Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is the second installment of the Author's unsold science fiction story "The *********". The first installment was posted yesterday, JUST LIKE CHARLES DICKENS USED TO DO .

... The country air was sharp and still the next morning when the men walked back to the *********. The sun bore bright through the leafless trees and the fallen leaves cracked under their feet as they moved through the woodlot.

But as they approached the *********, they saw something much unexpected. Deer. Lots of them, maybe a hundred. Bucks, does, spike yearlings. Standing, milling around, or kneeling around the *********. And not running from Cal and Dean. The deer paid little notice to the men, merely scooting aside as Cal and Dean approached the *********.

Dean, the dimmer of the two, asked the obvious question.

“What in God’s name are all these deer doing here? If deer season hadn’t ended yesterday, I could club one of these somebitches and dress him out. Pick me out a nice big buck.”

“Damn, Dean. This ********* is some kind of shrine or something and all you can think of is boppin’ one of these deer over the head? This is more than a *********. It’s a fantastic thing or some kind of device that can talk to these animals. How else could these deer know it was here? How else could they know to just stay here when us humans come around?”

Dean shook his hunter-orange capped head in perplexity. And stroked his straggly beard.

“I don’t know Cal. I just don’t know what we got here.”

Cal and Dean knelt beside the ********* among the unusually placid deer. They muttered, “I’ll be damned”, and “who knows” a few times.

Cal rose.

“Come on, Dean. Let’s get away from these deer so we can figure some things out.”

They walked about fifty yards away from the deer out into the soybean field.

“Dean, I’m thinking that this *******, space shrine, or whatever it is, is something more important than I thought.”

“You think the ********* is a ‘shrine?”

“I don’t know. A shrine, maybe a communication device. But it has got to have some kind of power or these deer wouldn’t be lollin’ around,” Cal said.

“And I don’t know if we can keep a lid on it, if these deer keeps hanging around or if more show up. Somebody will be sure to notice,” Cal added.

”Could be. But maybe not. Nobody comes back here ‘cept me. And you.”

“Why don’t we just come back later? But if these deer are still here, or if more come, we might have to tell somebody so we can get the credit and maybe make some money of it. If the cops or the government comes out here, they’ll take it for sure and cut us out.”

The men trekked back to the house. They agreed that Dean would go out later in the day and check things out. Then Cal would come out tomorrow after work and they would decide what to do next.

About 6 o’clock Dean called Cal to report that some of the deer remained, but most of them had left. Nothing else had changed.

Cal left work at the feed mill at 3:00 pm and raced out to Dean’s aunt’s farm. Dean wasn’t home yet, so Cal sat on the porch swing in the remains of the autumn day’s sunshine.

The *********. The *********, he thought. What would human-looking aliens fight over and drop off here, in Daviess County, Indiana? And what could bring the deer like it did? And what should they do with it?

If it was a religious shrine or something with unusual powers, Cal thought, maybe it was left here for a reason. Maybe that alien left it here because he thought it would be safe. Or maybe it has a special purpose that is waiting to be revealed. And maybe he would come back for it. He might not be too happy if they took it and sold it.

The late fall sun hung low in the depthless blue sky. The leaves were off the trees and he could see the farm fields across the road. And then he noticed it.
Cows. Herefords, milk cows, were lining up against the fence across the road. They weren’t hurrying, just poking along, as cows are like to do. But they were lining up, side-by-side, nose near the fence and tail to the field.

This thing with the ********* was going to get hard to keep quiet. First deer, now cows, Cal thought. This thing must be more than a damn *********. It had to be a damn sight more.

Dean’s truck turned up the driveway. He was driving fast and skidded in the gravel as he stopped next to the farmhouse behind Cal’s vehicle.

Dean jumped down from the truck. He was carrying a sack.

“’Did you see them cows,” Dean hollered.


“They’re doing that all the way down the road. Down to Dale Cooper’s place, almost,” Dean added.

Dean reached into the sack and pulled out a beer. He gave it to Cal.

“I figured you’d want a beer after you see what’s happened.”

“What happened?”

“Well, I know we agreed that we wouldn’t move it. But I got to gettin’ worried about it. So I went out last night and brung it back up here. It’s in the old machine shed.”

“You moved it? You shouldn’t have done that, Dean. They might have put it there for a specific reason. That could have been some special place back there in the woods.”

“Come on out to the shed. It’s in there.”

Cal followed Dean to the shed. Dean swung the heavy doors open. The ********* was sitting on the concrete floor, next to an old Ford 8N tractor. Cal walked over and knelt next to it.

“It’s flashing”, Cal said.

“It’s what,” said Dean, and he approached it.

“Damn. It is flashing.”

The ********* was emitting a red light from inside. It was flashing regular, too, about every three seconds.

