Authors: Dennis J Butler
The Good Reaper
By Dennis J.
Copyright 2015 by Dennis Butler
All Rights Reserved
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or
transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database for retrieval,
without the prior written permission of the author. Short passages may be
quoted or used in reviews without permission.
This book is a work of fiction. The story in this book, all
the characters, organizations, governments, government agencies and all other
places named or implied are either derived from the author’s imagination or
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to real people living or dead or incidents,
events or organizations, governments, government agencies and all other places
named or implied are entirely coincidental.
If you like this book, please
leave a review at Amazon.com. Reviews are like tips to authors. It’s what
inspires us and encourages us to keep writing.
Books by author Dennis J.
Crime Drama about Human Trafficking and Autism
The Slave Shack: The Book
of Mumboo Conteh
Historical Fiction – African
The Dead Passages
Description: A Paranormal
The Lost Souls of
Description: A Paranormal
Tomorrow Once More
Description: Dystopian - Time
Travel Science Fiction Romance
Girl of the Cloud Forest
Glisten of the Ngirozi
: Book One of the Angel Planet series
Description: Science Fiction
Carrick and the Blue
: Book Two of the Angel Planet
Description: Science Fiction
LeAnne opened the sliding glass door and pushed her wheelchair
out onto the elevated deck. It was one of those nights when a dim crescent moon
made the stars appear as if they were only a short distance away. It was
LeAnne’s favorite kind of night. It reminded her of when she was a child and
she would sit outside at night with her mom, dad and brother and look up out of
the corner of her eye to see the Milky Way. She never understood why it seemed
to be easier to find it that way but she had been doing it for most of her
life. But life was different now. Life was more precious. LeAnne would never
take the simple beauty of her world for granted. She cherished the sight of the
night sky. She cherished the beauty of the entire world around her.
Her father had built the deck so that she could wheel
herself from the dining room, out to the deck and patio without any help. As
soon as he had finished the deck he added a ramp that led down to the ground
level patio. As she slid the door closed behind her, she immediately smelled
the strange odor. It was subtle but different with just a hint of a burning
wood smell. But there was something else, something that reminded her of the
electric train set that she and her brother Roy used to play with when they
were kids. It was not an odor that belonged there on the north edge of the
Catskill Mountains where LeAnne lived with her parents.
LeAnne missed her brother Roy. Just when she needed him the
most, he was so far away. She didn’t blame him though. He was offered a
position with a company based in Tokyo. The Tachibana Corporation had started
out as a video game developer and branched out into toys and sporting goods.
But it was movie animation that made Tachibana an international success and
that’s where Roy fit in. Roy was a mountain country genius who could reprogram
video games when he was nine years old. Roy breezed through college without
ever opening a book. Computer science was a natural fit for Roy.
LeAnne knew she spent too much time daydreaming about the
good old days. She daydreamed about the days before she became sick. She knew
that one of the joys of life was having something to look forward to. For some
it would be their upcoming trip to Hawaii, for others it might me a marriage or
the birth of a child. But for LeAnne there was nothing to look forward to. It was
difficult for LeAnne to comprehend. Being surrounded by all the beauty of the
northern Catskill Mountain town of North Blenheim it was hard to believe that
she may be leaving her world soon. LeAnne’s illness had progressed slowly but
steadily forward like an army infantry unit. The first symptoms had appeared
three years earlier when she was 26. It started as an upper respiratory
infection that never went away. It took almost a year of testing for the
doctors to finally come to a diagnosis. Doctor Mulroy told her she was in the
middle stages of LAM Lung Disease (Lymphangioleiomyomatosis). The disease was
like a serial killer who bided his time, napping in between kills, coldly
calculating and stalking his next victim.
LeAnne was so lost in her daydream that she didn’t hear her
father stepping out onto the deck. He stood there quietly watching his
daughter. When LeAnne finally realized he was standing there she turned
quickly. Her father didn’t have time to remove the overwhelming sadness from
his face. “I didn’t see you standing there dad,” LeAnne said. “You’re up late.”
It is a beautiful
“Crystal clear and a crescent moon.
You can see all the stars,” LeAnne said.
“Do you smell an odd smell that smells like maybe machine oil
or metal burning?” LeAnne asked.
