This is a blog dedicated to my writings, two of which , CLARE, and Magnolia Road, are available for purchase in digital and paperback. Click on links below:
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It was two weeks later when the rebel chief led his men out of camp on one of his foraging excursions, or whatever it was they did when they were gone. The men watched them go and looked at each other knowingly.
“It’s now or never, guys.” Bixby said.
Marcus immediately told the helper Perkasa to lie down on the ground and act like he was dead. The man did as he was instructed. Marcus began yelling at the guards in their language and in a short time they started walking toward the compound.
The men were breathing heavily now from frayed nerves. Evan had practiced the scenario a hundred times in his mind but the old adage, ‘no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy’, kept popping into his head. He was afraid something would go wrong.
Marcus continued telling the guards that the man on the ground was dead. At first, they were suspicious but Perkasa remained motionless and eventually they opened the gate and one guard came in. Superman came over as if he were going to drag the dead man out of the compound but instead grabbed the guard and tossed him against the fence while Evan took the rifle from him and butt stoked the guard in the face. Blood shot out from his nose and mouth.
The other two guards leveled their rifles at the men in the compound and raked them with automatic weapons fire, killing Bixby, Minton, Jones and Perkasa. They then took aim at Evan and Marcus yelled “Watch out!” and jumped in between Evan and the two shooters. Marcus and Superman were hit by multiple rounds from both of the guard’s rifles and the fell in a pile on the ground.
Evan fired at the two guards, and killed them both. He then realized that the other guard was still alive and would be able to tell the Chief that Marcus and the other two Indos had helped the Americans with their escape plan. They would surely seek revenge on the three men’s families. He owed it to them to kill the man. He didn’t relish the thought of killing a man in cold blood so he didn’t think about it, he just did it. He emptied the rifle into the man still lying on the ground.
He then grabbed his backpack and ran out of the camp and into the jungle.
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You want to help me bring them to the stables?”
“Of course,” she said, “just show me what to do.”
“Follow me.” He grabbed a couple of harnesses and started toward the holding pen on the other side of the shearing barn, and she walked along with him. He attached the harnesses to two of the alpacas and led them out through the gate. “Which one do you want?”
“This one is cute,” she said, pointing at one of them.
He handed the reins to her and took hold of the other one.
“Just be firm, not rough but firm,” he told her.
“He doesn’t seem to want to come with me.”
“Relax a bit then give him a little tug.”
“I don’t think he likes girls,” she said.
“They don’t see a lot of women, except curious people who stop on the road to take pictures. Just give him a little tug.”
She jerked the reins slightly and the animal bolted and started pulling her the other way. “Oh, oh, Case, what do I do now? He’s going the other way.”
“Hold him, baby, let him know who’s boss,” Case yelled to her.
“I think he already knows,” she yelled back as the animal turned and started pulling her toward the water tank on the other end of the holding pen. Soon, she was in full stride, unable to release the reins, and still trying to get control of the errant alpaca. She continued yelling as Case ran after them as fast as he could.
“Let go of him,” he yelled. “Let go of him, Emily.”
But it was too late. The animal had pulled her into the tank and she fell flat on her face in the mud at the edge.
When Case got to her she was crying and laughing at the same time. He couldn’t help but laugh as he stood there watching her wallow around in the water and mud. Her clothes were caked with mud and other mysterious matter, the substance of which Case did not want to make her aware.
“I’m sorry,” she said, through her tears.
Publisher’s Release Date: March, 2018
Jamie spoke almost in a whisper to Landon. “I want you to sneak around to the right through that little stand of trees over there.” He pointed in the direction he was referencing.
“Right,” Landon said, “I see it.”
“I’m going to go in behind them over on this other side to back you up. You’ll be able to see me. You will make the initial confrontation. Just step out of the trees with your rifle pointed at them. Order them to move away from their weapons. Make them move back toward me. I’ll gauge their demeanor and watch them to see if they are complying with your order, or if they get any crazy ideas, okay?”
“Got it,” Landon said.
“Be aggressive,” Jamie said. “Don’t give them a chance to think about challenging you.”
“Okay,” Landon said, nodding his head.
It took Landon two minutes to get in place and Jamie less time than that to get behind the four men. He was less than twenty feet from them and they did not suspect that he was there. At this point, the Rangers had tactical advantage.
Jamie caught Landon’s eye and gave him a thumb-up signal. Landon immediately stepped out of the trees and shouted at the men, as he walked quickly toward them with his rifle raised. “Step Back, he shouted. Step back away from the deer and don’t reach for your rifles. Keep your hands out of your pockets and move back, NOW! The men recoiled in shock but they did as they were told, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Landon drew to within twenty feet of them and kept his rifle trained on them. “Don’t anybody move,” he yelled. He could tell they were trying to assess the situation and their chances of getting out of this without going to jail. There was only one Ranger and there were four of them, he guessed they were thinking.
