-a Me and Elsie story collection-
Here's some stories I writ down. Done it 'cause my best friend Jen said I oughta—what with us being some of the first gals to haul cargo 'cross the black reaches of the Up'n'up and all. She said I should put in some of the wisdom I learnt from Pap too 'cause he raised me up so fine. I always do what she says what with her being so smart and all.
So here's some of how I got my first ship Elsie. There's some of how me and Jen was flyin' for Planetary Engineering, workin' them space lanes, and other bits 'bout the wonderful kinda men we met up with while stopping off at Tycho Tavern, Low-Gee Lounge on Mars, and the Europa LaunchPub (one a my personal-type favorites).
Don't let his reputation as a master of romantic suspense fool you—ML Buchman gives good comedy, and even better science fiction. With two tough-talking women, an interstellar trucking gig, and all the misadventures you can handle, these stories steal your breath with suspense one moment, and laughter the next. Guaranteed to leave you smiling for days after you finish! – J. Daniel Sawyer
Some people been asking if I writ all these stories in order and I gotta tell you I didn't. I just writ 'em down as they come to me. See, I come from a whole long line of storyteller types and it's more 'bout telling the right story, not so much of when it happened.
It always makes me wonder that Jen says she wasn't much at telling stories.
"What did you do to evenings?" I'd ask her.
"Clubbing," she shrugged. "Movies, fancy dinners, whatever. What about you?"
Well, me and Pap, and maybe two or three of the other locals, was likely to be sitting around Pap's still on quiet evenings. Cooking a mash ain't smokeless, even if you use good hickory and oak for the fire. That meant most times we'd cook at night so as the revenooer men didn't bother us none.
Now once a mash is running, ain't so much to do except feeding a log now and then and maybe watching the stars some. So we'd sit around jawing or telling a story or two. Maybe doin' some other things once I got old enough to take an interest in all that. So I guess I just come by my storytelling natural-like.
I think that's where I fell in love with them stars too. On quiet nights with nothing but the bats and a screech owl goin' by, it was like you could reach out and touch them points of light.
Pap liked that I knew the stars so good. I could use 'em to help him navigate at night when we wanted to move a shipment real quiet-like. Got to the point where I could read the time easy as a clock just by lookin' aloft and knowin' the date.
"You didn't have nothing like that growing up?" I asked Jen again.
"There's always a good party somewhere. Plenty to drink and plenty of men." Jen had the right kinda shape to get menfolk to pay close attention and the pretty blond hair to go with it.
Me, I always feel like I gotta duck going through a door. I'm not big around, well, except in certain places menfolk seem to like, but I'm a big gal. 'Sides, I'm more the quiet-type and she's got this big smile and laugh that can make the whole world brighter. Exceptin' when I ask her 'bout her past. Then she gets all sad and even quieter'n me, so I try not to ask much.
I wrote this next story for Jen 'cause I think she should see what kinda party I grew up havin'.