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Happenstance MID-FEBRUARY, 2013

A Musing... Whatever you are, be a good one.

–Abraham Lincoln


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Happenstance Literary

Next issue: On or about March 1, 2013 Submission deadline, Friday, February 25, 2013 Creative Prompt: Spring Things

Poetry featuring Sam O. Dixon, Lin Chibante and Sharon Vander Meer.

In this issue: Page 3 • Attitude Adjustment

Message to subscribers Happenstance is under construction. To publish an information-packed issue twice a month the editorial staff (moi) will be adding new content including articles about northern New Mexico, dining and travel. If you have interesting stories you would like to share or see featured in Happenstance, contact sharon@vandermeerbooks.com Submitted articles with photos will be welcomed.

Page 4 • Writer’s Block Author Interviews Page 5 • Anita by Alan Guy Page 6 • Winter’s Eve Peter Linder Page 7 • Poetry Page 8 • Episode 6: Thunder Prime: Hunter’s Light, by Sharon Vander Meer Page 10 • Streaking Flight against clouds Peter Linder Next Issue Xeriscaping: Prepping your yard for outdoor living Episode 7: Thunder Prime, Hunter’s Light Quickies: Recipes for the busy cook

Page 7, Poetry

Happenstance Literary Mid-February, 2013 Happenstance Publishing Sharon Vander Meer Permission to use content contact:

sharon@vandermeerbooks.com

Cover image: Heart to heart IMAGE: clipart.com Some interior images from clipart.com

Subscription: $12 annually Free to contributing writers Mail check to Sharon Vander Meer Happenstance Publishing PO Box 187 Las Vegas, NM 87701 Subscribe online at Happenstance Literary All rights reserved by Happenstance Publishing in Las Vegas, N.M. Reproduction of contents in any fashion without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Happenstance Publishing is not responsible or liable for the loss of any unsolicited materials or incorrect dates or incorrect information in articles. Opinions expressed within the pages (or web posting) of Happenstance Literary do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the magazine. Bylined articles and editorial content represent the views of their authors. For permission to reprint any part of a bylined article, contact the author. www.vandermeerbooks.com Copyright 2013


Happenstance Literary

Call for Submissions These creative prompts are suggestions, not fences to corral the writing muse. March: Spring Things April: Flower Power May: Transitions June: Traditions July: Summer Celebrations August: School Days September: Autumn Leaves October: Spirits and Ghosties November: Fabulous Food December: Winter Celebrations Submission deadlines: One week prior to the publication date, which is typically on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

Writer’s Guidelines: 1. Must be original work. 2. Grammar, punctuation and spelling must be correct. 3. Maximum length 1,500 words. 4. Acceptable genres and styles: poetry, humor, essay, memoir, short story, photo essay, feature articles, travel, social commentary, food, wine and dining, book reviews, fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance and sci-fi/fantasy. 5. Submission does not guarantee publication. 6. Submit work to: sharon@vandermeerbooks.com. If you have specific questions about the submission process, please e-mail sharon@vandermeerbooks.com Compensation not paid at this time.

Mid-February, 2013, Page 3

Attitude adjustment A

presenter carried a raised glass of water in her hand and walked across the stage. Everyone expected her to ask the familiar question, “Half empty or half full?” She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she asked. Answers ranged from eight ounces to twenty ounces. “The absolute weight doesn’t matter,” she said. “It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes, and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.” I got this in an e-mail and thought how appropriate it is to talk about stress at the beginning of the year. We’re fast approaching tax season and nothing stresses us out like that! This story is a reminder that stress is a burden, but you don’t have to carry it around like a sack of rocks (or a glass of water) you can never put down. The unidentified presenter points out the thing we least want to admit and most need to know: when stress gets the better of us it controls our lives. According to webmd.com, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. The article points out that stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. It becomes negative when repeated challenges occur with no relief or relaxation between them. Tension builds and symptoms set in that may include headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. The article goes on to say stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases and can be more harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Rather than provide relief, substances keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. Here are some alarming facts noted on the WebMD site: • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. • Seventy-five percent to ninety percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace, costing American industry more than $300 billion annually. • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than fifty percent, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions. We can’t always change the circumstances that cause stress, but we can change how we handle it. Attitude and gratitude are key components in overcoming — or at the very least handling — stress inducing situations. Having a positive attitude isn’t so much about denying you are stressed, but putting stressful events into perspective so you can ease up, move on, and have a healthier and happier life. Gratitude for what you have is balm in trying times. Stress isn’t the leader of the band; it’s a minor player unless we allow it to be otherwise. —Sharon


