Truck Stop Earth

Truck Stop Earth

by Michael A. Armstrong

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997531008
Publisher: Perseid Press
Publication date: 06/20/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 294
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Michael A. Armstrong is an award-winning journalist and novelist. Michael was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage.Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

Read an Excerpt

Truck Stop Earth


By Michael A. Armstrong

Perseid Press

Copyright © 2016 Michael A. Armstrong
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-9975310-0-8


CHAPTER 1

So like I came into the country over this long crummy-as-shit road, and right away I saw the black helicopters. What did I expect? I knew the bigheads had followed me all the way up from Canada and into good ol' Truck Stop Alaska. "James Ignatius Malachi Obadiah Osborne (call me Jimmo)," I said to myself, "those black helicopters are gonna dodge you until the day you die." That's what I said, and let me tell you, it's the damn truth.

Should I of been surprised to see the black helicopters at the border? Not I. Not you, either, if you hadn't been duped by the big Cosmic Gray Conspiracy to mind your own damn business and just pay your taxes to the Alien Occupation Government, but you have been, that's why I'm telling you this story.

Sure, some Rational Thinking Straight who isn't on anti-psychotic drugs would say, "Those were Blackhawks, it's the damn border, Alaska is crawling with military, that's why you saw black helicopters." And that damn RATS would be right, he would, in the particular reality he happened to inhabit. I don't play in that reality, not since years ago oh-never-mind, because I have seen the absolute all and everything and what-the-hey of the Universe, my dear reader, I have, I have. And I tell you, those black helicopters are real, they're everywhere, and this whole planet is run by alien Grays, and you know what I found out? God's truth.

Alaska is like the main pump island of a filling station on the Outer Milky Way Throughway. Truck Stop Earth, you betcha.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, and giving away the kicker, when I have exactly 323 pages (it's in my contract, no more, no less) of double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12-point typewritten text to go. So bear with me.

Let me start over.


* * *

First, I didn't see the black helicopters right away. When I was coming into the country, on that rutted gravel road between Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory, and the Alaska border, first I saw the couple in the black jumpsuits. I had hitched a ride to Beaver Creek the night before, a nice midsummer night, clear and hot and with sunset about six minutes past oh-dark-hundred, only I guess you called it "oh-light-hundred" up there in the far north. I had had pretty good luck coming up the Alaska Highway. After a little unpleasantness at the border, which I solved by showing the customs guy my red-jacket US Passport, the one I got from when I was in the Foreign Service, and flashing him five big Dead Presidents, after that I got some good rides. A bunch of Coasties on their way to Kodiak, who told me about Della, God bless 'em. Then, a trucker hauling Snap-on-Tools to Fairbanks — that got me as far as Whitehorse. Then this really choice blonde babe who turned out to be a born again, sorta like me, who picked me up because I had a sign that said JOHN 3:16.

Hannah, the blonde, took me to Beaver Creek because I had some rare choice Plankeye minidisks, bootlegged from their Mark of the Beast tour. Plus, I think she wanted someone to talk to, on account of she was on her way to join this religious commune out of Big Delta up there where the Alaska Highway ends. Hannah had been betrothed and saw her youthful life fading away into babies and stacking hay.

OK, we did the beast with the two backs, too, but we prayed for forgiveness afterward. Of course we used raincoats, some nubbly glow-in-the-dark condoms I had bought in the restroom at a Texaco in Whitehorse. ("Watch it glow as you grow," the package said.) So Hannah got me to Beaver Creek, har-har, but she dropped me out before the Canadian customs shed, right there on the edge of town, tellin' me I'd have "to trust to the Good Lord" for my passage out of Canada. I understood. I wouldn't cross a border with a hitchhiker, either. Hannah laid a big sloppy kiss with a wad of tongue as a farewell. God bless the lucky Delta dick who gets her for a wife, he's going to wear out his johnson if Hannah keeps that up.

So I left Canada in the sense that I said good-bye to their customs, some surly fat bitch who made real sure she punched my SSN into her computer, so the Canuckadians would know they were rid of ol' Jimmo, farewell. But it's a long haul between the spanking new Canadian customs building outside of Beaver Creek and the big concrete building of US Customs right at the border, about twenty miles of road, and there isn't a town, village, gas station, or anything the whole way. It's just open country, a real no-man's land.

