Posts Tagged ‘The Numbers After Two’

The Stumbling Technique


June 29th, 2022 Posted 8:15 am

Sometimes we stumble into timeliness. Here, from The Numbers After Two, one of the stories in Short Tails, the new Chet and Bernie collection:

“What am I looking at?” Bernie said.
“Familiar with crypto currency, Bernie?”
“Only the term.”
“Own any?”
“Me neither,” Crommie said. “Wouldn’t go near it. For starters there’s the name – crypto! I mean, come on! It means hidden. You want me to put my money in something hidden?”




June 19th, 2022 Posted 8:27 am

On Sundays, we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since Short Tails, the new Chet and Bernie short story collection, will be published soon (preorderable now), how about the start of one of the stories in it, The Numbers After Two?

I smelled bubble gum. You’re probably familiar with the smell, an unusual combination of rubber, plastic, and sugar, with a smidge of something oily in the mix. Some humans like to chew bubble gum. They must have their reasons. And some of those chewers like to blow bubbles with it. That part looks like fun. What isn’t fun is getting gum stuck on your paws. That leads to a whole big production with scissors and olive oil, or mayonnaise if there’s no olive oil around. Mayonnaise tastes much better than olive oil, if you want my opinion, but we’ve gone way off course already so forget all this. The point is I wasn’t smelling bubble gum in the Valley, the huge city we live in, me and Bernie, where bubble gum smell is always in the air, together with all usual Valley smells, an amazing sort of invisible stew of which I’ll just mention two of the strongest ingredients – two being the number I have trouble getting past although I have done it, the next number not quite coming to me now. The two ingredients are grease and human pee.

But back to the point. We were deep in the desert, far from the Valley, where the smells were very different and never included bubble gum.

“Chet?” Bernie said. “Something up?”


Snippet From The Numbers After Two


June 15th, 2022 Posted 7:32 am

I started making my way down the ridge.

“Chet? We haven’t finished breakfast.”

I kept going.

“You know we’re on vacation?”

Vacation was what again?

“Hang on. It’s steep.”

It was? Somehow I’d missed that, and now it was too late, what with me already at the bottom, the making my way down part having turned into a sort of bounding. I gazed back up, and there was Bernie surprisingly high above, switchbacking carefully down even though there were no actual switchbacks. After what seemed like a long time he reached the bottom, perhaps huffing and puffing the slightest bit, although no one’s in better shape than Bernie. Besides being the best hiker you’ll ever see he can also do many amazing things, such as shooting spinning dimes out of the air. No chance of that today since we weren’t carrying, on account of … of being on vacation. And just like that I understood vacation! Vacation was when the .38 Special stayed locked up in the safe back home! I was already having a good day and it had hardly begun.

(coming 6/28, now available for preorder)


The Numbers After Two: Snippet


June 25th, 2021 Posted 7:55 am

“No one’s allowed to make more than five hundred grand – and that’s in a whole week, by the way, not just a day. It’s about social equity, Bernie, which I’m all for, one hundred percent. And incidentally twenty percent of profits are deducted at source for charity.”

“But – but how does it work?” Bernie said.

“You good with numbers? What’s your math background?”

“Mediocre and long ago.”

I polished off the last bacon bit. Numbers was the subject? Not my strongest strength. I seldom go past two, as I may have mentioned already.

Crommie nodded. “Basically what we do – me and a few guys in various parts of the world who came up with the concept – is run all the blockchain algorithms backwards. Do you realize that when you do that you’re actually going back in time?”

Bernie shook his head.

“Neither did we, at first. And then our programs started spitting out all this money! Where was it coming from? After a while it hit us – the money was coming from the future! Like maple syrup was flowing out of the bottle and back into the tree. And we were in the tree, Bernie!”

“Is … is it legal?” Bernie said.

“Legal to run algorithms backward?” said Crommie. “The question answers itself.”

(The Numbers After Two is a short story written specially for pre-orderers of Tender Is The Bite, the upcoming Chet and Bernie novel.)


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