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|The Uninvited (standard:science fiction, 1540 words)|
|Author: Ian Hobson||Added: Dec 29 2006||Views/Reads: 2147/1114||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A short story by Ian Hobson and Dianne Herring. We wrote this via the Internet, adding a few lines and e-mailing it back and forth.|
The Uninvited ©2006 Dianne Herring & Ian Hobson Dorothy wiped her hands on her apron and stepped out onto the porch, shading her eyes against the glare of the evening sun. "Dinner's in five minutes!" The hood of Jim's pickup was still up, and she could see his friend Steve standing on the other side of the pickup talking to him. Dorothy was surprised. The last time she heard anything about Steve, he was in prison for embezzling money from the job he had with the State Highway Department. Dorothy wondered if his wife knew he was out. The last she had heard of her, she was working as a stripper at the Rococo Club downtown. “We got room for one more for dinner, Honey?” Jim closed the hood on the pickup, then took a rag from his overall pocket and wiped his hands as he and Steve walked towards the porch. “Hi, Dorothy.” Steve was as handsome as ever, and his smile just as disarming. “I guess I'm a little late for dinner.” Steve gave Dorothy that little wink in his eye but of course Jim didn't see it. This reminded her of when they were in high school. Steve always thought he was a lady's man but he certainly was not to Dorothy. She always thought he was a crook, and even that he might be connected to the Mafia. But southern hospitality prevailed and she he said, "Oh no, we have plenty to eat. I've cooked some veggies from the garden, and I fixed a country fried steak and some cornbread." *** Dorothy sat there and listened as Steve and Jim talked - feeling pleased when Steve remarked that he hadn't had such good food in a long time. Steve had divorced his wife Mary Lynn just before he went to prison - after he had caught her down at the Rococo Club one night. They had never had any children, as Steve had made it clear from the beginning that he did not want any kids. Apparently Mary Lynn had moved down to the coast, and he had not seen or heard from her since. So that was two relationships down the can, or maybe three: Before Mary Lynn, Steve had lived with an older woman called Julie. She had two teenage daughters, and the talk was that they fussed and fought the short time they were together, and when Julie caught Steve making out with one of her daughters, she had had enough of Steve, and had promptly kicked him out. As Dorothy listened to the conversation she studied the two men, thinking that they were as different as chalk and cheese: One solid and reliable, and the other a womanizing crook - yet she couldn't help finding Steve attractive. Something caught Dorothy's eye and she looked out of the kitchen window and saw smoke bellowing up from the truck. She screamed and Jim and Steve got up and ran outside, telling her to call 911 on their way out of the door. As she made the call she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the truck explode and Jim and Steve being lifted off their feet and blow across the yard. “Jim!” Dorothy ran out and knelt beside her husband. Steve was shakily getting to his feet, but Jim had been blown back towards the porch and lay unmoving. His head lay against the corner of the porch step and as Dorothy gently lifted it she felt the palm of her hand fill with blood. Steve staggered over and dropped to his knees beside them, and it was then that the first of the shots rang out and splinters flew from the pine trees that surrounded Jim and Dorothy's home. Dorothy hovered over Jim, yelling at him to hang on, there was help on the way. Then she heard the sirens screaming toward them, and as a fire engine followed by an ambulance arrived, Steve stood up and waved to attract their attention. The fire engine took care of the truck fire, and before she knew it, Dorothy was jumping up into the ambulance with Jim and looking around Click here to read the rest of this story (93 more lines)
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