the Last U.F.O. Report

by James Bronson


Chapter 9 - Hole in One

            Sometimes when you wake up from a bad dream, you realize that your life’s become a sideshow and you’re the geek.  I just don’t fit in this whole space opera.  Send me back to Baker where I have a waitress, hot, and ready to go.  Mind reading aliens threatening to rid the planet of pesky humans isn’t the story I want to write--definitely not when the wrong word from me could cascade Earth into the war of the worlds.

            My night visitor had really affected me.  I felt his power.  He could definitely send me to the cornfield.

            I looked ahead.  The tunnel we were in seemed to go on forever.  Not knowing what to do, I said, “Screw it,” out loud.

            My companions gave me the fish eye.  I guess they were surprised that a moron like me could talk.

            Megan put her arm around my shoulders and said, “That’s right, you may not have the cards, but you always have the bluff and, Malone, bluff is all you got.”

            “Bluff is power,” added the old man.

            “Ask any gambler,” reinforced Megan.  She was holding me tight enough that I needed the thought of federal prison to cool me off.  It was clear that Megan had her own power and it wasn’t a bluff.

            “It’s okay, we are almost to the junction,” said the professor.

            The tunnel, the size of a two-lane road, was about to meet the freeway.  I couldn’t believe how large it was.  The roadway was at least two hundred yards across.  The ceiling was fifty feet high, an underground multi-lane highway.  It was obvious that even though the traffic was light, there was more going on here than the professor had told me about.  This was no loading dock for occasional use.  It was a busy port city hidden under the desert floor.  Before I could say anything, our golf cart thing pulled over and the three of us were picked up by a large black limo.  I climbed in the back only to realize that all the windows were tinted so dark that you couldn’t see out.  All the light came from lights in the ceiling.  Overstuffed leather seats offered luxury and comfort.

            “No seat belts,” I complained.

            “Relax, we’re almost there,” replied the professor.

            “Where?” I asked.

            “Top secret,” replied both Megan and the old man in unison.

            I knew that the old man didn’t trust Megan.  I figured that Megan didn’t trust him, and now, I didn’t trust either one of them.  The whole trip across the desert didn’t make sense.  Not with the superhighway I’d just seen.  They both had a dumb smile on their face.  It occurred to me that this could be a dream or a vision implanted by my night visitor.

            Then I knew that we weren’t alone in the back of the limo.  Someone else had joined us.  “Captain of the space patrol?” I asked.

            “My people were correct, he is very clever.”  The disembodied voice was directed to the professor.

            Megan and the professor both nodded in agreement with our invisible host.

            “Show yourself, spaceman,” I demanded.

            “Mr. Malone, you just have to look.”

            I felt someone tuning my mind like an old radio dial.  At first it was hazy, like my night visitor.  I resisted; I didn’t want to tune into his show.  I felt faint.  I passed out.

            When I awoke, Megan held me in her arms.  “I was afraid that you might hit your head,” she explained.

            “Welcome back,” said our host.

            I could see him.  I could smell him.  Then without thinking, ignoring previous warnings, I said, “You’re ugly and smell like shit.”

            He laughed, and I noticed that his little lips didn’t move.  The professor had turned white.

            “He is delirious,” explained Megan, trying to cover my insult.

            “Mr. Malone, I take that as a compliment.  Humans usually aren’t so direct.  I am pleased that you feel free to tell me what you really think.”

            “Well, you do remind me of an overgrown cockroach.”

            “I assure you that in my environment I look like a fat jolly Santa Claus type of fellow.”

            “Ho, ho, ho, but you still stink up the limo.”  Megan and the old man just sat in a state of shock as I continued my insults.  “So bug eyes, they tell me that you wanted to see me, or from the looks of your mouth parts, maybe you just want to eat me.”

            “No, my kind do not eat humans.”

            “What do you eat?”

            “We like your marshmallow baby chicks covered with yellow sugar.”

            “Okay, that’s enough.  Is this just a crazy dream?”

            “That is a complex question,” he answered.  “Ask your waitress friend in Baker.”

            “You know her?”

            “Of course, I can read your thoughts.”

            His mind was so powerful that in defense my brain shut down, and I passed out again.  When I woke up, I was looking down at my arm.  I was holding a government issued disposable razor.  I am naked except for a white bath towel wrapped around my waist.  I was standing back in the underground bathroom at Still Waters.  The old man stands next to me.  He is shaving.

            The old man asked, “Okay, what’s the story?”

            “What story?”

            “I thought you were a reporter.”

            “I think I’m confused.”

            “What did you expect?”

            “Not a stink bug.”

            “Don’t let us down.”

            “What do you want from me, Pops?”

            “It’s not what I want.”

            “It’s what the stink bug wants?” I replied.

            “Now you get it.”

            I have my limits and my brain can only stretch so much, so I went ahead and shaved my face.  I did a good job, smooth with no cuts.

            The professor explained, “I brought you to the base using the back roads on purpose.  I wanted to get a chance to know you.  If we are going to work together, we have to trust each other.”

            “Bending time, mind reading, stink bugs, no problem.  I write for the tabloids.  Just don’t ask me to ride in that surplus pile of crap you call a jeep again, and as long as you’re standing, get me a cold beer.  I’ve earned it.”

            “Sure, son.”

            “One more thing, as of now, you’re not my boss.”

            “Why not?”

            “I know why the stink bug brought me in.”


            “Your big brain couldn’t cut it.  It’s going to take the three of us to figure out what’s going on.”

            “Megan, too.”

            “I figured that one out on my own.  You asked Washington for her.  You just don’t want to admit it.  You’re afraid to trust her because you can’t get control of your itchy fingers when she’s in the room and it affects your work.”

            “Well, maybe I forgot.  I guess I could have requested her help.”

            “Like she said, you’re getting old and can’t remember what hole you were in last.”



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 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10



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