The December Chronicles
Jerry L. Kalman
Copyright 2009 Jerry L. Kalman
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That December Time of the Year
SS December belched three short blasts, an aural signal calling tour members back to ship. The sound ricocheted through the shopping district’s narrow alleys near Curacao’s dock where cruise liners tied up. Arch Blanton browsed through the little curio shop, ignoring that summons, but he could not ignore the little electronic impulses from an implant behind his left ear. As he pondered the rough-hewn piece of onyx carved and cut to resemble a ziggurat, tourists from other tour-groups shuffled in and out of stores along the back streets; only those for December knew bellowing from the docks meant them, because, like Blanton, the tiny micro-implants signaled all as one.
He sighed, put the cheap souvenir back on the shelf and started toward the door, shoulders drooping.
“You’re from December too, aren’t you?” He turned and saw the comment came from an attractive blond woman who matched his stride as they walked out onto the cobble-stoned street.