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Excerpt from "Harriet and the Heman".

Harriet Barnstormer's ship. "Cornish Pisky" has just been invaded.....

            “You can’t do that!” objected Harriet.

           “Why not?”

            “Pisky’s about to jump!”

            “In fifteen seconds,” he agreed. “We’d better get settled.”

            “I’m not licensed for passengers.”

            “I’m not a passenger. I’m—” 

            “There’s only one blast seat. You’ll be crushed.”

            “Ten!” said the countdown loudly, (just in case they hadn’t noticed.)

            “We’ll have to share it then, won’t we?”

            “Nine!”

The stranger subsided onto the blast seat and lay back, holding out his arms.

            “Eight.”

“I’m the pilot!” protested Harriet.

            “Seven.”                      

“Fine.” He sprang up. “You take the seat and I’ll sit in your lap.”

            “Six.”

            “But then I can’t reach the—”

            “Five.”

            He looked at her hard. “This is no time—”

            “Four.”

            “—for a board meeting, Captain Barnstormer. Decide!”

            “Three.”

            Harriet jerked her head at the seat.

            “Two.”

He was back in place in less than a second and Harriet flung herself backwards into his lap, dead-heating with the countdown’s sonorous “One.”

His arms came around her and folded snugly under her breasts, the countdown hit zero and the Cornish Pisky vaulted out of the chute and slammed through the atmosphere like a hot skewer through butter.

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