An Annoying Fan Writer in New London
by Maureen (mobrien at dnaco.net)
Somewhere in Ohio, as the cicadas keened, Maureen looked worriedly at
her site's messageboard. There had been the usual late May burst of
fic and conversation, and then...nothing. At least six of the most
vocal regulars had gone away without warning.
Well, it was time
for summer vacations. And it wasn't as if they had to check in. Well,
okay, Jessica did, and she still was. So far. But...something about
this just didn't feel right. She'd spent five years with this
messageboard. She knew its rhythms, and this wasn't one of them. She
couldn't help thinking of that one round robin they'd abandoned a few
years back -- the one where everyone on the board and site
mysteriously disappeared in a single day....
She found herself gnawing
on a nail and made herself stop. She ought to be grateful for some
time to catch up on webbing all that nifty new fanfic. But maybe she
ought to step back for a moment, if she was getting this paranoid.
Yep, time to go for a walk.
Still grinning at her own foolishness, she
put on her shoes and her little toy stepometer from McDonald's. She
walked out the door, down the stairs, out the lobby door, and onto the
sidewalk. Savoring the un-summerlike coolness of the evening air, she
strolled around the curve of the road and down into a sidestreet. At
the bottom of the street was a tiny stream. She always found its
pattering soothing and was glad to stop and look down at it for a
Something hit her from behind. Before she could even see what
it was, she was face down in the tiny stream. Pebbles dug painfully
into her cheeks while her nose was pressed ever deeper into the
streambed's clay. She struggled with sudden savagery, kicking and
rolling, but it was all to no avail. Something was holding down her
head, and its strength outlasted her air.
On to Part 18!
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