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Happenstance Literary

Q&A, authors unleashed Alexander Valdez, a National Merit Scholar and the president and visionary for Vision Quest Entertainment Incorporated, was a guest on Writer’s Block Jan. 29. His full interview is at wbvandermeer.podbean.com. H. Please tell our audience a little about yourself. A. I am a graduate of the University of Southern California Cinema-Television Master’s Degree program. I learned editing there and I also apprenticed under Academy Award Winner Gray Frederickson and Albert S. Ruddy as well as his business partner Andre Morgan. H. What are ideation tools and how do you teach the concept? A. Ideation tools are what help a seasoned writer to make well formed story tools. Examples

of Story tools I give in my book are characters or scenes. Ideation tools help these to be more polished. I put forwards the following eight elements of story: The Hero, The Arena, The Spectacle, The Goals, The Opposition, The Gain, The Benefit and the Resolve. I go into more detail and I also put forward in the Screenwriter’s Notebook, Twelve Pictographs writer’s questions. These are also in my writer’s Guide which has a free electronic version at my website, www.cinema-libre.com. Click here to read more of this interview.

Kathleen M. Rodgers is passionate about her writing and her writing style. She puts her heart in to everything she does and our interview on Feb. 5 was a delight. Her book, The Final Salute is now available as an e-book. Kathleen Rodgers, Writer’s Block guest on KFUN/KLVF, Feb. 5, grew up in a family of six kids in Clovis, N.M., home of Cannon Air Force Base and the Santa Fe Railroad. She spent countless hours in a rocking chair, daydreaming about what it would be like to be someone else. Little did she know then she was creating stories in her head. In 2008, Leatherneck Publishing released her debut novel “The Final Salute.” The following year, Army Wife Network selected it as their July 2009 book club pick and Military Writers Society of America awarded it the Silver Medal. In July 2011, the e-book edition was released by Navi-

gator Books. That paperback edition hit the Amazon Best seller list in 2010 and the Kindle edition November 2012. H. What do you want people to know about you as a writer? K. Whether I’m writing a nonfiction piece for a magazine or newspaper or working on a novel or short story, I write to get to the truth. I try to create an emotional impact that will draw my reader in. My former editor at Family Circle Magazine once told me, “Your strength as a writer is your storytelling ability.” Read more...

Author RJ Mirabal is a happily retired high school teacher who enjoys writing and exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler. The Tower of Il Serrohe is his debut novel. H. Talk a little more about your background. RJ. I grew up in Peralta, NM, about 25 miles south of Albuquerque. I attended school in the Los Lunas School system, earned my teaching degree in English, speech, drama, and music at UNM, and then returned to Los Lunas High to teach those subjects for 39 years. My parents were a great encouragement to me and taught me anything I wanted required work and persistence. Neither had finished high school and were never prosperous, but they were determined I get a

good education so my life would be better than theirs. As an only child, I developed quite an imagination to keep myself occupied. I always had cats and dogs as well as farm animals, so they became some of my closest companions. I enjoy the outdoors especially if I can be out riding. I used to ride motorcycles, but now enjoy a 4-wheeler. Since I was a kid I also enjoyed music and participated in music at school which has continued to interest me. Read more...


