The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel, Jimbo and Nanny found themselves waking up in a smoking forest, where the remains of the flying vessel were smoking and burning and pieces of it were scattered helter skelter, some pieces glowing red hot. A few body parts were scattered in the debris and they didn't look human. Pieces of arms that were a wierd green color and slimy, and smashed heads that were connected to a second head. One body was intact, but missing its head. The body resembled that of Seran's.
"What the hell just happened and why are we still alive?" Jimbo demanded.
Samuel groaned, holding his head between his hands. "Angelic rescue."
"I don't believe..."
"...in angels. I know. I know." Samuel retorted, but must you holler it at the top of your voice."
Nanny scooted over to Samuel and shoved his hands away. "Sam, you got a head injury."
"Am I going to die because of it?" He asked with a smile, forcing himself to stand on his feet.
Nanny growled at him angrily. "You should, you silly sonovua..."
Jimbo a finger to her lips, cutting her off. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."
She smashed his hand away and turned on him, ready to swing at him. He caughter her hands and gave her a fierce look. "Samuel just saved your ass and you're complaining?"
"He said the angels did it!"
Jimbo snorted. "Samuel's too damned proud to take credit for his work. That's why he's poor..." Glares at Samuel. "...And why I'm poor...sort of."
"Ranch." Samuel said.
"Yeah, ranch." Jimbo admitted, then let go of Nanny who grumbled to herself, but began to calm down. She started to walk, then realized she had just stepped into a pile of something gooey. She made a face. "Oh my God! It's a..."
It was a heart. A very, very big one and now collapsed around her right boot.
"I think I'm going to be sick."
"Like a Twinkie." Jimbo asked her, shoving a Twinkie in her face.
Nanny screamed and ran behind a shrug and began throwing up.
Samuel looked at Jimbo and Jimbo gave him an innocent look. Jimbo unwrapped his Twinkie and ate it down. "Just being friendly."
"Sure." Samuel accused, then realized what Jimbo was doing. "Where'd you get that?"
Jimbo pointed behind Samuel and he saw their backpacks in a nice heap. "Wow! We really did have some Angelic help."
"Not likely. But keep thinking that." Jimbo said, reaching into his backpack for another Twinkie.
Nanny came staggering back into view and Jimbo spun around and offered the second Twinkie to her. "Hungry yet?"
Nanny covered her mouth, then ran back for the bushes again.
Samuel wagged a finger at Jimbo. "You're a naughty, naughty boy."
Jimbo replied by downing the second Twinkie in one gulp.
They waited for Nanny to come out again and she gave Jimbo a look that could kill, but he softened it somewhat when she realized he was holding her backpack. She snatched it and gave him a dirty look.
He said nothing.
Samuel saw Al waving to him from their left and looked back at his friends. "I think we better get moving before another of our sky friends come looking for us."
"At least we agree on something." Nanny grumbled, and followed him as he led the way.
Jimbo dropped back and holstered his pistol, then he rethought it, took it out and kissed its barrel. "Ain't no love, like a hot guy, baby!"
Nanny looked back at him and scowled. "You idiot! Guns are for children."
"Tell that to the next Nazi we meet, honey." Jimbo responded.
She gave him an even bigger scowl, then hurried up and slipped an arm through Samuel's, taking him totally offguard.
"So, Sam, tell us about what got you into this business."
They spent the next three hours going deeper and deeper into the woods, talking about nothing deep or in particular, just gabbing to keep their minds off what had happened earlier. "How had they really escaped certain death. Who had struck down the ship?"
Samuel looked across at Al and M who were walking to his left. "Well?" He asked.
Al shrugged, but a smug smile was on his face.
Marilyn pointed and Samuel looked back to see Nanny and Jimbo having a merry time conversing. "She's got a temper like a bottle of nitroglycerin, but she forgets like a child."
Samuel sighed. "And as usual, I'm the odd man out."
Marilyn put her head against his shoulder and he felt a slight distubance as her ethereal body touched his. "Thanks, I needed that."
She smiled, then kissed him lightly on his cheek and vanished.
"Up ahead." Jimbo hollered.
Samuel snapped back into his body, letting go of his thoughts and saw a kind of structure intertwined with the trees ahead.
He and the others made their way forward cautiously. The Hollow Earth hadn't been too friendly so far, and they weren't taking any chances. Jimbo had his pistol out and Samuel had his hand up, in case he need to use his powers.
Nanny gripped her Bowie knife. Jimbo looked down at that. "Where'd you get that toothpick?"
"From your backpack."
"Hey!" He cried out.
Ahead of them the structure lit up as bright as a Christmas tree.
"Fall back." Samuel warned and they fell behind one of the massive trees to see what happened next. Nothing happened for about five minutes, then two children came out and began playing in the light. They were both white haired and slender with long ears.
"Elves." Nanny cooed.
"Not likely." Jimbo drawled.
"You ruin everything!"
"I do my best." Jimbo replied to her with a scoundrel's smile. She smiled back, then looked forward again.
"My children won't harm you." A man's voice spoke kindly from behind them.
Jimbo spun around with his pistol ready to fire, then lowered it.
A man, who looked an awful lot like Santa Claus, wearing long suspenders and coveralls, with twinkling blue eyes, an axe and a bucket of water stood there looking at them with a smile.
"My wife should have dinner just about ready. We've been expecting you." He told them, then walked past and into the light.
The two children ran up and he set down his bucket and axe and swung them up into his powerful arms and swung them around and around to their delight.
"He's not Santa Claus." Jimbo finally managed to say.
"Sure, you just go ahead and tell yourself that, Jimmie." Nanny said as the man began to laugh like the archetypal Santa Claus does in all the videos and movies they'd seen.