Thursday, December 5, 2019

Voxlightner Scandal’s Out, So Let’s Take a Look at It


dontravis.com blog post #365
  
Artist: Maria Fanning
DSP released The Voxlightner Scandal, the sixth book in my BJ Vinson mystery series, last month. I’d like to present an excerpt of that novel for you this week. Part of the Blurb for the book serves to set up the narrative. Take a look:

No good deed goes unpunished, as investigator B. J. Vinson is about to discover.

Writer John Pierce Belhaven was murdered before he could reveal the name of another killer--one connected to the biggest scandal to rock Albuquerque in years. Two of the city's most prominent citizens--Barron Voxlightner and Dr. Walther Stabler--vanished in 2004, along with fifty million dollars looted from Voxlightner Precious Metals Recovery Corp. It only makes sense that poking into that disappearance cost Belhaven his life.

But BJ isn't so sure.


The following excerpt comes in Chapter 1. In the first part, BJ is calling his old partner from his days on the Albuquerque Police Department, Lt. Gene Enriquez, to solicit some information on the author’s death, but also to clear his investigation with the police. He always does this before snooping into an active police investigation. The second part is a conversation between BJ and the love of his life, Paul Barton, about the case.

*****
THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL

Ignoring the mayor’s call, I scheduled my testimony on the embezzlement case with the ADA before dialing Gene’s private number. Our phone conversations, although increasingly rare, followed a pattern. Brusque greetings and catching up on domestic affairs before getting down to business. Given Gene’s family of five children, most afflicted with the dreaded teenage condition, he talked a lot more than I did. Today was no different. After he filled me in on Glenda and the brood, I brought him up to date with news of Paul and me. Once everything was covered, I asked if there was a police investigation of the Belhaven death.
“You mean the writer toasted in his garage? Why? Should there be?”
“You know the answer to that better than I do, but Paul’s convinced something’s funny. Claims Belhaven wouldn’t have attempted to repair a lawn mower or anything else. He wasn’t a hands-on type of guy.”
“We’ve had that feedback too.”
“So you’re looking into the death?”
“Like usual, we’re satisfying ourselves everything’s on the up and up… unless the medical investigator declares it an accidental death.”
“Paul wants to write a story on it.”
“Have him touch base with a detective named Roy Guerra. He’s handling it for us.”
*****
Midafternoon I heard Paul’s familiar voice in the outer office. Hazel’s delighted rejoinder hinted I might be relieved of my current task, at least momentarily. My office manager-cum-surrogate mother—although totally perplexed by my gay life—nonetheless loved Paul as much as she did me. After a hug and a once-over from Hazel, he came through the doorway to invade my private space, and a welcome incursion it was. I never tired of looking on his handsome features.
“Hi. Am I interrupting anything?”
“Nothing uninterruptable,” I quipped. “Come on in.”
“I talked to Detective Guerra. We’re meeting here later, if that’s okay. Thanks for getting the contact for me.”
“Pleased to do it. What did he say?”
“He has reservations about Belhaven’s death, and I added to them.”
“Any theories?”
“Couple. I found out Pierce was interviewed on TV the afternoon he died. The interviewer quizzed him about his new book, and his answers might have cost him his life.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked as we moved to the conference table in the corner of my office.
“He writes—or wrote—mysteries. Fiction. But according to the interview, his next book was going to be based on an actual event. Do you remember the Voxlightner blowup a few years ago?”
I nodded. “A big scandal. I was still at APD, so it was probably late 2003 or early ’04.”
Paul flipped out a notebook and clicked his ballpoint pen. “What do you remember about it?”
“Gene and I weren’t assigned the case, so I just remember bits and pieces. One of the local lights, a guy named Barron Voxlightner, and a fellow named Stabler found acres and acres of mine tailings in Arizona that tested positive for commercial grade silver and gold. All they needed to do was extract the precious metals and sell them.”
“Sounds like a sure thing,” he said.
“That’s what everybody thought. The whole town wanted a piece of the action. The money poured in. People went crazy.”
Paul checked his notes. “I take it they formed a company called Voxlightner Precious Metals Recovery to do the project.”
“Right. They took VPMR—as it became known—public and raised fifty million.”
“That’s a lot of dough.”
“Absolutely. And yet the bottom fell out within six months. It turned out the tests were rigged. The tailings were worthless. But before the hammer fell, Voxlightner and Stabler vanished, and the lawyer exposing the fraud was murdered. The thing was never solved.”
Paul’s face assumed a thoughtful look. “When I was a kid, I thought anyone called Voxlightner was royalty.”


