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  #61  
Old 11-03-2015, 01:50 PM
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“East! It's drifting east and gaining altitude!” Private 1st class Carl Grell exclaimed, mostly to himself. As he watched the giant weather balloon, property of the United States Army, floating free and untethered, his mind entertained visions of a court-martial, a dishonorable discharge, and... “Who knows?” he whispered to himself in a state of near hysteria, “Maybe I'll have to go to prison.” Because the 'weather balloon' he had failed to properly secure was almost certainly more than just a weather balloon (if weather data was really a portion of what it gathered at all). There were sensitive instruments inside the giant bright yellow blimp, but neither Carl nor any of his associates believed those instruments watched the weather. What they did watch, he could only begin to guess at. He was, after all, a private, and privates weren't on the mailing lists of anyone who handed out top secret memos, letters, or any other kind of classified correspondence. The blimp, on its way to wherever it was now free to go, bounced off the side of a radio tower, and Carl thought he had seen - for just a moment - a piece of yellow fabric flapping along the side of the giant cylinder of gas. Had it been ripped? Was the blimp now damaged in addition to being loose? He shuddered at the thought. “Oh, the humanity,” he murmurred to himself, and began to whimper.

The blimp, to the half-dozen men who attended to its mooring, was referred to as 'the yellow submarine.' The base's C.O., Col. Harland Sanders, had once asked Pvt. Grell why they called it a submarine. “It's a blimp! Why don't you call it the yellow blimp?” Grell had tried to explain that calling it a yellow blimp would simply be calling it what it is... “It wouldn't really be a nickname for it then, would it sir?” The colonel had waved him off dismissively, having lost interest almost before realizing he'd had any at all, and gone in search of his dinner. Fried chicken was being served at the base commissary, and on such days the colonel could hardly be counted on to focus on little else. Now, it seemed to Private Grell, the colonel would have a good deal more to focus on than he would like him to. The blimp was more than a mile downwind at an altitude of 1500 feet and climbing, and from somewhere behind him Private Grell was beginning to hear the shouts of men who were just coming to the realization that there was something to be alarmed about.

Nine hours later...

The crack of gunfire that had pierced the air behind Forrest, somewhere back towards Carpenter, had given him pause. He stood, looking back in that direction, and for a time nothing further seemed to be happening. The gypsies were now a half-mile or more down the road, and Forrest simply watched the backs of the wagons as they diminished in the distance. But then there came the sound of the airplane, probably the very one he had seen circling earlier. And sure enough, within moments Forrest could see the biplane rising from the ground, gaining altitude quickly and heading due north. After a time, the plane banked to the right and began coming around in such a way that its flight path would bring the aircraft directly over Forrest's head. He continued watching the plane, following its every movement, and as the plane crossed over him, Forrest turned with it. And it was only then that Forrest noticed a giant yellow... “is that a balloon?” he wondered, bearing down on him, drifting only 25 feet off the ground and dragging with it a mooring cable.

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-03-2015 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:48 AM
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“East! Why are you turning east, Amelia? We need to be heading southwest!” Noonan was shouting at his pilot. He was itching for another argument. The biplane, with its three passengers, had lifted off perfectly with no other option than a heading of due north, and once airborne the standard practice was to bank left. But the gravel had been no airport, and there was nothing 'standard' about today's flight. Amelia banked hard to the right.

Amelia ignored Noonan, as she often did when he was inebriated and overbearing, and lifted the microphone handset from its mount on the radio, pressed the send button on the mic and began trying to open communications with Fulton, “King How Able Queen Queen to Fulton; do you read me?”

Immediately, his frustration and anger mounting, Noonan tried to talk sense to Amelia. “Damn it, Amelia, those are the tail letters for the Electra! This is Maxwell's Silver Hammer, the biplane... which by the way, you keep claiming to everyone you meet you named this plane after your father. Max was your father's friend, Amelia! Your father's name was Sam. People called him Edwin! Amelia, are you listening to me? We're not going to Fulton. We never were! We need to make for Howland Island!” Her stare, as vacant as an abyss, seemed to look right through Noonan. “King How Able Queen Queen to Fulton; do you read me?”

