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They reminded him of his childhood when Mom used to hang the wet laundry on the backyard clothes line to dry. Except these were supposed to be art at a small, outdoor fair at a local park.
In his peculiar line of work, Demetrius Lauer traveled all over the world and visited communities from the largest megacities to the smallest rural hamlets. Today, it was Winchester Park in the small but growing commuter city of Kuna, Idaho. Fortunately, bringing his M1911 Colt semi-automatic wasn’t a problem in this part of the U.S. He was probably going to need it, but he had to find his prey first.
Dem was an unusual type of bounty hunter. Yes, he tracked down some of the most dangerous men and women on the planet, but many were just as dangerous on other planets, or in this case alternate realities.
Gabriella Dow was a notorious mass murderer wanted in at least three multi-dimensional jurisdictions and she was just one step away from escaping Dem. Of the dozen or so colorful blankets swaying gently in the afternoon breeze, he had only minutes to determine which one had been temporarily changed into a cross-reality portal.
The pink one seven blankets down. A small sparrow tried landing on top of the clothes line and fell through it. Dem Lauer reached into his jacket, grabbed the butt of the Colt, and started running for the doorway.
“Not this time, Dow,” he muttered as he drew his weapon and followed her in.
I wrote this for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #458. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a poem or short story.
This tale is actually a companion story to a flash fiction piece I wrote and published last week. Demetrius Lauer is a bounty hunter but one who has the ability to find and capture (or kill) prey from multiple realities. As you might imagine, he gets paid quite a lot for his work.
Oh, Kuna, Idaho is a real place and not far from where I live.
To read other stories based on the plot, click on Mister Linky.
To read some of my published works, try Ice, an adventure on the high seas in the far future where the fire goddess has banished all ice from the Earth. But there’s a hideous mystery waiting for Captain Ki-Moon and the crew of the Star of Jindo at the bottom of the world.
The Haunting of the Ginger’s Regret: In this novelette, space freighter pilot Kam Naji has acquired a replacement ship for his lost vessel from an unusual source. It’s a fine spacecraft but it comes with something extra…a ghost.
The fantasy anthology Fantastic Schools, Volume Six features my magical school short story “The Price.” 13-year-old Christopher Greenleaf wakes up in the dorms one morning to find the school almost totally deserted. Can he, 14-year-old Tamika Bendertwill, the school’s star student, and non-magic using cook Lisa Sakamoto solve the mystery before they too disappear?