining two forty-five bullets that I shoved up his nose to prevent the insect from escaping."
Herbert began to cut off the top of the kid's head when surprisingly the teen's left eyeball popped out of his head, followed by an ugly green insect.
Nancy reacted quickly by scooping up the creepy crawler into a glass specimen jar and capping it off. Two more insects crawled out of the teen's eye socket. They scurried off the bloody stainless steel table and jumped onto the floor.
Travis stamped on both of the creepy crawlers at once, but when he lifted his highly polished cowboy boots, the insects were only dazed for a moment. He drew his forty-five and rapidly fired twice, hitting each of them. "Holly cat s***, did you guys see that. I stomped on them with all my weight, but the tough buggers didn't squash!"
"I see that you’re an excellent marksman," said Nancy. "Sometime we will have to do battle at the police shooting range."
"Any time your man enough."
"Damn, Stone, my ears are ringing," sputtered the doctor.
Nancy held up the specimen jar to examine the creepy crawler. "I've never seen anything like it. Its red eyes seem as if their glowing."
Herbert moved in closer to view the insect. "Yes, the creature has a storage sack full of brain matter, and I think it uses its front pinchers to surgically slice up the temporal lobe. I'll learn more after I dissect it, but right now I'd dare to say this insect is an alien."
Detective Stone cynically chuckled. "The insect traveled here from Mexico?"
"No." Herbert shook his head while pointing his index finger upward. "This insect might be extraterrestrial."
Again, Travis chuckled. "My murder suspects are alien creepy crawlers!"
"It does explain why you couldn't crush the weird insects under your boot," chimed Nancy.
"Hey, I just remembered something that may explain the alien bugs," Travis excitedly voiced. "About a month ago a few dozen people reported seeing a UFO over the vicinity of your parent's house, but the Air Force confirmed it as being a small meteorite that didn't fully burn up in the atmosphere."
"If something extraterrestrial landed in the vicinity of my parent's house, than there could be many more victims."
"Yeah." Travis nodded his head while rubbing his bristled chin in thought. "What needs to be done is a knock on the door of every home within the area."
"I agree," said Nancy. "Can you arrange it?"
"Without having a good explanation, I might be able to get a few door knocking teams out there. If I tell the chief we're being invaded by green alien insects that crawl up people's nostrils and eat a preferred section of their brains, he's going to demand I see the department's shrink…everyday for a month of Sundays."
"Yeah, I see your point," said Nancy. "I think there's more to these alien insects than what we're seeing, and our investigation needs to discover what that may be, which means we need to go knocking on doors."
"Yes, this is our investigation?"
"Yeah, I'm not going to argue with a dead nose, six-penny nail piercer practitioner."
"That's awesomely funny!" Nancy faked a childish giggle. "Now let's go knock on those doors."
"It's more than an hour past my lunch," whined Travis.
"Ah, the poor hungry baby detective," she said while pinching his left cheek. "We can pick something up to go. I know a great new fast food restaurant. It's called McWongs, and they serve a fantastic pork burger with a special spicy sauce."
"Okay…okay, let's go!"
They munched out on their pork burgers and rice fries, and then Travis drove to a ranch house not more than a half mile from the second death house. Travis knocked on the front door. "There's nobody home."
"Somebody has to be home. There's a truck and a car in the driveway."
"Perhaps they're out riding their bicycles," sputtered Travis.
"Detective, move out of the way." Nancy raised her right leg and kicked open the door."
"Impressive power kick, but we don't have a warrant."
"Alien insects don't give a s*** about a warrant."
Travis used his forty-five to lead their way into the house. Sitting side by side on the sofa are an elderly couple, each with a big book in their lap. Travis pinched off his nostrils with his fingers. "From the smell, I'd say Ma and Pa have been dead for three or four weeks."
"Oh my god," voiced Nancy, "the old man must've lived an uninteresting life."
"What makes you say that?" asked Travis.
"He's was reading 'War and Peace'."
"Perhaps he started reading it when he was in his teens."
They hurriedly did a walkabout through house without finding any more dead bodies.
"If they died as far back as four weeks ago," said Nancy, "than that's around the time the UFO was sited."
Detective Stone gave Nancy a broad handsome smile. "Thus meaning they could be the first victims."
"Wow! We do make a good team."
"You can't make a statement like that without having sex with me."
"I meant we're a good investigative team."
"Not being specific can confuse people."
"We need to check out their giant barn."
"I didn't see a barn."
"I saw it when we we're approaching the house."
They strolled around the house to the barn.
"Damn, this is a big ass barn," voiced Travis. "Why would anyone want to build a steel barn big enough to house a jumbo jet?" He attempted to slide open the enormous steel door, but it won't budge. "Superwoman, do you want to try your power kick on this giant door?"
"Excuse me, did you say superior woman."
"Yeah, that'll be a cold day in hell."
"Detective Stone, there must be a side entrance into this barn," Nancy said as she walked away.
"Hey, wait for me!"
