Today is my flex day off this week. I got kind of a late start, and it felt good to sleep in for once. I spent an hour feeding Otto, and playing with him and his squeaky fox toy. After he settled down, I headed for the writing cabin.
I landed my gyrocopter and parked on the runway. When I took the elevator down into the basement, I noticed the formerly haunted biplane was missing. The yak was standing in his stall, waiting for me to get back to his story. “Where’s Lisa?”
“She has not returned,” the yak said. “I need to graze, if you don’t mind.”
I opened the stall and led him out the back door. “Stay near the cabin. Lisa isn’t here to guard you, and there are all kinds of fantasy creatures in the woods.”
I left him to his breakfast, and went in through the front door. Bunny needed food and fresh water, so I took care of him before settling into my office.
The window was open, and Doubt the raven soared high above the grazing yak. I grabbed the critiques I received weeks ago and went to work on them. The guys are enjoying The Yak Guy Project, and I didn’t have a lot of tweaking to do. We’re about to get a new member this coming month and I’m excited to meet her and get some different input.
I scheduled my next post for Story Empire and moved on to some of my short fiction. I wanted to do a read through on some of the stories for The Enhanced League. I made a few edits along the way.
I’ve been called for drifting into present tense a few times now, so I try to watch for it. I discovered one such place in a short story. It seems to be when using internal dialog. To my mind that is happening at the moment and present tense feels more intense. I changed it to past tense anyway. When I use contractions like “it’s and he’s” it feels correct for dialog. There is no reason why they aren’t contractions for “it was” and “he was.” Am I justifying, or am I reasonably correct? (Probably justifying.)
I opened a blank page to start the next short story and my phone rang.
“This is the Orange County Jail calling for Mr. Boyack. You have a collect call from Lisa Burton*. Will you accept the charges?”
“So, um, hi. I ran into a little trouble here in Florida, and need you to post my bail.”
“You have internal phone capacity, why are you just calling now?”
“Turns out there are no signals at all in the jail. I’m fine, but can’t get a signal out. I even tried routing through their printer, but it’s a pretty stupid machine.”
“Well, I had a lovely visit with Susan Nicholls, and she told me where I could find a new swimming suit, and some flip flops to go with it. That lead to a cute cover up, and some other cool shops–”
“Not the shopping, why are you in jail?”
“I’m getting to that. I just bought a cute denim outfit and some shoes before heading back to the airport. I always fly my own plane, because I can’t pass through security. Too much copper and titanium. So I wandered through the gate and pulled the chocks away from my tires when I was approached by two TSA agents. I swear, I was just minding my own business and coming home.”
“What did they want?”
“Turns out they have a problem with the machine-guns on my biplane. Some plane affictionado had to check it out, then got worried and reported me.”
“I thought you removed them. I hope they weren’t loaded.”
“Um, yeah, about that. You have some pretty scary stuff in the sky’s above the writing cabin. There are dragons, and aliens, and even witches on broomsticks. I may have a class three battle chassis, but I’m not going to survive a fall from twenty-five thousand feet.”
“How do you think your antique biplane would fare against an alien ship?”
“I need you to stop the writer’s brain for a second and post my bail.”
“No problem. I’m sure they impounded your plane. How will you get home?”
“Well, I’m going to un-impound it. Then I’m hugging the ground to avoid radar and coming straight home.”
“You’ll never be able to go back to Florida.”
“No, my plane will never be able to go back. I can still use the rocket-pack if I’m ever invited.”
“Okay, I’m logging in to their site right now. Oh look, they take PayPal.”
“Did you feed Bunny?”
“He’s fat and happy, and the yak is grazing right outside my window. Watch your tail, they may chase you as you fly off.”
“As soon as I get a signal, I’m going to link into their communications and make a mess of them. They can look for me in the Bermuda Triangle or somewhere.”
“Okay. Bail’s all posted, but I don’t know how long it will take at their end. You owe me too.”
“I know, and thanks. The money will go right back into your account once I can hack their system. I need to scrub my record, and destroy all video of my plane landing in Florida. It will be like it never happened, I promise.”
* Lisa Burton is my personal assistant and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She’s a robot and made her debut in Wild Concept. She also has a short story in The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack.