THE BANSHEE by The Neon Gang

Comments: Just a bit of silliness. Based on a real device.

Ezra Standish paused in the hallway, glancing surreptitiously toward the break room. Chris was in his office, talking with Vin. Buck was in Records, trying to get the new girl they'd hired to accept a date. JD was picking up new software from whomever or wherever he had to go to do that, and Josiah and Nathan were out... All clear.

On cat feet he eased into the room that was half-kitchen, half-living room.

Stopping first to procure a large spoon, he then headed directly for the refrigerator with a victorious smile.

He halted three steps shy of his target. He really shouldn't... It wasn't his... But it would taste soooo good.

Still, he'd promised...

But if he only had one bite... One bite. Who would miss that?

The treat issued a siren call from the freezer. He took a step closer.

One bite, just one. One bite wouldn't ruin his appetite, and it wouldn't be missed.

He took another step closer, his hand reaching out to grip the freezer door.

So rich, so creamy... homemade mocha almond fudge...

He pulled the door open and snatched the carton out before he could change his mind. A hideous wailing filled the break room.

He pried the lid up and dug the spoon in, capturing a large chunk of the rich ice cream even as he spun around, the container tucked under his arm as he frantically sought for the source of the obnoxious sound.

Were they under attack? Were there hostiles in the building?

JD burst into the room, his gaze sweeping over the appliances and Ezra. "What's going on?"

Vin sauntered in behind him, ignoring the sound and crossing to the refrigerator. He pushed the freezer door closed and silence enveloped them. He held out his hand, demanding the return of his precious ice cream.

"What the hell was that noise?" Chris demanded, stalking in, Buck following on his heels.

"Kitchen banshee," the sharpshooter explained. "I saw Ezra here watchin' me when I brung m' ice cream in yesterday, so I picked one up. Y' attach it t' cookie jars, or the freezer if y' got an ice cream addiction-"

"I do not have an ice cream addiction."

"And it screams t'-"

Ezra deposited the rapidly softening lump of mocha almond fudge in the center of Tanner's wavy curls, slapped the sticky spoon into the sniper's palm, and stormed out of the room in a self-righteous huff.

Buck smiled broadly as a drop of the ice cream dripped off the sharpshooter's head, landing on his shoulder. "Next time, Junior, keep it at home."

"Yeah," Tanner said, looking down at the spoon and calculating his chances of removing the melting lump as slim to nil. A drop ran down the bridge of Vin's nose and he caught it on the tip of his tongue. "Mmm, was worth it, though," he said and grinned.

The others just shook their heads.


Author's Note: This story first appeared in the Mag 7 zine, Let's Ride #7, published by Neon RainBow Press, Cinda Gillilan and Jody Norman, editors. When we all decided to post the stories that have appeared in the issues of Let's Ride that are more than two years old, we opted to use a generic pen name because, while Kasey Tucker is the primary author of this story, she had so much help from the other folks writing for the press that it just made sense to consider the story to be written by the Neon RainBow Press Collective! Resistance was futile. So, thanks to the whole Neon Gang - Sierra Chaves, Dana Ely, Michelle Fortado, Patricia Grace, Erica Michaels, Nina Talbot, Kasey Tucker, and Lorin and Mary Fallon Zane. Story lasted edited 7-24-2006. Art by Shiloh (