It had been difficult enough from the outset for Zeke to maintain his tenouous hold onto the wing's strut. He could only hold the the pole with one hand, the other being needed to keep a grasp on the briefcase. His feet were standing on a flat surface, but his balance was under attack by the gale force winds being generated by the plane's propeller. As the plane had risen from the gravel road, Zeke wondered almost at once about how long he could sustain the delicate balance he had established. And then the pilot, the one Noonan was calling Amelia, had suddenly banked hard to the right. At once, Zeke's feet slipped out from under him, dangling earthward, and his only link to the plane was his grasp on the wing's strut. “Help!” he screamed at Noonan.

Noonan altered his gaze from Amelia, turning his head to address Zeke. He recognized the impossible situation the boy had gotten himself into, but rather than extend a helping hand to him he merely repeated what he'd said before, “Can't you hear? Can't you hear the thunder? You better run. You better take cover!” and then smiled.

Zeke knew he wasn't going to be able to maintain his hold on the strut for much longer. The forces of the wind, the turning of the plane and whatever added g-forces that might have brought on, and even gravity itself were all placing demands on his physical presence. He looked again, desperately, to Noonan for help, and it was then the briefcase slipped from his grasp. “No!” he screamed, and instinctively reached for the falling case. And the act of reaching for the briefcase with his empty hand, in turn, loosened his fingers just enough on the strut... just enough to cause them to slip completely from their purchase on the pole. “AHHHH!” he screamed from several hundred feet up in the air. And as he fell, it occurred to him that he could no longer hear the thunder of the biplane's engine... and he had absolutely nowhere to run.

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-05-2015 at 03:05 PM.
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  #63  
Old 11-06-2015, 08:09 AM
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“No gun!” Angie Rivers reminded herself of that for what seemed like the hundredth time. She was running through the cornfield, the myriad stalks each at least a foot taller than herself. They provided good cover, but as densely spaced as they were they also left a trail of noise as she collided with the stalks she was passing by – or through. Added to that, there was the problem of her shoes leaving a noticeable print in the dirt with each hurried step. Angie, though, had always been quick to recognize a situation for what it was, and she knew there was nothing to be done about the noise or the footprints. The cop was somewhere behind her; she had heard him crashing through the stalks as well, though seemingly a good distance behind her. He had a gun and she did not, though at least he was someone of the mortal variety and that made him far more manageable than the occupants of the biplane – whatever the outcome of all of this might be. All she could do was keep running, zig and zag, and hope that he would at least lose sight of her tracks during his pursuit.

She had heard the plane's engine roar back to life. It had certainly rumbled a great deal while idling, but then just a short time ago it had loudly announced its intentions of making a departure from its earthly surroundings. Shortly after that the engine sounded as if, in addition to being behind her, it was now above her as well. And while Angie was aware of these perceptions, she paid them no heed. Her intended escape by air was no longer an option, and only the things that might be useful to her in her attempt to evade the man following her found their way to Angie's immediate focus. Angie hardly noticed when the plane, banking hard to the right, passed directly overhead. It continued on, as did she, and then something struck her hard on her head, just where the hairline met the skin of the forehead. Whatever it was had hit her hard enough to cause her to fall, and her scalp had been broken open. She was already bleeding when she went face first into the rich black soil. The blood, sweat, and labored breathing attracted mosquitos almost immediately, but they were the least of her problems. Dazed, she pulled herself up to her hands and knees and paused to listen. Back there, somewhere, but a good distance off yet, the cop was still crashing through the cornfield. Blood was stinging her eyes, and she was trying desperately to still the vertigo caused from having been struck, or so she supposed. She doubted very much that she would now be able to outrun the cop... but at least now she could shoot. Oh yes, she could do that. Three feet down the row of corn from where she knelt lay the gun – her gun, the one that had hit her on the head, the one that had fallen from the airplane as it passed over her.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:56 AM
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Rushing up to meet him was the ground... from his perspective, anyway, though he knew the opposite to be the truth of the matter. He was free falling, and as he looked at the small speck of a person below on the side of the road, he realized that whoever it was down there, he or she was going to be the last person he would ever see in this world. And that in itself was on odd thought, something he had never given any consideration to before – that out there somewhere, someday, someone's face was going to be the last face he would ever look upon. And now, suddenly, much sooner than he could have ever imagined, here was that person, though from this height Zeke could make out no details whatsover of whomever “that person” was.