From where Jamie was standing he could see everything the men were doing. They were anxious, that was obvious, and definitely worried about the possibility of their ending up in jail. The man in the rear, closest to Jamie, had a pistol in his rear pocket, a pistol that Landon couldn’t see. The man’s right hand was inching slowly toward the weapon as he apparently weighed in his mind the advantages and disadvantages of drawing the weapon and using it to get them out of their current predicament.
As he reached for the pistol, apparently having made the decision to use it, he heard a calm but very stern voice from behind him.
“If you pull that pistol, I’ll send you to hell,” Jamie said. He walked toward the group with his rifle raised and pointed at them. The man froze in place and put his hands in the air.
“On the ground, all of you. Get on the ground and put your hands behind your backs. You’re under arrest for poaching deer. And if you give me any shit,” he pointed at the man who started to draw the gun from his pocket, “I’ll charge you with attempted murder of a National Park Ranger.”
“You can’t do that.” The man said.
“Maybe not, but think about this. I could have waited until you drew the gun out of your pocket, and shot you dead, but I didn’t, so consider this your lucky day. You’re only going to jail, not into the ground.” The man turned pale as he considered that possibility.
Publisher’s Release Date: July, 2019
Their last mission in Cuba took them out over the Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispaniola. The hop had been uneventful until about three hours in. Will spotted an object on the surface, at about nine o’clock, too far away to make out even with the glasses. He alerted the cockpit and the plane turned in that direction. As they approached it became clear that it was a small ship or boat of yet unknown origin or purpose.
It turned out to be a Cuban Navy gunboat and seemed to be headed no place in particular. Lieutenant Powell told Lowery and Dawson to man the cameras in the aft station of the plane. He began to circle in preparation for a run on the boat. They started the jets. It was procedure to start the jet engines when flying under 400 feet. The plane dropped down to about a hundred feet off the water and about fifty yards from the ship. They made several runs, low and slow, around the ships as the cameras took pictures of the little boat.
“Smile, assholes, you’re on candid camera,” Will said to himself.
The ship’s Gunners manned the deck guns, and were tracking LH-12 as it circled them several times. From the bubble, Will was looking right down the barrels of the Cuban guns. For a brief moment, Will had a terrible thought that, were they to be shot down and he were to die, he would have lied to Jamie about not getting killed in Cuba. That seemed to be his only concern, not the dying but the lying. It would not have been an actual lie, of course, he reasoned, since his dying in Cuba, or the avoidance of same, was not something anyone could have predicted with any reasonable expectation of accuracy.
It appeared that everyone on the ship, including the cooks and below deck personnel had come topside to see the show. Will remembered their briefings before every flight in which they were told that, were the Cubans to actually fire on them, a team of Marine Crusaders (Vought F-8) was always not too far away, perhaps just over the horizon, just waiting for such an event and would respond quickly and blow the ship out of the water. It was little comfort to the Neptune crews except for the fact that the Cubans knew about the marines as well. They were not going to shoot LH-12 down, Will assured himself.
The pilot announced that they would make a couple more passes and then continue their mission. Will watched the guns still following him, as if they were aiming at him and him alone. The ship’s crew could easily see him and it seemed they were trying to spook him. He waved at them and they waved back. He extended his middle finger at them and to his surprise and delight they returned the favor.
A sudden impulse came over him. Not wanting to be outdone, he took off his flight suit, pulled down his dungaree pants and skivvies and shoved his bare bottom up against the Plexiglas canopy that surrounded him, in full view of every Cuban on the ship. They all started laughing and pointing at the airplane. Will regretted that he would never be able to see the pictures of the laughing Cubans he’d mooned.
Publisher’s Release Date: July, 2018
But now, about your second book with a strange name. They’re Trying to Kill Us? What in the world is that all about?”
“It came from my decision to use alternative treatments for my cancer. Half of the cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy are killed by the treatment, not the cancer. For me, that is unacceptable. Big Pharma, American pharmaceutical companies, the biggest dope dealers in American society, don’t want a cure for cancer. It is far more lucrative to treat cancer than it is to cure it.”
The show paused for a commercial break. The producer signaled Helen that they were back on the air. “Okay, we are back and I have decided to hold Elizabeth over for the rest of the hour.” The audience applauded enthusiastically. “I want to follow up on the GMO controversy, Elizabeth,” Helen said.
