Monday, May 16, 2022

Book Review: Pluto, Vol 3 by Naoki Urasawa & Osamu Tezuka

 

Pluto, Vol 3      


Author: Naoki Urasawa & Osamu Tezuka

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 19, 2009

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Sci-Fi Manga//200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Uran is a robot who looks like a little girl. She has the unique ability of being able to sense emotions, even from great distances. As she and Atom leave the police station, Atom notices an odd man heading into the station, but he can’t tell whether he is robot or human. Turns out he is Professor Abdullah. From Persia, he is considered to be Central Asia’s greatest intellect. The police requested he come in to discuss some of the people he met with on a recent visit, some of whom are now dead. As the Professor leaves the station, he requests directions to Central Park where something just happens to be emerging, something dark and sinister-looking.

In Dusseldorf, a family are enjoying their breakfast. The wife reminds her husband, Adolf, that it is the three year anniversary of his brother’s death, and he needs to claim the body. When he does, he requests to see the body and is shocked by what he sees.  Later he attends a clandestine meeting of people wearing hoods who all espouse the cause of death to machines, and seek to eradicate all robots. It appears his brother was practically pulverized by a particular type of weapon which few robots can wield. He is determined to find out which robots are capable. He researches reported incidents involving such a weapon and learns the only one within the last few years since the war was reported just the previous night, and that one involved Inspector Gesicht.

With the help of a friend, Hercules has “borrowed” a military battle suit, knowing this is a serious offense, one that could end his career. As he is testing it out, suddenly a second sun appears in the sky. It turns out to be a robot named Epsilon, who says he had to stop Hercules before he got himself killed, like Brando and Mount Blanc. Back in Germany, Adolf takes his findings to his group, to request their help in locating and destroying Gesicht. They tell him not to take any action as this could reveal the awful things Adolf’s brother did, but let them handle the matter. Epsilon approaches Gesicht and tells him of the children he cares for since the war. One particular little boy, the sole survivor of his village, saw something terrible, and the only word he will utter now is the name Bora.

In Tokyo, Uran oddly wakes to find what seems to be a tear on her pillow. Since when do robots cry? Leaving her building, she says she senses someone in emotional distress, perhaps an animal, and goes off to find it.  Going into a closed park which is forbidden for anyone to enter, she finds a man inside an abandoned building who is in apparent distress. Except he isn’t a man, he’s a robot. When she asks what sort of nutrient he requires, she tells him she can’t get that one but gets the closest thing to that she can find. She helps nurse him back to health and begins to piece together his story. In the meantime, Professor Abdullah has sent out a robot on a mission… and who is Pluto?

Maybe I’m late to realize this and am only stating the obvious, but it seems to me that Pluto can be seen as an allegory about the human condition, even though it involves robots. It has themes of prejudice and hate, which of course are reflected in our everyday lives with people who hate others based solely on the basis of their skin color, sexual identification, religions, etc. People fear what they don’t understand. They also fear people who know more than they do (whether they are willing to admit to it or not) So robots are a double threat in that regard. And these robots are eerily human as well, some of them. That hooded hate group looks remarkably like the KKK – imagine that. Now it seems that Gesicht has a target on his back, assuming he didn’t already just because of who he is. How many more robots have to die before this menace is stopped? Who or what is Pluto?

Another great volume, looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #61 - The Grudge 2, Unfriended

 The Grudge 2



Aubrey's (Amber Tamblyn) sister Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is being held in Tokyo, accused of burning down a house. Their mother is too ill to fly to Japan to deal with the situation but demands Aubrey do so, even though she has gone no contact with Karen. Aubrey goes and finds her sister under lock and key at a hospital. Karen is actually happy to see her and begs her to get her out of there. Aubrey meets a young man named Eason (Edison Chen) who also wants to talk to her sister. He is a journalist and he is trying to figure out what happened in that house, but Aubrey isn't receptive to the idea.






Allison (Arielle Kebbel) is the new kid  at an elite academy in Tokyo. But she quickly becomes a target by some of the popular mean girls. Two of them take her to a house which was the scene of some horrific crimes and persuade her to go inside with them. There they play a vicious prank on her, locking her inside a closet, where she sees something horrifying. But the prank backfires when one of the girls goes missing, and Arielle just wants to go home.


