Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Dark Days Approach, Oh Yeah

Hello again, friends, family members, fans of fiction, the FBI agent assigned to my case, and the deadbeat former-tenant who now stalks me online under various guises. Greetings to you all.

The weather is cooling. The days draw shorter and, coupled with the time change, that means the gray of evening arrives ever sooner. Bleak weather, dark skies. Ah, yes, the ideal climate for some grim literature.

Since last I blogged, two of my stories were published in some very Southern journals. Kathy Rhodes dug “A Night Out in Flat Rock” (in which I experiment with multiple points of view) for MUSCADINE LINES, and David Hornbuckle selected “A Father's Love” (featuring a cameo by Berea's own Mitch Barrett) for the Birmingham-based STEEL TOE REVIEW. Major thanks to the both of them.

Following are teasers and links to each. I also anxiously await the next issue of the noir print journal SWILL. “Junior on the Lam”, my tale of an aging revolutionary on the run, is to appear in that issue. Alas, I have no estimated date of publication.

That's it for this time. Until we meet again, stay warm, be well, and don't forget to love each other. We all need it. Yes, even you.

A Night Out in Flat Rock

"Gravels crunch underneath the pickup truck as it crawls through the parking lot. A clipboard with a sheath of rumpled papers rests on the dash, visible through the glass on the driver's side. RAM TOUGH is lettered across the windshield."

"Marcus shifts into park and gets out, leaving the engine running. A stream of white exhaust, like wintertime breath, eases from the pickup's silent tailpipe as he examines the familiar trappings of his wife's Accord. The feathered dream-catcher dangling from her rear-view. The unopened box of cigarettes reclined across the passenger seat."

"Music and voices from inside the bar sound distant, faint, like television noise from a neighbor's bedroom window. Marcus holds his breath and listens. A woman's laughter trills above the others, and he wonders if it's her. He climbs back in his truck and continues down the line of automobiles..."

To read the entire story, click here.

"A Father's Love"

"In the privacy of his mind, Danny Lee called her The Beast. He felt bad about that. She was after all a human being, a child of God, a fellow pilgrim on life’s path. But she was also grotesque,misshapen, hideous, and he didn’t know her legal name. So the nickname stuck.'

"Her father owned the local laundromat. Not the nice establishment over by the health foodstore, but the rundown, not-really-filthy but never-quite-clean one located between the meatpacking plant and the pawnshop. Lee would have preferred to frequent the former, but they didn’t open until nine and were closed on Wednesday. That didn’t jibe with his cab driving schedule. So he went to the place that was always open."

"Seven days a week, The Beast’s father unlocked doors before dawn, and he didn’t bar them again until ten PM. Unlike the other laundromat, an attendant was rarely on duty. But when money was removed from the machines, the father of The Beast toted a gun..."

To read the entire story, click here.

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