Bad Bag of Romance


Once she was head librarian of a small college in the West where lumbermen and
country lawyers practiced being lumbermen and city lawyers. And when she jettisoned
the first disappointing lover at the back of the huge lot in the expensive southside
neighborhood near the golf course, no one suspected her yet of anything but bad
Years before, her leadership had made life miserable for several librarians at a
county branch extension and they left town and, like most who left that town, they
discovered better things. But one of them, she insisted to anyone who wouldn’t be
believed, was sending her messages. He spoke to her through her car radio, even after her
husband (where did he come from, they wondered) had it taken out, swearing in a deep
voice, booming her biblical name across the plush interior of her carefully upholstered
mind and laughing.
A couple of over-researched forestry students hunkered the first prototype into
place from a logging truck, a prop-lot relic of Blonde Bimbos from Outer Space and the
sequels, Green Moisture and Interplanetary Desire. The rest just “landed” with no
witnesses. Even her ex-husband couldn’t explain it. By the time the college newspaper
photographed it, eleven neighborhood complaints had fallen on deaf ears.
Months later, on the night of the fire, the neighbors reported “machine noise” and
“bright sharp lights” and the insurance company eventually paid off on a single destroyed
“storage building,” her daughter afraid to report three blackened space ships. Her
mother’s disappearance that night repeated itself endlessly around coed campfires and
frat house beer busts for years, until the body turned up, nibbled but identifiable, in a
nearby reservoir. Two local poets wrote about it, one a maudlin ballad, the other, despite
several fellow library worker’s beliefs that she had never really loved anyone without an
advanced degree in library science, a color-coordinated BMW, and green camouflaged
scuba gear, turned into an erotic interstellar love epic.
The fire department’s footage of the burning “storage building” appeared without
permission in the underground cult classic sequel Green Moisture II which also included
the axe murders of three shrieking coeds caught panting after hours in a knowledgedarkened
corner of the Reserve Book Room.
Their heads were never found, but their bodies shriveled up and took cataloging
positions in rural Saskatchewan where they developed latent interests in spoon collecting
and catch and release flower arranging. One of them is writing an autobiography of
Lawrence Welk. If she had a car radio, I’d propose.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.