“Silver Dollar Davis and the Mediocre Meteorite Caper,” by Myna Chang

Dec 20th, 2020 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Silver Dollar Davis sat on the tailgate of his friend’s pick-up truck, aiming binoculars at Old Man Pollard’s farmhouse. The ridge overlooking the farm was a favorite party spot for local teens, close enough to town for an occasional food run, but far enough out in the sticks to avoid nosy parents and local law enforcement.

It also provided the perfect vantage for recon.

“See anything?” Velocity Jones asked. She swallowed the last of her beer.

Silver shook his head. “Dark. Pollard’s probably asleep by now. Where the hell is City Boy?”

“You really think your persnickety cousin will be any help?”

Silver shrugged and handed Velocity the binoculars. She scanned the farmyard. Pollard’s barn doors were closed up tight. Two mangy hound dogs slept in the moonlight near the chicken coop.

“Dogs’re gonna be a problem,” she said.

Silver nodded. “That’s why we need City Boy. He’s the diversion.”

“And I’m the getaway driver,” Velocity guessed. She tossed her empty can at a homemade sign affixed to a nearby fencepost. Trespassers will be shoot, it declared. A second sign—spray painted on a piece of plywood—read: Survivors will be shoot a more. Her can missed both signs, bouncing into the ditch that separated them from Pollard’s land.

Approaching headlights signaled the arrival of the missing teen. He parked his shiny silver sports car next to Velocity’s truck and climbed out.

“About time, City Boy.”

“Why can’t you call me my real name? Kevin. Say it. Kev-in.”

Velocity shook her head. “Nah. Too weird.”

Silver nodded his agreement.

City Boy sighed. “What are we doing out here?”

“Pollard has a space rock in his barn. We’re gonna get it.”

“One of those meteorites that fell last year?”

“Yep,” Silver said. “Some newfangled energy company started buyin’ ’em up for research. Thousands of bucks an ounce. That rock weighs enough to buy me a ski boat.”

“And a new paint job for the Tater,” Velocity said. Her old truck had been a smooth chocolate brown at one time, but dents and patches of rust had transformed it into the likeness of a rotten potato. A new coat of paint couldn’t hurt.

City Boy shook his head. “Inappropriate to steal from an elderly dude.”

“He stole it first,” Silver replied. “Took it from Grandma last week.”

“Then we should give it back to Grandma.”

“She said she’d trade if we teach her to water ski.”

“Your grandma’s a badass,” Velocity said. “Anyway, we’re on a deadline. The researchers are sending a hazmat van to pick it up tomorrow.”

“Hazmat? Sounds dangerous,” City Boy said. “I don’t want to get turned into a space mutant.”

Silver shook his head. “The real danger is Pollard and his shotgun.”

“He’ll shoot at us?”

Velocity pointed to the signs. “Pollard hates trespassers.”

“This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard since my parents moved here,” City Boy said.

“Possibly.” Silver chucked his empty can, hitting the top sign dead center. “Here’s the plan.”


City Boy crouched by a water tank at the far edge of the farmyard, feeding pieces of a cheeseburger to the hounds. They gobbled the meat, then licked his face. “Oh, that’s vile,” he wheezed. The fat dog nuzzled him, thumping its tail, while the skinny one rolled onto its back and demanded a tummy rub.

Silver watched until he was sure the hounds were distracted, then ghosted to the side door of the barn and scooted inside. He paused to listen for the dogs—or worse, the sound of Old Man Pollard. The nighttime silence remained unbroken.

He huffed out a breath and began his search, prowling past bags of chicken feed and unidentified rusty tools. Under the hayloft he found wooden shelves chock-full of trinkets and gadgets: a couple of fancy wristwatches; an old adding machine; a neat stack of cassette tapes, all labeled “Air Supply’s Greatest Hits.”

“What the hell?” Silver murmured.

He scanned the array of oddities, but didn’t see the space rock. Wait, was that Pearl Gleeson’s fancy cupcake stand? The one that disappeared from the church supper last month? And the basketball trophy that vanished from the high school display case? The next shelf held several pairs of ladies’ bowling shoes and a hairy lump that resembled a dead weasel. Fascinated, Silver poked at the lump with his finger, then realized it was one of Sheriff Ortree’s toupees.

“This is messed up.”

He finally spotted the meteorite, glowing softly under a tarp behind a dilapidated tractor motor. His hand barely fit around the rock, and it was heavier than he expected. “Maybe I can buy two ski boats.”

He lugged it to the side door, ready to make a break for it. Then a crack echoed through the still midnight air. Pollard was awake and shooting. Silver peeked through a crack and saw City Boy hightailing it toward the ditch. Pollard reloaded.

“You tresspassin’ aside my doogs?” the farmer yelled.

“That doesn’t even make sense!” City Boy screamed. Buckshot whizzed overhead. He threw himself into the weeds and the hound dogs yelped and raced for cover.

With Pollard focused on the ditch, Silver saw his chance and darted out, only to be trampled by the retreating hounds. The skinny one tracked dusty paw prints up his chest and forehead. He dodged to avoid the fat one, losing his grip on the meteorite. It cast a wavering light across the empty stretch of farmyard that separated him from Pollard’s shotgun.

The old man turned toward the glimmer and took aim.

Silver’s eyes focused on the barrel of the shotgun and he froze. His short life flashed through his mind—he ached at the utter lack of recreational water vessels—and then Pollard’s trigger finger squeezed.

Velocity’s truck groaned and slewed sideways into the farmyard. Buckshot pelted its side.

“He shot the Tater!” she screamed.

Silver lunged for the space rock and threw it into the back of the truck, then vaulted into the bed. He hunkered low in case Pollard got off another shot before Velocity could maneuver out of range.

She popped the clutch and the truck lurched into motion like a drunken dinosaur, tires spraying clods of dirt from the barn all the way across the yard into the chicken coop. A freshly awakened rooster crowed and Pollard spat curses. The truck scudded across the uneven ground, fishtailing toward City Boy’s hiding spot.

“Come on!” Silver yelled.

City Boy squeaked and bolted out of the ditch, trying to keep his head down as he ran, but that was too slow so he sprinted outright, leaping into the back of the truck and slamming into Silver, who was trying to brace himself between the cab and the beer cooler.

The truck rocked back to speed, sending both boys flailing toward the tailgate. Silver struggled to hold onto the meteorite as he ricocheted off the spare tire.

“Stop the truck,” City Boy yelled.

The Tater slowed and he kicked the tailgate open long enough for the hounds to bound in. Yanking the gate back into place, he shouted, “Go!” and the Tater took off again.

The hounds wiggled, vying for a spot on his lap. He wrapped his arms around them both.

Silver cocked an eyebrow. “City Boy, I think you’ve earned a new name. How about Diversion?”

“Or how about Kevin? Kevin’s good.”


Myna Chang writes flash and short stories in a variety of genres. Her work has been featured in Defenestration, Funny Pearls, LOL Comedy, The Daily Drunk, Daily Science Fiction, Mad Scientist Journal, X-Ray Lit, and New World Writing, among others. Read more at MynaChang.com or find her on Twitter at @MynaChang.

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