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May 19, 2020

Science Fiction

                                         Community

                                                 by

                                     John Meiners, Jr.



   The Diary of Oscar Fleming


   May 7, 1959 - 10:00 PM. Area 51 - Building 84 discovered empty. Doors intact. 10 to 14 aliens apparently escaped and disappeared on May 5, 6 or early May 7. Current whereabouts unknown.


   May 10 - No public announcement per Roswell's usual news blackout concerning UFO's and Aliens - especially since I'm in charge of the investigation into their disappearance.


   May 11 - At supervisory staff meeting, were told in no uncertain terms NOT to share the events of this incident with anyone, even family. Hands tied.


   "May 11 is the last entry in Oscar Fleming's diary," said Samantha."  He left two months later and moved to New Orleans where he met my grandfather, and they became friends. Story is, Oscar received word from someone traveling with the aliens that they were headed to Louisiana. He also told my grandfather they had the ability to change forms."


   Jesse interrupted her, "Shape Shifters and all on foot? Who was with them?"


   "Started off on foot, then acquired a VW bus. Oscar never said who helped them or who found the bus."


   Jesse laughed, "A bunch of hippy aliens?"


   "It wasn't safe on foot. Like I said, the aliens had the ability to change forms, but it wasn't automatic. It had to be learned. They chose deer because deer are more common, easier to blend in. Not a foolproof plan though. Wolves attacked and killed a deer, who was really an alien. Then a wolf was gored and killed by a buck, and the man with them killed two other wolves. That's when he bought the bus."


   "Good move."


   "What do you think, Jesse Gunn?"


   "Samantha, we only have three entries from Oscar Fleming's diary. One entry shows supervisors warned everyone to keep silent. Nothing was reported in the newspaper. Not too surprising really. The stories your grandfather heard... maybe they're only stories."

   "They may be, but I'm not taking this case to court. I don't need an airtight case; I just want the chance to prove there is some truth in these stories."


                                                2


   Jesse understood her desire to know, but doesn't share her enthusiasm for aliens. However her smile is out of this world. "What do you want to do?"

   "A hunter shot a deer, and then the hunter was killed in the woods outside a small town, named Community. I want to investigate what happened."

   Jesse looked at her knowingly, "The story you were told about the buck that killed the wolf years ago... Now you want to know if a deer, alias 'alien', might have killed the hunter."


   "I'm curious, Jesse Gunn... What do you say? It'll be an adventure!"


   Jesse was glad of the interruption when the waitress brings their glasses of wine. He told Samantha, "OK I'll go Monday, touch base with the police and check out the murder site."

  

   "Don't want me to go with you?"


   "Lawyers scare the police."

  

   "I'll tell them I'm a writer."


   Jesse smiled and laughed, "That's worse."


   Samantha and Jesse raised their glasses in a silent toast and took a sip.


   At 9:00 the next morning, Jesse crossed Lake Pontchartrain headed toward Community. After a quiet peaceful trip, a nice change from the city traffic of New Orleans, he arrived in Community and went straight to the police station. Community's population was only 1,321 with five police officers. Jesse walked in and met Sgt. Murray. He knew it was Sgt. Murray, his name was on his desk.


   "My name is Jesse Gunn from New Orleans. I'm a private investigator, and I want to talk to you about the Sam Guillory case."


   Sgt. Murray confirmed Jesse's outsider status when he said suspiciously, "New Orleans? The Sam Guillory case is ongoing. No evidence, but it is still open in the event something comes up." He called to Officer Jones, "George, "Would you show Mr. Gunn here, what we have on the Sam Guillory case? I'm going to lunch." Sgt Murray turned to Jesse. "We have nothing to hide. Good bye, Mr. Gunn."


   Jesse nodded, "Thanks."


   Officer Jones said, "If you'll step this way." He pulled the Sam Guillory file and handed it to him. As Jesse expected and Sgt. Murray implied, it was a scant two page report with no suspects or little evidence.


   Jesse asked Officer Jones, "Would it be possible for me to see the murder site?"


