Released today! Only a buck.
Author Archives: L. A. Jacob
Sing it with me: Anticipation
I write over 800 words a day, but not in one place. It’s in my journal most of the time. I have 7 journals. Six online through Penzu and one physical hand-written one which is going to hqave to be burned at my death.
I don’t write stories anymore. I’ve been reading non-fiction and therefore been writing essays or things in my journal. It’s not like I don’t have a story to write. “Teen Guardians” is a story I had in mind for a while now, but haven’t had a chance to put together. Problem is, I know the story, how to get there, and it’s plotted out. Now it’s boring.
So not only is my cat looking up at me expectantly, but so are people who have read my book.
Slowly, it’s coming together.
50: Psycho Ninja
Blasters are notorious for being “glass cannons”. The idea with a blaster is to cause more damage than you get. It helps if you get some defense behind you.
Psycho Ninja is a throw-away character with no real backstory. But I’ve been having a lot of fun with him during the Halloween Event here in Paragon City. Whenever I hear the words, I think of “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. The kicking animation for the character is a lot of fun to watch.
I suppose if I want to give him a backstory: he’s MA trained and originally from an asylum after he showed signs of Mentalism. The asylum closed due to lack of funds, and he was released because he wasn’t considered a danger. He moved to the Isles and made his trade there, but now he’s legal and all–and he has a passport to Paragon City.
The Professional 1
Mike Lebonte and his husband, Scott Angrier, deplaned in Phoenix, Arazona, in the middle of winter. Of which it was 70 degrees.
“We brought all the wrong clothes, “ Mike said as they stood waiting for their luggage off the carousel.
“We can change them,” said Scott. He gave Mike a puppy-eyed look.
“Waste of magic on a glamour,” Mike muttered. The carousel spat out their luggage; Scott’s red with a My Little Pony tag, Mike’s light blue with a large silver pentacle embroidered on the front pocket.
“Would you rather be in long pants on a hot summer’s day?”
“How about you in a kilt?”
“Oh, good idea for the photo shoot.”
Mike grinned. “Yeah, you would.” They plucked out their luggage from the pile that passed by them. “The shoot is tomorrow. What am I going to do?”
“You can come watch me, but you’ll probably eat all the snacks because you’re so bored.”
“Maybe there’s a museum or a movie theater near the hotel. That’ll kill a couple of hours.”
“Sure there is. Look, something is going on, because this airport is so busy.” Scott put a hand on Mike’s arm. “Follow me.”
“Yes, sir.” Mike did so.
Ch 3, scene 3
“I don’t understand the ways of his company.” Rook placed the tray on the coffee table.
“It’s age discrimination. That’s what it is.”
Rook stood by the couch, while Leona turned from the pictures to the tea. “But he should have retired years ago, it’s true. Then this wouldn’t have happened.”
She made her tea. Rook said nothing, having no feelings on the matter. He truly didn’t understand why he one day he was working, and on starting on a Friday he was not.
Leona took out the remote from the console and put on the TV. “What is he doing up there?”
Rook shrugged. He didn’t understand why his Master locked himself in his room, either. He watched the TV with Leona, who preferred crime dramas to Rook’s game shows. Serena hadn’t come over today because of the rain.
Rook hadn’t seen fit to introduce Serena to his Master, because he’d been locked up in his room for the past week. The birds were confused, now that they no longer had him to serve. Mirus was the only familiar who seemed to be not worried.
Sipping from the fine china, Leona concentrated on the program while Rook stood by. Then they heard a door open. Both of them looked upward.
Footsteps treaded down the stairs. Edwin appeared at the foot of the stairs, dressed in his pajamas and robe. “Leona!”
She got up from the couch. “Father? Are you all right?”
He suddenly smiled. “Better. Much better. Oh, tea.”
“I’ll get you a cup,” said Rook.
“What were you doing up there?” Leona asked while Rook went to the kitchen to fetch another cup.
