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Authors: Derek Swannson

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Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg

BOOK: Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg
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and the Mysteries of Kingsburg



CRASH GORDON and the Mysteries of Kingsburg
is a work of fiction. When the names of “real” places, corporations, institutions, secret societies, and public figures are projected onto
Crash Gordon’s
fictional landscape
they are used fictitiously. All other names, characters, locales, and events are products of the author’s imagination or, at best, scribbled missives from the collective unconscious. Any apparent similarity to actual persons, living or dead or otherwise occupied (including any and all transhuman, interdimensional entities), is not intended by the author and is purely a matter of the intricate workings of chance and synchronicity, or–as some might call it–fate. (Besides…what harm can come from a little fiction, when the facts are so much more appalling?)

Copyright © 2007, 2014 by Three Graces Press, LLC

All rights reserved.

Three Graces Press authors believe in copyright protections, but reasonably brief quotations from this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission. For information contact: [email protected].

Every effort has been made to locate and contact the copyright owners of material reproduced in this book. Omissions brought to our attention will be corrected in subsequent editions. We gratefully acknowledge the following for granting their permission to use their material in this book:

Partial lyrics from “Permafrost”–words and music by Magazine/Howard Devoto, copyright © 1979. Reprinted by generous permission of Howard Devoto and Mute Song Limited.

“They”, copyright © 1945 and renewed 1973 by W.H. Auden, from
Collected Poems
by W.H. Auden. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Excerpts from
McElligot’s Pool
by Dr. Seuss, copyright
& copyright © by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1947, renewed 1974. Used by permission of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Excerpts from IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, FRAGMENTS OF AN UNKNOWN TEACHING by P.D. Ouspensky, copyright 1949 and renewed 1977 by Tatiana Nagro, reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Inc.

Cover Photo Illustration, Interior Photographs, and Book Design
by Darren Westlund


ISBN-13: 978-0-9799105-9-3

ISBN-10: 0-9799105-9-5

For my three graces

Maybe this world is some other planet's hell

Aldous Huxley


Tiny Terrors
in a Tiny Town


ATTHEW 10:36


icture six-year-old Gordon Swannson skulking along a shag carpeted hallway in the predawn stillness of a suburban ranch house. Gordon has dark, raccoonish eyes and a wheeze that would frighten almost any mother–except his own. He takes furtive gulps of air like an oxygen-coveting little thief. He’s asthmatic. He’s a boy genius. He taught himself to read before the age of three and now he’s already devouring college textbooks, but only in the fields that interest him: Dinosaurs, Geology, Abnormal Psych…. He could spot a Parasaurolophus from a mile away. He knows why tectonic plates shift and how igneous rock formations are made. He’s the youngest boy ever to diagnose himself with Asperger’s syndrome, just by reading about it.

But maybe boy genius isn’t quite the right term for him. Maybe he’s more of an idiot savant. Consider the evidence. The seat of his fuzzy blue inflammable pajama suit is sporting charred brown tiger stripes–the unfortunate aftermath of a bedwetting incident that he tried to conceal by draping his sodden PJs on top of the electric wall heater in the bathroom. He watched in fascination as the heater’s coils turned an urgent orange.
These’ll be dry in no time,
he thought. Then the stench of roasting urine gave him away.

There’s also this intellectually damning fact: he still believes in the Easter Bunny. That’s why he’s sneaking around in his charbroiled pajama pants. It’s Easter Sunday, 1973, and Gordon wants compensation. He knows he’s a wheezy little bastard, every parent’s nightmare. He’s already been in the hospital for asthma at least a dozen times–and he’s about to go in again. His life so far has been miserable, but he’s sworn to God that he’ll try to make the best of it. He thinks the least God can do in return is to let him get a look at the Easter Bunny.

That’s why he’s up so early. Gordon is convinced the Easter Bunny delivers his gifts under the cloak of darkness–like Santa Claus… or Dracula. At least that’s his best guess.

Gordon tiptoes out of the hallway into the den, where moonlight ghosts through floor-to-ceiling curtains hiding sliding glass doors that open onto the backyard patio. He can just barely make out a Kelly green dime-store Easter basket sitting on the fireplace bench next to the andirons. It’s an electric fireplace with ceramic logs and the andirons are there just for show. Gordon turns on the fireplace so he can see better, experiencing a little
déjà vu
in the light of the fake orange flames. He rummages through the basket’s squiggly cellophane grass, emerging with a large chocolate Easter Bunny, several hard-boiled eggs that he dyed with his grandmother the previous evening, and a miraculous, miniature stuffed Smokey the Bear.

Although Gordon’s world is full of advertisements featuring anthropomorphic animals–think Charlie the Tuna, Tony the Tiger, and Mickey Mouse, for starters–Smokey the Bear is far and away his favorite. Why? Because Smokey is the only one who gives him a deep and somehow profoundly satisfying sense of existential responsibility. "Only
can prevent forest fires." Not a single forest fire has ravaged the town of Kingsburg, California, from the day he was born there, and Gordon is not averse to taking full credit for that fact.

BOOK: Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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