The guys in the black jumpsuits wanted to give me a ride.

I was walking along the side of the road six miles out of Beaver Creek, real peaceful like, digging the wildflowers and the beer cans and the little shreds of filter fabric sticking out of the edges, when I turned at the sound of a car coming from down the road. Not even thinking, I stuck my thumb out, but before I had a chance to pull it back in, the white Jeep Cherokee stopped. At first I thought they were camo dudes, like the ones who patrol around Area 51 at Groom Lake. Man, I hate those rent-a-grunts, but I guess they made it personal after that little incident when I blew their cover and listed their names and home addresses on the Web. 'Nother story.

I didn't even have to look at their plates — Alaska blue 'n' gold NRG lettered plates, and in Alaska they only go up to the J's — to know who they were: AOGs, Agents of the Grays, Alien Occupation Government. They looked like batfags, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms goons, right down to the thin Kevlar vests. Two of 'em, though, in the slick black jumpsuits.

"Need a ride, son?" asked the guy in the passenger's side as he rolled down the window. Tinted windows, thick windows: armored, I knew.

"Just hiking, sir," I said. Old habit from when I was in Delta Force. Any guy calls you "son," you call them "sir." I'd of saluted, but when Delta kicked me upstairs on special assignment as a deep cover agent in the Foreign Service, I swore off saluting. With my dreadlocks tucked up into my baseball cap, and the hair buzzed on the side of my head, that guy might of thought I was military with a high and tight, in civvies.

"We can give you a ride up to the border, son," the guy went on.

"Only a couple of miles. I'll walk the rest of the way."

Then they got out. Right then I knew they were Grays because they had the mirrored sunglasses and the jerky legs. The Grays on bottom duty get face surgery so they look normal — real noses, mouths, and ears — but the big triangular eyes are hard to fake. Takes a lot of bone surgery, so most of them just wear big sunglasses. And the Grays have long torsos but stumpy legs, kind of like that Frog painter Hangin' Too Loose Lowtrec, so to look human, they walk on these like stilts. Our high gravity really messes them up, though, so they never get good at it. You learn these things when you become an enemy of the bigheads like me.

The driver was a wymmin, I mean, I knew the type, feminazis: big broad shoulders and almost no boobs, and fat hips. She had short hair just over her ear flaps and long bangs. Female Grays don't like to alter their ear flaps. They're really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that's how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

So the wymmin Gray got out, same klutzy walk, and they both gimped over to me, looking real tall, but I knew I could kick their legs out from under them. 'Course, iffen I did that, they'd blast me to cinders, but it's nice to know I had the option to damage them before I died. They leaned up against that white Jeep Cherokee with the funny windows, hooking their thumbs in their belts. Those Grays watch too many of our Western movies, if you ask me. Someone ought to tell them, or at least turn 'em on to some Mel Gibson thrillers so they can learn a new attitude ...

"You're kind of out here in the middle of nowhere," the wymmin says. She had one of those squeaky high voices their females have. It always flips me out. You see a big momma like that, and then she has this high voice.

"Yes ma'am," I said. "I'm used to walking."

"So we'll give you a ride to the border," she said. "Across the border, make it easy on you. Into Tok. You must be going that way."

"Might take a right at Tositna and go up to Chicken," I said. "Do some gold mining."

"Yeah." The guy scratched his balls, in that sympathetic gesture guys make to each other, sort of like saying, Balls, what a pain, huh? Only I knew he was readjusting the servos on his stilts.

"So you sure you don't want a lift?" The wymmin Gray glared at me through her glasses. I knew she was scanning me. Hell, I knew they had me pegged already. They'd put a chip in my butt after my first abduction near Cedar Key (see Chapter 16), so they could track me like that, you bet.

"Don't wanna trouble you," I said.

"No trouble," the guy said.

"Still ..." I stared off into the distance, thinking of Hannah. I figured if they were scanning me, they'd pick up the increase in blood pressure and the little woody I was working up. "I'm sort of hoping for a ride with this babe I met in Beaver Creek." I grinned, and the guy Gray grinned back, showing me his stumpy little tongue.

