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   Chapter 50 No.50

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5258

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:01


"Aha!" He grinned, unwittingly uttering the first word in the chamber in three decades. "Looks like I came to the right place!"

* * *

It was late in the afternoon by the time the Jeepo Marla De Bris and Fred were traveling in finally reached the Grauffis ranch, now well-guarded by several crotchety old fogies carrying an assortment of weapons.

As the Jeepo rounded a turn near the end of the road onto the property, two elderly figures appeared from behind the clump of cherebub bushes outside the large wooden gate at the end of the road, dressed in jeans and fishing vests and carrying what looked like scatterguns. One wore a cap and the other a floppy hat. The old man wearing the cap stopped and stood near the bushes, while the other waited beside the road, holding a hand out in the universal sign for 'stop'. Fred slowed down and allowed the Jeepo to coast along the last stretch up to the gate – which was now closed.

"What's this about?" Marla wondered aloud. "At least they don't look like D.R.A. soldiers!"

"Thank you, Captain Obvious!" Fred grinned at her – or would have, if he had anything to grin with. The Jeepo stopped, with Fred's open window perfectly aligned to the wizened face of a member of the Skeggs Valley Dynamite Fishing Club.

"Halt!" The ancient guard ordered, a trifle late.

"Yes, I already did that!" Said Fred calmly. "Can I help you?"

"That's my line, I think!" Said the guard. "This here's private property! What do you want?"

"Aren't you supposed to say 'state the nature of your business' or something like that

he porch, down the steps, and across the barnyard!

Just as the ancient corporal thought the line was nearly at an end, more people would turn up – seemingly appearing out of nowhere – and it seemed the Grauffis land outside the barnyard boundary fence had become a tent city! Tents of all sizes and colors had sprung up there, like mushrooms!

As soon as one volunteer had signed up, he would direct them to the corral – where they were told to find a place to settle in for the night and wait for further instructions – and then the next one would step up. It seemed to Garfner, who'd been around the block more than once, like some kind of bizarre production line!

"Next!"

The next volunteer stepped up. Garfner didn't look up until he noticed the shadow that fell across his table was a bit wider and darker than before – and when he did, he saw a tall, well-built, dark-skinned…well, an alien. There was a good distance between his back and the next man behind him, who was staring awkwardly, and an uncomfortable silence had fallen.

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