Quo Vadis?

Where are we going? Right now, we’re incorporating edits into Mandate of Heaven. Publication on Amazon is delayed until 2013. Our hand–picked readers are commenting on our second book, Horrors of the Heart. We’ve considered a new topic for our third book: the second American revolution. The topic may well become the working title. We’ve begun research into this third book and will post some related essays shortly. As with the first book, it is our sincere wish that its themes remain purely fictional.

Fall Leaves – Natsui Ureshenko

A beautiful fall day; the leaves were turning to fire, rust, wine and gold. A magic time of early morning jogs, sunset walks and the rich smell of chimney smoke from fireplaces around town. The birds that stay here were settling in for the winter as were the squirrels and rabbits, foxes and skunks. The streams ran icy cold and the forests still concealed; fishermen and hunters were getting their last haul before winter enveloped everything in frost.

This season was really their time. They’ve been at it for thousands of years. The turn of colors signaled the cycle of life. No one really noticed the missing rabbits or squirrels. Once in a while there was an investigation when a jogger went missing. Otherwise, it was as it always had been.

Every morning, Rachel would go out on her run. She wanted to lose those few pounds before her high school prom. None of her friends thought she needed to lose any weight. Her mother always made sure her plate was full at dinner time. They would argue about the wisdom of this nightly ritual. However, Rachel always had the last word on it even though it sounded more like a retch.

This morning, Rachel noticed more leaves had fallen from the black mulberry tree outside her bedroom window. It always lost leaves earlier than the rest. It never seemed worse for it though. She picked one up to study it on her morning jog. She decided to take the route down by the reservoir.

As she ran, she twirled the leaf between her fingers. The veins in the leaf seemed to subtly pulse with life. Rachel didn’t remember any leaves doing that before. It appeared to turn a slight rust color where she was holding it. The path by the reservoir where she regularly ran was rarely raked in the fall. Leaves from hundreds of surrounding trees collected here. She found herself plowing through piles of them to make headway down the path…

Snails From Space – Marianne Bouchard

“They don’t believe me; none of them. But I saw those THINGS eat? Absorb? Tommy and Sam.”

“Yes, now tell me more, Missy.”

“Do you believe me?”

“I told you I would listen.”

“But you have to believe me.”

“Tell me the whole story from the beginning.”

“It was a beautiful summer’s evening; Tommy and I met Sam at the corner store and Tommy drove us out to Lookout Point. The sun was nearly set. You could see it between the trees and reflecting off the lake. It was twilight behind us. I don’t know why I looked behind us.”

“Go on.”

“All of a sudden, I see a flash. Like when a jet liner or a satellite catches the sun just right. But it wasn’t. IT WAS THEM.”

“Calm down dear, now you didn’t know it was them, did you?”

“Not right then, no… So it starts toward where we were laying on top of the car hood, one of those 70’s boat-like cars, I forget what kind.”

“Doesn’t matter, now please continue.”

“Well, it passes over us and over the edge of the point. It was silent, round and hovering in front of us right beyond the edge.”

“Cold, dear?”

“No, just remembering what happened next.”

“Tell me, dear.”

Do you think she knows where she is?

No, the vapors make these forget

Will we find out why these don’t mature (?) into those we digest?

I am coming to the settled opinion that these are not like the ones we had before

So, we’ll have to go to another [unintelligible]

Ever onward for our race to live

Why can’t we find more cooperative and robust food?

“What was that dear?”

“I said, so we were transported, er, we just appeared aboard the craft.”

“What happened next, dear?”