by William Holmes
Copyright © 2013

WARNING:  Rated “R” for language

Gilmore “Gil” Coleman and his wife Marlene (née Coleman) — no relation, as far as he knew — lived in a tiny little trailer in a tiny little trailer park in Dumont, Oklahoma.  Theirs was at the entrance.  His wife hated that.  It made her feel vulnerable.  Gil loved it.  It was easy in, easy out.  And it afforded them the largest front yard, of which he was quite proud.

Gil was a teller at the Fourth National Bank on the outskirts of Tulsa, about 30 miles south of the trailer park.  Marlene did absolutely nothing for a living and got paid just slightly less than Gil, who worked 40 hours a week, thanks to those welfare checks that kept on coming.  Gil didn’t mind that so much.  It wasn’t fair, but so long as it kept her from complaining about his paltry salary, he was fine with it.

It was a muggy summer night, and Gil was in shorts and a t-shirt, sitting in a lounge chair in the front yard.  A Thermos full of lemonade and an empty glass sat on the table to his right.  To his left was his telescope.  He had been stargazing, but was now fast asleep.

Marlene was inside watching television while tending to their dog Liberace’s newborn pups.  Their next door neighbor, Harold, slithered up from behind Gil and sneaked into Gil’s trailer.  When Marlene saw Harold, she smiled, carefully stepped over Liberace and her puppies, and led Harold by the hand to the bedroom.

Gil was awakened by an unusual sound.  It was not until he opened his eyes that he realized it wasn’t so much a particular sound as it was a complete absence of sound.  No dogs barking.  No traffic noise.  No crickets or frogs.  Well, there was the occasional creaking sound coming from the trailer, but he just figured one of the neighbors was banging his wife again.

A moment later, a large spaceship landed in the trailer park’s gravel driveway.  Gil sat frozen in his chair, staring straight ahead, completely oblivious to anything else.

[By clicking the “Read more” or “Continue reading” button below, or simply continuing past this point, you affirm that you are legally allowed to watch “R” rated movies.]

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Operation Detour, Episode 6

“I’m a computer programmer!  I’m not stupid.”

Riva says, “You were a programmer … back in the States.  Now you are just another stupid American tourist.  Anyway, you might be smart with computers, but in real life, you are a complete idiot.  All large, multi-national corporations have their own off-the-books crew of spies like me.  Never heard of corporate espionage?”

“You’ve got a funny way of influencing people,” I say.  “You threaten and insult the hell out of them.  Does that work for you?  Maybe they should send you to charm school, or at least salesmanship 101.”

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Operation Detour, Episode 5

It is after midnight, local time, when I arrive in Kuala Lumpur.  I walk through the terminal and outside, catching a cab to my hotel.  I check in and take the elevator up to my room.  I seem to be recovering from one hell of a hangover, but don’t remember drinking anything.


Riva enters the same hotel lobby seconds later.  The door attendant is smiling at her, almost drooling.  The front desk clerk is also very friendly, eager to please.  She’s used to that.  Taking it all in stride, she checks in.

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Operation Detour, Episode 4

Walking away from the counter, I catch sight of one ridiculously attractive black-haired woman coming toward me.  She has a phone to her ear with one hand, pulling a wheeled-suitcase with the other.  She smiles directly at me.  She looks familiar but, still, I turn to see who’s behind me that she’s really smiling at.


On the phone with Serge, Riva says, “I am looking right at him.  Gotta go.  I will let you know how it goes.”  She hangs up as she reaches Alex.


“Alex?  Is that you?” the ridiculously attractive woman asks.

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Operation Detour, Episode 3

Operation underway

Riva has returned to her own car in the pharmacy parking lot by the time Alex returns to his.  He is reading his new prescription bottle label, shaking his head.  The listening device she planted a couple minutes earlier allows her to hear everything.

“Whatever,” she hears him say.  And, “These better be good,” as he washes a couple down with a swig of root beer.  Squealing his tires out of the parking space, he barely misses another car just entering the lot.

“They call me Axel,” he is talking to himself.  “Axel McLean!”  In his best James Bond voice, he then says, “McLean.  Axel McLean at Your Majesty’s service.”

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Operation Detour, Episode 2

Two weeks earlier

Riva is a beautiful woman in her mid-twenties.  Her skin glows in contrast to her luxurious black hair.  Her intelligent gray eyes reach out and grab anyone careless enough to look directly at her.

That’s on a good day.  Today, however, her hair is a tangled mess, her eyes are bloodshot, and her skin has a sickly pallor from whatever ailment has befallen her.

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Operation Detour, Episode 1

by William Holmes
Copyright © 2012

Hey.  Alex Pannas here.  Sorry we’re not meeting under better circumstances.  I’m usually pretty good at keeping it light, keeping it positive.  Not today.

I’m an Iowa-born, California-raised, 31-year-old, Swedish-Greek-American.  But, that’s not why I’m upset.  I’m upset because I was fired today.

I could be philosophical about it all, but I don’t see the point.  Yes, I’m bitter.  But, I’ll get through this.  They say attitude is everything.  They say we don’t have “problems,” we’re given “opportunities!”  God, I hate corporate-speak.

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The Elevator

Tim had just caught the elevator to the top floor, the eighth.  Along for the ride was a thirty-something woman he’d never met.  When she pressed “2,” Tim gave her a dirty look from behind.

“Seriously?” he’s thinking.  “You’re going up one stinkin’ floor and you can’t just take the stairs?”

She must have seen the look on his face in the reflective interior of the car.  It was the only thing he could figure, other than she read his mind, which he refused to believe.

What she did next was almost unbelievable … coming from an adult, anyway.  She turned, smiled mischievously, and pressed every button just as she got off.

Tim was speechless, which, by itself, was an accomplishment.

He never saw the woman again.