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Happenstance Literary

Anita

W

hen I first met her, I did not think she was a voluptuous sexy woman. However, I did immediately and completely fall for the petite, adorable, cute-as-a-button, intriguingly shy girl of nineteen that she was. It was the end of the summer of 1964, I was twenty-two, and I was in love. We met at the home of an older friend of mine. I was helping him panel a room in his parents’ house. When his younger sister asked, “Can you drive my girlfriend, Anita, home tonight? It’s on your way.” “Sure. No Problem. It’s only five blocks from mine.” That was a Sunday. On the drive to deliver her safely home, I asked, “How would you like to go out tomorrow night?” “Yes,” was a perfectly good answer. We dated every night that week, until I had to return to college in Albany, and she returned to college in Manhattan. Where we went and what we talked about forty-six years ago has long since escaped my memory, but I do remember that on or about the second date I told her, “I’m going to marry you some day.” Her response was somewhere in the neighborhood of, “Yeah, sure. I don’t know how you can even think that.” The parting of our ways that Saturday night was full of, “I’m going to miss you,” and “I’ll write you,” hugs, and some tears. Early the next week, a letter arrived post marked New York City. I was beyond excited to get it so soon. Even better, in it was her acknowledgement of my feelings. “You’re probably right in the assessment of our new and future relationship,” she wrote. We waited the two years more that each of us needed to graduate, enduring the long distance romance, which included lots of letter writing, phone calls and visits, and meeting back in Utica during holidays and summer. We were married in August of 1966. Ironically three of our parents had known each other since childhood, growing up in that small city of Utica. Anita and I attended the same high school, me as a senior, she as a freshman, but we never crossed paths, even though we had mutual friends, acquaintances,

teachers, and even relatives by marriage. We share identical memories of events, people, and teenage hang outs, just not together. I’d known her father, the delightfully impish Natie, since I was about five years old. He was a salesman in the family owned Army and Navy store, the only one in town. My father would bring me there on some Saturday mornings to buy fishing gear, dungarees, and to do occasional schmoozing. Imagine my surprise the day she brought me home to meet her parents. There was Natie! “Why didn’t you tell me who your father was?” “It never even dawned on me you might already know him.” Raised in a similar socioeconomic home life as mine, by very loving, generous parents, she developed great taste, high standards, ideals, and a grounded sense of family, faith, and intellect, which she has passed on to me by osmosis. She was a third grade teacher in the same elementary school she attended as a little girl. I worked in pharmacy the first year we were together, and we prepared to move to Buffalo so I could attend dental school. Anita taught in a new school system for two additional years, until our first daughter was born. She raised our family of three, went back to teaching many years later, and finished her working career in my office for its final five years, and at our son-in-law’s accounting office for four more years, part time. Anita has been the most influential, most helpful person, over the longest period of my life. She raised our children while I spent so very many necessary hours each week building a practice from scratch, expanding and maintaining it, and devoting myself to my profession and to other people. Anita directed all the activity on the home front. Age, experience, and perhaps guilt have made me realize too much of my time was misdirected, and I was too much an absent husband and dad. Our two daughters were thirteen months apart. Our son joined the family five years after our second daughter was

born, and after I was through dental school. Can you imagine being trapped in a small apartment with two small babies and a dog in Buffalo, where, if it’s not snowing, it’s often raining? Anita did it all, including four moves in seven years, dutifully and wonderfully. She took the children to all doctors’ visits, pre-schools, after school lessons, sports practices, etc., all the time maintaining an immaculate home, having dinner ready, and supporting me. That’s the way it was back then when both parents did not have to work outside the home. She’s a super wife, a fabulous mom, and deserves all the praise, thanks, and medals mothers don’t often receive. Anita taught me dedication. I learned from her that nothing but the best will do, whether it be durable goods, which last longer over time than cheaper ones, or the best schools for our children’s education. “Nurse Anita” is a title she did not ask for, but had it foisted upon her over the years. Recuperating from my many arthritic surgeries could not have been accomplished without her much needed assistance. I am not aware of any friends whose wives could or would have done as much for them as she has done for me. She has always done their own house cleaning without outside help. She is a hard working dynamo, seldom found doing nothing. Of all those many titles and awards that either have been, could be, or should have been attributed to Anita, from her childhood’s “Champion Jacks Player of Conkling Park,” to loving daughter, wife, mother, chauffeur, office worker, and nurse, one award that could be very appropriate is “Captain of the United States Olympic Shopping Team.” Having eventually given up her amateur status, she became a professional. She continues this endeavor on a semi-retired level. After all, one so dedicated, could never completely abandon one’s sport. Anita, you’re the best! —By Alan Guy, a Florida retired dentist who enjoys writing.


Happenstance Literary

Mid-February, 2013, Page 6

PHOTO: PETER LINDER

Winter’s Eve Evening comes on a winter eve, lights in homes flicker on as darkness falls. Small town America, a place where hope and happiness live and thrive. Las Vegas, NM, Douglas Avenue.

