With a faint hum and static crack like the breaking of a mechanical bone, the alien death ray shot a blue colored beam across the field, narrowly missing his brother Ellis and setting a tree alight.  Phil didn’t intend to miss the next shot.  

“Phil, what’re you doin’?!  Y’damn near hit me!” Ellis yelled.  

“Yup,” Phil said.

“You put that thing down now, you hear!  It ain’t safe!”

“No, I guess it ain’t,” he replied and lined his brother up in the sights along the barrel of the strange weapon they’d found in the crater up on the mountain while checking their grouse traps.  Ellis hadn’t wanted to touch it, but Phil knew better.  He recognized it immediately from the pulp novels he read in secret when mama was in town.  She didn’t like him reading them, said they were the Devil’s work, so he had to be pretty sneaky about it. Read more