Click over to David Cranmer's Beat to a Pulp this week, and you'll find a story from my fevered imagination. Called "Half-Breed," it's a mix of frontier story and post-apocalyptic speculation that starts this way:
Corless had a grandmother born in 2020, and she was called by her pa, so the story went, Penny-Penny. Supposed to make a cute rhyme.
That was three years before the Grid went down. His grandmother tells him all this so often Corless has it by heart. What she won't tell him is where he came from and why. He's got only this dim memory of someone bringing him to Penny-Penny and leaving in a hurry the next day. Off down the busted road through town in a horse and wagon.
Everybody has somebody, and Corless had his grandmother. Nobody but her called him by his right name. Most called him Half-Breed, even before he started school. Off color, Penny-Penny would say instead.
"Your mama was always a little wild," she'd explain and shake her head. But it didn't explain a thing.
The mystery took a turn when the talk of UFOs started up. They'd been seen, some said, on winter nights over the hills. Bright, shining saucers. Then some hunters along the Dismal came through town bug-eyed with stories. There'd been a mother ship, by god, and a bunch of baby ships floating right down over the treetops.
Continued here. . .
Coming up: Hattie Horner Louthan, This Was a Man! (1907)