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Happenstance Literary

Poetry The Stages of Love by Sam Dixon

Love can make you so happy or, Love can leave you sad. You can be content with present love or, look back to love you've had. Love can lift you spirits high, or, Love can let you down. With love you wear a smile on your face, Without it, you wear a frown. Love has never been explained throughout all the ages. By writers like myself, filling up their pages. Love is an intense feeling, And cannot be denied. Everyone can feel it, But Yours is different from mine. Love can be for someone, or Love can be for things. Just as you can love a child, You can also love to sing. Love has degrees, Just like hot or cold, But Love will always have a place In all the stories ever told.

Homesick

by Lin Chibante Today Mom wrote to say Lou’s pregnant and the fields are budding green again— Just a little rye for hay this year but the place is disked and burned. Funny how we remember the field and its contours and the canal Just as if we walked there chopping the rows and stood to smell the turned earth Again. Sometimes there’s a breeze and the sky’s alive, supper’s on; it’s then, After so long, the well inside us is dry and longs to be filled to the very top Again.

Behind it all

by Sharon Vander Meer Love is a whisper; often a shout There are lights in your heart you must get out. What is that flutter deep down inside, the wonder of love's hope you don't want to hide. It makes you smile and brightens your day, to your beloved, you gave your heart away. Love is a whisper when you wake in the night, comforted to know all with your life is just right. Your darling's beside you his snore lets you know he's there warm and solid as through life you go. Love is a shout when there is success in the life of your partner. your beloved, your husband or wife. Love is a whisper when life gets tough you cling to each other, your love is enough To see you through each smile or cry, your strong bond will get you by. Love is a whisper and sometimes a shout, staying true to each other is what it’s about. Love is a shout when your children you raise giving them love too, and lots of praise. Sometimes your shout of support at the game or play is the sign your child needs along life's bumpy highway. Behind it all, every day we’re together, with our love I know every storm we will weather.


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Happenstance Literary

Thunder Prime: Hunter’s Light In Episode 5 Pella is taken captive by unknown forces. Can she escape? Will she be rescued? Episode 6 Pella’s Dilemma

M

y eyes flew open and I flailed wildly. I gulped madly to get my breath, fighting against phantom figures. I rolled out of the bunk and was nearly overcome by dizziness. I braced myself against the cold plastiflex bulkhead and willed myself to calm. Nothing around me was familiar, except the dungarees and shirt I was wearing. My wrist com and weapon were gone. Instinctively my hand flew to the AI link. It was covered by a material that defied my efforts to remove it. Everything I did only added to the raging pain that already banged around inside my head. “Hey! Who are you? What do you want me for?” I made more noise and banged on the walls, not expecting a response. It was as good a way as any to vent my anger at allowing myself to be taken. I turned my attention to my surroundings. The fear I’d been holding onto shot through me leaving a metallic taste in my mouth and bile boiling in my gut. After a few moments my stomach settled a bit, enough so that I could think straight. Not only had I been abducted, whoever did it knew enough to block my link to Box. How did the attackers get on board the ATV? Box would have secured it after unloading gear the day before. That meant someone had a control device or was able to capture the code and store it on a dupe. I preferred the latter idea to the former, because if they had a copy of the original it meant my friend who had loaned me the ATV was no friend at all. Unless she had been forced to give up the device. An unsettling thought. The cabin was equipped with bare essentials, which fortunately included a toilet and a wash basin. Both were bolted onto the hull with a pipe snaking to an energy converter somewhere on the vessel. I made use of the convenience and couldn’t help but wonder if I was under observation. I quickly finished and then washed my