“I don’t smell too good but I hear
There’s a faint humming sound that sounds like it’s coming from the other side
of Red’s hill there.”
“You mean up where Red is buried?”
“I miss Red. Maybe it’s time we got another dog. Maybe a
Shepherd this time,” LeAnne said.
“I agree. Dogs always have a way of making you feel hopeful
and we could surely use some of that.”
“Let’s do it soon Dad.” LeAnne’s father knew what she really
LeAnne and her dad sat quietly listening for a few minutes.
“Yes, I hear it now.”
“It’s getting louder but it’s not from Red’s hill. There’s a
glow or light or something but it’s further away like it’s coming from
Cavanaugh’s place. But there wouldn’t be campers or hunters down that way.”
“You have Cavanaugh’s number? Give him a call.”
He’ll think I’m a kook,”
LeAnne’s dad said.
Two seconds later the phone rang. LeAnne’s dad jumped up and
reached the house phone before the answering machine kicked in. LeAnne listened
to her father’s side of the conversation from the porch. “This is Carl. Who is
“Hey Jack. How’s it going?”
The only “Jack” that LeAnne knew was Jack Cavanaugh. LeAnne
thought it was a very strange coincidence that Jack never talks to her father
on the phone and yet there he was, just as they were thinking of calling him.
LeAnne continued eavesdropping but her father hung up the phone without saying
When he finally stepped back outside, LeAnne was anxious to
know what was going on. “Well, what’s going on with Jack?”
LeAnne’s father Carl was quiet for a long awkward moment.
“He’s on his way up here with his ATV. He said he can see something very
strange just over the hill. It’s much closer to our house but we can’t see it
it’s on the other side of the hill.”
“What is it?”
“He said it’s some kind of light that’s changing color.”
Ten minutes later the buzz of Jack’s ATV echoed in the
valley between the three small mountains that formed the valley road where the
Pearson family had lived for three generations. The hill across the road, south
of Carl Pearson’s house was high enough to be called a mountain. The Pearsons
loved watching the changing seasons that painted the mountain different colors
as each season gave way to the next. The rear of the Pearson property ran back
five acres to a hollow between two hills. The light was coming from beyond the
hill on the right.
Jack Cavanaugh didn’t say anything. He just waved to LeAnne
and motioned to Carl to hop on the ATV. Being stuck in a wheelchair, LeAnne
would have to wait there in suspense until they returned. Carl and Jack were
both silent as they drove off toward the valley between the two hills. There
was a slight rise in the terrain just before they would need to follow the
curving path that led to the back of the hill. LeAnne
her eyes as she watched them turn slightly to the right and disappear.
“What’s going on?” LeAnne’s mother Madeline said as she
stepped out onto the deck.
“Look mom, beyond the hill there, do you see the light?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Dad and Mr. Cavanaugh just went up there to see what it
LeAnne didn’t even realize she was standing up holding onto the
deck railing. The events that were unfolding before her eyes were surreal. She
felt like running toward the ATV which was stirring up a cloud of dust as it
sped back toward the house. Beyond the ATV and off to the right just a bit, the
source of the humming lights and probably the strange odor was revealed. The
sight of the ship slowly rising up from the other side of the hill was almost
too much to comprehend. There was no doubt in LeAnne’s mind that it was not of
human origin. LeAnne knew that humans were a long way from building anything
like it. It looked just like all the pictures she had seen throughout her life;
a metallic looking, saucer shaped craft with rows of lights around the
perimeter. At the top center of the craft was a dome. It wasn’t difficult to
understand. LeAnne assumed the dome was something like a cockpit where the
ship’s controls were. It seemed obvious that the ship being round could travel
in any direction. The cockpit would have to be at the top so the navigator
could see in all directions. All these things raced through LeAnne’s mind as
she watched the ship while remaining aware of her father and neighbor barreling
toward the house on the ATV.
LeAnne had hiked those woods many times when she was
younger. She knew approximately how far away it was and with that in mind she
could guess at the size of the craft. It appeared to be about two hundred feet
in diameter. Although she was aware of her neighbor and father speeding back to
the house, she couldn’t look away from the bizarre sight of the alien ship. The
ship ascended slowly up to a few hundred feet above the ground and just hovered
Jack and her father reached the house and hurried back onto
the deck. Jack took out his phone and started taking pictures of the craft while
Carl just put his arm around his daughter and looked back at the ship. The ship
hovered there for a few minutes before dimming the lights and disappearing into
the night sky. “Holy shit,” Jack mumbled slowly sounding like he was in a state
of shock. “How fast did that thing move?”