*****
I hope the above is enough to hook you on the book sufficiently to follow the next chapter in the career of Burleigh J. Vinson… do you blame him for going by BJ?

The following are buy links for the book”


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Day Lesson on the Interrobang


dontravis.com blog post #364
  
Courtesy of pl.m.wikipedia.com
First of all, a happy Thanksgiving Day wish to all my readers, foreign and domestic. I say that because last month, I received 2000 hits from Israel, 800 from Russia, and almost as many from Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

Today’s post was inspired by two things:

First, it’s a holiday, and not many people will indulge in the practice of checking some guy’s blog.

Second, a recent reading in our Wordwrights Writing Class.

Last Monday, one of our members read an original poem to the class, in which he used both a question mark and a comma to end a sentence. This prompted a discussion of why this unusual pairing. Unusual but not unheard of. Upon returning home after class, I dragged out a paper I’d given the class two years ago. I found it interesting and hope you will as well. The tip is reproduced below.



*****
WORDWRIGHTS WEEKLY TIP #67       For Monday 7/10/17

A deviation from the norm this week. Last Monday, Stan Rhine introduced us to a form of punctuation called the interrobang (also known as the interabang), which was unfamiliar to most of us. Let’s take a look at it.


The interrobang was the concept of Martin K. Speckter, the head of an advertising agency, who believed that ads would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark. He introduced his idea in the magazine TYPEtalks in 1962.

As you can see from the glyph above, the interrobang is a fusion of the exclamation point and the question mark used in informal English to ask a question in an excited manner, express excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or to ask a rhetorical question.

Because many fonts do not contain such a symbol, some writers use them in succession (?! or !?). However, I produced an interrobang glyph from Microsoft Word’s Character Map by using ALT+8253 (‽).

The Chicago Manual of Style is silent on interrobangs, as is Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference, The Elements of Style, The Elements of Editing, and English Grammar for Dummies.

As stated, many people are unfamiliar with the interrobang, and it enjoys limited support today. The symbol is not a standard punctuation mark and should not be used in formal writing. If you use it at all, do so rarely and selectively.

As a matter of interest, the two grammatical marks in question are used as punctuation in chess annotations. The “!?” denotes an interesting move, while “?!” denotes a dubious move. Personally, I will limit use of the interrobang to my copious writings on the great game of chess.

*****
While I recognize not all readers are as fascinated by writing and grammar and the like as I am, I hope you found the above interesting.

The Voxlightner Scandal was released Tuesday, November 19. The following are buy links for the book”


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, November 21, 2019

River Otter – A Study of Sensory Perception in Creative Writing


dontravis.com blog post #363

  
Courtesy of FreeDomainPictures.com
Not much comment these last two weeks on Dooper and Dangle, but there sure were a lot of hits. Surprisingly, viewers from Hong Kong were the most numerous, followed by Russia, the US, and the Ukraine. Curious, huh?

As some readers know, I co-teach a free creative writing class called Wordwrights every Monday at Albuquerque’s North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center. Our members are published writers, beginning writers, people considering taking up writing, and individuals who just like to be around writers. We are novelists, short story writers, memoirists, poets, essayists, and whatever else you can dream up. The class is open, so members attend when they wish and skip when something gets in the way. We usually have between 17 and 25 in attendance at any given meeting.

The class spends the first thirty minutes listening to my co-mentor discuss writing techniques, writing rules, and writers who have caught his attention, after which various members of the group read a 1,000-word passage from their own work. The class then comments on the reading, suggesting where it works and where it misses the boat. We have some excellent writers, and it is heartening to note improvements when they show up.

One thing I have noticed is that many writers neglect to include the five principal sensory perceptions in the writing. Otherwise good passages can be immeasurably improved by letting your characters hear, touch, see, smell, and taste. By doing so, you allow your reader to share these sensations.

