“Night Food” by Jerry E. Airth
From The Devil’s Coattails edited by Jason Brock and William F. Nolan
Cycatrix Press, 2011
As “Night Food” opens, a man named Jon is in the desert with Dessie, a woman he met at a UFO seminar conducted by his neighbor “TNT,” professional exterminator and survivor of an alien abduction. Jon considers himself an abduction survivor, also; he has a memory, from when he was seven years old, of a being with gossamer wings and the name Lorilee. He’s come to the desert in the hopes that she will return to him, find him worthy and take him away.
As dawn nears, Jon begins to lose that hope; fortunately, Dessie seems willing to throw a little comfort his way. But before she can take his mind completely off his woes “TNT” crashes the party – just in time to put his exterminating skills to use.
“Night Food” is a dark little piece of sci-fi with a nice twist at the end. It’s not the kind of story that sticks with you once you’ve read it, and it’s far from the strongest piece in this anthology, but it’s a pleasant enough diversion and worth a quick read.