hands and splashed water on my face to knock the edge off a persistent buzz inside my head. I began a thorough search of my prison. The door was locked tight, no surprise there. I had no way of knowing whether the transport was on earth or outbound. I could handle myself in most situations, but Box was a back up I had come to rely on, perhaps too much so. He would eventually catch up with me, but at great cost and with no guarantee I would be worth much when he found me. If I had been nabbed for trade my future would be as a brood mare for an off worlder or for other purposes all of which I would equally abhor. I had to figure out how to get out of this mess before any of that could happen. The Spartan cabin was clean, the cot standard for transports, bolted to the hull with little more than a sleep pad thrown over a layer of TechStiff construction material. There was a blanket of sorts, so thin you could see through it in spots. The built in workstation that would ordinarily have held a com unit and vid screen was empty as were the overheads and storage units. I slumped into the only other object in the room, a plasticine chair that had seen better days. How much time had passed since my abduction? Was my father behind this? Why would he be? Was this the end of my search for Mother? The end of my life? The unanswerable questions pushed me into motion. I stood up and stretched to work out the kinks of inactivity. It troubled me that whoever took me knew enough to disable my link to Box. The number of people who knew about that was limited. Someone I trusted had betrayed me. I had learned early in life that betrayal was to be expected yet it always surprised me when it happened. I quickly worked my way through a series of exercises. The activity loosened stiff muscles and helped me focus my thinking. I wanted to be ready when an opportunity for escape came. Time passed. Minutes? Hours? Days? It was hard to tell. The pattern was thus: When I lay down on the cot, I went from being awake to being asleep. A dreamless sleep from which I woke instantly feeling

muzzy and disoriented. Each time it happened the feeling was worse, more intense. Twice when I awoke food was at the workstation. I ate in a daze, knowing it was wise to keep up my strength. I hoped the transport was still on earth, but I couldn’t be sure. I would have a better shot at escaping if we were still earthside. Since there had been no contact with anyone, escape seemed an unrealistic expectation, but I wouldn’t give up hope. I stood shakily and wandered the cabin, which seemed to shrink the longer I was in it. I stunk. I was disoriented. My throat was sore from yelling. What bothered me most was a suspicion my sleep was controlled, probably with drugs. If so, how was it administered and how could I prevent it from happening? I’d tried staying awake, but that didn’t work. At some point I would be unconscious and then wake hours later, muzzy and disoriented. Food was delivered. I ate. I filled my time with shouting, beating at the walls and exercising. I went to sleep, during which time the empty food containers were cleared. Somehow I had to stay awake long enough to know what happened when I was knocked out. I assumed at most I’d been aboard for seventy-two hours, probably less. I did not like the disorientation and dopey feeling. What would be the long term results of continued exposure to whatever chemical was used to knock me out? I couldn’t let this continue but I was at a loss for what to do. I began my performance, shouting and pounding on the walls, using some of Romani’s best curses, not to get attention, but to let whoever took me think I was out of control. My best defense was in seeming weak, panicked and incapable. It wasn’t too much of a stretch, especially with the aftereffects of the drug dragging me down. During my tirade I was also thinking of ways to defeat whatever was being pumped into the cabin to knock me out. I considered holding my breath but thought it more likely I’d pass out from lack of oxygen. I didn’t have a lot to work with, except the blanket. I wasn’t sure how much I could do with that. In the end it was the only tool at hand and I had to make the


Mid-February, 2013, Page 9

Happenstance Literary most of it. When the hours began to take a toll, and I was weary beyond exhaustion, I laid down on the bunk, buried my face in the thin folds of the blanket and wrapped my arm so my face, covered by the blanket, was tucked into my elbow. At first it felt as though I couldn’t breathe. I had to force myself to remain still and keep my face planted in the shallow hallow created by my arm. My life depended on escape. It was imperative for me to avoid breathing in the sleep agent. The smelly blanket was the only filter available. I had to make it work. I laid there counting slowly to measure time. A chill swept through the cabin and I shivered but didn’t move from the bunk. Was the chill from the sleep agent being pumped into the room? How long would it linger? Was the blanket sufficient to protect me? Was my mind playing tricks on me? I realized I’d lost count and started over from one. How long had I lain there? How much longer should I wait? I couldn’t make the questions go away. When I woke sometime later the blanket had fallen away from my face and I was breathing the cabin’s stale air. I sat up expecting muzziness to return, but my head was clear. I dry washed my face with trembling hands and held back a bubble of excitement and a sob of relief. A sound drew my attention to the workstation. A server droid was busy setting out my meal. I realized the soft noises made by the droid’s actions were what woke me. I slid off the bunk and stood slowly. The droid ignored me. It had one purpose and one purpose only. Nothing I did would distract it. How did it enter? I scanned the small space and found a yawning two foot square black hole staring back at me. Of course. A service passageway! Not every transport had them — Romani considered such luxuries a waste of space better used for cargo. In the moment it was my key to escaspe. I glanced at the droid to see how far along it was in setting food out as I hurried toward the opening. From the look of it I didn’t have much time. I got down on my hands and knees and peered into the passageway. Thankfully it wasn’t totally dark inside; dim light leaked out of other areas along the corridor. Behind me the droid whirred its doors shut and rolled