“The Master is awake,” he warned Mirus and the other familiars in the room. The gremlin who handled the cutlery and dishes put on his apron, ready to work.
Rook returned to the room. His master was animated in his speech, gesturing and waving his arms. “…and did you know that Atwood, the manager of account management, has a secret love for boys?”
“Father,” said Leona, a disgusted look on her face, “how do you know all this?”
“I have my ways. I can expose the entire account management team—past and present—to questionable, if not criminal, practices.”
Rook handed over the cup. Edwin took it absently and put it on the tray.
“I’ve made a list. I have so much on them. Office politics and competition and personal time at work; their actual thoughts about clients, how they treated and felt about each other. I have it all.”
“What do you plan on doing with this information, Father?”
“Call the TV stations and the newspapers. They have to investigate the criminal behavior with all this information I have.”
Leona bit her lip. Edwin put some black tea in his cup and poured the water over it. He added sugar, stirring it.
“Honestly, Father, I don’t think that kind of information is criminal.”
“Oh? What about one account manager—who’s been there for about ten years—changed the information in a client’s record based on hearsay about the client laying off people, and then he found out a month later that the layoff never happened, so he changed the information back again?”
“Do you have proof?”
“The computer time-stamps information changes.”
“I don’t know if anyone will want to know this information.”
“Of course they will! PharmCare is the biggest pharmacy benefit management system in the city, if not the state!”
Leona finished her tea. Edwin kept talking, giving examples of “criminal” behavior. Most of them were for prior authorizations for high-ranking people in the client’s offices, or increasing of prices for one client while decreasing it for another to get them to sign on, and then increasing it steadily by a few cents a month so they were compatible.
She and Rook listened impassively. Leona rose when Edwin took a moment to sip his tea.
“I’m sorry, Father, but I don’t think anyone will care.”
Edwin paused. “What do you mean? This is important!”
“This has been going on for years, you say. Why hasn’t anyone else said anything?”
“They probably were sworn to secrecy. I’m not! I read through that contract line by line, and it doesn’t say that I can’t use my knowledge anywhere else.”
She turned to Rook, whose face did not betray the conflict in his mind. What was his Master talking about? Why would telling a TV station or newspaper information be important? Why not tell the authorities?
Leona went to the foyer.
“Aren’t you staying for dinner?”
“I’m sorry. I can’t tonight. Maybe Sunday.”
“Sunday dinner, yes. We can have your favorite, roast beef with baked sweet potatoes.”
Leona had a strange look on her face. “He’s obsessing,” she whispered to Rook. “He needs to see someone.”
“A Rook Given” Ch 2, Sc 1
Edwin Grant flashed his badge from his lanyard to buzz himself into the main building of PharmCare, located in prime Hartford real estate downtown. He parked three blocks away at a company-sponsored lot with a shuttle that left the place every fifteen minutes.
Once buzzed through the main door, he was clocked in. Since he already had breakfast and his daily morning paper, he went right to his cubicle. He buzzed himself into the elevator, which would automatically send him to his floor. However, other people came in and pressed the buttons to different floors, even while hisn floor was hi lighted in blue light. He smiled, knowing that meant express.
One of the perks of being here over twenty years, he thought, as the elevator went directly to the fourth floor, skipping the other three, to the chagrin of the rest of the passengers. He and two others exited onto the floor. The two women separated, going north, while he went south to his office. He took the third left, opening the main door into the Creative Mailings section of PharmCare.
Some people were already gathered at the coffee machine. He waved to them. Some waved back. Most of them did not. He didn’t take it personal; many of them were non-functioning until they had their cup of coffee, which is why he never scheduled meetings until after ten.
He went to his office that he got because of his tenure. The manager of the department was located in the bullpen, waiting for Edwin to leave so he could get the office. To spite him, Edwin hadn’t left yet, and had no plans of doing so.
Edwin opened the window because his familiars would come in with their information over the course of the day. Flies, bees, wasps, butterflies, birds. Already a bluebird sat on the ledge. He closed his door and the bluebird flew inside.