"Gotcha," he said, winking and making a little gun with his fingers and shooting it at me. Really. They ought to watch some old Bond movies if they wanted some better clichés.

"Dude," I said.

The wymmin nodded and the guy nodded and they got back in the white Cherokee and drove over the hill and probably to one of their shuttle crafts. A few minutes later, the Coasties who had given me a ride 500 miles down the road picked me up again.

When the Coasties dropped me off just before the border, I saw the black helicopters.

Welcome to Alaska, I thought. Now go home.


* * *

But I wasn't going home. Alaska had to be home. I couldn't go anyplace else. You want to hear the whole crap of my life? I didn't think so, not one big hunk of shit-ass exposition infodump, so pardon me if I go on. I'll give it to you in dribs and drabs, iffen you like, or you can just deconstruct it out of the hidden semiotics of my prose, like that Doo Ruda guy would do.

You talk to any Alaskan who wasn't born here, anyone who had to come from someplace else, and had set down roots — which is about two-thirds of the state — and every damn one of them has this cornpone "coming into the country" yarn about how they came up here with six dimes in their pocket, a Swiss Army knife, and a good idea and a strong back, and it's all hooey, I say. Hooey. Most of them got transferred up here by some oil company, with a big moving allowance, and they did a six-year shift, and got laid off so fast they didn't have the brains to move on to Kazakhstan or some other hot-shit oil prospect, and they got stuck, like starfish laid high after a minus-six tide. Most of 'em came into the country on a 747 into Anchorage, not the hard way, hitching up the Alcan humping a ruck, 500 dollars stashed in their boot, a roll of Krugerrands in their money belt, and a scrip for Paxil in their wallet.

But if you came up the road, you know the story. Rattled as I was, that country still sucked me in. I walked over the border, the customs agents hawk-eyeing me the whole way, their videos trained on me, and I was still overwhelmed. The Yukon's cool, you know, a lot of the same scenery. If you think about it, the only difference is this bare line kept clear in the wilderness, from the Gulf of Alaska to the Beaufort Sea. Only Alaska seemed different, somehow, God's promised land for the freedom lovin' and the freedom fightin', none of that namby-pamby socialized medicine crap you get in Canuckada.

You could smell it, that freedom. I know I sure did.

As I came up that gravel road, and stepped onto pavement, the sound of the big American flag slapping in the breeze, and the beauty of those eight stars of gold on a field of blue of the Alaska flag flying just as proud below it, I said to myself, Jimmo, this is it. This is where you make your stand. You ain't never going back Outside, you ain't never going to be subjugated by the Alien Occupiers.

Those big mountains spread before me, the air so clean and clear. Fresh snow glinted on the high peaks, glaciers stabbing down like the sword of Jesus, praise the Lord, the slopes purple-blue with forests so thick and vast you could cut 'em when Christ came down from the cross and they'd still be there come Armageddon. Scarlet waves of fireweed high in bloom rippled across the taiga, high up there in the open country at the heart of Alaska. God Almighty, it was absolutely beautiful.

So I walked into it, ass to Canada, so caught up in the majesty of it all that I didn't even hear those black helicopters thuck-thucking their way south. Alaska. Ever since I left Florida, the voices had been telling me to go north, just like my Uncle Obie, and north I had gone, until here I was.

That was my coming into the country yarn, and one of those beats a jet plane into Anchorage, hands down, you slimy oilie.


* * *

Now the thing about Alaska from the traveling vagabond hitchhiker's perspective is that there are only a few roads, not many towns, and miles and miles of open country where a guy can get stuck for fucking days. Weeks. In the Alaska tourley season — see, I had already picked up a word: "tourley," what some Alaskans call tourists — the traffic over the border to Tok runs a car a minute. I clocked it. Sometimes, two cars a minute. Not cars, really: RVs, recreational vehicles, little alien shuttlecraft, if you ask me, full of oldsters trying to cram in one last adventure before it's Reagan Time, drooling on your pajamas.

RVs, I long ago learned, rarely pick up hitchhikers.

But I was cool. A few miles over the border there's a gas station. The way you get rides at gas stations, particularly if you wear that shaved-sides, under-the-cap dreadlocks look like me, is you walk up to some guy with a VFW or AMVET cap, and you ask, "Hey, brother, can you give a soldier a ride?" I've got the patter pretty much down pat, how I'm being posted to Elmendorf or Ft. Rich or Greeley — oops, can't say that, they shut it down — and instead of using my moving allowance, I saved my money and hitched. Now vets know that you can get free tickets on MAC flights and stuff, so I'd have to throw in a line about "seeing the country" or "saving my money for my kid's operation." Really, they still swallow that line.

Or maybe they figure it's all bullshit, but they hitched long ago, too, and maybe the wife is bugging the piss out of them, and they figure, OK, this'll pay her back, pick up some spaced-out dude and make her suffer.

God, I love America.

Now the other scam that works is if you see some hip people (which is anyone wearing Birkenstocks), maybe someone without a backpack — this is crucial, because if they have a pack, they're just like you — and you strike up some conversation. If it's a cafe with not a lot of RVs out front, but maybe more than a few VW vans or Subarus, I'll let my dreads down, put in my earrings, and scope out the hip dudes. It doesn't matter if they're young or old, like in their 40s, if they're hip, they'll give you a ride. Single babes get cautious, so like that's when I do the sensitive new age guy — SNAG — thing. Rub a little patchouli behind my ear and they're putty in my hands.

So it was one VFW RV ride to Tok, get stuck there with some Germans for an afternoon, let them scare away the citizens by the road, and by late afternoon I'd scored some lesbians in an orange VW van. They had engine trouble. When you can disable a Gray shuttlecraft with a Swiss Army knife, you can fix a VW engine. With lesbians you don't even have to pull the SNAG trip, because there is not a lesbian in the world — not one I've met yet — who doesn't believe that she can rip the balls off a guy who gives her a hard time. The thing is, they're right. Also, lezzies will pack a rod more often than any other babe.

Now there's a whole lot of country between Tok and Della down there on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, but Della is the story of this 290-page epic, so let's cut to the chase and get to Della, all right? As it turns out, those lesbians were going there to look up some relative, which I think was pretty fucking cosmic, now that I look back.

But in case you want to know what's between Tok and Della, see Appendix A, OK? I mean, what the fuck is this, an adventure about destroying the AOG, or some goddamn tourley manual? Right. Adventure. I thought so.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong. Copyright © 2016 Michael A. Armstrong. Excerpted by permission of Perseid Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Truck Stop Earth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
NNLight More than 1 year ago
The X-Files meets Penthouse Forum. That is the simple definition of a rollicking good time sci fi book. I know for a fact that the first line here has already had one person put it on their 'to buy' list. Not really a book about battling aliens - it is the story of Jimmo as he spends a lot of time talking about his experiences with aliens while he has sex with many different women, often in great detail! Salacious, somewhat foul mouthed but hey, you can't have more than a half a dozen graphic sex scenes without the odd naughty word. I found the book captivating and an easy, fun read. A very, very, very adult kind of Hitchhiker's Guide to an Alien Conspiracy. Never seen one like this before! If there had been a tad more alien butt kicking I would have gone the max but it's a fun, irreverent, raunchy read. I recommend it to anyone 18 and over who likes a bit of smexy sauce with their sci fi. My Rating: 4.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hipness is not dead: So much fun! literary social commentary meets science fiction/paranormal/UFOlogy.
Connie57103 More than 1 year ago
This is about a dude named James Ignatius Malachi Obadiah Osborne (“Jimmo"). He is telling his story to our author, Michael A. Armstrong. When you read his note before the book begins is scream out loud hilarious!!!!!! I wish more of the book had such vulgar, insane wording. I was looking so forward to it. You can believe every word that the dude says (he loves talking about his sexual conquests, him with his uber long dreadlocks, hitchhiking to Della, Alaska). However, he tries to find clinics to get scripts for medicines. I am sure that has something to do with his odd behavior. He thinks that Della, Alaska is the Aliens true Area 51. He says what kind of clothes they wear, haircuts, and even their basic anatomy. When he is telling about himself, it is just not what the beginning is like. I think it is kind of a major let down for me. I am not saying this is not a good book. I just couldn't get into his seemingly endless hitchhiking and really getting nowhere. That is just me. NetGalley gave me an e-ARC of the book to read in exchange for my honest review.