Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Half-Breed" at Beat to a Pulp

It's 2085. Do you know where your grandchildren are?

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)


  1. Fantastic, Ron! Really enjoyed it. My great-aunt Rose saw Halley's Comet fly over Nebraska in 1910. I saw it return to the same skies in 1986. Glad to know someone will still be watching in 2061.

  2. Good story, Ron! Very atmospheric and eerie. Nice buildup, with just enough background, and then a smashing (no pun intended) climax.

  3. Good story, indeed, Ron, and very well written. I didn't see the end coming. I'd never have associated a half-breed with aliens. Now there are possibilities I didn't notice before. Many thanks...

  4. Half-breeds and flying saucers! Fine story, Ron!

  5. Great work, Ron. I really enjoyed it.

  6. Folks think of Ron the reviewer but I'm fairly certain after this tale and other stories out and about it is Ron the writer.

  7. Some fine writing here, Ron. Very cool!

  8. Thanks, everybody, for the kind words.