“This is one of the greatest scams ever perpetrated against the American people, Helen. What Big Ag is doing to us, and trying to make us believe, should be against the law.”
How so? McGee asked her.
“The GMO and chemical plants present their product with their self-serving research. Granted, most industries and businesses all do that, but what the GMO and, its related industries and backers do, crosses the line in my opinion. They accuse any person who challenges their findings as being either anti-science or just plain ignorant.”
“And they have a strong lobby effort in Washington, don’t they?”
“Oh, absolutely They send their top executives back and forth through the government’s revolving doors to ensure that their products hit the market without serious scrutiny. Politicians repeat their claims to keep the donation money coming in.”
“You mentioned, back stage, that they have done away with labeling GMO food. Tell our audience about that, if you will.”
“People in over sixty countries in the world can choose whether they buy GMO foods or not. Those countries require labeling, but the US does not. Powerful lobbies have convinced, and that means they paid, our politicians to enact legislation that denies Americans the right to know if they are buying GMO food. The bottom line is that big corporations simply control too large a share of our food production industry.”
Publisher’s Release Date: November, 2018
Twenty-six-year-old Alton Kemper wiped the sweat from his forehead and cursed at nothing in particular. While many of the young men around Coleman County were joining the army to go to France to fight the Germans, Alton was working on a dairy farm and had not been drafted. His boss, Leonard Bartley had encouraged him not to enlist because he needed Alton on the farm.
He’d promised more pay and bonuses if Alton would stay on, but none of that had been forthcoming. Alton grew more and more disgruntled as the days turned into weeks and then into months. He felt he would never get out of this place.
Bartley hired several migrant workers who had wandered onto the farm looking for any work available. He used them for two weeks and then when payday rolled around, the County Constable showed up and arrested them before they got their money. The men were trying to talk to the Constable in what broken English they knew. Alton could only assume they were trying to explain that they had not been paid yet, but their efforts fell on deaf ears.
He confronted Bartley about it. “You cheated those men, Leonard, you know you did. You had that set up with the lawman to come and pick those men up so you wouldn’t have to pay them. That’s a sorry way to do a man.”
“It’s none of your concern, Kemper,” Bartley said, “you need to mind your own business and let me handle mine.”
Leonard Bartley was twenty years older than Alton, and a few inches shorter, so Alton had no intention of doing him any harm. But the man was arrogant and seemingly without conscience. He sneered at Alton through a mouthful of gapped and broken teeth. His graying beard and deep set dark eyes were menacing, but not as menacing as the pistol he always carried in his right front coveralls pocket. “You get your ass back to work or I’ll fire you.”
“You won’t have to fire me,” Alton said, “I quit. I’ve had enough of your lies and sorry ways. Just get my pay and I’ll be off your property.”
“You don’t have much coming,” Bartley said, you’ve got room and board coming out of it.”
“I know exactly how much I got coming, just get it and I’ll be on my way.”
“I don’t think I owe you anything, Mister, you just go on and get out of here before I get mad.” The man patted his right pocket where he kept his gun and again sneered at Alton.
Alton rushed Bartley, suddenly, before the man could react, and he knocked him to the ground. He then took the pistol out of Leonard’s pocket, unloaded it and threw it into the water tank under the windmill. He was on top of the man beating him on his face and head when the man’s wife came out of the house screaming and crying. “Don’t kill him, please don’t kill him.”
“I’m not going to kill him,” Alton told her. “I just want my pay and I’m leaving.”
“How much does he owe you?”
“He owes me four dollars minus a dollar for room and board, so three dollars.”
She went into the house and came out with a five-dollar bill. “Here Alton, take this, I’m sorry for the trouble my husband caused you.”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” he said. “You’re too good for that man.”
Publisher’s Release Date: March, 2019
Addy Ross became a school teacher, at the local Catholic High School and loved Frank Ross forever. And Frank Ross loved her back. They built their house on the River, and lived there the rest of their lives. True love is not bound by time, it is a prisoner only of the heart.
Louise Cormier turned out to be an astute and responsible business woman. She ran Justin’s business as well as he had, and the company morale seemed to thrive under her tutelage. Morris Hebert was promoted to General Manager and profits continued to set records, despite the fact that they no longer sold dope across the neighboring parishes to Point Coupee.
The world was in turmoil, with wars and rumors of wars, all over the globe. Human beings were in contentious conflict, everywhere, evidenced by the evening news and the morning papers. But on this night, as the sun gently set on the beautiful lake, known as False River, then moved out of the way, allowing a haloed moon to contend with the darkness, all was well, In New Roads, Louisiana.
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That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.