                                                3


"I'll drive you out if you like," Officer Jones offered.


   "Thanks. I'll just follow you if that's all right."


   Ten miles later, Jesse stood in a small clearing set in the middle of pines and oaks where the body was found. He could still see splinters on the ground and bark damage visible where a rifle was smashed against the tree. Definitely an act of rage. Just then he noticed a piece of gold on the ground. He brushed a leaf aside, picked up a gold ring and slipped it in his pocket. Already 12:15, and time to head to the lodge thought Jesse after one stop at the local paper, Community Times, to check the obituaries.


   Samantha arrived at Deer Run Lodge in time to tour the property and peek around back at the cabins. The lodge was rustic but elaborate with the air of an antebellum home. Where are all the hunters, she wondered. No hunters or hunting gear, but she couldn't help but notice the numerous families with children.


   Jesse suddenly appeared behind her and gathered their suitcases to enter the lodge. "Hi, and by the way, we're married," he whispered to her.


   "I didn't hear you propose."


   "You said, Yes!" he says with a smile.


   "Hello, welcome to Deer Run Lodge," says the front desk receptionist. "Do you have a reservation?"


   Is she an alien, wondered Samantha?


   Jesse answered, "Yes, Jesse Gunn."


   "Yes, you'll be with us for four days... leaving Thursday?"


   Both Samantha and Jesse chime in together. "Right."


   "Let me check on your cabin. Just a moment." She picked up the phone. "This is Candy. Is Cabin 21 ready?... How long?... Thanks." Candy turns to them with a disappointed smile. "Sorry, your room isn't quite ready, maybe another 20 or 30 minutes. Please make yourself at home. Check out those brochures on the table listing our area activities. I'll call you when your room is ready."


   "Thank you," Samantha smiled and admired the cozy rustic interior while checking out the brochures. Anxiously she turned to Jesse, "What did you find out, Jesse Gunn?" Hearing rumors for much of her life has only fed her fascination with aliens. If only she could prove most of the inhabitants of Community were aliens. She knew Jesse believed it was farfetched fiction. He said so, proud of his alliteration.


   "What did you find out, Jesse Gunn?" she repeated.


   "The case is open pending further evidence, which I might add will not be forthcoming. No suspects, no one will be charged in my opinion ever."


                                                  4

   "Did you look at the coroner's report?"


   "Yes, It was inconclusive."


   Samantha smiled, "So it is possible. If the hunter's death is not the result of a gunshot, then it's possible an alien who shape shifted into a deer is responsible. Did they state any possible causes?"

"Inconclusive means nothing is ruled out. The body was found the day after he was killed, and Officer Jones stated animals had gotten to him. Jones said his throat was more or less ripped out. Don't think stab wounds were evident, but it wouldn't mean much. If an anti-hunter fanatic type killed him, they'd be happy to stab him with antlers. Killed by the deer for his crime, symbolically of course."


   "While what you've said is true, it does not negate the alien theory."


   Jesse nodded in agreement. Samantha is a good prosecutor as well as defense attorney, he thought. The oddity in this investigation was her strong desire to prove aliens exist not their guilt or innocence of a murder. Samantha wants her jury to bring in a verdict of 'Aliens Exist.' Jesse continued, "The hunter's rifle was smashed up against a tree."


   Samantha quickly said, "An act of rage."


   "No doubt, and no finger prints on the barrel," adds Jesse.


   "So the killer came upon the hunter just as he'd shot the deer, killed him, destroyed his rifle, wiped the finger prints from the barrel and left. What about the deer carcass?"


   "Officer Jones said it was completely gone."


   Samantha thought if the deer's alias, 'the alien' was a loved one, then it was carried off for a proper burial or whatever is the customary procedure for aliens. "If the dead deer was an alien, another alien could have killed the hunter in retaliation. Especially if it was a family member."


   "And the deer changed back to human form and smashed the hunter's rifle?"


   "You need to think out of the box, Jesse Gunn."