How had his day come to this? All he had wanted to do was deposit less than $20 worth of coins into the bank, and now here he was just a few hours later falling to the end of his life. His thoughts – and there were so many – were all running concurrently; there was no time now for a string of consecutive reflections. His parents would be heartbroken, as would many of his classmates... but a few, maybe not so much. Why had he picked up that stupid gun? Why had Sergeant Pepper assumed the worst in him when he had done so? Why had he chosen to jump onto the wing of the airplane rather than simply drop the gun? He supposed he could guess an answer to that one; having a loaded gun aimed directly at you by another person can cause you to panic in the most unusual of ways. He had thought he was going to duck behind the fuselage from up on the wing to protect himself from the policeman's line of fire, but then he realized the one named Amelia was about to throttle up the engine, and again another instinctive reaction had immediately kicked in – hold on to something! He had wanted to protect the briefcase, had wanted to place it directly in the hands of Sheriff Younger himself. So he'd held onto it and dropped the gun instead and grabbed one of the wing's struts with his free hand. When he'd felt the force of the wind from the propeller, he had positioned his feet in such a way to gain the best sense of balance he could muster... and he had unintentionally stepped on the gun, thereby holding it in its position on the surface of the wing. When he had realized how tenuous his balance truly was, he hadn't dared to adjust his feet in the slightest. The plane was hurtling down the gravel road, and then they were airborne and things only got worse, the constant rush of the wind conspired to blow him right off the plane out into thin air. Why hadn't that ghastly figure of a person – Noonan; that was his name – extended a helping hand? The final tendril of hope snapped when Amelia had taken that hard turn to the right. It was as though his feet had been knocked right out from under him. The gun was suddenly gone, and only a moment or two later, so was the briefcase. And then he himself was gone as well, and now here he was, trying to make out the details of the face on the boy on the side of the road, as his fall neared its unforgiving point of termination.

The end was approaching quickly. Two hundred feet... one hundred... fifty... and then he was down to the last color he was ever going to see... and that, apparently, was yellow.

When he struck the blimp, much of the giant balloon's helium gas had already escaped from a small tear in its side, that as the result of its brush with the radio tower some nine hours earlier. The blimp was still aloft, but its mooring cable had dragged it down to its last twenty-five feet of elevation above the ground. The yellow fabric covering the skeletal frame of the blimp was now far less taut than it had been when its wayward journey had begun several hundred miles to the west. Zeke crashed into the top of the blimp and the fabric, by then, had a certain amount of give to it, and the force of his body hitting the blimp pushed the large balloon its last twenty-five feet to the ground, further softening his initial blow. As the blimp bounced off the surface of the road, the exterior fabric where Zeke had hit the blimp stretched to its maximum stress and was about to recoil and toss Zeke airborne again. But instead it ripped, and then Zeke was falling into the blimp. Somewhere within, he struck a light-weight table that was supporting what looked like scientific instruments of some kind, and the table broke and Zeke was falling again. He landed awkwardly on the blimp's bottom, and just to his left the fabric was tearing open again. It had caught on a barbed-wire fence, ripping the exterior of the blimp violently. And then, as if he were a chicken being hatched from an egg, the blimp simply rolled away from him and he was left lying in the ditch near the road, miraculously unharmed. The boy – the one he thought was going to be the last he would ever see – was standing up by the pavement, holding the briefcase. “Hello,” he said. “My name's Forrest – Forrest Gump. I think you dropped this.”