“Branca is almost finished with the letter to the client,” the bluebird tweeted. “She should be done with it today and will submit it for final approval from the client.”
Edwin opened up his laptop from his briefcase while the bird talked. “Which one is this?”
Edwin logged in, checked his calendar. He sorted by person, noting that the Kmart team’s next meeting was next Tuesday. “Good. She’s on track. Make sure the client returns the letter by the end of the week so we can have everything ready for that meeting.”
“Yes, Master,” replied the bluebird. He flittered away, on his way to New York City, where the client held its headquarters. Edwin already had the logo and letterhead officially created. The client was going out of business, and Edwin had to make sure this was as formal as possible. People would lose their jobs and insurance. That was his purpose here, to inform the client’s members in the most efficient and professional manner possible, without becoming junk mail.
He unpacked the Monarch butterfly from his case. Still alive, still fluttering around as the jar moved. Edwin connected his laptop to the docking station and left his office, closing the door. The crowd at the coffee room had gotten larger, as the eight o’clock hour had already passed.
He had already gotten the cubicle number of Lei Ghaing, the account manager for Myosun Construction. Carrying the jar, he brought it into the elevator. A couple of people looked at the jar in his hands. It looked like a diorama of a Monarch Butterfly on a Geranium.
Edwin left the fourth floor and walked down the hallway, taking a couple of rights before arriving at the account management department. Lei’s cubicle was decorated for Easter, with eggs and the Easter Bunny hanging on the wall.
She turned around. Her hair was undone, past her shoulders, straight and raven black. She wore a white frilly shirt and black pants with heels that she had kicked off under the desk.
Lei gave him a look of confusion. Processing, processing, Edwin thought with an inner chuckle.
“I’m Edwin Grant. I handle the mailings for Myosun. The newest project that was assigned to me yesterday?”
“Oh. Oh, I’m sorry, I haven’t introduced myself to the team yet.”
“I took the liberty of looking you up.” Edwin smiled and presented her the jar. “I would like you to accept this gift as a token of our teamwork.”
“This is beautiful.” Her statement was flat, more confused than grateful. “Is it real?”
“No,” Edwin lied. The moment he released the jar from his hand to hers, the butterfly went ramrod still on the flower. “If you could give it back when you leave the company, or move on to something else…”
“Sure,” she replied, but he knew she wouldn’t. No one ever did. He would often find out from his bees in HR if someone he presented a familiar with left the company or their position. He would retrieve the familiar himself. By then, most of the time, the familiar would be useless to anyone and would be relegated to the workshop until he needed it again.
Lei put the jar down far away from her computer, as if she didn’t want to see it. It would possibly be buried beneath papers and plastic within a few months, but by then he’d have what he needed.
“I’m glad to meet you…”
“Edwin.” He forced a smile. “We’ll have our first meeting next Tuesday. I’ll have some prototypes ready for you by then.”
“Uh, good. Excellent.” A ping went off, meaning she got an instant message from someone. “Excuse me?”
“Certainly. I’ll see you next week.” He walked through the account management department, stopping by one cubicle. No one was in it anymore, but a fern wilted in the corner. He picked it up, knowing it was a present to the UPS account management person for his mailings over a year ago.
The bees aren’t working anymore, he thought. He’d have to introduce spiders or mice.
New Novel: A Rook Given (Scene 2)
Edwin Grant sipped the light chamomile tea as he climbed the stairs to his bedroom. This old dusty house needed his daughter back, but she wanted to be independent and out on her own. He allowed her to live her life out there, beyond the ancestral home, into the world that he lived in.
Often, his daughter would ask why, if he used his magic so often, didn’t he become the president of Pharmcare. Magic was not meant to be so obvious, he kept trying to explain. Magic is tiny ripples in the pond of fate, that slowly ebbs away at the shoreline, taking a grain of sand at a time until the shore itself has changed.
