jake rutledge serialized short story
My Craft New Pulp Serialized Stories

Jake Rutledge and the Guy with Bad Timing – Part Six

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The soldiers formed up like a Panzer Division to storm the diner. I watched from the street as they poked, prodded, and shoved the farmers. Shortly, the biggest one came out.

“He’s not here.”

“Try the basement,” I said. Colonel Cox pointed at the diner and the soldier ran back inside. I saw Sally point to the floor and a line of green army men disappeared into the basement.

After ten minutes or so, the big guy came out again.

“He’s not in there.”

“What are you pulling?” Colonel Cox asked me. He didn’t look very happy.

“He was dead down there earlier,” I said. “He couldn’t have gotten too far.”

“Why don’t you show us.” The Colonel pushed me from behind toward the diner.

I led him and the rest of the Army’s finest down the stairs into the basement. The farmers watched us pass and each one was whispering. The most fun any of them had in a long time.

The basement was full of shadows and it took a second for my eyes to adjust. The diamond pattern in my new contacts flashed golden sparks in my eyes. Through the glitter, I could see Dan’s outline on the table where I had left him.

“He’s right there.” I’ll admit I had a snarky tone in my voice. I mean how stupid were these people?

“You mean this pile of clothes,” the big soldier said. It was his turn to be hateful.

I rushed over to where Dan had been bleeding an hour ago. There was nothing on the table but his clothes.
“Someone had to take him!”

It didn’t make any sense. He was lying and dying right here. Now he was gone.

“Detain this asshole and make sure he doesn’t disappear,” Colonel Cox said. “Funny guy. Maybe a trip to base can help you jog your memory. Or, you can sit in a jail cell and think about it.”

The big soldier grabbed me from behind and pinned my arms. I tried to run. Too bad he was stronger and faster. We climbed out of the basement with me in handcuffs.

“Jake, what’s going on?” Sally asked.

“Just a quick field trip to see what kind of steak they serve in barracks,” I said. “How do you like yours? I’ll bring you back one.”

“Don’t count on it miss,” Colonel Cox said. “He’s likely to be gone for a while.”

They shoved me in back of their troop hauler and I saw Charlie waiting for me.

“They got you too.”

“I guess,” Charlie said. “They don’t like a pitchfork in the ass.”

“Our plan is working perfectly,” I said. “We should be able to find that weather machine in no time.”

© 2018, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.


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