Zeke had been breathing high levels of helium during his brief tumble within the blimp, and in a voice that sounded something like Donald Duck, he replied, “I'm Zeke. Pleased to meet you, Forrest.”
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  #65  
Old 11-08-2015, 01:02 PM
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“That sure is a funny voice you have,” observed Forrest. And then Zeke started giggling... and crying, both at the same time. “Momma always says to leave the past in the past,” Forrest offered. “That's where it belongs and you can't leave it anywhere else anyways. The ground is right underneath of you now, Zeke, and you can't fall no farther.” And that made Zeke laugh, but the crying continued too. There were just too many emotions surfacing all at once.

“I suppose you're right, Forrest. The falling really is over, isn't it?” Zeke mused aloud, his voice steadily returning to normal. And then they both realized a third voice was encroaching on their conversation, though it sounded somewhat tinny and artificial. On the opposite side of the fence, where the fabric of the blimp lay spread out and various broken instruments of some kind or another lay in disarray inside the frame, a radio receiver was still working. “King How Able Queen Queen to Itasca, this is Earhart; are you there?” There was no reply, only the pilot repeating her request for a response every 30 seconds or so.

“She was trying to reach someone or someplace called Fulton before,” Zeke said. “Her friend Noonan wanted her to try for a place called Howland. Now she's asking for an Itasca, whatever that might mean. Maybe Noonan convinced her of whatever it is he wanted.” The boys looked skyward, searching for the biplane, and in the distance far to the southwest they spotted it. It was headed directly towards a giant cumulo-nimbus cloud with voluminous billows of white cloud at the top of the mass but dark heavy steam at the bottom. Streaks of lightning burst earthward from it and moments later thunder followed, rolling out over the landscape. “I guess Noonan got the thunder he kept wondering about,” said Zeke. And a moment later the plane entered the violent cloud mass and disappeared. And from that moment on there were no further appeals heard from the radio. "Well, I guess that's it then," said Zeke. "God help them, wherever they are now."

After Forrest explained to Zeke what it was he was doing out here by himself, Zeke reassured him that it would be alright to return to Cleves. They both began walking west, toward the town of Carpenter; Zeke with a few coins in his pocket that he hoped to be able to use at a pay phone to call someone for a ride. They had walked for a few minutes, quickly getting to know one another in the way that comes so naturally for boys, when the crack of gunfire erupted from the cornfield on the north side of the road. Neither of the boys could see more than two rows deep into the field, and though they couldn't see what was unfolding in the field, Zeke had a pretty good guess about who might be involved. “Forrest,” he said, “come with me right now!” He grabbed Forrest's hand, led him into the ditch, and the boys quickly scrambled over the fence bordering the cornfield on the south side of the road. He led Forrest twenty yards in and then stopped. “We should be safe now. Nobody knows we're here and nobody can see us from the road. Let's just wait and listen for awhile. If we hear more shots we'll just sit it out here until after sundown and then follow the ditch back to town.”

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-08-2015 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:06 AM
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No further shots were heard, after the two the boys had heard when they were standing alongside the road. And neither of them really knew quite what to make of the situation. “I didn't fall a thousand feet out of the sky just so I could get shot by a crazy woman who wants this money I'm carrying around.” Forrest had then asked if the money was his, and then whose it was, and had Zeke gotten it at the bank robbery Forrest had run away from, and a few more questions before Zeke had asked him to be quiet so that he could think. Added to the uncertainty of whether or not anyone had actually been shot on the other side of the road and having to deal with Forrest's curious nature, the weather was quickly becoming a problem... something Zeke hadn't counted on. The giant cloud mass that had only a short while ago seemed so distant was quickly moving in and the wind, even from the shelter provided by dense rows of tall corn stalks, was gaining strength.