   "Kind of warm and cozy in this box, Samantha... You know, anti-hunting fanatics would have been more than happy to smash the evil hunter's rifle after they killed him."


   Jesse reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. "I found this at the site."


   Samantha took the ring and looked closely. "Woman's ring. No markings. When were you going to tell me? Marriage is based on trust."


                                                 5

   "Better late than never. I don't think it was out there for long. I found it by the tree where the rifle was smashed. The ring's owner was most likely there. Try it on."


   Samantha put the ring on her left hand. Jesse looked on thoughtfully, and Samantha asked him. "Left hand make you nervous?" she laughed. "It's an engagement ring you know."


   "If she lost it while smashing the rifle, it shows she felt a lot of anger, but it doesn't mean she's the killer."


   Candy walked over to them with a clipboard in hand. "Excuse me... I'm sorry, I forgot to have you sign your registration form."


   Jesse took the clipboard and pen. "Sure." On the paperwork he noticed Candy's real name, Candace Adams. Jesse signed and said, "Thanks, Candace?" Jesse points to her name on the paper.


   She smiled, "That's me. Candace Adams. Candy's short for Candace... Please make yourselves at home. Let me know if you need anything." Candy walked away, and Samantha noticed Jesse's 'Cat that ate the canary smile.'


   Suddenly a man walked up.


   "Hi, folks. I'm Monroe Cane, owner and manager of Deer Run Lodge. I'm sorry you're still waiting, but your cabin should be ready soon." Monroe addressed Samantha, "Do you have relatives here?" His eyes linger on Samantha.


   "No, not that I know. My husband and I live in New Orleans."


   He's looking at Samantha as if he recognizes, Jesse thought then smiled. Maybe she's just better looking than I am.


   "First time in Community?"


   Jesse answered, "Yes, thought we'd get out of the big city."


   Samantha who'd noticed a definite lack of hunters said, "I've seen quite a few families and children but no hunters. I thought this was deer hunting season."


   "We try to cater to families. You're not deer hunters?" Samantha and Jesse shake their heads. Monroe continues, "Most of us enjoy the families. Cub Scouts stay here year round. Cabins are always all rented out. Community's been doing good. Well, I'd better go to work. Happy to have ya'll with us."


   Monroe walked away, and Samantha quickly turned to Jesse. "Okay, What was the 'AHA' moment, Jesse Gunn?"


   "I checked the obits the month the hunter was killed. Only three deaths. An eighty-seven year old man, a hunter from New York named Sam Guillory, and a man named Mark Adams whose canoe flipped on the Belle Rive. His body was never found."


                                               6


   Samantha thought a moment, "Adams and... He had a sister named Candace?"


   "He did, and a brother named Carl Adams."


   "So if Candy,... Mark and... Carl Adams are members of the same family, and they're all aliens then Mark was the deer shot by the hunter who was in turn killed by Mark's brother Carl. If the ring belongs to Candy then she must have smashed the rifle. The story that Mark died because his canoe flipped is a lie."


   "Aliens all day, every day."


   "It's plausible... Carl has the power and motive."


   "If Mark Adams was a real person who flipped his canoe and died, then Candy lost her brother. Carl, her other brother does not enter the picture, and instead we have a crazed hunter killing fanatic on the loose."


   Samantha knew their different opinions and couldn't help feeling frustrated. Just once, she would love to hear, 'You make a good point' or 'That's possible.' She felt Jesse discounted every theory, and as soon as the last word cleared her lips, he stated the REAL truth as he saw it. Feeling frustrated she said, "Jesse, I've done research on this. My Grandfather and then my mother told me stories of an alien escape from area 51, their alien ability to change forms, and their migration to Louisiana. I'm not saying all the rumors are true, but we don't have to close our mind to all possibilities."


   So far they'd been amicable opposing lawyers, but now the quest for truth moved to a desire to prove at least some of Samantha's family stories were based in reality. Sentimentality is the reason, he thought. "Would you like me to agree with every theory you come up with? I'm playing Devil's Advocate to give you a chance to keep your feet on the ground. I'm sorry you feel I'm raining on your parade."