He used his ability to create to cause these small ripples. He made himself indispensable. This is why, in his 60’s, he was both being passed over for promotion and sought after for his talents.
Edwin opened the large mahogany door into the master suite. No familiars were allowed to cross this threshold without their Master’s permission, the only room in the house off limits to everyone except himself.
Here, he kept his more precious objects, objects d’familiar to remind him what he put out there. The workshop held the potential; the bedroom suite held the productions.
Of course, he never had the heart to destroy his creations. They existed until they starved for attention or power and faded away, then used again another time, like the Monarch.
He dressed in his pajamas, a harbinger of an older time with his wife and daughter. They looked like they came from a different time, at least the 50’s. Dark plaid button-down top and bottoms, barefoot. He climbed into his bed that he made every morning upon waking. It was something his wife instilled in him when they married.
He stared at the ceiling (BEGIN INFO DUMP). Tomorrow was Wednesday, and he would provide the Monarch butterfly to Lei Zheng, who was the account manager for the Myosun Project. He had been assigned to come up with the graphics for the mailings from PharmCare.
Myosun Construction employed mostly people from the West coast, and also, their employees were mostly of Eastern descent. Chinese, Indian, Korean, Cambodian, a few Philipinos thrown in for diversity. Based outside of Silicon Valley, the construction company built high-rise buildings in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Monarch Butterfly gave him some ideas, but he wanted to know what was necessary.
One thing about corporate culture was its lack of communication. Although they would have meetings, either virtually or in person in the office, no important information was ever passed down—no official information, that is. The Monarch Butterfly was a recorder of information that would eventually be returned to Edwin, who would be able to tailor-make the mailings to the group of people the project aimed at.
This was his indispensability. Only he could come up with the right mailings. He was the go-to graphic designer that everyone wanted to have on their team. No one knew how he did it. But at the beginning of every project he would present the account manager or project manager with a plant or fish, saying that they didn’t even have to take care of it, but would they please return it if they left the company? Most people didn’t follow that simple direction, which is why he often found his gifts in the trash. Dottie, the HR director, still had his spider plant which would tell him about people who left, were leaving, or had moved on in the company and no longer needed his services. He would go search out those people’s desk, and discover his presents there, either on the desk or in the trash.
He has been passed over for director too many times to count, but he was fine with that. He didn’t want to leave his position as a gear in the machinery. No one expected too much from him and he always over-delivered.
Viva Las Vegas
Seagn found herself knocking on the back of a truck that Moose was staying in. The Sidewinders had not stopped, and were in the process of singing “Viva Las Vegas” for the seventh time.
Moose opened the door. “They’re your friends.”
“They’re not my friends.”
“You brought them here.”
“They came here on their own! Stop blaming me!”
“Webby’s going to blame you if they break out and cause any shit to the rides.”
“What do I do? Call the police?”
Moose sighed. “Tell them, nicely, that you want them gone.”
“But they’re all drunk. They’re in no condition to drive!”
“Then tell them, nicely, to keep it down. Some people are trying to sleep.”
“Viva! Viva! Las Vegas!”
“You’re no help.”
“I’m not going to put my head in the lion’s den of a bunch of drunken bikers. They may be women, but you don’t fuck with drunken bikers.” Moose looked around. “Come inside here. You can stay with me.”
He kissed her. She was surprised, but not angry. He deepened the kiss slowly, gently like he did beside the water.
Seagn blushed. “Maybe a little.”
The Sidewinders Visit
Someone banging on the truck woke Seagn up. “What?” she yelled, pulling the sheet over her head.
“Someone out here to see you,” called Moose.
She checked her phone. Six thirty, for God’s sake. “It better not be Webby,” she muttered. “Or I’ll be very disappointed.”
She pulled on clothes and opened the door. Moose stood at the base of the truck, and beyond him…
“Gray!” She jumped down and the older woman hugged Seagn, giving her a kiss on the cheek. Most of the group waved with a smile at her. Others looked like they needed a cup of coffee before becoming human.
“Morning, sweetheart.” She thumbed at Moose. “Nice fella you got here. Appreciates good bikes.”
“I have a Fat Boy back at the Ranch,” he said. “2021.”
“Black or green?”
“Black. Couldn’t find the green.”
“They didn’t make enough of them. Anyway!” Gray turned to Seagn. “We’re here to take you for breakfast.”
“Sounds like a great idea. We don’t open until ten.”
Sheila came forward. “Where’s the animals?”
“In the trailer. I have to feed them first.”
“We can help!”
Some of the women groaned. Gray waved a hand. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Why don’t you scope out a place that can take us all.”
“Mind if Moose comes?” Seagn asked.
“If he doesn’t mind being the girl.”
Moose shook his head. “I’m all right. There’s a Denny’s twenty minutes down Route 6 heading east.”
“Denny’s it is. The mom and pops won’t be able to take us all at once. Shaun, you can ride with me.”
Seagn stared at the bike. She gulped. “Do I have to?”
“Don’t tell me you’re scared.”
Moose said, “Then I’ll tell you. I’ve been trying to get her on the back of my bike for months.”
Gray laughed. “I’ll put a sissy bar on it. Katie? Can I borrow yours?”
“Sure, boss,” said a young woman with long blond hair and a squat body. She took out an electric screwdriver she had in her saddle bags and unscrewed the metal bar at the rear of her bike.
“So you mean to tell me that the only thing that’s going to be holding me on is a pair of screws?”
“And someone who’s been riding Softails longer than you’ve been alive.”
“What about the animals?”
“I’ll feed them,” Moose said. “We can all talk shop when you get back.”
“Don’t feed them too much. I don’t have a lot left and we’re going to be selling bags of feed. Check the water and bring out the troughs, and—”
Moose gave her a look. She felt that aura come up again.
“Yeah, just feed them.”
“Okay,” he said, and headed to the trailer doors. The animals, hearing the commotion outside, were now awake and demanding.
“A cow!” cried Sheila, after hearing Bella moo. “You have a cow!”
“Later, girls, later,” said Gray. “Taurus is ready to tear off heads because we left without her coffee.”
Someone provided Seagn with a helmet. She looked confused until someone showed her how to put it on and switched on the microphone for her. They were on CB channel 22. Nobody used CB radio except truckers and enthusiasts, so the channel was clear. Seagn got a jacket and then climbed on the back of Gray’s bike, glad that it had a bar in the back she could lean against.
The gang of bikers all started up at roughly the same time, creating a roar that would have woken up anyone else in the area. They pulled out onto Route 6, heading east.
“So what’s this festival for?” asked Gray.
Seagn replied, “Different restaurants showcasing their famous scallop dishes.”
“Scallop au gratin,” said someone into her speaker.
“It’s just scallops in a red sauce over linguine.”
“Sounds too gross to me.”
“We’re going to stick around,” said Gray. “I love scallops.”
The group started talking scallops, then seafood, then fish. None of it was of any interest to Seagn as holding on for dear life was her only interest for the moment.
They pulled into the Denny’s parking lot, engines roaring, making people look in their direction. Seagn wasn’t sure if she was happy or concerned that she was being stared at. Gray had ridden at the speed limit, but that didn’t make her feel any better.
She got off the bike, shaking, struggling with the helmet, feeling claustrophobic and sealed in tight in the helmet. A woman undid it and she gasped.
“Takes some getting used to,” said Gray. “Helmets give us blind spots, but there laws in a lot of states, so we wear them by default. Plus you can’t hear anything once these monsters are let loose.”
Seagn nodded after getting her footing and her courage back. She was thinking about the ride back. There would be more traffic. It would be a lot busier.
Gray put her arm around her shoulder. “It’s not that bad.”
“I’ve been brought up that these are death machines.”
“Not if you know what you’re doing and aren’t cocky. You have to have respect for them. Those rice-burners, I have no respect for people who ride those speed bikes. Your friend, there, I have a lot of respect for him.”
