Moonlight is Bulletproof

A new short story from Alan DeNiro.

Jackson is a detective.

Jackson lives deep underground.

Jackson lets Dispatch project him into trouble spots around the world, where proxies perform the physical actions for the investigations.

Jackson’s partner Holland rarely gets along with the proxies.

Jackson’s latest case threatens to unravel him.

Jackson worries that his detection skills have not left him in good stead.

“Moonlight Is Bulletproof”

On the first day of spring, Dispatch awakens me with a case.

“This is a good one,” she says.

“Okay,” I say.

I head over to my desk and log in. Holland, my partner, is already on the scene. An apartment complex looks ready to fall over, the fifth story on fire.

“Where are we—Morocco?” I say.

“Dijon,” Dispatch says. “Now, listen. The building’s been secured. Two kids were shooting each other over a Game Boy they must have stolen. But the Game Boy was coated in this poison—or at least the buttons were—and when the first kid—”

“What are their names?” I ask. Holland is still groggy. He’s coughing and his proxy is polishing a gun to cover him.

“Don’t have those yet,” Dispatch says. “Anyway, the first kid shoots the second kid in the head, and starts playing the Game Boy, but then he dies right away.”

“Wow,” I say. “Okay, bring the family over here.”

“Has the building been eradicated?” Holland says to me.

“Do you mean evacuated?”

“Yeah. That’s it.”

. . .


Alan DeNiro was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and lives outside St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of the short story collection Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead and the novel Total Oblivion, More or Less. His short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, One Story, Interfictions 2, and elsewhere. His website and blog is, and he can also be found on Twitter at

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