They walked along the left side of the barn without finding an entrance. Travis and Nancy's eyes widened in surprise as they rounded the corner to the rear of the barn.
"This has to be the UFO's landing site," voiced Nancy.
"Yes, something did land here," agreed Travis. "It slid a few hundred feet across the pasture, digging up this enormous gully, and then it burrowed under the barn's cement base."
Travis and Nancy climbed down into the deep gully and looked into the huge burrow under the barn's cement slab. Nancy removed a small flashlight from a pouch on her metro police belt and shined the beam of light into the cave-like h***. "There's a large object lodged in there under the barn. I can't make out any details of it."
"Maybe it’s a large meteorite."
"Or it could be an alien spaceship."
"Don't be silly. Those green alien bugs don't have any hands for constructing a spacecraft, but they may have somehow hitched a ride inside a meteorite. Come on, Nancy, let's check out the right side of the barn for a normal size door."
They climbed out of the gorge and walked along the right side of the barn until they came upon a locked steal door.
"The property owners are dead…and their month old dead bodies prove they don't have any close kin, so blow the damn door open with your forty-five," insisted Nancy.
"Okay! Stand back in case bits of the bullets bounce back." He rapidly fired five rounds into the lock. "Okay, now impress me again with your power kick."
Nancy kicked the door and it flung open with a loud bang.
Travis stepped inside the barn and located a row of light switches on the wall. He flipped up every switch, igniting many rows of overhead lights. "Holy Henry Ford, this giant barn is full of classic muscle cars from the fifties and sixties. Nancy, come in and check them out. There's dozens of cars and they're all showroom perfect."
"Oh my God, they're so shiny and archaic. The old man must've restored them."
Travis yanked open the driver's door of an orange GTO Judge, and then he ran along a line of cars, frantically opening and closing the drivers doors. "Just as I figured, none of these historic beauties have over a hundred miles on the speedometers. The old man bought these cars and they went straight from the car dealer's showroom floor into this big old steel barn. He collected these cars like having a private collection of great masterpieces of art."
"He was obviously a screwy nutcase who wasted tons of his money on cars that he never drove," sputtered Nancy.
"Yeah, but these aren’t ordinary cars. They're famous muscle cars!"
"Hey, look, there's a h*** in the floor," announced Nancy as she pointed her finger.
Detective Stone's eyes followed to where Nancy is pointing. Sure enough, between a Z28 Camaro and a Boss 429 Mustang is a perfectly round h*** cut in the cement floor. It's about four feet in diameter, and there's a greenish glow of light shining up through the h***. Travis nervously drew his gun from his chest holster. "Let's go check it out."
"I wish I had my gun," cried Nancy.
"I've been meaning to ask you where your gun is."
"They took it away when they notified me about the death of my family. I suppose they were afraid I was going to use it to commit suicide."
"I'll give you my backup piece if you promise not to blow your brains out with it."
"I'm mourning with revenge and I have no intentions of killing myself!"
He lifted up his pant leg and removed a snub-nosed thirty-eight from a holster strapped around his leg, just above his boot. "This is the reason why I wear old man baggy pants."
"Oh, and I thought your reason for wearing baggy pants was to house your extra large heroic manhood."
"Well…that too!" He handed her the thirty-eight. "Maybe we should rethink this and call in for backup."
"No! Perhaps the thing responsible for killing my family is down in that big rabbit h***, and I'd like to be the one who kills it!"
"The alien creepy crawlers are most likely responsible for all the deaths," said Travis. "What we need is an army of Terminix men."
"I'm a deep seeded science fiction buff; therefore, I believe the alien insects are being controlled by a higher power."
Travis chuckled. "Does this mean you're a Trekkie? On the weekends do you dress up like a Klingon female in heat and travel to all the Trekkie conventions?"
"I'm not an extremist! I enjoy all science fiction equally, and that big rabbit h*** over there is a science fiction reality," she voiced, and then she bravely headed toward the h*** with his backup gun pointing the way.
Detective Stone followed Nancy to the edge of the h***. Just below the one-foot thickness of cement is a green glowing disk that's slightly smaller than the diameter of the h***.
"What the hell are we looking at?" asked Travis.
"An elevator!" Nancy stepped down onto the disk and her body lowered into the alien vessel.
Travis frantically attempted to grab Nancy, but her downward departure was too rapid. The green glowing disk returned without her. "Oh s*** balls of fire! I knew I'd regret taking her on as a partner," he said aloud as he bravely stepped down onto the disk. Travis stepped off the disk to find himself standing next to Nancy within a weird alien room. The overhead lighting is glowing bright green. Laid out before him is an oddly shaped chair mounted in front of an angled control console that resembles a large computer touch screen containing many unfamiliar symbols.
"This is totally awesome! We're standing in the control room aboard an alien spacecraft."
"I personally wouldn't classify this terrifying situation as being totally awesome! How the hell did you know the green glowing disk was an elevator?"
