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May 21, 2007

Dave: Blue Notes

"Oh, I'm blue ..." I warbled, truly heartfelt.  "Over you ..."

She looked down at my body.  My lips were, in fact, blue.  "Serves you goddamned right," she shouted at me ... well, at my body.  "You couldn't leave well enough alone.  You had to keep asking questions.  Now look at you!"

"Blue mooooooon," I sang.  "You saw me standing aloooooone ..."

"Why couldn't you at least do what I said, once," she shouted at me.  "I didn't want this.  I didn't want to have to do this."

I chuckled, breathed deep, swung into a key change, and headed off to the choir -- well, hopefully, just an ensemble -- invisible. 

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May 22, 2007

Dave: The Pal

"So he's showing me his 'Fortress of Solitude,' right?  All this cool stuff -- statues, weird machines, and I'm taking pictures when suddenly he's all 'Volcano in Italy, Jimmy -- be right back.'  And -- whoosh! -- he's just a red-blue blur, almost knocking me over in the backstream.

"And I hear this noise, and there's this big bell jar on a stand tottering and about to smash to the ground. Some sort of model, I guess.  So I catch it, and set it back safe, then snap a few more shots. 

"Then he came back and flew us home.  Cool, eh, Mr. Kent?"

Clark shuddered, but forced a smile.

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May 25, 2007

Dave: Door to Door

"I'm sorry," the woman said, polite, dismissive.  "We're really not interested, thanks."  She closed the door.

God sighed.  The Witnesses had gone bankrupt, and the Mormons had turned all-electronic.  There was nobody left to handle the door-to-door part of the religion biz -- ironically, the most important part of the gig.  Cathedrals -- Megachurches, these days -- were all very nice, but nothing beat the personal, pressing-flesh, in media res of meeting in the doorway.

Screw it, God thought, His feet hurting.  That's what angels were for.  We'll see if Mrs. Mooney shuts the door on Remuel and his flaming sword, by cracky!

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June 4, 2007

Dave: On the Road Again

"The last time I traveled, Uncle Sam picked up the tab," Roger said.

"This is a pleasure trip," Chrys replied, closing the last valise.  "To Hollywood, to see movie stars.  You still owe me a honeymoon."

"Last time we tried, the Three Fox Tong nearly killed me, you, and a dozen folks at Cahill Depot.  Stole our luggage, too."

"You keep blaming me for that."

"You killed 'em all -- we never did get our suitcases back."

"You shot two of them."

Roger decided this was an argument he wouldn't win.  The taxi honked, so he just smiled and picked up the suitcases.


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June 12, 2007

Dave: As if on cue

There was ... something in the air when I walked in.  Something different.

I looked at them.  Fred and Amy looked at me.

"Wasn't there ... music going on in here a minute ago?" I asked.  "Violins and trumpets and big swelling dramatic John Barry kind of stuff?"

They nodded.

I sighed.  "Why is it, when I enter the room, we get tuba farts and xylophones and jaunty little stings?"

Fred snorted.  "Count yourself lucky.  Sure, I get the big romantic swells when I'm talking with Amy -- but whenever I'm alone, I get all these ominous strings playing minor chords."  He shuddered.  "That doesn't bode well."

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June 15, 2007

Dave: Fish Story

"And where do you think you're going?" Chrys asked in that take-no-prisoners tone she had.  "The Chens are coming over to dinner at 5, and there's a dozen --"

"Going fishing," Roger said. 

"Fishing!"  Her brows furrowed.  "Don't you need a rod and reel or something like that to go fishing?"

He gave her a look, then opened his coat, patted his .45.  "Depends on the size of the fish and how far up out of the surf it's liable to claw after you.  Hopkins case -- read the file.  But on the bright side we might have leftovers for the next few months."

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June 18, 2007

Dave: Shattered

It's all perfectly clear.  Connect the right tantalum loops, formed just so ... a current at that wattage ... in a vacuum, of course.  The explosive output ...


No,  that would never work.  Okay, so a circle, hematite crystals, selected from the desert under a full moon.  That word, and that, in the right pitch, the right rhythm, and then the portal would ...


The words slip away -- so, instead, build a box out of the right tungsten alloy, bound in bone and leather, pour equal parts aqua regia and ...


Dammit, Martha, would you please pick up the phone?  Can't hear myself think!

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June 19, 2007

Dave: You Can't Go Home Again

It was damned unfair.  I'd been the hero, fought the war, gone toe-to-toe with fiends and felons and things from the pit, and some pretty nasty people besides.

And, after the end, the final battle ... I went home.

Myrtle Avenue.  Spring foliage, bright pink flowers, lovely residential lane.

I walked down the sidewalk.  8145.  8147.  8151.

No 8149.

I looked on both sides of the street.  A block either side.  I reread my Drivers License five times.

My address -- my house -- my family.

None of it existed.  No matter how I searched, there really was no place like home.

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June 20, 2007

Dave: The Best Years of Our Lives

Roger sighed.  "Okay.  I grew up in New Jersey.  I ... ran with some guys your mom wouldn't have liked.  Had some problems with ... the ... stuff."  He gestured toward his head.

"Headaches?" Chrys asked.

"No.  The visions.  And ... stuff."

"Such a talent is revered among the civilized."

"Yeah, well, we're talking about Jersey.  I got called 'freak,' 'pansy,' and 'under the influence of vile fiends of the pit.'  Made getting a date for the prom a real pain in the kiester."

"You found one, then?" Chrys raised an eyebrow.  "Did you enjoy yourself?"

Roger smiled. "Until her dad tried to sacrifice me to the Elder Gods."

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June 21, 2007

Dave: While You Were Out

They all got quiet when I walked back in.  I looked at them.  They looked everywhere else. "What?"

"What what?" Jim finally said.

There was a lot of eye contact in that room, and little of it was with me.  "What's with the -- all the quiet and what?"

"We -- took a vote," Lana said.

I blinked.  "A vote?"

"About --"  She looked around, eyes slightly wide..

"You," Rog said.  He was the only one who didn't sound apologetic.

Well, that was coming sooner or later.  I'd hoped it would be later.  "And?"

"You lost."

I began slowly reaching for the gun in my pocket. 

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