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Short Stories

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Commuter Series
Paperback compilation of the four Commuter books

Commuter Read e-books.

Funny Stuff To Read OnThe Commuter Bus, Train, Plane, HOV Lane.

Preview-HOV Lane

Billy and the Alien

Billy was watching tv when he glanced over and saw him or her or it sitting there. Whatever it was it looked peculiar. Skinny legs and arms. Hardly any body. No boobs so Billy couldn‘t tell the gender. Billy didn‘t think that was so strange. Pills and surgery could account for that. The head threw him though.

The head was shaped wrong, really wrong. It looked like someone had used an air hose on it and went too far. It looked like whatever it was had held in a sneeze that it should have let out. The thing was huge. There was one eye, in the middle of the forehead. There was one ear. It was on top. That made sense to Billy. That made sense?

Billy got up and walked over to the window of his apartment. He stuck his head out and took a deep breath of fresh smog. After coughing he felt better. He turned around and the damn thing was still sitting there. The thing hadn‘t moved at all. It hadn‘t changed at all. It was still sitting there looking at him.

Billy didn‘t drink much and never enough to think this up. He didn‘t do any nonprescription drugs. He hadn‘t hit his head. That pretty much summed all the possibilities up. Whatever it was it was real and, worse, sitting in a chair in Billy‘s apartment looking at him. It hadn‘t made any threatening moves but Billy didn‘t know how he‘d know what that was. Maybe the thing could stare him to death.

“Hello,” it said.

“Umm, uh, ah hello,” Billy said back. The thing speaks English. Hell, of course it does. If it came here from God knows where it probably speaks anything it wants. Hello isn‘t the same thing as ‘Take me to your leader‘ but it also wasn‘t ‘Say your last prayers.‘ ”

Billy was still concerned. While no overt move to do him harm had happened nothing good had either. The only possibility Billy could come up with was this was an alien. It could be a really bad birth defect but surely someone would have killed whatever it was off or put it in a traveling show.

“Um, I take it you‘re not from around here.”

“Not hardly. It took me 8765 of your years to get here. It was actually a big, long boor. You can only play so many games, you know?”

“Yea, Um, I guess. What did you come here to do?”

“I came here to do an observation on a research paper. Not real paper of course. We haven‘t used that in ages.”

“What sort of research?”

“Oh, the life of inferior beings. Earth is a big one for that. The saying is ‘if you want inferior Earth is the place to go.’ ”

Why the snobby little bastard. Umm, careful, maybe it is able read minds or faces. May be it can destroy them too.

“How can I help?” Help my butt. Got to get this thing out of here before something bad happens to me.

“You‘re funny. You help me. Tell you what. I‘ll let you tag along. Maybe you might know something I don‘t. That was a stupid thing to say. I shouldn‘t be talking to you. I‘m not interested in dumbing down. Perhaps you can explain some of the bizarre things I‘ve heard about here.”

Billy thought this was a bad idea; not the bizarre part but the explain part. He knew NY was bizarre. That was its charm. Maybe I‘ll get him a hooker. God knows what sex is to him. God knows if he has sex. That would be a riot. I‘ll take him to a whorehouse. Bet that would be a riot. I‘d like to see some hooker yell for her pimp. The pimp would go jut plain nuts. Probably shoot this thing up. Can a bullet hurt it? Maybe then the pimp would shoot me up.

“If I could attach a reader to your brain I wouldn‘t have to speak to you. Its a bitch for you but it would save a lot of misunderstandings. Are you game, as you say?”

“No. Come on, I‘ll show you around.”

Maroni‘s Deli was an old-time deli. Billy was well known. He came in with the thing. The Maroni‘s were true New Yorkers. They didn‘t blink an eye at it. Billy ordered Pastrami on rye for both of them. It took a bite and spit it out. “What is this crap?”

Before Billy could respond in any way, one of the Maroni‘s made a response. He grabbed the thing and tossed it out the door. “And don‘t be a coming back.”

He turned to Billy and told him, “Sorry but no one badmouths my food. I know I shouldna thrown a woman around like that- hey, you going to a costume party or is she from the Village?”

“She? I mean-”

“Yea, she. You haven‘t switched have you?”

“Er, no.” A woman? Maybe.