“He’d be happy to hear you say that,” said Seagn, as they walked up to the front doors.
Twenty-two women in leathers, tanks, jeans, and jackboots all stepped into the empty Denny’s restaurant. Seagn was underdressed in a windbreaker and a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Gray stopped at the podium and waited.
“Don’t be giving us a hard time,” she said loud enough for people in the back to hear. “Or you’ll be losing some good tips.”
A brown-colored waitress came out. “How many?”
She looked around the corner in the empty section of the restaurant. “Give me a sec.” She went there, rearranged a couple of tables of eight, and one for seven.
Gray smiled at her as she guided the women to their seats. “Your name, sweetheart?”
“Joy,” the woman responded.
“A very pretty name.”
Joy smiled. “Thanks. I’ll give you a few minutes.”
Gray took a seat that oversaw all the other women. Seagn sat to her left and another woman sat to her right. “Anything on the menu,” Gray said.
“Coffee,” muttered Taurus.
“Of course, coffee. Carafes even.” Gray turned to Seagn.
“I drink tea,” Seagn said.
“Yo!” A woman held up her hand in a virtual high-five. “Me too!”
Seagn laughed and held up her hand, too.
Sheila said, “You both like getting the little teapots. Makes y’all feel special.”
Seagn placed her order and the women chattered about the weather, the ride from P-Town (Seagn wasn’t sure what that was), and eventually assholes of the road. Seagn kept quiet throughout, thinking about getting back on that machine. Would she throw up after getting off the bike?
“Penny for your thoughts, sweetheart?” Gray put her fork down.
“The bike. I’m afraid of the bike.”
“I’ll take it even slower.”
“I want to get back as soon as I can.”
Gray patted her hand. “You need to get over your fear, or it’ll get the best of you. Sheila here, she was worried about getting her own bike, but now that she rides on her own, she’d never go back. Right?”
Sheila looked up from her food. She was called, but she didn’t know the question, Seagn could tell. Sheila smiled and gave them a thumbs-up.
A dictator does that, Seagn thought. Gray had these women wrapped around her gloved hand. That scared her more than the ride back.
What did I get myself involved with?
Seagn did not close her eyes on the way back, but held onto Gray’s waist with a death grip. Her stomach settled when she got within sight of the carnival.
Moose had done more than just feed the animals. He groomed them as well. “I would have put them out but I don’t know how you have this set up,” he said when Seagn dismounted. Seagn’s heart swelled suddenly. She blinked at the feeling.
“Mind if we park behind your trailer?” Gray asked.
“Don’t see why not.”
“Parking’s a premium at these things.” Gray motioned everyone to the area behind the trailer. All twenty of them fit there, parked like dominos, so close they looked like a stiff wind would topple them all over.
Seagn led out the animals, and some of the Sidewinders guided them to their pens. They loved the goats, just like everyone did, and hand-fed some of them while Seagn made up the feed bags for the kids. Some of the other women looked bored while the younger ones played with the animals before the opening.
As soon as the music started for the carousel, it meant the carnival was open. A few minutes after ten, people started streaming in. The Sidewinders headed out into the carnival to check out the rides and wares.
Seagn watched as men of all types gathered near the bikes to look them over. “Harleys do that,” said Taurus to Seagn.
“You’re not with everyone else?”
“Seen one carnival, seen ‘em all. I don’t like to leave the bikes alone.” She yelled at someone, “Hey, don’t touch.”
The three men gathered around jumped back as if whipped. Taurus only chuckled as the men walked away. “See how easy it is?”
“Easy what is?”
“Train men. All you need is a loud commanding voice and they fall right into line.”
Seagn didn’t think Moose would obey that easily. Maybe after some time had gone by, she wouldn’t necessarily “train” him, but they would respect each other. In her opinion, that’s what it came down to: respect.
She realized what she was thinking. About Moose. About staying with him.