By way of example, I would like to include a revised passage from the book River Otter, an erotic historical novel written by my fellow Okie, Mark Wildyr. The time period is the 1860’s, setting is Dakota Territory, and the individual concerned is a Yanube Indian (mythical Siouan tribe) known as River Otter by his tribesmen and Joseph Strobaw by the whites. In the following short scene, Otter, who has been educated by the legendary Red Wintay (Billy Strobaw to the European community), is leaving his home at Teacher’s Mead to meet Major James Morrow, a friend of Billy’s, to help establish a farm on Turtle Crick. Otter arrives before James and prepares for the night. Earlier that day, Otter defended himself and his kin by killing a white marauder.

*****
Excerpt from
RIVER OTTER
By Mark Wildyr

I was tired. It had been a long, demanding day. The shooting of a human being took its toll on any caring, feeling man, and I considered myself to be of a sympathetic nature. I picketed the two horses on opposite sides of camp to double the chances of detecting unwelcome visitors. Patch was trained to give warning of predators. The mare was a shadow jumper. The sound of a small creature moving in the nearby brush drew the attention of both horses. I eased tensed muscles as they resumed grazing.
After settling on the coarse blankets of my bedroll, I breathed a silent song to the Great Mystery. The spread of the heavens—shot through with glittering stars, both noble and mean—made a vast dome of the black sky. I studied the Seven Persons, which Billy had called the Big Dipper. A faint breeze cooled my face and carried the comforting rustle of swaying boughs gently to my ear. The heavy fragrance of pines on the hummock—so different from the scant perfume of cottonwoods along the crick bank—laid the sharp taste of resin on my tongue, or so it seemed. I stilled my doubts, calmed my breathing, and closed my eyes to slip away into sleep.

*****
While this is a passive passage, not an action scene, we hear, see, taste, touch, and smell the things that Otter does. Including the senses in the passage brings us right along with Otter. This is a lesson writers—even seasoned authors—have to learn over and over again.

The Voxlightner Scandal was released lat Tuesday (the 19th). The following are buy links for the book”


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dooper and Dangle – Part 2 of 2 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #362
  
Courtesy of documentjournal.com
Here’s the rest of my interpretation of Mark’s story.

*****


Adapted from a Story by Mark Wildyr


A couple of mornings after that, a noise outside my door woke me up. I always sleep buff, so I was as naked as the day I squeezed out between my mama’s thighs when I jerked the door open. Old Dooper stood there with a spray can in his right hand, his mouth open in surprise. His eyes had white showing all round them deep brown pupils.
I glanced over my shoulder and seen what he was up to. He’d been bombing. This big old white butt now decorated my front door for all the world to see. He hadn’t fancied it up or nothing. Anybody, but anybody who seen it couldn’t help but know it was mine. Hell, I done him the courtesy of camouflaging his down at the railyard with graffiti. Course, maybe he would’ve too, if I hadn’t caught him in the middle of it.
I come to my senses in time to dodge the paint he sprayed at me. Knocking the can from his hand, I grabbed his ratty shirt and jerked him inside. When the door slammed shut, I whirled to ask him what in the hell he thought he was doing, but he lit into me, arms, knees, and elbows churning!
I act tough, but I ain’t no street fighter. Can’t keep from closing my eyes when I see something coming! Old Dooper was a battler, and he give me everthang he had, and then some. I was in trouble inside of thirty seconds. He was mad and wasn’t gonna give me no break. One set of bony knuckles caught me on the chin and another whopped me up the side of the head. He musta growed another arm, ‘cause a third set slugged me right in the belly. I went down for real.
I couldn’t a been out more’n a minute or so, but when I got sos I knew where I was again, my naked ass was tied to the bed, belly down. I shook the cobwebs outa my eyes and fixed on my right arm. He’d lashed me to the bed frame with my clothesline. My clothesline! He cut up my freaking clothesline! Then I figured out my legs was lashed to opposite sides of the bed. Didn’t take a Wall Street lawyer to figure out what was going down.
“Now wait a minute, bro! You can’t do this! I never done nothing to you!”
“You put my butt right up on the wall down where everybody can see it. You call that nothing? ‘Sides, I ain’t your bro. I your worst nightmare.”
“Dooper, you can’t—”
The shit he couldn’t! He crawled between my legs laid into me ‘til he let out a whoop.
After my breathing got easier, I started to get mad. Sure as shit he’d brag up what he done. Anybody who could read graffiti’d know about it. My blood started rising.
“Get off me, you bastard,” I said in a low voice. “You better get outa here. I get loose, I’m gonna kill you!”
“Don’t see how,” he said. “Took you fair and square.”
“Took me by surprise. Fair fight, I’d take you clean.”
“You ain’t no fighter, Dangle. I din’t even work up a sweat.”
I twisted my whole body the best I could hog-tied like I was and dumped him on the floor. Mistake. He got up and started slapping at me.
“You son-a-bitch!” I yelped. “I’ll tell everbody—”
I don’t know what else I was gonna do, ‘cause he whopped me a good one right on the temple and night time come crashing down in the middle of the morning.