“Well, she's too skinny. You need a real woman like my Maria.”

Maria was a real woman, all 400 pounds of her.

Billy went out to see it standing there no worse for being tossed onto a filthy street. It didn‘t seem to upset. It hadn‘t killed the Maroni or maybe froze him in place like in the movies. It just stood there looking at Billy. Hope he doesn‘t blame me.

“Umm, you okay?”

“Sure, why not. Animals are what they are.”


“Do you drink?”

“Yes, we drink water just like you.”

Billy took it to Mike's Bar and Grill. It was a grill because it served hamburgers. No one liked them. Billy wanted to stay away from them. He ordered beer for both of them. If it was going to go all ape crap Billy didn't want throw money away by ordering a shot. The thing looked at the beer with a untrusting eye. Seeing this, Billy quickly took a big sip to show it wasn't harmful. The thing looked at it again and then took a small sip. Its eye opened up wide, it shook its head and drank it down in one swallow.

“Say, I like that. It looks like you sewer water but the taste. Man, the taste. I'll be honest, people who say you drink your own waste don't know what they're talking about.”

Snobby little bastard.

Billy took a chance and ordered a beer and shot for both. The thing looked at the whiskey and then at Billy. Billy quickly downed the shot and took a quick sip of beer. The thing drank the shot and held the glass up for another. Billy signaled for another. “Make it two.”

Before long Billy and the thing were thoroughly drunk. The bartender was eying them pretty close. For someone dressed like this woman was and as skinny as she was, she could hold her booze. Billy was barely keeping up. The bartender didn't need Billy passing out. This little woman would be able to get Billy to a cab and the bartender didn't want involved.

The next morning Billy woke up in stages. He opened one eye and then another. He belched and farted. He sat up to see that he was naked. What the Hell.

The thing was sitting in the chair with a very big smile on its face. Billy tried to remember the night before. The last thing he remembered was being tossed into a cab by the thing. It was all a blank after that.

“What happened last night. I remember getting into a cab but it's all a blank after that.”

“Well, that's nice. We came back here and had sex. I liked it.”

Sex? Sex with this thing? Oh, God. Is this thing a female? Hope so. Maybe it doesn't have a sex. Is that better? It liked it and I can't remember it. Oh, Lord.

Billy took a shower and decided to take her on a subway ride. He had decided to call it a her. He needed to do that; he had to do that. Still, he wondered if he had enjoyed it. Maybe he'd get another chance to find out. Maybe he really shouldn't also entered his mind. That he might not know it when it happened was another thought.

Billy figured the subway would impress her. He ought to ask her her name. No matter how far in advance they were, the subway had to be a new experience. Surely they wouldn't have anything resembling a NY subway wherever she came from. They had to be way past that to have gotten here.

The platform was its usual crowded, noisy self. He watched her closely. She didn't seem to be bothered by it. “You don't seem to be bothered by the noise and crowd.”

“Or the smell. No, it doesn't bother me much. If it did I would make them all disappear.”

There was a thought Billy didn't need.

The car pulled in and the pushing and shoving started. People were pushing and shoving to get on and other people were pushing and shoving to get off. It looked exactly like a riot. The thing that got to Billy was no one paid any attention to the her. Not a look or even a scowl. Most subway riders scowled at everybody.

“Billy, this is a stupid system, They need some kind of order here.”

Billy thought of taking her to Queens and walk the streets. Maybe go over to Brooklyn or Harlem. Then she see what lack of order was. Maybe take her to a tailgate party. Holy cow, she'd not my girlfriend. Not a hundred per cent sure she's a she.

“Umm, how long are you planning to stay here on Earth.”

“I don't know. I had no timetable. It might be up to you,” she said and then winked at him with her one eye. When she did that Billy felt the creeps. He was half afraid to go to sleep. He was half looking forward to it. He was half afraid what she would do. That wink threw him. He was real hetero and wanted to stay that way.

He awoke in the morning sort of disappointed. Nothing had happened. He looked over at her and she smiled and said, “Thank you...again.”

Damn it.

“I'm going home today. I have to. I can't stay here with my change,” she said.

“Uh, what change?”

“Billy, I'm going to name it Billy.”


The Rob Saga The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.


There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.
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Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.

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Funny Stories Don Roble
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