It’s the summer of 1958 in Minnesota farm country. Dan, Bobby, and Wayne spend their days playing in an abandoned barn whenever they can get away from their chores. They don’t know what to do when cigarette-smoking tomboy Jo shows up, but nothing will ever be the same after they find a flying saucer in the overgrown field behind the barn.

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 is the second thrilling adventure anthology from Crazy 8 Press celebrating the pulp magazines of yesteryear. As such, the stories included span the genre spectrum, from science fiction and mystery to romance and horror. I decided to do a period piece in the spirit of 1950s B movies blended with the classic kids-on-an-adventure motif, like Stand By Me but with a flying saucer instead of a dead body. The excerpt below is from the opening scene; you can read a little more about the story, including a longer excerpt, on my blog.

The Day It Came From Beyond Outer Space

Dan and Bobby came to a sudden stop as they walked around the corner of the old Swenson barn and saw the frightening invader. Wayne, close behind on his bicycle, baseball cards thrumming in its spokes, slammed on the brakes.
       “What gives?” Wayne said.
       Dan pointed at the unexpected visitor: a teenage girl in a white t-shirt, bib overalls, and Chuck Taylors, her long black hair in a sloppy braid. She stood in the shade behind the barn, a cigarette in her left hand, a surprised look on her face. They had to look up at her, because she was taller than all of them, especially Bobby, the youngest.
       Dan blurted, “Who’re you?” There’d never been a girl back here before. Bobby stepped behind him and didn’t say anything.
       Wayne jumped off his bike, letting it fall into the weeds by their well-worn path. “Yeah, this is our spot.”
       She took a puff on her cigarette. “Your spot?” She looked around at the barn, its overgrown pasture, the nearby hayfield. “Which of you owns all this?” She pointed at them in turn. “Larry? Curly? Moe?” . . .

Cover copyright Crazy 8 Press. All text copyright Scott Pearson.
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