It musta been some time before I come to. When I opened my eyes the sun was coming in the west window right square in my face. I moved… and groaned. My muscles was sore, and my bung hole hurt. Still flat on my belly, I rolled over and set up. At least the fucker untied me before he left. I’d kill the son-a-bitch when I seen him again. I started to get up but fell back on the bed when a shadow moved.
Dooper was still here! Black as a raven, he leaned against the wall in the corner of the room, looking down his nose at me. My adrenaline started flowing. I come offa the bed and took him by surprise. Guess he figured I was still groggy or weak or something. Barreling into him, I mashed him flat against the wall. Don’t know why his spine didn’t break, but it didn’t. He got his wind back fast and started whupping on me. He backed me clear across the room. I might be a better tagger, but he sure as shit was a better fighter. I got downright scared. He beat me so easy before, wasn’t no doubt what was gonna happen this time. He was hurting me with them bony knuckles.
Desperate, I sacrificed an old kitchen chair I’d bought for two dollars at a yard sale, splintering it to smithereens right over the top of his head. Son-a-bitch staggered, shook his head, and started for me again. But he was hurt, so I had time to take a chair leg, only piece I still held in my hands, and slam it across his ribs. Something popped real loud, and he reeled back onto the bed. I run for the door but hesitated when he didn’t get up and take after my butt. Besides, I was buck necked! He’d flopped belly down on the mattress, black ass shining at me. I shrugged off enough of my terror to edge over to him, careful to keep outa range of them long, ropy arms.
“Dooper?”
“Uhhh.” He made like he was gonna move, but that petered out, so I got braver. I poked him with a finger. He mumbled something. Figuring it was payback time, I used them same binds he’d made me helpless with to lash him to the bed. He didn’t even try to fight me off.
“Dooper, you son-a-bitch, you gonna get yours. I whupped your ass, now I’m gonna do you like you done me.”
He tried to struggle, but didn’t put much into it. Remembering how he’d swatted me, I took to slapping his head and calling him names. He took it. Didn’t put up no fuss at all. Figured he was beat fair and square, I guess.
When it was over, I crawled offa him and started mending fences. “Dooper, we cool now? You know… even Steven?”
He went stubborn and wouldn’t talk. I poked his ribs, but he just laid there. Plotting his revenge, probably. I looked over his shoulder. His eyes was half closed, his mouth open. And there was blood trickling out of it.
What the shit? I took a closer look. Dooper was out of it… bad. He was breathing all right, but he was gone somewhere in la-la-land. Man, the fucker was hurt! I remembered the snap when I waylaid him with the chair leg. A rib! Bet I busted a rib! Damn, old Dooper was in a bad way!
I tore around the place getting my clothes on and yelling I’d get him some help. But I come to a dead halt at the door. What would the cops think?. The place was a wreck from where we’d been fighting. We was both beat black and blue and bloody. And this big, white ass was painted right smack on the door. Not only that, but I had all my paints and supplies in the house. The cops was gonna bag the two biggest taggers in the state and a couple of perverts all in the same haul.
What was I gonna do? Dooper needed help bad! After about fifteen seconds, I hit that room like a tornado ripping through it. My best paints, the piecebook with my plans and designs in it, and a few clothes was all I could salvage. Stowing them in my bike’s saddlebags, I tore off down the road for the nearest pay phone.
I blurted out that somebody needed help and told them where before slamming down the receiver and racing back to watch from an apple orchard across from my place. Seemed like it took forever, but after a while, a black-and-white crawled down the driveway and drifted to a stop. Two cops, one thin with a doughnut of spare flesh around his beltline, the other with a respectable beer-belly, got out and approached the place with hands on their pieces. They jabbered over my painted door before finally going inside. Shit! I’d forgot to untie Dooper; his ass’d be staring them right in the face.
A little later, an ambulance come down the drive at a snail’s pace like it had all the time in the world, and that worried me some. Maybe old Dooper was dead meat. But when they hauled him out on that stretcher thing they use, he was covered with a sheet except for his head, so he was still breathing. As soon as they took off with siren wailing, I headed out.
Albuquerque was done for me now; I was in big trouble. Mayor Dude had my fingerprints from when I was busted for tagging four years ago. And they had lots of my paints and custom tips. No telling what Dooper’d tell them. Not only that, but the two cops was still in my shack nosing around. For sure, they find my stash of weed and the meth tabs I keep for when I need a lift. I was baked chicken around here.
I pedaled my bike through the unlighted back alleys until I got out of the south valley. I was burned in Albuquerque… probably in the whole damned state. Too bad. I liked it here. Got hot, but like they say, it’s a dry heat. Didn’t bother me none. And the winters was good. But the cops here ain’t queer-friendly, and that’s what they’d figure I was. Shit, maybe I am, come to think on it.
Man, I sure hoped old Dooper come outa this all right. Wonder where I’ll end up, and what adventures I’ll find when I get there.
One thing about it. I got my art to live for wherever the I end up.