Meanwhile, in Chicago, Trish (Jennifer Beals) has moved in with her boyfriend Bill (Christopher 


Cousins) and his two kids - Lacey (Sarah Roemer) and Jake (Matthew Knight). She wants to get to know them, but they aren't sure about her. Jake thinks something strange is going on with their next door neighbors, but he isn't sure what, other than they've come in with someone who huddles beneath their coat and can't be seen. Strange things begin to happen. Trish and Bill are nowhere to be found, and he thinks there is something wrong. He sees things he is sure can't really exist. But when he meets the girl next door, she tells him they followed her home.

The Grudge 2 picks up where the first one leaves off. There are three intertwining stories here, which sometimes makes it difficult to follow the plot. I'm still not entirely sure why these things are happening, although the film gives the same explanation as the first one. Again, not a bad film. I hope everything is wrapped up in the final installment. I'll give this one 3.5 Stars as well.

Unfriended


A group of friends who are Skyping find themselves with an uninvited stranger in their midst, one they cannot get rid of no matter how many times they exit and enter. As if this wasn't odd enough, someone is posting on the Facebook of a dead girl named Laura, who committed suicide... one year before. The intruder claims to be Laura and is determined to reveal all the group's secrets, including who posted the embarrassing video that caused her to kill herself.






The intruder, who calls herself Billie, but whose account is linked to Laura's, wants to play a game of Never have I ever. And secrets are being revealed that will tear friendships apart. But worse than that, breaking the rules of the game could prove to be deadly.


This film is told from the POV of the participants, as we watch them Skype on their individual screens. As the night progresses, the teens turn on each other as their secrets are revealed in the midst of this deadly game. It has a fair amount of scares and shock value to be interesting without being too obvious. In fact, at the end you can't really be sure what exactly happened. 


None of these teens is exactly innocent, they were all cyber bullies who received their just desserts. Lesson to be learned - be careful what you do on the Internet, it will live there forever. I did enjoy this and will give it 4 Stars.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo      


Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Washington Square Press

American release date: May 29, 2018

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/LGBTQ Romance/400 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Monique Grant had high hopes when she accepted the position of staff writer at Vivant magazine, thinking this would be her springboard to writing fame. But so far, she hasn’t exactly been overwhelmed with great opportunities for thoughtful articles. Still reeling from her husband David’s departure and divorce, she is surprised to be called into her boss Franky’s office one day to receive a new assignment. Turns out that well-known actress Evelyn Hugo, who has been around forever and is still a very beautiful woman,  is donating some of her gowns for a charity auction and is willing to be interviewed regarding the donation. What is surprising about this is that Ms. Hugo has been reclusive for a very long time. Infamous as much for having been married seven times as for her acting career, talking to her would be a feather in any journalist’s cap. So why is she telling Vivant she wants to talk to Monique Grant and only Monique Grant? Monique is completely baffled herself, as she has no ties with the actress, has never met her. The only answer she can get is that the actress read her article about the right-to-die and was impressed. Her employer tried to replace her with someone else, but Hugo was adamant – Monique or no one. So Monique goes off to meet the woman and see what she can find out, although what is there to say about some dresses?

But not everything is as it appears to be. In fact, quite the contrary. At their first meeting, Evelyn discloses that this has nothing to do with dresses or the auction, but that she wants Monique to write her biography. Not ghost write it, to have Evelyn Hugo’s name slapped on it, but actually write it. Furthermore, Monique is going to sell it to the highest bidder (and there will be many of those, Evelyn assures her), because Evelyn won’t be around for much longer, and Monique is to keep all the royalties for herself. ALL THE ROYALTIES FOR HERSELF!

What’s the catch?

Monique is in disbelief, but Evelyn is adamant. She won’t tell Monique why, at least right now, but she assures her that she will find out the truth when the time is right… and she will hate Evelyn for it. How can a girl say no to such an offer? But she can’t let Vivant know what is going on, she has to string them along thinking she’s doing the piece about the dresses, because a girl has to eat, right? While in reality Evelyn is telling her life story, about each and every husband and her meteoric career, while also answering the question – who was her greatest love? This book could set Monique up for life easily.

