Another teaser from Elbert, in which the lady meets a fellow with large teeth. The featured image is a second pass at the cover illustration by Paul Trif at Twin Art Design.
South Dakota, 1928
The rented aircar arrived early, giving time for the three of them to dawdle while hashing out a plan. Doctor Falun ran out to the island off Mexico where his fellow space yacht owners tended to congregate, but nobody was there. It took two minutes to go the distance, which Elbert found astonishing. “But it’s not faster than light?”
Falun shook his head. “In theory, the vessel stands still for an instant and the universe moves around it.” He returned Elbert’s gaze without blinking. “I’m not kidding; that’s what they think.”
Tom got his pants wet walking in the surf. Everyone tracked sand into the car. Falun produced a hip flask of single-malt scotch; Elbert took a capful before realizing Charlotte might think he was drunk, then had another because it was too late to take it back.
They were in high spirits by the time Falun put down behind the house, the car invisible at dusk — where they discovered Charlotte had just returned, delayed getting inside by a hairbrush she’d dropped. She dropped it again when Tom stepped out from behind the car’s adaptive camouflage, seeming to appear on the lawn out of thin air, in the glare of a light inadvertently left on behind the garage.
He didn’t know whether it would be better to run to her side or stand still while she gathered her wits. “Aunt Lottie, it’s me, Tom.”
“I know who it is. Where did you come from?”
“We’ve been up at the ranch.”
She stepped closer. “I mean just now.”
Elbert watched the scene unfold from inside the car. “I don’t know how this could get any worse.”
Tom shouted, “She has her pistol!”
Falun was out the driver’s door and across the lawn like a bolt of greased lightning, Charlotte’s hand still in her purse when he tackled her. He managed a closed-mouth smile, no small feat for a Kopin. “I atthure you I can ekthplain.”
Her eyes were big as saucers, but she was more angry than scared. “You’ve been drinking!”
“We were nervouth.”
“We were having fun.” Tom pulled at her purse. “Let go.”
“Whatever you are …” She pushed at Falun’s chest. “Your knee is in my crotch.”
“I can tell whoth daughter you are.” He rolled off. “I forgot to uthe the joke.”
“Her mother was the salty one.” Elbert offered Charlotte a hand. “He’s from the Sasquatch chamber of commerce.”
“Yeti; the Manu were Thathquath.” Falun stood, working his jaw to take control of the lisp. “Mrs. Banks, I am Tafid Falun, your father’s physician of recent appointment.”
She glared. “You’re from another planet.”
He let her see his fangs. “That is correct.”
“Good thing I saw a strange movie yesterday, else you’d have a woman expired from stroke to bury.” She gathered up her skirt. “Let’s get inside before someone calls the sheriff.”
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