Author’s age at the time: 36
Mystery fiction, with a hardly noticeable outer space planet as background. If one reads carefully, the resolution can be determined.
The old man said, “This, as I have intimated, is a test of skill, agility, resource. I presume you carry your favorite weapons with you?”
The old man seemed in the best of spirits; his mournful jowls quivered and twitched. “Now, gentlemen, now we come to the end of the elimination. Five men, when we need but four. One man must be dispensed with; can anyone propose a means to this end?”
Author’s age at the time: 37
Comment: A “twilight zone” short story.
“My partner, Andy Seguilo, disappeared vanished into nowhere; I’m alone out here.”
Superintendent Flint looked shocked. “Disappeared? What happened? Did he fall into the ocean?”
Republished in Golden Girl and Other Stories, Spatterlight 2012.