At first I thought this was just about a Elizabeth Taylor-like actress who bagged and tagged multiple husbands while living the grand life. But I realized early on that it was so much more.  It’s an amazing story of an amazing woman and her journey through life – her loves, her husbands, her career. Certainly not perfect, she made mistakes and she did what she had to. But it’s an epic tale. It’s also Monique’s tale, her desire to hear and tell this story. And to learn its relevance to herself, even as she battles her own self-doubts and problems. I was so sorry to see this story end, but in a very satisfying way. Evelyn Hugo wasn’t free to love as she wished, born into an era which would never allow that to happen. How different things would have been if she’d come along now.

I will definitely have to look for more books by this author.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #22 (5.1)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Just when the fire turns out to be a false alarm, the boys get a call of a prowler at their house? And Sarah and baby Alex are there alone? See what's going on in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne 6. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!


Rose and Thorne 6 #22 (5.1)

Everything else took second place in that moment. Returning to our home and seeing to the welfare of Sarah and Alex had just become priority number one. Of course we weren’t about to leave Benny alone at the hotel, especially under the circumstances. He seemed as anxious as we were to find out what was going on, not surprising considering his niece and great-nephew were involved.

This would have been a good time to have one of those flashing lights to slap on the top of our car, the kind you see the police use in lots of movies and TV shows. Being undercover, we’d never really had a need for those before. Technically, this didn’t qualify as a police emergency either, and we probably could have got into trouble for using them anyway.  I’m amazed we weren’t pulled over considering how fast Ethan was driving. Luck was on our side, and we reached our house in record time. Ethan pulled into the drive and just barely threw the car into park before jumping out and heading inside. Benny and I were right behind him.

Ethan yanked open the front door and burst inside. The living room was empty. “Sarah? Sarah!” he cried out. Hearing no immediate reply, he pulled his weapon and waved me toward the kitchen while he moved toward the back of the house, down the hallway. I motioned to Benny to wait where he was.

I could easily follow Ethan’s thoughts processes. Secure his sister and nephew before we searched outside for the prowler, although anyone with any sense should have fled the moment we arrived. Still, there were people for whom common sense was a foreign language.

The kitchen was clear, not a perp in sight, so I followed in Ethan’s footsteps. The hallway was empty. Ethan was just coming out of our bedroom. Obviously no one there. Ditto with the bathroom. The door to the spare bedroom, the one where Sarah and Alex were sleeping, was closed. Ethan and I exchanged glances just before he reached for the doorknob.

At that moment, the door opened, and Sarah appeared in the doorway. She slid out and quickly closed the door behind her. She seemed puzzled as she looked between us.

“What’s up, guys? I thought you were at the hotel, guarding Uncle Benny?” Then she looked past us, exclaiming. “Benny!” Apparently he was standing just inside the living room. Hoorah for family reunions!

“One of the neighbors reported a prowler, that’s what we’re doing here,” Ethan said tensely. “Are you and Alex all right? Is anyone here? Did anyone try to break in?”

I wasn’t sure why Ethan was questioning her so closely. I mean she was standing right there, clearly unharmed. What did he suspect? That there was intruder hiding in her bedroom? Maybe using little Alex as a hostage to keep her from revealing his presence? She did seem somewhat tense herself, all things considered.

“Everything’s fine, Ethan,” she assured him. “Go on, take Benny back to the hotel before you get in trouble.”

Strangely, she made no move to otherwise greet or embrace her long lost uncle, hovering protectively by the bedroom door. My suspicions were growing stronger, and I suspect Ethan’s were as well.

“We can catch up later,” she added, almost as an afterthought before yawning very widely. A fake yawn if I ever saw one. What the hell was she playing at?

Just then I heard Alex squeal from behind the closed door, followed by a peal of laughter.

“Step away from the door, Sarah,” Ethan said calmly.