A bolt of lightning was followed by a frighteningly loud BOOM! “Can you hear the thunder?” Forrest asked casually.

“If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that today, I'd need another briefcase for them all,” Zeke answered. A mass of gray clouds seemed to swallow the sky and then the rain began to fall, large cold heavy drops of water that seemed to be being driven into the ground rather than simply falling to it. “We need to find some cover, Forrest, and we can't see where we're headed from in here. We could follow this row of corn but I think we'll get to town faster if we follow the road. If we stay in the ditch, I think we'll be alright.” Forrest nodded his consent and they hustled back to the road from the direction they had come. When they reached the ditch they turned and were about to begin following it west to Carpenter... and then they looked up.

Angie wasn't sure if the cop had been hit by the shot she had fired or not. He had spotted her and told her to “freeze.” Never one to simply throw in her cards, she had instead turned and fired in the direction she thought the order had come from. A shot was returned in her direction and it missed, but she hadn't really gotten a glimpse of her pursuer. Reacting defensively, both had moved off from their positions so as to make themselves more difficult to spot. As far as she knew, the cop hadn't seen her since then; she certainly had not seen or heard him. “Maybe he's laying face down in the mud,” she murmurred to herself. “The crows have gotta eat more than just corn if they're going to have a balanced diet.” She kept on, not sure in what direction she was headed. The wind had come up – blowing hard, the rain had begun to fall, and now even small bits of hail were bouncing off the corn stalks and the ground. She was cold, tired, and bleeding, and she just wanted to get out of the weather and find a place to rest. When she finally reached the ditch leading up to the road, she looked up – at a tornado coming out of the southwest and making its way straight for her.

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-09-2015 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:39 PM
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Run! But where to? The little town of Carpenter was a couple of miles west; there were no barns or other buildings to try and get to, and any culverts that might be found in the ditch were undoubtedly filling up with rain water. The tornado, which was several hundred yards wide, was coming for her. It was coming for her; Angie could feel the malevolence. This was no ordinary tornado... this was whatever had occupied that damned biplane, and maybe even the plane itself. “That's right!” she screamed. “I shot you right between the eyes, and I have another round chambered just for you! So come and get it!” and she fired a shot at the approaching tornado.

In her mad wanderings through the cornfield, Angie had finally emerged farther west on her side of the road than had Zeke and Forrest on theirs. And she was right about the culverts; the torrential rainfall was filling the ditches, and the boys behind her had been forced to higher ground as well. They, like Angie, were transfixed by the tornado and neither party as yet had noticed the other. The shot taken at the tornado, though, got the boys' attention, and Zeke put his free hand on Forrest's shoulder, stopping him in his tracks. The wind, though, was making it impossible for anyone to maintain their balance and Forrest leaned heavily on Zeke, and Zeke leaned back. Closing in on the little group, the tornado was a monstrous vacuum and Angie turned her back to it and was now facing the wind... and the boys. She saw them at once and instantly set aside all thoughts of the tornado bearing down her, she being the first person it would reach. She raised her gun and sighted it in directly on Zeke's chest... and pulled the trigger.

Whether it was the tornado that pulled her back or the bullet fired from the gun of Sergeant Pepper that knocked her back was never known. Angie's gun never fired; her chamber was empty. Sergeant Pepper, from a position behind the boys, had seen Angie raise her weapon, and he had aimed and fired at her in an attempt to save the boys. But when Angie's backward motion gained momentum, rather than ending with her falling to the ground, her body actually became airborne and then was pulled into the giant vortex. Though endless speculation would ensue about where the tornado may have deposited her, her body was never found. Sergeant Pepper had raced up to the boys, wrapped his arms around them, and pulled them down to the road's surface, he taking a position above them to protect them from what seemed inevitable. But the tornado never reached them. Once Angie had disappeared it simply lost contact with the earth, rising higher and higher into the sky toward the cloud of its genesis. The rain stopped and the winds calmed. Sergeant Pepper and the boys sat up, and Zeke turned to the man and said, “I wanted to give this to the sheriff, but I'll just give it to you instead. Its' the...”
“...the money from the bank,” Sergeant Pepper finished for him. They all stood and began their walk back to town.