toward the opening. I stood back and let it roll through. As the panel began to come down, I scooted inside and just managed to tuck my feet in before it closed, leaving me in a pool of darkness. My eyes adjusted quickly and I rose to my feet. The droid was headed away from me toward what had to be the galley. I followed. Going the other direction was uncharted territory. I wanted to find a way out, not risk coming up against a dead end. The service passage was bleak and neglected. I suspected it was ignored unless somebody had to get inside to repair or a retrieve a droid that had stopped working, which rarely happened. I felt fairly safe moving through the narrow passage, adrenaline pumping through my body like a transport in free fall. I could hear muffled voices as I crept along, nothing understandable, just sounds. That changed as I neared the galley. “I’m ready to head out, get this haul over with,” a man said. The response was a noncommittal grunt, probably a man, but it could as easily be a fem. “Durec’s in a hurry, I know that.” Another grunt, and some unintelligible words, but I wasn’t paying attention. Durec? Where had I heard that name before? And then it hit me. She had abducted Jake and Bart Casey several years ago, kept them hostage until they were able to escape. She was the leader of an AWORI tribe known for their vicious attacks on unsuspecting villages. Their specialty was slave trade. Blood rushed to my head and I thought I might pass out. My worst fear would come true if I didn’t get off this transport now! A sudden clamoring alarm rang out, broadcast through the transport-wide com system. It was especially loud in the narrow passageway. I clamped my hands over my ears and quicked my pace. “Intruder! Intruder! Cargo bay quadrant one. Secure prisoners! Guards to you stations!” Taking advantage of the noisy alarm I raced into the galley startling an earther with a fat nose and skinny shoulders. Too much looper. His companion was an off worlder of uncertain heritage who sprang to his feet and grabbed for me. I darted away and spun on my right foot delivering

a brutal kick to his bulbous eyes, sensing that was the most vulnerable part of his body. He went down hard screaming and cursing. As I spun around I spotted a rack of knives and grabbed one. “One word and it’s over for you bud,” I said to looper nose. He cringed against the galley wall. I spotted the control panel for the server droids and slammed all the keys on the keypad, which would open the wall panels. It was up to the other prisoners whether they could figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity. The off worlder had regained his senses and was talking softly into a wrist com. I threw the knife with force borne of fear and determination. It sliced through the off worlders hand and into his throat effectively ending the communication and his life. “Please, don’t hurt me,” the earther pleaded, swiping at his dripping nose. “I’m nobody, just do the food and galley maintenance, that’s all. Please don’t...” “Shut it! Show me how to get out of here and don’t try to steer me wrong.” I pulled another knife from the rack. “As you saw, I have no hesitation about using this.” He swallowed hard and hurried to a door behind me. He slapped a hand on the ID panel and hurried through the door before it was all the way open with me at his heels. Considering the clamor of the alarm I wondered why there hadn’t been more of a response. I clamped a firm hand on the skinny shoulder of the earther and spun him around, the knife at his gullet. “Where is everyone? You leading me into a trap?” He shook his head frantically, snot and tears running down his cheeks and chin. “No, no, no! Raptor getting restocked and refueled for off world trip. Not many on board.” My eyes narrowed as I gauged the truthfulness of what he had to say. I shook away my doubts and pushed him forward. I looked behind me but saw no one in pursuit. I hurried after my reluctant guide. _________ What awaits Pella as she makes her way through the transport on her way to safety? Will she make it, or will she be recaptured by her abductors?


Happenstance Literary

Mid-February, 2013, Page 10

Streaking Peter Linder, a history professor at New Mexico Highlands University, caught this surrelistic image for digital posterity, but painted by a Master artist.

Flight against clouds Peter shot this photo with the geese in flight appearing to mimic the shape of the clouds; or were the clouds duplicating the flight of birds? Nature is full of surprises.


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