But what about the animals? And Moose’s attitude when Beau left the company—she knew she wouldn’t be able to get him to leave now. Maybe when the season was done. She’d approach him. Later. Sometime…
“Hey, lady,” a man in an apron called to her. “You own these things?”
“These ‘things’ are farm animals.”
“How much for the goat there?” He pointed at Bob.
“It’s a ram, and he’s not for sale. None of them are.”
She looked him up and down, assessing that he was a cook from one of the restaurants who had entered the competition. Maybe he was planning on adding Bob to his scallop dish.
“Definitely sure.” She’d have to lock the animals in the trailer at night. She didn’t trust the guy as he walked away.
She talked to Taurus during the day. In the conversation, she found out Taurus was called that instead of “Bull” which was too male for her. She didn’t hate men, she just didn’t find a need for them, even as sexual partners. That was all that Taurus would disclose about herself—not where she was from, who she was with, or why she joined the Sidewinders in the first place. She wouldn’t espouse about Gray and her iron control over the group; she said nothing bad about the gang.
It bothered Seagn, that nothing bad was with the gang. She had already made her decision not to join them, to be nomadic all the time. Where did they get the money to drive around? Did they have real jobs during the winter and just did this during the summer?
An hour later, everything closed down except the bars along the the beach. Moose and Joe came over. Maggie was no where to be seen. “Where’s Maggie?”
“She got her period,” said Joe. “She’s back at the Ranch.”
Seagn rolled her eyes. “It’s not like having your period is a sickness.”
“With her it is.” Joe bristled.
Moose said, “I told you she just uses it as an excuse.”
Seagn nodded. “She is.”
“You don’t live with her. Anyway, we’re not talking about Maggie. I got a draw so we can go to the bar.”
Seagn knew that a “draw” meant an advance from his paycheck. “You paying?”
“Okay. I’ll have a Guinness on you.”
Joe slapped her on the back. “On me.”
They walked to the nearest bar, which was two blocks away. The parking lot was full and the place was crowded. They found their way to the bar. Seagn ordered a Guinness on tap, Moose and Joe both ordered Corona without limes. They ambled to an empty table with no chairs.
“What’s this about the SPCA?” asked Joe over the ambient noise.
“Did you tell everyone?” Seagn glared at Moose.
“Only the ones who cared.”
“Does Fatsy know?”
“Probably now, yeah.”
“Great. Like I need him to stick his nose into my business.”
Moose drank half the bottle at once. “He won’t say nothing to you.” Seagn frowned. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” She sipped her beer, enjoying the deep taste of it.
They stayed at the bar until last call. Seagn had nursed that one beer for the three hours they stayed. Moose and Joe drank a few, so were feeling no pain.
“We’re gonna go to the trailers,” said Moose.
“I have to go back to the animals.”
“C’mon,” said Joe, with a wide grin. “Sleep with him.”
Moose punched Joe in the upper arm. “Ow, man.” Joe rubbed the area. “That’s gonna leave a bruise.”
Moose said nothing as he walked up the hill to the parking area where the trailers were set up. Seagn split up from them, heading to the animals.
That’s when she saw Shet standing under a lamp post.
The small pony didn’t move from the area as she approached slowly. She took him by the bridle and stared into his deep brown eyes. “What are you doing out here?”
She turned to the area where the animals were. All the gates were wide open.
“Oh, shit!” She pulled Shet back to his pen. Bella was safely in her pen, asleep. The goats, sheep, and ram were gone. The pigs were found in the pen next to Bella. The feed bags and water jugs had been slit open by a knife, food and water mixing together onto the ground.
She walked around the Midway, finding Bob the ram, Mohauk and Beau the goats. No sign of the sheep or the other three goats.
Seagn stood in the middle of her area, turning around in a panic. Who did this? Where were the animals? Were they stolen? It was after two in the morning. Who could she call for help?
She saw a patrol car drive slowly by the carnival. An idea sparked.
She called 911.