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William Alan Rieser

- Genre Difficulties
- Can Anyone Tell the Time?
- An Appreciation of Tolkien
- On the Eerie Uncertainty of AI
- On the Effrontery of Wonder Women
- On the Brevity of Behemoths
- On The Infinite Endurance of Some Bogeymen
- On the Need for Effective Fantasy
- On the Insufferability of Druidom
- Viewing the Icons
- That's the Way It Used To Be

Short Stories
- Token of Esteem
- Modal Sojourn

Book Excerpts
- The Kaska Trilogy - Gam
- The Kaska Trilogy - Pmat
- The Kaska Trilogy - Kesht
- The Chronicles of Zusalem - Pathandu
- The Chronicles of Zusalem - The Find
- Luna Parabella
- Furnace

Luna Parabella (Book Excerpt)
         by William Alan Rieser
ISBN: 0-595-22091-6
Page 1 of 1

* * * * * * *

"Looked like a puffball to me," said farmer Hoak to the grocery clerk.

"Ya mean those big, white mushrooms?" asked the clerk.

"Mebbe 'twas ball lightnin'."

"I reckon not. Sky's clear."

"Suppose so, but what else could it be, movin' lak a bolt?"

"A mite speedy fer a veggie."

"Cain't say. Headin' south on a mission. Dead on it, in fact."

"Is that so?" asked the clerk, not believing a word of it.

"Ain't seen nuthin' move that fast since yo lit outta Mrs. Wenel's window when that fool husband 'o hers came home."

"Naw, I reckon this is a tad quicker."

* * * * * * *

"You wanna handle this Clyde?" said Sergeant Fuller over the station's switchboard. "Woman says her flowers and turtles were eaten by a snowflake. I tried to argue with her, remindin' her it's June and we don't have any other reports of carnivorous flakes in the area. Oh, she said it took off when she screamed, headin' south toward Wisconsin."

* * * * * * *

"This is Captain Carl, reporting from the Salmon King. Yeah, Bob, I got me a charter of excitable people here. No, they're not disappointed with the fishing. We saw something odd, that's all. Yes, I saw it too. Looked like white worms to me, a mess of 'em tangled in a ball, about the size of a pumpkin. Ridin' over the water. You've got it, about a foot or two over the surface. . . . following the shore line. . . . I'd say 30 knots or better. . . . kind of scary. . . . don't know what it was. . . . no, we ain't drinking'. You expect me to admit that over the channel?"

* * * * * * *

"O.K. Enough already with you're bullshit," said the counselor. He was standing with a young man on Lake Shore Drive, just south of Shedd Aquarium. "Everything you've mentioned is subject to interpretation. Look out there on the lake. The water is a fact. It can be analyzed and proven empirically. The fish are real, the boats are real, the people are real. Vampires and goblins and all that other crap you mentioned are figments of the imagination. They are not real, in spite of what you've read or been told. Go ahead. Take a look. Do you see anything out there you haven't seen a million times before?"

"Yeah," said the youth, a recovering drug addict making a serious attempt to find reason in his insane world. "What's that white thing, skimming along the water so quickly?"

"I'll be damned. What the heck is it?"

"Looks like it's going south. Damned fast, too."

"Son of a bitch," wondered the psychologist, stroking his beard with dismay.

* * * * * * *

Ang paused to descend into the liquid. It seemed so much more natural than the upper atmosphere, but he could not move as freely as above. Still, there was food in the water. Something was ahead of him, a large, dark shape. It was a trawler. A skein trailed the boat in its wake and smelt were trapped in the netting. Ang sifted through them and selected a silver one, already dead. Its

colors reminded him of the moon. Sustenance for the next part of the journey, he thought. The steaming bayous were far away, the place where he would find transport. Perhaps he should seek a faster form, like the white, winged squawking things that rode with the wind. That is what his sire would have done if he had been trapped in a developing environment. The preservation sacs were quite clear about interference, but they certainly did not prohibit necessities for staying alive and they did not forbid duplications.

ISBN: 0-595-22091-6

Copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 William Alan Rieser, All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.

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