Dave Archives

March 13, 2009

Dave: A Matter of Perspective

"Let's see." The angel ran a quill pen along the page of the lengthy tome. “Hmmm, yes. You tripped over a skateboard, smashed your knee on a fire hydrant, staggered into the street, were hit by a car, thrown thirty feet, landed in the broken glass in the middle of the avenue, caused a major accident, in which the car that came to rest atop you burst into flames, killing you after two agonizing, screaming minutes. You were very lucky, Mr. Forester.”

“What? You call that lucky?”

Then the angel told him what would have happened had he lived.

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March 17, 2009

Dave: The Direct Approach Is Usually the Best

“This isn’t working!” I shouted to the others, jumping to the side to dodge the energy blast from the robot’s eye slit, rolling behind burning police car. “It’s got no mind to affect.”

Torchielle threw up a white-hot disk of flame in front of her, barely fending off the next blast. “And the creep’s fire-proof!”

Suddenly, the gleaming robot vanished beneath a Winnebego-sized gray block, spidery lengths of rebar reaching from its jagged edges.

“A really big slab of concrete usually works,” Velvet said, jumping down from the top of the parking structure.

I stared at her.

“What?” she asked.

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March 18, 2009

Dave: A bolt, a colt, and a dolt

He turned the door knob. It turned cleanly, but when he pulled, the door didn’t open.

“The hell?” Len muttered, and tried it again. Same thing. He tried it four or five more times.

“Dammit.” He set the can of malt liquor down, put both hands on the knob. It turned freely, but the door still wouldn’t open.

He tried pushing the door instead. Nope. “Naw, that’d just be stupid.”

Len shouted, “Honey! Damn door won’t open again.”

Kari’s tired voice drifted from the kitchen. “Did you open the second lock this time?”

Oh. “Yeah, that’s got it. Thanks, sweetie.”

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March 19, 2009

Dave: First things first

“Now,” said the defense attorney, “Mister –“ He glanced at his notes. “—Minuteman. Is that your birthname?”

“My identity must remain hidden, to protect my loved ones.”

“Of course. Now, you’re a registered hero in New Philadelphia, correct?”

“Wherever the bright light of freedom shines, I am a hero to the people.”

“But, more specifically, you have filled out your Form 47-0105/a, correct?”

“My –“

“Your Nathaniel Act ‘Hero’ registration for the City.”

“I – um – I just moved here and haven’t – I mean, I do have the form, but –“

“Your Honor, I move for an immediate dismissal ...”

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March 30, 2009

Dave: Timing is everything

“What’s the matter?”

“The car won’t start.”

“What do you mean, it won’t start.”

“Pretty much what I think I said. It. Won’t. Start.”

“Are you turning the key far enough?”

“I believe I’ve started this car enough times to know how, in fact, to do it. And, yes, turning the key is part of that, which is why it’s what I tried first.”

“Okay, sorry. Is the battery dead?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the alternator has a problem.”

“Do we need to call someone?”

“No, I think all those SWAT guys over there will probably take care of it.”

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April 2, 2009

Dave: Saving the Day

He basked in adulation, the cheers of the crowd washing over him. Doctor Krell’s Nihilbot lay in twisted fragments. Krell himself dangled limply from Graeme’s right hand, twitching in the afterglow of a final empathic blast.

Psiclone! Psiclone! Psiclone! Psiclone!

The masses chanted, the late-arriving heroes applauded, the photographers flashed, the church bells rang, rang, rang –

He rolled over, slamming off the alarm. No parades today. Permit meeting with the mayor. Hostile interview on “PM New Philly” this afternoon, And he really needed to work out soon before he stopped fitting in his bulletproof slacks.

A super-hero’s life. So glamorous.

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May 13, 2009

Dave: The Loophole

“So, Mr. Donne.”

“So, Herr Doktor.”

“You came alone?”

“As we agreed. No other people. Just you and me.”

“As to that.” He clapped. A very large figure stepped from the shadows.

“Oath-breaking, Doc? The White Dragon’ll never deal with you now.”

“Strictly speaking, this is not a person.” Volkart smiled. “I built it myself.”

I could see now it was some sort of construct, cobbled together from a dozen different corpses. A galvanized, mindless bodyguard. Swell.

He clapped again. It advanced on me. “If you were a better sorcerer, Mr. Donne, you would have made your own backup, too.”

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May 15, 2009

Dave: Perchance to Dream

“Then go to sleep,” I said. I knew it wouldn’t be that simple. It never was.

“When I sleep, nightmares come.”

I shrugged. “We all saw a lot of stuff in the service. It sticks with you.”

“No, I don’t mean I have nightmares. I mean nightmares come here. They come to life.”

I cocked my head. Shell shock. Maybe. Probably.

“I don’t have a wife any more.”

Not surprising. “She left you?”

“No, don’t you understand? They took her. The nightmares. They stole my wife.”

His next words finally gave me a chill. “And I have a daughter –"

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May 18, 2009

Dave: Identity Crisis

“This isn’t gonna work,” I said.

“We’ll see soon enough, monster.”

“I’m not a goddamned vampire!”

“So you say.” He took a deep breath, looked off to the east across the rooftops. The sun would rise over the Oakland Hills soon enough.

I twisted against the cross-festooned ropes. He hadn’t taken any chances on the knots. “You’re gonna look pretty silly when I don’t burst into flames.”

Bixby turned. “You’ve defied the crosses. You may well know how to defy the purifying sun.” He held up a wooden stake and a hammer. “We’ll see if you pass the third test.”

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May 19, 2009

Dave: Silence

A lot of things changed in the war. Some of that was okay. Some of it made me lonely, nostalgia for a past that was not only gone, but couldn’t even be visited any more.

Music was one thing. I used to love Glenn Miller, listening to him on the radio whenever I knew he’d be playing or leading a band. Some folks, they like Goodman better, but Miller was the guy for me.

He died in the war. Plane went down into the Channel flying back from a concert for the troops. I never listened to “Chatanooga Choo-Choo” again.

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