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-11-2015 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:31 AM
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November 11, 2015:

Evvie Johnstone had left the message on her grandparents' answering machine, urging them to come by the house in the evening. She had recorded something on her parents' DVR and she was sure it was something Grandpa Zeke would want to see. “Have you been filling her head with all that nonsense about Amelia Earhart's ghost again, Zeke?” his wife Emma asked. “She had asked you to tell her a humdinger of a story and you certainly gave her one.” Zeke had then reassurred his wife of two things: 1.) no, the topic of “that day in 1956” hadn't been discussed recently, and 2.) for what seemed like the one-hundredth time, he reiterated to his wife that the events of that day were not nonsensical, or at least not fictitious, in any way whatsoever. At 6:45 PM, Zeke and Emma were greeted warmly by their son Pete, his wife Gwen, and their daughter Evvie; older brother Pete Jr. was off to college and wouldn't be home until Thanksgiving. Gwen served raspberry pie with ice cream (Aunt Donna's recipe) and then everyone gathered in the living room. Evvie tuned the large Samsung hi-def screen to the DVR player and the last couple of minutes of a string of commercials played, and then the familiar CNN letters rolled across the screen, quickly followed by the AC360 logo. Anderson Cooper was sitting in his usual position behind the news desk with a thin smile stretched across his face.

“Tonight on the The Ridiculist,” he began, “we take you to Honolulu, Hawaii with what may – or just as likely, may not – be yet another minor development in the now nearly 80-years long mystery in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan. It seems as though still another “Earhart enthusiast” has made one more discovery on Howland Island. Professor Henry Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunae VIII – the 8th?” Cooper repeated for effect and chuckled, “and a couple of graduate assistants from the University of Hawaii were scouring Howland Island near the site of previous findings. They were looking for anything that might help confirm claims that previous airplane wreckage found on the island irrefutably came from the Lockheed Electra Ms. Earhart was piloting in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in 1937. We take you now to Honolulu and CNN's Randi Kaye. Randi, Professor Henry Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunae the 8th?” and he started chuckling again.

“Yes, Anderson,” Randi replied, smiling pleasantly, when the screen bisected into two images, one of Anderson and one of Ms. Kaye. “It's quite a mouthful, isn't it? His family and friends simply refer to him as Henry the 8th.”

“I can't imagine why,” Anderson said with as cheesy a grin as he dared to muster.

“Indeed,” Randi said, wanting to get on with her report, and then the TV screen went full to a single image of Ms. Kaye only. “What the three men found was not another part of an airplane's fuselage, or any radio instrumentation or pilot's gear or anything of that sort. What was found was a handgun, specifically an H&R929, commonly referred to as a 'sidekick' back in its day.” She raised a large ziploc bag for her viewers to see and it was presumably the gun to which she was referring that was inside the bag. “It was the professor himself who spotted the gun lying between a couple of rocks and it was somewhat covered by the grass growing around it. Fortunately, he had the wherewithall not to handle the gun with his hands but instead picked it up with a 'grabber', the kind anyone can buy at a Walmart for about $13- or so. He bagged the handgun in this ziploc bag and it was eventually taken to the University of Hawaii for analysis. What was discovered then is a bit remarkable. The gun, though never thought to have been on board the ill-fated Earhart plane, seems to belong to still another person who has been missing for a long long time. The trigger was found to be in remarkably good condition, and if the gun has been here since its owner went missing, it is then nothing short of miraculous that a fingerprint was somehow successfully lifted from the trigger, and it came up as a match for Angie Rivers, a young woman who had been in the process of building quite a resume of criminal activity when she disappeared in 1956 after a foiled bank robbery attempt in Cleves, Missouri. Mr. Forrest Gump, the colorful retired CEO of Bubba Gump Shrimp, has long maintained that he saw Ms. Rivers get pulled into a tornado a couple of miles east of the little town of Carpenter, Missouri on the day of the robbery. Her body was never found. Nor was this gun – until now – and how it could possibly have made its way from rural Missouri to Howland Island, lying amongst wreckage that may or not be from Amelia Earhart's airplane is anyone's guess.”

