Three Ships


Written as part of a challenge called Sunday Photo Fiction, details at

“I saw three ships.  They came in low.   Lights dancing.   It seemed the horizon and maybe the heat was playing tricks on my eyes.” Horace pulls off his dusty Stetson.  Squints and rubs his eyes.

“There is a while bunch of them weirdo types coming up to cover this.  You know, maybe you should get away for a day or two.” The young Deputy looks away as he talks.   He knows the look directed back at him.  

“I’m just saying.  The media and crazies are your favorite.   Your liable to shot one for asking a stupid question.” Deputy John laughs like he hopes it helps.   It never does.

“I’m telling you.   Them star shaped lights, they ain’t natural.  You see military stuff all the time too.   Shit, maybe ET is coming. Time to visit!  I just wish those God damn dash cams never came along!   Twenty years ago.  It’s a kook.  Crazy Ole bastard out in the heat too long.  Now I’m that Kook. Sheriff Kook! No less.” Horace stops when the phone rings.

The Deputy picks it up.   Producers from another New Age Show.  He knows Horace hears the whole thing.   He laughs a bit.  Then turns and walks out the small office on to the porch.

The night’s warm air stirs.   Distance stars fight with a dozen street lights for the sky.   Nothing is moving in the sky.   It settles the old sheriff’s heart.  The desert smell chases on a breeze.  A distant dog barks at a howling coyote. 

“Sir, was that the Phoenician or Martian flag on the bottom of those stars…the paper was asking?” Deputy John pokes at the old guy.  Quiet isn’t always good.

“I’ll send your ass out to talk to them tomorrow.   I decided.  Tell them son of a bitches I was abducted!  I’ll get one of the costumes from Abilene.  Your gonna talk.  I’m walking in the back door as an alien!  The son of a bitches keep playing that video over and over.   Local nut job sherif catches alien ships…Give ’em what they want. We can laugh at then too.”  Horace smiles.  A man at peace.  The alien ships were his legacy.  He’ll be damned if someone else get his goat.

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