EP135: Stu

By Bruce McAllister.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Appears in The Girl Who Loved Animals and Other Stories, from Golden Gryphon Press.

The first time I met Stu, I was just a kid and there weren’t any lights hovering over his house. The last time I saw him, when I was grown and we both knew what life could be if you let it, there were. That’s the best way to start, I guess.

That first time, our dad piled us into our old Chevy wagon–the kind you took to drive-in movies with sheets on the seats and your kids in pajamas–and drove us to the north county, saying only, “Stu is an inventor. He’ll never see any royalties from his inventions because the Navy owns them, but he’s an inventor, the kind that made America great.”

How had he first met Stu? How does anyone in the Navy get to know a wide-eyed, crazy-haired inventor who wasn’t at all “strack,” who shouldn’t have been anywhere near the military but somehow was? On a Secret Project, of course. My brother and I‚Äîwho were 10 and 6 at the time–were sure of it. Our dad and Stu had to be working on a Secret Project together.

Rated G. Contains military bureaucracy, but nothing more disturbing.