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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Midnight at the Five and Dime

Hey everyone, just wanted to let everyone know my guest on February 20th, Heidi Nicole Bird has released her first novel today!  "Through the Paper Wall," is now available on Kindle and Paperback through Amazon.  :)    This is the Link to it :)  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BF1MNT4  Now onto my regularly scheduled Blog.

Midnight at the Five and Dime.

This title popped into my head, no idea where it came from, but it popped up nevertheless.  I actually did google it, and did find a blog for a job search site with that as the title, but I had never read it before.  So I thought some more, and this is the result of that most wondrous of processes, the short story.

Midnight at the Five and Dime, By L. Anne Wooley    c 2013

     Night settled on the big city.  Though  "Old Blue Eyes," had it right, this city never sleeps, and night life was just shaking the sleep from their limbs.
     I stretched as my cat did the same, time to go to work.  I rolled over onto my side, pushing myself up first onto my elbow. Then I pushed myself totally upright; feet swinging over the side onto the floor in one fluid motion.  Claude my evil cat, tried to butt his head into my face meowing contemptuosly when he missed.
      I reached my arms over my head yoga like, crossing my hands palms facing outward, as I linked my fingers together. I gently bent slightly to my left, and felt the pulll of the motion on my sides.  I straightened with arms still upright, and repeated the motion to the right.  My joints popped as I did this, and then my body felt like it was ready to go.
     I felt my husbands hand searching for me, and I knew his eyes were open and looking at my bare back.  Smiling, I turned to him, my right knee touching the bed and I leaned over, my hand supporting me as I bent to kiss him.  He was on his side, and his left hand reached up to softly stroke me on the arm.  I melted into his touch, but I didn't have time to follow through on the growing passion.
     "Gotta go to work babe," I pulled away carressing his cheek before getting up.  I headed to the shower watching out for Claude, smiling as Ben whistled appreciatively.
     I didn't look back, but spanked myself once, lightly on my thigh, and swaying my hips suggestively, I heard him chuckle as I went into the shower.

***

The street sounds closed in around me as I left the apartment.  I soon tuned my internal volume down, the cities noises were too loud and distracting at times, as I looked both ways before descending to the sidewalk.  You could never be too careful, though being a black belt with a license to carry a fire arm didn't hurt either.
I took my keys out of my pocket and remotely opened the drivers side door.  Walking to the curb, I looked both ways before going out to the street edge of the car, and then side stepped over to the door.  The street was narrow, so it didn't do to walk with your back to it.
I opened the door with my right hand, lifting its lever, the door opened up in the air, I liked  this car for that very reason.  I pushed my butt down into the car, and lifted my right leg in first, the left one following suit.  The door closed automatically, the seat belt also automatically came around me.  I put the key into the ignition, and turned the motor on.
"Greetings Inspector Jayne, how are you this evening?" the computerized voice of my partner "Sam," sounded in my head.  It was fun when I had people in the car that did not have a virtual partner.  Sam was a Series 1 artificial intelligent virtual "Partner" for lack of better term.  We had been together ever since I joined the force.  Sometimes Sam reminded me of Ben.  Sometimes I had to "turn off" the interface between us, as Sam had wanted to learn more about "human interaction."
"I'm fine Sam, and you?"
"I am doing well, thank you for asking."
"Anything new to report?"
"Pretty quiet tonight Inspector, though it is still early."
"Let us hope that our shift stays that way!" I replied with fervor.
"Yes, shall we go?"
"Definitely, you can handle the driving."
"No problem Inspector."
I had tried, in the past, to get Sam to refer to me as my given name Helen, but the AI was programmed to be formal.
Our drive to work was uneventful, and we pulled into the stations parking lot.  The 2nd shift was leaving now, and I saw my old partner getting ready to get in his car.  I got out of my car, and yelled over to him.  "Hey Gene!  How are ya?"
"Jayne, doing well...How's the night shift?"
"I'm finally used to sleeping through the day, and I really do like it."
"Have a safe one!"
"Thanks, be safe, say Hi to Jeanne and the kids," I smiled and waved as I head him say, "Will do."  Gene did not have an AI partner, he had a human one.  He had at first been jealous of me having one, but not everyone was mentally capable of handling the interface.  But I think when he saw the turmoil I had gone through before I fully integrated with Sam, was enough to get him through the jealousy phase. Actually, remembering that dark time, I didn't blame him.  
The building was busy as I saw the creme de la creme of New York society ensconced within the ancient hallways.  Though the outside still looked the same as when it was built in 1939, the inside was anything but.  I did enjoy looking at the old architecture, but it did have modern interior.
My desk was over in the corner by the "holding cell."  The wavy lines shimmering, told me the force field was in place.  We had guests tonight.
I went over to the desk, and input my palm print to log into the system, and to let my superiors know that I was present for duty.  I could smell the end of day coffee across the room, it burned my nostrils, and I crinkled my nose in distaste.
I checked my email, and as there was nothing new that needed my attention.  I ignored the cajoling from the cell, I wished for the umpteenth time that it was noise proof.  I ignored the three that were in there, and then I locked my desk to go to the briefing.  I smiled and chatted at several fellow officers, and my commander greeted us perfunctorily.  He never smiled, if he did, I never knew it, and if he had, I think we would all faint from the shock!
The briefing was pretty short, nothing major going on in the city, which was unusual, we went over the major events in our area, and were assigned our shift patrols.  Sam would have it downloaded into his matrix by now, so I really didn't need to pay much attention to the information.  The implant interface in my head also would record the info automatically anyway, so that I really didn't need to worry about remembering anything.  I could even plug in to the chip inside my head and print it out for later so that I could turn in my daily report.
I was returning to my desk.  When the shouts reached me.  I stood in horror before getting my piece.  I saw the 3 prisoners who had been behind the barrier, and in the instant that my adrenaline started pumping in, I noticed the following simultaneously; multiple officers dead or dying, the barrier no longer wavered, and a gun pointing right at me, smoke already coming from the open muzzle.
I heard the yell in my head from Sam, and then felt the impact of the bullet as it bit through my chest.  I didn't feel anything until I woke up.  I opened my eyes, expecting to see pearly gates, or brimstone...but was surprised to see a diner counter.  I looked around me, I was the only one there.  I smelled cooking bacon, and steak, eggs sizzling on the stovetop right bedhind the counter.
I didn't hear the sounds in a diner, which I thought was very odd.
"Sam?" I said aloud.  No answer.  This was odd.  I remembered the bullet, and looked down, moving my uniform top out of the way to look, for the tell tale wound.  I looked in surprise at the pale flawless skin, and placed my fingertips where it should have been.  I rubbed it lightly, and there was no blemish or anything to show that there had ever been a bullet there.
I got up shaky from the stool, and walked around the main eating area, I saw the name on the menu, "The Five and Dime."  I was taken back to Ben and my Honeymoon.  I then looked at the diner with the eyes of memory, and it was exactly the same.
I turned towards the front door, and the bell started swinging, I stared at it as it rang, and in walked Ben.  I blinked in confusion.  How had I gotten here?  I stepped towards him, putting my hand up to touch his cheek.  "Is this real?" I whispered.
"Yes, Helen love," spoke Sam, though he wore Ben's face, and body.    "It is. I saved you, you are in my world now."

The end.
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