by Torn MacAlester

Pho­to by Chris­t­ian Fridell from Pex­els

Alex hand­ed the cus­tomer his whiskey in the Lunar-strawed cup, expect­ing to have a reac­tion. All the tourists react­ed. “Why not a prop­er glass?” They would ask, not know­ing that it was impos­si­ble to drink most liq­uids from a reg­u­lar ter­res­tri­al glass. This man did not. He mere­ly accept­ed the glass with­out comment.

“I under­stand there was a prospec­tor that tells sto­ries here,” the well-groomed man said, not even both­er­ing to try the whiskey first.

“Yeah,” Alex answered. “Nils hasn’t been here in months.”

“Oh,” the man looked confused.

“Sor­ry. Did you need a story?”

“No,” the man shook his head. “I was hop­ing to share one with him.”

“That’s a first,” Alex laughed, won­der­ing about the strange man. “This is the first time any Earth­er came in here claim­ing to have a story.”

“Prob­a­bly,” the man said. “I rep­re­sent some old inter­ests that need some explain­ing. I was told the sto­ry­teller here could illu­mi­nate some things. Can you ask him to send a mes­sage to this address when he arrives?” The man hand­ed Alex a card. Read­ing it, Alex not­ed the phys­i­cal address—somewhere in Athens, Greece.

“Sure,” Alex answered, putting the card in his pock­et. “At least you didn’t ask to speak with Morgan.”

“That would be impos­si­ble,” the man said, set­ting some cur­ren­cy on the bar.

“Sure,” Alex said. “Friend, I didn’t get your name.”

“I didn’t give it, since it’s irrel­e­vant.” The man left.

Alex cleaned the bar, won­der­ing about the strange man.

“He’s look­ing for aliens, I tell you,” said anoth­er patron, one that Alex knew and could safe­ly ignore.


Read more about Nils Carmike in Thun­der Moon Tus­sle by Torn MacAlester,

avail­able for free on Kin­dle Unlim­it­ed, also for sale for Kin­dle and paper­back at

Thun­der Moon Tus­sle by Torn MacAlester


Cov­er graph­ic by Shan­nan Albright