   Samantha said, "Jesse, the hell with rain, you need to name your hurricane that floods my parade."


   "Look, Samantha we live in the city of Voodoo and tall tales. When I was young in Mandeville, old timers - more than one - swore by stories of deer and mountain lions running together. They stressed the fact the deer were never in danger. I was told a mountain lion ran off three wolves when they confronted a deer... I loved those stories. We both believed, but somewhere along the line I guess I stopped." Jesse remembered something Officer Jones said. "Officer Jones did say the hunter's throat was ripped out."


   Samantha stated as fact, "Carl was not a buck, but a mountain lion who killed the hunter in retribution for killing his brother."


   Jesse smiled affectionately at her determination and thought, 'Thank God, I'm not arguing a case against her.' Then admitted, "Certainly not impossible."


                                               7


   Monroe walked up and addressed Samantha excitedly, "Excuse me, I was wondering, could I ask you... what your maiden name was? You've got a strikin' resemblance to... Have a look." He handed her a picture. Monroe continued, "Him."


   Surprised, Samantha said, "It's my grandfather... Slade was his name. Mine too." Samantha showed Jesse.


   Monroe sharing her excitement pointed, "I forget who some of them kids are. It was taken in 1963. That's me. I was twelve, I think."


   Samantha couldn't take her eyes off the picture with the VW bus in the background. She remembered a man brought aliens to New Orleans in a VW bus. "Who is the other man?"


   "Mr. Flemings from Covington. He was our Sunday School teacher."


   "The VW bus, it belonged to Mr. Flemings?"


   "No, It was your grandfather's."


   Stunned, Samantha asked, "Are you sure?"


   "Oh, yes... I'm positive. It was your grandfather's. He would drive all of us to our church retreats in the woods."


   Samantha looked at Jesse trying to digest everything, while his expression illustrated, 'WHOA what just happened?'


   Monroe noticed Candy approaching. "I think your room is ready. We'll talk again if you like."


   Samantha agreed, "Yes, please, I think we have a lot to talk about." Monroe smiled and walked away. She asked

Jesse, "What about the ring?"


   Jesse answered quickly, "She's lost a brother. Nothing will be accomplished."


   Candy arrived. "Mr. And Mrs. Gunn, your cabin is ready. Thanks for being so patient."


   Jesse showed Candy the ring, and she recognized it before he could get a word out. She couldn't hide her excitement and spoke before thinking of the possible repercussions. "My engagement ring. I've looked and looked for it." Her expression became guarded when she realized it was too late now to say it wasn't hers. Hesitantly she asked, "Where did you find it?"


   The range of emotions on Candy's face stunned Jesse and Samantha. They looked at each other for what seemed an eternity to Candy. Samantha pleaded with Jesse with her eyes. Finally he handed Candy the ring and replied, "Outside... on the walkway. It was covered with leaves. Lucky it wasn't found by the wrong person."


                                               8

   Candy put on the ring and smiled the biggest smile ever seen.


   "Have you set a date yet?" a happy Samantha asked.


   "Yes, June 21st."


   "Congratulations," added Jesse.


   "Thank you so much." Candy took a few steps then

suddenly turned, ran back to them both and hugged them. She ran to the desk to show Monroe her ring.


   Monroe laughed and told her, "Sure go ahead."


   Candy quickly headed toward the door, while Monroe loudly reminded her, "Woods edge,... Woods edge."


   Samantha and Jesse ran to the big picture window and saw Candy running toward the wood. Suddenly at 'wood's edge' she disappeared. Samantha turned to Jesse, "Did you see? Did you see the white tail? It was a white tail deer."


   Samantha and Jesse looked at each other with shocked expressions.


   Samantha asked, "If I was an Alien would you still love me?"


                                         The End










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1 comment

A. y. R
17:29 May 26, 2020

This was so suspenseful! I loved the mysterious undertone in the story, you portrayed it really well!

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