Sarah gave a nervous laugh. “You are being so melodramatic! Isn’t he, Vinnie?” She appealed to me, as if for support, and much as I loved her as Ethan’s sister, I couldn’t offer that support right this moment. I was more than a little suspicious myself.

When Ethan tried to reach behind her, Sarah yelped. “So help me, Ethan, don’t do it,” she warned him. “Please, please just trust me here. Okay?”

I could tell Ethan was not going to be swayed by her words. I was afraid I was about to witness a sibling fight such as I’d never seen between them before, and I felt helpless to stop whatever was about to happen. I laid my hand on Ethan’s arm. At the same time, I could feel Benny drawing closer.

But before anything untoward could happen, the door opened. Standing inside the doorway was a man I’d never seen before, little Alex in his arms. My blood ran cold at the sight of the intruder. My gun was in my hand, but I certainly couldn’t shoot and take a chance on hitting Alex. What sort of stand-off were we in the midst of?

And then I heard Ethan’s next words and suddenly I understood.

“James.” Ethan’s voice sounded unnaturally cold. “What the hell are you doing here?”

 to be continued


 Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb

 


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 59 by Tite Kubo

 

Bleach, Vol 59       


Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 2, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Step One in the healing process sees Ichigo and Renji arrive at the Bowing Pig Palace where their only job is to eat and get full! Ichigo digs right in, and although Renji has reservations about some of the things they are eating, that doesn’t stop him from stuffing himself also. Kirio Hikifune, whose palace they are enjoying the hospitality of, is the soul reaper who created the temporary soul and the ability to insert it into a body. She warns them that the guy in the next palace, though, is unpredictable. He is Oh-etsu Nimaiya, of the Phoenix Palace. He created the zanpaku-to.

Ichigo and Renji find Oh-etsu just a little offputting, as well as his bevy of big-busted beauties. But then he isn’t exactly impressed with them, saying they are heartless jerks who allowed their zankpaku-to be be damaged.  Can he fix them? That depends on them. He explains to them what Asauchi are, and how Soul Reapers imprint their soul upon one of them through long and difficult training.

Meanwhile, in the underground great prison, Zaraki and Unohana are about to square off in an epic battle, one Shunsui could not forestall. One in which only one Captain will survive… Each has made such farewells as they care to make, for the outcome of this battle is uncertain.

At the Phoenix Palace, Oh-etsu announces that Renji has passed, but Ichigo has failed, which means he has to go home. Ichigo doesn’t accept that, but Oh-etsu tells him that doesn’t mean it’s over, just that before he can move forward he has to go back to his roots. Back home, Ichigo can’t face Isshin and runs away. He takes refuge at his boss’ house, but Isshin finds him anyway. Isshin takes him home… and tells him the truth about his mother. Finally.

Omigosh, this volume is chock full of valuable information, stuff I’ve been wondering about for some time and stuff I should have been wondering about.  For example, who did Kenpachi beat to become Captain? Well now I know, and man, I never realized just how scary she is. This is a whole other side of her. Also, we learn more about Ichigo’s mother than we’ve ever learned before in a flashback to the past. Holy cow, she’s a Quincy? And she was raised in the Ishida household? Mindblowing stuff! Also, Isshin was a captain himself? And his name isn’t Kurosaki, it’s Shiba? Kurosaki is Masaki’s name.  Seeing past incarnations of Aizen and Gin gave me chills, too, since this is all pre-the bad times.

So, once he learns he is part Quincy, where will Ichigo’s loyalties lie? And when will Uryu make an appearance, which I’m convinced he must at some point. Can’t wait to see what the next volume brings!

 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #60 - The Funhouse, Human Centipede III: The Final Sequence

 The Funhouse


Amy Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) doesn't get out much, under the watchful eye of her parents, but when the opportunity arises to go on a double date with her friend Liz (Largo Woodruff), she takes it. Amy's date is hunky Buzz Dawson (Cooper Huckabee) and Liz's date is the more nerdy Richie Atterbury (Miles Chapin). Amy tells her dad the two couples are going to the movies, instead of their original plans of going to the carnival, as her dad had told her not to go. But they end up there anyway. On a whim, they decide to spend the night in the Funhouse, and Amy tells her parents she is spending the night at Liz's house.