“Is there any chance the gun may have been planted?” the screen had split again, and the dual images of the two reporters filled the screen.

“Well, that's certainly an obvious question, Anderson,” Randi answered. “But the professor, Henry the 8th, insists that if the gun was placed on Howland Island it was not done so by him, and he can't imagine what a hoax of this nature would hope to accomplish, if this is indeed some kind of hoax.”

“And no sign of the remains of Angie Rivers, I assume?” Anderson asked.

“That's correct,” Randi answered. “Still no clues as to the whereabouts of the body of Angie Rivers, who by the way would now be 81 years old if she might somehow still be alive.”

“Alright. Thank you, Randi,” and the screen went full to Cooper. “That is tonight's Ridiculist, and that's going to do it for us. Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight starts right after this.” The network broke to a Dr. Pepper commercial, and then the DVR stopped running.

Pete and Gwen hurriedly gathered the now empty pie plates, not wanting to get caught up in the inevitable discussion that was about to ensue – a conversation that never did materialize. Emma muttered something about any news report not reported on Fox was really no news report at all, and then decided to join her son and daughter-in-law in the kitchen. Zeke remained in the Lazy-Boy, his son's, though it was always relinquished for Zeke's benefit whenever he came over. On the sofa, Evvie sat and studied the expression on her grandfather's face, and she thought she detected a hint of sadness. Perhaps Grandma Emma's little jibe had hurt a little, or maybe it was something else altogether. Regardless of what it may have been, she said softly but with sincerity, “Grandpa, I've always believed you, you know?”

"Nobody's ever disputed the events of the bank robbery," Zeke replied. "There were dozens of witnesses and everything was plausible. Forrest saw me fall from the sky, but he never had any contact with Amelia and Noonan. So the only people who saw them were Angie Rivers, Sergeant Pepper, and me... and Sergeant Pepper never saw them up close or spoke to them. He may have seen Angie shoot at Noonan, but if he did he probably assumed Angie missed... which she didn't. Angie was up close and got an earful of them, I can tell you. She found out in a hurry that she wanted no part of them, and who could blame her? But, I assume she's been dead for all of these past 59 years, and so that leaves me. I'm the only one left who saw them and actually interacted with them. And I know one thing; they were not..." he paused, searching for the right word, "...tangible! Whether they were living or not, who am I to try and understand such things? And I can't blame your grandmother for her skepticism or anyone else for theirs. But I saw what I saw." He turned and looked Evvie straight in the eyes. "I love my family, and I regard my grandchildren as God's finest gift He's ever given me. But you... you're the only one who accepts my account of what happened that day without judgment or question. And you'll never know how much that means to me, Evvie. Thank you. And with that said, I think I could do for a second slice of pie." Zeke rose from his chair and headed for the kitchen.

The End?

Last edited by Barnabas : 11-11-2015 at 01:54 PM.
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About Puzzle Baron

The Puzzle Baron family of web sites has served millions and millions of puzzle enthusiasts since its inception in 2006. From cryptograms to acrostics, logic puzzles to drop quotes, patchwords to wordtwist and even sudoku, we run the gamut in word puzzles, printable puzzles and logic games.

Questions or Comments?

The word 'bought' has how many letters in it?