*****
Can’t exactly call it a happy ending, but then Mark doesn’t always head in that direction. A lot of his writing has elements of sorrow and tragedy in them. Hope you enjoyed the story. Let me know.

The advance buy link for The Voxlightner Scandal follows:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Dooper and Dangle – Part 1 of 2 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #361
  
Courtesy of Prexels
The posting this week is my adaptation of Mark Wildyr’s original story published several years ago in a STARbooks anthology called Homo Thugs. Yes, Mr. Wildyr gave me permission to fiddle with his writing. Hope you enjoy it.

*****


Adapted from a Story by Mark Wildyr

I seen Dooper down at the old railroad roundhouse this morning. He ain’t been around much since Mayor Dude declared war on graffiti. I don’t mind Slick Feathers bashing tagbanger gangs or toys or even throw-up guys, so long as he leaves me alone. I’m a piece artist, and I ain’t in no gang. Hell, I’m my own gang. I live for the art, man. The art! I got skill. Damned near half that big mural on the concrete arroyo Mayor Dude promoted a few years back as a place for paint artists is my work. Earned me some fame; local papers run flicks of my stuff.
But that ain’t the point. Art’s what I do; who I am. I’m Up! I’m All City! Go anywhere in Albuquerque and you’ll see my tag. Even if Mayor Dude gets out a army of uptight volunteers to scrub ever neighborhood ever frigging week, you’ll catch my work if you look for it. Dangle’s my sign, but I do it wildstyle so nobody who don’t read graffiti’s got a clue. The handle comes from the way I write with lots of drips. Not the wack, accidental dribbles a toy makes, but bold drips I draw on purpose.
Dooper’s a black kid my own age, but he hangs with a crowd that calls themselves the Highsiders. APD calls them gangsters, but really they’s just dudes that like to sling paint. Might be into boosting their spray cans, but who don’t? Dooper’s a fair writer, hisself, but he ain’t as good as me. His real handle’s Sooper Dooper, but it got shortened to Dooper real quick ‘cause he ain’t as fly as he claims. Before Slick Feathers got reelected Mayor Dude by declaring war on graffiti, I used to trip over Dooper’s raggedy ass all the time. We battled more’n once in hard get-up duels with some of the crews acting like judges. Coupla times they screwed up and said his work was better, but mostly they done it right and give me the burn. Got so intense there was some bad blood. We scrapped once, and I give him a mouse, but it looked more like a purple prune on his chocolate skin. Fucker split my lip and wrenched my arm so I couldn’t bomb for a week. I didn’t mind that so much, but it put me wrong with the Highsiders, and some of them dudes is dangerous. Had to watch my back after that.
This morning, he was hitting up a piece on a inside wall of the roundhouse. The big abandoned railroad engine turnaround is a cool place for taggers. Dooper’s mural was pretty wild, if you go for old fashioned bubble letters and 3-D styles. Me, I like blockbuster with a little computer mixed in. I do fades and clouds and fly colors when I bomb. Still, old Dooper had technique, sort of.
He slunk out the door when I showed up, so I examined his piece real hard ‘cause a couple of colors caught my eye. Like I said, the Highsiders usually racked their paint, but Dooper sure as shit didn’t steal Icy Grape and Jungle Green ‘cause Krylon don’t make them no more. Blended them, likely. Done a good job, too.
I may be all about art, but a guy’s got other needs, too… know what I mean? I ain’t no fag, but Dooper’s long legs and bubble butt sorta get to me. I can’t just come out and tell him that, so I laid a piece back-to-back with the work he done a few minutes ago. Right in the middle I painted a picture message he couldn’t miss. Wasn’t pornographic or nothing… at least not to nobody but another tagger. Just so there wasn’t no mistake about it, I signed my tag, drips and all!
I’d come out of there peddling my bike funny, my prick riding high and getting in the way. Maybe I’d look up Juanito before heading home. I got in this young Mexican’s pants a couple of years back, and him and me still get together ever few weeks. First time I seen him, I thought he was a girl… or a boy. But he was a small, whip-thin, full-growed man that just looked like a pretty girl.
Sorta felt sorry for Juanito. His culture’s got all that machismo bullshit, but that don’t mean his buddies don’t get to him, they just mess him up some after they do. He come over a year back beat up so bad I asked why he didn’t call the cops. He just grinned the best he could through split lips and told me he got the whole gang… all eight of them.
Guess I’m a rainbow sort of guy. Handsomest, buffest, manliest dude I ever seen was a Indian. Met him five years back when I was barely eighteen. Showed up one night when me’n some guys was setting around a campfire down by the yards swigging beer and swapping lies. Just walked out of the night and plopped his ass down beside us. When the beer played out, we pooled our change and AmerInd—that’s what I called him ‘cause that’s how them anthropologists, or whatever they is, labeled his people—donated his last quarter. Before the night was out, everbody flaked out and headed home or to his spider-hole except me’n him. I hung around because I was in love; he probably stayed put because he didn’t have nowhere to go.
When AmerInd got drunk enough, I talked him out of his britches, but he was was a mean drunk. I never seen him again, likely went back to wherever he come from. He wasn’t no New Mexico tribesman. Come from Montana or Wyoming or Oklahoma where they grow them big, tall, good-looking Plains Indians.
And now, I was hankering after old Dooper. Brown, red, black. Not bad for a white boy. Course, I hadn’t landed the black guy yet, but I wanted him, and that’s what counted.