“We don’t have anything on this planet that moves that
fast,” Carl said.
“If we did, we would probably be using it to kill people in
a war,” LeAnne said. Jack turned around and just frowned and shook his head
while looking up at LeAnne who was still sitting up on the deck.
“Do you think we should report it to someone?” Carl asked.
“Why bother. No one will take it seriously and they probably
won’t believe you. There’s not much anyone can do about it anyway,” LeAnne
Jack and Carl weren’t really close friends. They only saw
each other once in a great while when there was some kind of weather related
problem like the blizzard from a few years back. They had some kind of
political argument years ago and it soured whatever friendship they had. But
when disasters strike or when something as weird as a UFO hovering over your
backyard happens, people do tend to forget their differences. Sometimes sharing
the experiences of a disaster or some other life altering event will bring people
together. And so it was that from the day of the UFO visit forward, Carl and
Jack were indeed friends. They weren’t much for talking on the phone. Mostly
they just shared coffee on Saturday morning or beers on Saturday night. LeAnne
was always home so she was almost always around when they were together.
She never heard them mention the UFO again, at least not
until the next strange event. It had been two months since the UFO landing.
They considered it a landing, even though it never actually touched the ground.
It was close enough.
It was always easy to adopt a dog up in the mountains.
Someone always knew someone who had a dog who had a litter of puppies. Ulysses
was three months old when they adopted him. Someone at the hardware store had a
sister who was giving away Golden Retriever pups to anyone who promised them a
LeAnne took Ulysses out around 10:30 each night before going
to bed. Carl had installed several spotlights on the back of the house, facing
toward the back yard so there was plenty of light to sit outside or just watch
Ulysses while he sniffed around looking for the perfect spot. LeAnne was
sitting in her wheelchair just off the bottom of the ramp when it appeared.
LeAnne knew right away that it was the same ship that had hovered over the hill
a few months back. This time it was different. It was more frightening.
Whatever the strange ship’s purpose was, this time it had something to do with
She sensed it. Instead of landing out of sight
beyond the hill, it slowly moved closer to the back of the house. Although
LeAnne thought that the lighting on the ship was dimmed, it still lit up the
The ship was quiet except for the humming but Ulysses was
loud enough to alert Carl and Madeline. Stepping out onto the deck they were
horrified by the scene playing out before them. The ship was hovering directly
over the back yard. A beam of white light was clearly focused on LeAnne. As
Carl and Madeline started down the ramp they could clearly see tiny sparkling
lights of different colors swirling around in the light beam. When Carl reached
LeAnne he instinctively reached for the rear handles on the wheelchair,
stopping for a second just before his hands passed into the light beam. A
momentary feeling of fear took hold of Carl. LeAnne turned toward her father
and spoke calmly, “I’m okay dad. I don’t feel anything.”
Carl was in a state of shocked silence, hesitating for a few
seconds before reaching into the light beam. He was sure his hands would be
burned or worse when he reached into the beam. But Carl’s love for LeAnne was
stronger than his fear. He lunged forward and grabbed the two handles of the
wheelchair. His arms and hands felt nothing. There was no burning or melting or
anything. The only problem was that the wheelchair wouldn’t move. Carl
maneuvered himself around to the front of LeAnne and tried to lift her up off
the chair. She wouldn’t budge.
“It’s okay dad. I don’t think they are hurting me.” Carl
stepped back out of the light beam and watched. He was unaware that Madeline
had reached them. While standing next to Carl, she looked up at the strange
ship and hollered, “Go away. Leave us alone.”
It almost seemed as if the beings in the ship had heard and
understood her. A moment later the light beam disappeared. The ship hovered
there for a few more seconds before moving straight up at a blinding speed
until it appeared as just a white spec in the clear night sky.
LeAnne and her parents remained silent and motionless, just
staring up at the sky until they heard voices coming from the side of the
house. It was Jack Cavanaugh and his son Peter. “Are you guys okay? I saw the
familiar lights and knew it was heading toward your place. What happened?”