• Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Conclusion

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Conclusion I laughed hard enough that Taran stirred against my back and I reached up with my right hand to stroke his hair a few times. He settled immediately. My eyes flicked around the subway car, looking for a way out, but the only thing I came up with was a bluff, so I cranked up the bravado, smiled, and leaned forward. “Don’t be ridiculous. You’ve got no chance of taking him now. You guys might be more advanced than humans, but coming into the bookstore to warn me was a mistake and coming onto the subway was stupid.…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 8

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Eight All around me, being careful to never look directly at us, the other subway passengers watched from the corners of their eyes. I found it hard to blame them. An out of breath man with a child on his back runs into the station long past midnight and just in time to catch the train. Not exactly normal even for the late night crowd. People thought questions and accusations so hard they didn’t have speak, but I had a hard time caring. I’d gained a few moments of rest for myself and freedom for Taran, and that…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 7

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Seven Two escalators took me to the third floor and two turns along the hardwood path between the carpets brought me to the back of the store, as far from the front doors as I could get without going into staff areas I couldn’t see. Not worth the effort. I’m sure the Vyrians had all possible covered. At the end of the aisle, a set of windows stretched floor to ceiling along forty feet of wall, and let me look out over the roof of the movie theatre next door. Two stories high, and flat except for some…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 6

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Six   Taran stayed asleep and I got the expected dirty looks as I walked in, but also a few of the isn’t-he-cute variety while I learned that there really is a magazine for everything. I tried to look like I might be interested in at least half of them while my mind churned with the tremendous lack of possibilities available to me. No backup and no potential for it. No resources beyond what I carried, and that wasn’t much: a few toys, the gravchute and mesh, the goggles. I could fall safely another twenty or thirty stories,…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 5

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Five We made it into the shadows, around the corner, and down an alley with no signs of pursuit. Taran had long since stopped giggling, but I took a breathy moment to remind him of the importance of being quiet. He nodded with a hand over his mouth to reassure me. I wondered how much he really understood, but the gesture gave me a lot of confidence, even seen bouncing in the corner of my vision, and if the Vyrians had better ways to track us than by sound, I didn’t see the need to make it easy…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 4

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg   Part Four   After we finished eating, I let Taran play in the fast food restaurant’s climbing gym with half a dozen other kids for nearly an hour. It made every muscle I had tense, smiling and ignoring the parental chatter around me while my eyes never left him, but I wanted Taran to fall asleep on the drive back to the apartment, a drive that would be two or three times longer than a shortest-distance GPS route might suggest. His eyes closed five minutes out of the parking lot, leaving me alone with my paranoia. I didn’t…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 3

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Three We made seven passes through the dinosaur galleries, the first three one right after the other without a break in between. After that, I managed to drag him to a few other areas, but only if animals were involved. He didn’t care at all about earlier human history, mostly due to the lack of robots and aliens involved, and animals were far more interesting than people. The Hall of Reptiles went over well, except it reminded him of the dinosaurs and he started talking about that again before we’d made a loop halfway through. During our last…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 2

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part Two   Sometime during the next few hours, Taran dragged a blanket across the few feet separating us and crawled into the chair with me to finish the night. I had no idea how he managed it without waking me, but the small warm body snuggled into my side didn’t give me any reason to complain and I looked down at him, smiling. Until Taran, I’d never been very comfortable around kids, but draping an arm over his shoulders, a bigger question occurred to me. How had he gotten so comfortable around me? We’d had to develop a certain…

  • Fiction

    Babysitting the Taran-saurus, Part 1

    by Babysitting the Taran-Saurus A Vyrian Incursion Story by Lance Schonberg Part One I signaled to the three members of my team just as a second tremor passed through my soles. Waiting for the low rumble to subside, I let them take up preselected positions covering elevator, windows, and stairwell before pushing through the doorway. The wild-eyed nanny already had every light in the apartment on. She spun around when the door smacked into the closet, pulling in a deep breath, and only didn’t scream because I shot a hand up. Two steps took me to her side and I leaned in close to whisper. “You know me and you…