I got me the sweetest setup in the State of New Mexico. A year back, I found this old, abandoned adobe sitting right in the middle of a fallow field in the South Valley and squatted in the dark for a couple of weeks before I fixed up the shack and moved in permanently. Now I had a safe place to stow my piecebook and plan out my patterns without nobody bothering me or looking over my shoulder to bite my work before I hit it up someplace.
I slept like a baby that night after seeing Dooper, dreaming about how he was gonna react when he spotted his my piece beside his on the roundhouse wall. Woke up bright and early, found enough scraps to make a breakfast, and then washed up in the old bathtub. I decided against shaving; hell, my beard was only three days old.
When I wheeled into the roundhouse that morning, Dooper was already there, looking up at my piece with balled fists planted on his hips. That butt I admired was sorta trembling, and I don’t think it was from getting hot over my art; hot under the collar maybe. Some glass crunched beneath my boots, and he whirled like he was ready to get it on. I tried to make it casual.
“Lo, Dooper. Wha’ cha doing?”
“Reading your filthy work,” he snarled, white teeth gleaming. “You’re a motherfucker, Dangle! A motherfucking motherfucker!”
“You know what they call that? Redundancy. I remember that from—”
“Screw you’n your fancy words! What you mean putting that up there like that?”
I’m an artist and all that, but I never seen so many shades of black. One minute he was standing there, a black man with sort of a mahogany hue, and then he went shoe-polish black. Finally, he aped one a them East Indians that look like they dusted themselves with soot. He wasn’t taking this too good.
Don’t know what woulda happened if we didn’t hear tires scrunching on rocks right then. Cops and Mayor Dude’s men make the rounds now and then in a losing battle to keep bums outa the old roundhouse. I still had my bike in my hands, so I hightailed it out a far door. I don’t know what the hell Dooper done, but I didn’t really give a rat’s ass, neither.

*****

Well, well, well. Competitors. Perhaps in more ways than one. If you can put up with all the tagger talk, tune in next week to see what happens between the two.

The advance buy link for The Voxlightner Scandal follows:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

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