Amy's little brother Joey (Shawn Carson) has been a pain in the butt, but he loves horror movies, and he knows where his sister is going, so he sneaks out of the house and heads toward the carnival.  The two couples hide inside the Funhouse, and after hours, they're making out when they hear a noise. They are able to see a room below them, where the drunken fortune teller, Madame Zena (Sylvia Miles) is talking to the man with the Frankenstein's monster's mask, who was operating the Funhouse. They make a transaction for money but when things don't turn out to the man's satisfaction, he wants his money back. Although technically he doesn't say that since he seems to be only capable of grunts. When Madame Zena refuses, he flies into a rage and strangles.


Now the couples want nothing more than to get away from this place. But that seems less and less likely, and the creature knows they're there and is after them. Turns out he's dealt with this sort of problem before. Can the teens make it out of the Funhouse alive?

This film has something of a pedigree, with director Tobe Hooper, who you may recall from such films as Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And writer Lawrence Block. Their combined work adds some quality to what is otherwise a forgettable film. It's not so much that it's bad, but I think the "freak" who is the oddball in the film and prone to violence if not handled correctly has been a bit overdone. There is no explanation of what is wrong with him, and how he came to be the way he is.


All in all, not a bad film and worth checking out. I'll give it 3.5 Stars, mostly because I like Tobe Hooper

Human Centipede III (The Final Sequence)


To be honest, I wasn't going to touch on this despite watching it today, but I'll give it a brief mention anyway. First, you need to watch the first two, just because. They're not exactly sequels but they also are. In the second one, we saw the first one as a film on DVD, and now in the third one, the first two are films on DVD. The doctor from the first film, Dieter Laser, is back as Bill Boss, the sadistic tyrant of a prison warden. Laurence R. Harvey, who was in the second film, is back as Boss' accountant, Dwight Butler. Boss is beyond bad and terrorizes everyone, including his secretary Daisy (Bree Olson) and makes inappropriate sexual demands on her (not that there are appropriate sexual demands, just saying). 

Butler is obsessed with the Human Centipede films and makes Boss watch them, but he isn't impressed. Neither is he impressed with the idea of making a human centipede at the prison, although Butler argues it will solve a lot of problems, including morale, discipline, and budgetary issues. The prison doctor, Dr. Jones (Clayton Rohner) is also a fan of the films and claims he can make it happen. Together, he and Butler think they have even improved the original techniques. Btw, Dr Jones is lucky to be able to work there, as Boss reminds him, because he has no medical license, so can't be employed anywhere else. Boss changes his mind when the plan meets with the approval of Governor Hughes (Eric Roberts), although the governor doesn't really realize what they intend to do.


Well, there is the basic premise. Let me just say it's the weakest entry of the three, and most of the film consists of Boss's ranting and raving and sadistic treatment of everyone inside that prison. Of course it's gory, it's a Human Centipede. Is there an actual 500 man centipede? Yes, but not until almost the very end. If you just want to finish the series, go ahead and watch it. If you want the same experience as the first two, do yourself a favor and skip it.

Well, I guess that wasn't really brief, was it? Look for Tom Six playing himself. And you might remember one of the prisoners as playing the president in The Fifth Element. Anyway,  I'll just give it 2 Stars and will not rewatch.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #21 (5.0)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

 It was bad enough to be dragged out of the hotel in the middle of the night, in the rain, but now someone is shooting at them? What is going on? See what's happening in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne 6. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Rose and Thorne 6 #21 (5.0)

What the hell’s going on?

If the first shot had given cause for concern, the second one induced a full-blown panic attack on the part of the hotel guests. Probably the staff too. Screams punctuated by assorted expletives filled the air. I glanced up cautiously from my position shielding Benny. The fire department had their hands full preventing a stampede back into the hotel, aided in their efforts by Roanoke’s finest. Good thing they’d already been on the scene. No need to call 9-1-1.

