The Cafe is like Mecca. The light from between the soap-pen scrawled "Breakfast Served 24" is like gold, and I run towards it. It's those last steps before my hand finds the door that I'm the most worried. Afraid the razor sharp nails and envenomed fangs will sink in and I will be undone, mere feet from protection. But now the handle, and now the push, and now the cheap door chime and I turn and lock the bastard before anyone can tell me not to. Patty stands behind the counter with a pot of coffee hovering over the cup of Aung. Aung is a Burmese IT specialist whose hours of operation make him a regular overnight staple of the place. He and Patty regard me with curiosity.

"Hey Doc, can I get ya something?" asks Patty, returning the pot to the warmer.

"Phone! She's out there! I need shotguns and dogs...maybe a light armored assault vehicle...Patty! Phone!!!" my desperate voice rings in my ears.

Patty shakes her head slowly and fetches me a cup:

"Phone's out. Solar flare ate our broadcast band earlier this week. Where you been?"

I sit at the counter. I am dead, and intend on meeting my end on my feet. But for now? Coffee. I've got a few minutes anyhow. Maybe the creature is afraid of light...or Eds Famous Biscuits and Gravy? She'd be a fool not to be. Patty pours me a cup and Aung regards my leg.

"Your tibia is sticking out." he says casually.

"Oh." I say, and I bend over, bite down on the counter, and reset the bone.

It takes my every effort to sit back up, and I regard the linoleum with a sense of pride, having left a perfect impression of my teeth. My dental records will serve me well. Patty places the cream next to me and leans on the counter.

"So what is it this time Doc?" she asks, tired of my medical shenanigans.

"Oh Patty. This time I've really done it. Not like before." I say, stirring my cream in.

"You tried breeding a wasp and a snake once didn't you?" asks Aung, paging through a copy of Web Business Weekly

"Yes. Yes I did. This is not like that." I say, sipping.

"I think I still got a nest of snake-wasps under the porch." says Patty.

"You sure it's not just regular wasps?" asks Aung.

"Nah. Regular wasps don't buzz AND hiss. I spray every spring but they just keep coming back." says Patty.

"That's what they were designed to do." I say with no little amount of pride.

"Well what is it this time?" Patty asks, tired and not in the mood for games.

"It's an undead cybertronically powered sub-humanoid whose exposure to fissile nuclear material has resulted in an exponential increase in strength, stamina, dexterity, and killing instincts. It tracks me even now through the woods having murdered every living thing between my lab and here. Shes impervious to conventional firepower and will stop at nothing to see me, her sinister creator, slide down her hellish gullet."

I swallow my coffee and burn my mouth a little.

Aung flips a page.

Patty stands up with a sigh.

"Just sit a spell. I'll get my rocket launcher." she says, and disappears into the back, screaming at Ed to wake up and arm the countermeasures.

Good old Patty. We don't stand a chance, but that old bat won't go down without a fight.


Duke said…
And the genre bus makes another stop. This is my favorite of the series thus far. Random and brief, but solid.

Popular Posts