Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (September 5, 2014)
Category: Soft Science Fiction
Available in: ebook, Aprox. 165 Pages
After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away… at least it was… until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime.
Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from.
His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain… the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide…. “IS BELT.”
Bob bent at the waist to whisper to Fred.
“Bob’s cousin say three hundred, okay. Can get Bob’s friend inside house.”
“Good,” I answered, feeling a little more triumphant.
“Yes, good. One thing more… maybe one or two insignificant little trinkets find way into Fred’s pocket. No more than three. Bob cross heart,” he said, earnestly.
“No. No one takes anything. We’re just going to look around a little, maybe snap a few pictures but no one takes anything and no one gets hurt,” I insisted.
“OOOh, Bob’s friend not say no one get hurt. Things happen Fred not control. No one to get hurt… not good, not good. Fred say price now five hundred.”
“Bob, you didn’t even talk to him.”
“Ahh, Bob sorry. We close family, sometimes have psychic connection.”
“Fine, five hundred.”
Bob wrinkled his nose, holding up a hand before Fred. He turned his back to me, wriggling his fingers.
Irritated, I retrieved my wallet, fingering my way through my dwindling per diem, pushing four, one hundred dollar bills and two fifties into Bob’s writhing fingers.
“Is good,” he responded, counting them quickly.
To my annoyance, he stuffed a hundred into his shirt pocket before passing the balance to Fred.
A broad smile spread across the young man’s face as he quickly pushed the money deep into his front pants pocket. Fred now bounced on the balls of his feet, weaving or dancing, or shadow boxing… I couldn’t tell which, only that with my money in his pocket, he was excited.
He began to speak rapidly in Russian to Bob, turning his hat forward.
“Fred say, can now go,” Bob announced, heading for the door, pulling it open for Fred.
The young man checked the hall, swinging his head quickly in both directions before jumping into the corridor as if hopping a train.
“Come. Bob’s friend making Bob late,” he admonished, waving an impatient hand toward the door.
“I am?” I questioned in protest.
“Bob’s friend has no concept to time… shows a creative mind… very good for newspaper but not good for Bob, make Bob late.”
There was no point in arguing. I just wanted to go and for it all to be over.
Both men were in good sprits, dancing to the music in the elevator, bolting to the car like a couple of kids once the doors opened.
Fred immediately pulled open the back door before jumping into the front seat with Bob.
I took my place, sliding to the middle of the seat.
The engine cranked and upon its failure to start, Fred turned in my direction.
“Dude,” he voiced filled with disappointment, lifting his chin with discontent.
“Bob, Fred just called me dude.”
“Is old Russian expression, means… is belt,” he explained, rolling a hand over and over in the air as if to hurry up.
I snapped the belt with a loud click and an irritated look.
The next turn of the key brought the motor to life. Less than a heartbeat behind it, the stereo exploded to full volume as well, pounding out Queen’s… “We Are the Champions.”
“Bob,” I shouted.
As if waiting for a signal from me, the car was launched once again like a rocket into the night.
“Bob knows… good song,” he returned cheerfully, peering at me in the rear view mirror, holding up his thumb as he careened down the street.
As the two men, oblivious to my discomfort, rocked out, singing along in Russian, I closed my eyes, bracing myself for the rough journey… for the third time in as many days.
I was grateful for the cover of darkness as our car sped down the highway at a frightening rate, swinging in and out of the sparse traffic. It was easier in the dark. I couldn’t see the landscape flash by in a blur.
At long last we arrived, but to my surprise we passed the dirt side road we had taken a few days before.
“Bob,” I began.
“Fred say we not seen around corner,” he answered, finally shutting off the stereo.
We slowed, pulling off on the shoulder as if we were looking for an address. Shortly, Bob pulled into a small clearing among the trees.
Fred was the first to get out, heading straight to the back of the car. Bob quickly followed, unlocking the trunk. By the time I got out they had retrieved whatever they were after.
“Bob, what are we doing?” I asked, pulling on my coat, joining them at the back of the car.
“Fred want to be careful, say, we go this way through trees,” he answered, pointing to the woods.
I turned toward Fred, as he pulled a ski mask over his face. He crouched, leaning forward and began to tiptoe into the woods.
“After twenty seven years in the business, who wouldn’t want an exclusive story, especially when “It’s the BIG one?” The one which answers questions which has been asked by millions.
“Are there really aliens out there, and have they ever visited Earth?”
Well, journalist Peter Anderson is given the opportunity to find the answers to these questions, a journalists dream. However first he must travel to Payson, Arizona and interview Professor Donald Thorpe, luckily the doorman at the hotel has a ‘friend’ who can drive him. Meet Dimitri Rurik Petrova otherwise known as Bob!
The Professor says he has proof that the lights in the sky are real, and, what Peter sees that day, changes his life forever.
Soon, Peter and Bob find themselves rescuing Emma, a beautiful woman they discover being horribly tortured in a basement.
Then the fun begins as we discover the answers to many questions. If you’ve always wondered about those lights in the desert, if little green men have visited earth, and if spaceships exist the answers could be here….
Whether or not you believe the outcome, there is no denying that you will have great fun reading this very enjoyable science fiction story. It has all the essential components, good characters, a great plot and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, right up until the end.”- Susan Keefe, Book Reviews by Susan Keefe
“This is a cute science fiction piece that can’t be put down until the last “cousin” is discovered. Bob is so zany and endearing one can’t help but to love him in spite of his nefarious ways.
This adventure moves very quickly, so one must keep on their toes to keep up with the action. This novel starts off as the typical lights in the sky story, but quickly morphs into an entirely unique tale of good and evil and the reader is kept on the edge of their seat waiting to see what happens next. The end is completely unexpected but completely hilarious. Anyone into sci-fi or comedy would enjoy this delightful little gem that is worth reading again and again.”- Belinda Wilson, Amazon Reviewer
“The characters in this novella were well-developed and memorable. I was especially interested in seeing what was going on with Bob because Mr. Maus dropped some tantalizing clues about him early on. Bob’s tendency to understate important things and overstate the trivial stuff was as as it was descriptive of who he is as a man. He and Peter had personalities that were about as diametrically opposed to one another as you can get, so it was amusing to see how they interacted in stressful situations. Peter was a little harder to read, but I soon came to appreciate his calmer and more reserved approach to life as the plot thickened.
One of the things I enjoy the most about Mr. Maus’ writing style is how much energy he puts into describing his settings in great detail without slowing down the plot at all. Instead he sprinkled mesmerizing imagery into everything else that was going on. Sometimes the descriptions were funny. Other times they were eerie or mind-boggling. Peter visited some truly incredible places during the course of this tale, and I felt like I experienced them alongside him.
Bob was a wild ride. This is a great choice for anyone who likes speculating about the real origins of Unidentified Flying Objects.”–LAS Reviewer, Long and Short Reviews
What advice would you give a first time author regarding publishing?
The only thing I can say is never give up. Write, read everything you can get your hands on and write some more. I was rejected a total of 211 times before I found a publisher that loves what I write ! It’s like dating… you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you…. You know the rest ! Write, write, write… good – bad or in different just write and believe in your place among those that have been published.
I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.
I have consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and I have been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Author on Tirgearr Website: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon/