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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Calm Man, by Frank Belknap Long This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Calm Man Author: Frank Belknap Long Release Date: April 21, 2009 [EBook #28583] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CALM MAN *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net _Dip the pen of a Frank Belknap Long into a bottle of ink and the result is always bound to be a scintillating piece of brilliant imaginative science fiction. And he's done it again in the tortured story of Sally._ the calm man _by ... Frank Belknap Long_ Sally watched the molten gold glow in the sky. Then knew she would not see her son and her husband ever again on Earth. Sally Anders had never really thought of herself as a wallflower. A girl could be shy, couldn't she, and still be pretty enough to attract and hold men? Only this morning she had drawn an admiring look from the milkman and a wolf cry from Jimmy on the corner, with his newspapers and shiny new bike. What if the milkman was crowding sixty and wore thick-lensed glasses? What if Jimmy was only seventeen? A male was a male, and a glance was a glance. Why, if I just primp a little more, Sally told herself, I'll be irresistible. Hair ribbons and perfume, a mirror tilted at just the right angle, an invitation to a party on the dresser--what more did a girl need? "Dinner, Sally!" came echoing up from the kitchen. "Do you want to be late, child?" Sally had no intention of being late. Tonight she'd see him across a crowded room and her heart would skip a beat. He'd look at her and smile, and come straight toward her with his shoulders squared. There was always one night in a girl's life that stands above all other nights. One night when the moon shone bright and clear and the clock on the wall went _tick tock, tick tock, tick tock_. One night when each tick said, "You're beautiful! Really beautiful!" Giving her hair a final pat Sally smiled at herself in the mirror. In the bathroom the water was still running and the perfumed bath soap still spread
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