“Was it doing that when you brought it up here?”

“No. It looked like it did before. It must have just started flashing.”

“How’d you get it up here,” Cal asked.

“I just put on a pair of welding gloves and carried it up. It’s as light as a feather.”

“Damn, Dean. I hope it will be okay that you moved it. I didn’t want you to move it. Why did you move it?”

“I just got worried about somebody coming by. You know, some poacher or just some guy coming out there, seeing all them deer and comin’ up on it. I didn’t have no clue that it would start flashing.”

“Well, it’s done. Was there any deer back there when you brought it back?”

“No. That’s part of the reason I brought it back, cause there weren’t no deer around it just then.”

“Well now it’s attracting cows,” Cal observed.

“Yeah. Ain’t that weird. Now it’s got the cows attention.”

Dean and Cal went into the house and finished the beer. They decided that they had better tell somebody. Like they figured, if they called the cops, the cops would tell the government and they would haul the ******** off to some secret laboratory somewhere and they’d never see it again. They’d cover it up and Cal and Dean would look just like the other idiots saying the government was covering up a big secret.

They agreed that Cal would call the Bloomington, Indianapolis and Evansville television stations so they would send out news teams. If they got on television with the *********, even when the government took it, they could still prove they found it. And if all the channels came out, there would be even more proof and publicity. And at least one of them was bound to come out.

Cal told Dean that he would tell them to come out at 4 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. Dean was too excited to go to work tomorrow and would call in sick. This was the busy season at the grain elevator so Cal had to work. But he said he would be there at 3:15, right after work and before the TV station people showed up.

“What are you going to tell them news reporters what the ********* is,” Dean asked Cal.

Cal sniffed in a breath through his nose, shook his head, and said, “I don’t really know what to say. If that alien dropped if off here when he was being chased in that other universe, or wherever he was, it has to be very valuable and important. And the way that the deer acted. And them cows….’

“That’s why I think it must be a shrine or some religious thing. Its gotta have some kind of special significance and some special power. That’s how religions get started, you know. People find something with special powers like a burning bush or some angel leaves gold tablets with lost books of the bible.”

“You don’t think that alien was an angel, do you. He didn’t have no wings or halos. He looked just like us,” Dean said.

“No. But people back in the biblical times, back then, they might have thought aliens was angels, not being as advanced and as smart as we are. I don’t know. I just know we might have something here that is real important. Maybe the most important thing ever found.”

Cal left a little while later. He stopped in at the Rusty Nail to pick up a pizza to go. While he was waiting for the pizza, Jim Hitchcock, a hog-farm operator, told him that his sows were highly agitated and he’d never seen anything like it. Cal then called Dean and told him that the ********* was now affecting hogs.


Whenever gas goes up, stocks go down, or or a celebrity stumbles, the obligatory "man on the street" stories fill the media vacuum.

The Yahoo Finance page offered the following poll to its readers:

In light of the stock market's recent sell-off, what is your current strategy?

Buying 33%
Holding tight 56%
Selling 13%
371576 Votes to date

While not a scientific sample, it is probably fairly representative of the average investor. Holding tight wins by several lengths. But it is the poorest strategy to employ. When prices fall, you sell if you are bearish or buy more if you are bullish. Yet 56% of respondants stand pat and lose capital. Or miss better opportunities (if there are any).

BTW, the Author has some short positions, holding ETFs that are 200& inverse to the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ. For more information on these ETFs and ProShares, see July 10th post, "NEW ETFs ALLOW AVERAGE INVESTOR TO SHORT MAJOR INDICES OR LEVERAGE MAJOR INDICES".


IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog is offered for informational purposes only. Sources of information provided are believed to be reliable, but are not guaranteed to be complete or without error. Opinions and suggestions are provided with the understanding that readers acting on information contained herein assume all risks involved. The author may or may not buy or sell securities discussed in this newsletter.


The Author has been trying to get his fiction published for a long time. Without much success. He recently wrote this science fiction humor story. He submitted to the usual suspects and it was rejected.

In the 19th century, popular writers published their novels as serials in magazines. So the Author is publishing this story, "The *********" on his blog. It will be published in three or four installments.


THE *********
By Robert Feightner Copyright 2007

“Come on Cal, it ain’t much futher,” Dean said, waving his arm as he and his friend Cal walked down the narrow, wooded path.

Cal had bagged his buck last Saturday so he was sitting in The Rusty Nail drinking beer when Dean came running in about an hour ago. Dean had been out deer hunting and he came in with some story about a guy appearing and then disappearing by his tree stand. And leaving some space thing behind.

Dean said he had climbed down from the stand to take a leak. He didn’t want to whiz around the tree stand because the deer could pick up the human scent. Just when Dean was getting ready to urinate, Dean claimed that the guy run by, set the thing down, and disappeared.