Ethan had abandoned his quest to speak to the manager and beelined back to us, his weapon drawn, his eyes darting about the crowd, no doubt searching for the shooter. “Got him! Stay with Benny!” he yelled at me before taking off like a bat out of hell. Although I wanted to follow my lover, I remained where I was, protecting Benny. I knew Ethan could handle himself. Didn’t mean I wasn’t concerned for his welfare.

I waited anxiously for the sound of more gun shots over the cries of the panicked guests but, to my relief, none were forthcoming. Within mere minutes, a disappointed Ethan had returned to us, holstering his weapon. “Someone must have been waiting for him. He jumped into a car and disappeared before I could catch up or even get a good look at him. There was nothing I could do. Couldn’t even make out the license, damn the luck.”

I was carefully picking myself off the wet sidewalk as Ethan approached, Benny doing the same.

“Are you guys all right?” Ethan’s worried glanced scanned each of us in turn. We assured him we were fine.

“You have quick reflexes,” Benny complimented me. He patted my arm approvingly. I was amazed at how calm he was under the circumstances. Another way in which uncle and nephew were alike.

“Vinnie’s the best,” Ethan said warmly. I couldn’t help but glow at his words, whether I entirely believed them or not. He was more than a little biased when it came to me. Time to change the subject.

“So there’s at least two of them,” I speculated. “But what were they trying to accomplish?” We both glanced at Benny. A small frown now creased his forehead.

“Your ex is in custody, isn’t he?” Ethan asked. “No, scratch that, I know he is. If something had changed in that regard, Anderson would have let us know. I know better than that.”

I did too. Didn’t mean he didn’t know people on the outside who would be willing to help him get rid of Benny, though. Money talks.

As we stood there contemplating our next move, the hotel staff began to wave everybody back inside, as apparently the fire department had verified that it was safe to do so. I heard disgruntled comments of “It’s about time” and “Took them long enough” as the various groups turned toward the hotel. But the police department took control at this point. A couple of policemen were going around, collecting names and room numbers, asking what they’d seen and heard, before allowing anyone to re-enter the hotel.

I briefly considered requesting the department send us any information they collected, but I suspected no one really saw anything that would be of any use to us. Not like we didn’t have a good idea who was behind this. But the big question in my mind was how did someone find us here at the hotel?

Ethan and I exchanged uneasy glances. What if the fire had been a diversion to drive us outside? Maybe someone knew we were at the hotel, but not which room? What better way to smoke us out than by a false fire alarm?

“Maybe we shouldn’t stay here tonight after all,” Ethan suggested.

“Good thinking, but where should we go?”

As we were debating our options, we were approached by a young policeman. He gave us a warm smile as he opened his phone. “Good evening, detectives,” he greeted us. “Nasty night, eh?”

Momentarily baffled, I quickly realized we’d seen him at the station before. One of the newer recruits, he might have been just a little younger than we were. I could tell Ethan recognized him too.

“Officer Wainwright, isn’t it?” Ethan asked. I could tell the young man was pleased at having been remembered.

“Yes it is.” He nodded at Benny, who returned the gesture.

“So, was there actually a fire?” I asked. “Or was this someone’s idea of a joke?”

“Not really much of a fire,” Wainwright admitted. “More like a malfunctioning microwave. But better safe than sorry. That’s why we’re taking everyone’s information. Just to be safe.”

“Understandable,” Ethan said. He gave the young officer our names and phone numbers but deliberately made no reference to Benny and he didn’t ask.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” He slid his phone into his pocket. “See you at the station sometime.” He briefly touched his hand to his hat before moving on. Obviously we were free to go. But where?

Before we’d had a chance to debate the question, Ethan’s phone began to ring. That was concerning. Who would be calling him at this time of night?

Ethan glanced at the caller ID before answering. “Hello?” He listened intently while I fretted beside him. This could only be bad news, right?

“Thanks for calling, Laverne. We’ll head straight there.” He hung up and turned to me. “We’ve got to go home right now, Vin. One of our neighbors called in a report on a prowler outside our house. They’re responding now, but we should go too.”

Oh damn. Sarah and Alex were there alone. There was no time to waste.

 to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb