• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Catch

The first few shots from Grover’s Multiblaster caused more recoil than he expected. Balls of powder blue energy caromed about the room, damaging lamps and walls. One errant shot hit one of the Herpezoids square in the chest and he dissolved into a puddle of goo on the floor. Marsh scrambled for cover as two men plowed through the front door. Grover fired on them, his shots missing wildly but still providing cover for him to sprint past them and out the front door.

“Catch him!” yelled Marsh at anyone who would listen.

Grover raced through the rain to his car, fired two more shots toward the house, and entered his vehicle. He fired up the engine and sped away. The men stumbled down the sidewalk to their cars, but were stopped by Marsh.

“Let him go for now,” she called out from the porch. “Call for cleanup here. We’ll deal with him later.”


The next morning Reggie Marsh sat in a conference room across from the HR representative who joined her in recruiting Grover. He typed notes into a laptop while a second man stared out the Plexiglas wall at passersby.

“So,” this other man said, “you let him drive off. You didn’t pursue him?”

“I can’t imagine he’s going to do anything.” Reggie remained cool and aloof, careful not to show the frustration and anger inside her.

“We’ll have one of our folks reach out to him,” the HR rep said. “The usual debrief.”

“So, that’s it, then.” The other man walked to Marsh and looked down at her. “We scrap Cincinnati Chili.”


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