"It's a typical imaginary concept within many science fiction stories."
"Overly stupid of me for not being a science fiction enthusiast."
"Come on, let's search this alien ship." With their guns in hand, they were about to step through an open hatchway when a weird sounding voice erupted from behind them. "Human trespassers!"
Nancy and Travis spun around on their heels to see a strange hairless, purple skinned creature, with a round head attached to a foot long muscular neck. The tall alien has three tripod legs, two long snaking arms, large green glowing eyes, and a wide lipless mouth.
"Freeze, alien, or I'll blow your ugly head off your long neck."
"Excuse me," said the alien, "But it's not cold enough in here for me to freeze. Besides, I've rendered your weapons useless with an invisible matter bonding beam."
Nancy attempted to pull the trigger, but it wouldn't budge. "Yeah, the components within my gun are like welded together."
"Oh, my sweet pumpkin princess, you'll always be Daddy's little girl," voiced the alien.
"Sweet pumpkin princess," Travis voiced along with a bewildered expression.
"That's what my father calls me!"
"Nancy, I worry so much about you," said the alien. "Dear, I wish you'd quit your hazardous job as a Dallas metro police officer."
"Travis, those are my mother's exact words from a few days ago."
"Nancy Delarocas, I recognize you." voiced the purple alien. "That's because I possess your parent's memories."
"You murdered my family!"
"I didn't personally murder your family!" snapped the alien. "It was my robotic knowledge collectors who abruptly ended their existence. For me to obtain knowledge of an alien race requires sacrificing lives. My insect robots collected your family's brain matter, and upon their return I consume their delicious brain matter, thus obtaining their memories."
"You’re an evil murdering alien a******," shouted Nancy.
"Oh my dear pumpkin princess, there's no compromising with you. I do what I must do in the name of universal science." The alien turned his attention toward Travis. "Human male, did you enjoy my collection of muscle cars?"
"Those muscle cars don't belong to you," said Detective Stone. "They belong to the old man your robotic creepy crawlers murdered for you to steal his lifelong memories."
"You're the first person to visually enjoy my private collection of muscle cars. I've never shared them with anyone else besides my dear wife, Beatrice."
"Nancy, this damn alien is crazier than Sybil! He's obviously suffering from a multiple personality disorder."
"Stone, you’re an idiot!" sparked Nancy. "Sybil and her cohorts faked everything to rapidly advance their book to the top of New York Times best selling list."
"No s***! I didn't know that, and I somewhat enjoyed the Sally Field movie."
"I know who I am," sputtered the purple Alien. "My name is Poddernick, and I'm famous on my world for discovering many intelligent life forms throughout the universe. Now that I've obtained the lifelong memories from of over a hundred human beings, I'm planning to return to my world and document a science thesis pertaining to your human race. In the future, my race may decide to enslave your race as our servants, and as a new food supply."
"Poddernick, what are you planning to do with us?" asked Detective Stone.
For a moment, the alien scratched his bald purple head in thought. "Returning home with a captive human male and female may be extremely rewarding, plus to observe and study you're animalistic mating methods would be interesting."
Unexpectedly, Nancy raised her little flashlight and shined the bright beam of light into Poddernick's green eyes. The alien screamed in pain, and like a raging animal, Nancy jumped on him. They fell down, hard onto the deck, and she locked her hands around his long neck. She squeezed with all might until she felt the alien's snake-like neck bones crake and crush. Poddernick gasped his last breath of air.
"Holy vicious redhead, you killed the alien a******! You courageously saved us from being kidnapped as lab rats."
Nancy rolled off Poddernick's dead purple body and stood up. "Hey, Stone, I told you I was going to kill whoever was responsible for the death of my family! There's nothing more fearful than the revenge of a red headed female."
"I was bravely thinking of physically attacking Poddernick, but he's naked, and I didn't want to accidently touch his weird looking private parts!"
"I was thinking of a way to crush them along with his neck!"
"How did you know Poddernick's eyes were light sensitive?"
"It's another typical imaginary concept within many science fiction stories."
"Okay, I'll make it a priority to start reading science fiction novels."
Nancy giggled. "You better start with teen science fiction novels."
"Adult science fiction will most likely be above your intelligence level."
"Yeah, I suppose I deserve that. Nancy, to be honest with you, I've never meet a magnificent thunder woman like you, and I'm drawn to you like powerful magnets to metal. Do you like me just a little bit?"
"Is this your way of asking me out to dinner, a science fiction movie, a wild night of lustful sex, and a pancake breakfast with fresh Columbian coffee?"
"Yeah, I suppose it is."
"Okay…it’s a date."
"Fantastic! …Well, we better call this in."
"If I were you, I'd just call in about the dead bodies in the front parlor and let someone else find this alien spacecraft."
"So we can avoid months of having the men in black crawling up our a******* with never ending questions and unrealistic demands."
"Nancy, are you saying the men in black really do exist?"
"They are a typical imaginary concept within many science fiction stories."
© December 2011