Dean was stammering so much that Cal couldn’t make much more sense of what he was saying. But something to bring Dean down from his tree stand on the last day of deer season had to be important. So Cal left the bar and rode back with Dean to the farm where Dean hunted.

Dean hunted on his aunt’s land. It was an old farm that she inherited from Dean’s grandparents. She cash-rented the land to local farmers. Dean rented the run-down farmhouse from her. Cal had been out there a few times, but didn’t remember every landmark.

“It’s just up here,” Dean said, pointing to the edge of the woodlot.
“Like I told you,” Dean recounted, “I had to take a leak so I came down from my tree stand and walked back a ways into the tree line to talk a whiz. And the guy, or whatever he was, set it down here.”

And there it was.

“See. I wasn’t lyin'.”

Cal and Dean walked over to it. It was about two-foot square. But it wasn’t really square. It was wavy and irregular. It didn’t even look solid. It was kind of clear, but you couldn’t really see through it.

Cal kneeled down about five feet from it. Dean walked around to the other side.

“What in the hell is that, Dean,” Cal asked.

“The guy who set it there, and I still ain’t believing what went on about that, said it was a “*********,” Dean said.

“I never heard of such a thing. A *********,” Cal said, “It doesn’t look like much of anything. But is must be something, or he wouldn’t have left it here. Maybe it is some alien thing. From outer space.”

“I’m glad you said it, Cal. I was afraid you would think I was crazy before you seen it for yourself.”

Cal stood up, walked around the thing called a “*********”, and stood about three feet from Dean.

Dean told Cal that when he was urinating he heard a whirring sound and the leaves and underbrush rustling. Dean said that he then quickly zipped up his pants and turned around to see what was happening.

“And the woods was gone. That’s what you said?”

“Well, not all gone. Not where I was standin’. I was still in the woods. Just mostly out in front of me was gone. But I could see that the woods were still there behind and on each side.”

“I hear some noise, banging sounds, I guess, and I hear some yellin’ in some foreign language. And this guy runs up and sets this thing down. He says something in a foreign language. Then he must have noticed me, cause he looked at me and said ‘a *********,” Dean recounted.

“He said it to you. He said it was ‘a *********.”


“A *********?”

“Yeah. He said ‘a *********,” Dean answered.

“Now wait. You said that he was talking some foreign language. Maybe some alien language. How could you tell what he said? Did he say it in English,” Cal asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, he must have. He changed to speaking English, I guess. ‘Cause I understood what he said.”

Dean continued to describe what happened. The guy turned and ran out of view, into whatever kind of space he was in before. And then he heard some sounds and some people speaking a foreign language. And then the space in the woods disappeared and the woods were back like they were. And the ********* was left sittin’ there.

“Now let me get this straight, Dean. After he set it down, the guy ran on in this other space and disappeared. And some people, or some aliens, was following him. And then the space disappeared. That’s what you said,” Cal recounted.

“Well, I’m not sure what was following him. But I did hear noise, like coming out of the space, from the side the guy was runnin’ from. So I guess it sounded like they was following him,” Dean replied.

“What did he look like? Did he look like a man or an alien?”

“Well, he wasn’t no gray slanted eyed thing like from Roswell.”

Dean said that the man looked human. He went on to say that he was wearing black pants and a brown jacket. He had short brown hair.

“What do you think, Cal? You’re the first guy I came to with this, cause I know you watch Star Trek and the X-Files and stuff. You might have some idea what’s going on?”

Cal bowed his head and stroked the side of his face.

“Them are just TV shows. This is real. Or kind of real.”

Cal then walked back over and knelt down in front of the *********.
“And what in the hell is this?”

Cal picked up a stick and poked the *********. It was solid but didn’t weigh much. It moved with the slightest of touch of the stick.

“Careful, Cal, damn it. It might do something.”

“I’ll be careful. You want to find out what we got. It might be worth something or be something real important. Hell, it could be worth a ton of money. We probably got a genuine alien artifact here.”

The men talked awhile about what to do with the *********. They decided against calling the cops. The cops would tell the government and they would take the ********* and question them about it. They might be able to sell their story as a book or a movie, though.

“Dean, does anybody else come back here?”

“No. The farmers got the crops out. My aunt doesn’t come around. Nobody has permission to hunt out here but me. Why you ask?”

“Well, I’m thinking that it’s gonna get dark soon and we should just leave this out here tonight. I don’t think we should go hauling it around until we know more about what we got. We can sleep on it tonight and decide what we want to do next.”

Dean agreed and the men slogged back to the house. Dean drove Cal back to his house and they agreed they would meet tomorrow morning