Thursday, January 17, 2019

Don Travis: The Dancer (Part 1 of 3 Parts)

Don Travis: The Dancer (Part 1 of 3 Parts): dontravis.com blog post #320 Courtesy of Wikipedia TO MY READERS : The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I h...

The Dancer (Part 1 of 3 Parts)


dontravis.com blog post #320

Courtesy of Wikipedia
TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or responding to your comments. I’ve tried all the corrective suggestions by “experts” to no avail. Please make any comments directly to my personal email, dontravis21@gmail.com, until this situation is corrected. Thanks.

WARNING: Some readers will find language in the following story to be offensive, but it accurately represents at time that was—and in too many places, still is. Enjoy the story, don’t concentrate on such language.

*****
THE DANCER

          A call from my ex-wife venting her undiminished rage drove me out of the apartment into the streets of Manhattan. Melanie and I had met and married in college. Upon graduation, we moved into the apartment my folks had left me in a good high rise and pursued successful careers—me as a writer of how-to books and Mel as a nursing supervisor. I hadn’t realized how much trouble my marriage was in until her younger brother visited one weekend. His first night there, while Mel was working overtime, Brad sneaked into our bedroom and seduced me. The good-looking nineteen-year-old introduced something new into my life and drove me out of a stale marriage. He’d both liberated and crippled me, opening me to a new and exciting experience while leaving me with no idea how to replicate it.
          Mel’s phone call this otherwise pleasant early summer afternoon let me know she had learned of my liaison with her “little brother.” If only she knew! In addition to all my other sins, I had corrupted an innocent youth. Yeah, right.
          Nursing my frustration, I headed for my favorite place in the world… the public library. I fumed at the fates on the eight-block walk to my destination. Could I induce Brad to come back for a visit? Not likely, given the fact he’d spilled the beans to his sister. Should I visit a gay bar? The very thought shriveled my insides. Men’s rooms? They say men’s rooms are places homos go to meet. That thought brought me to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk. Is that what I had become? I resumed pacing, unsure of the answer.
           A vivid red and black poster advertising a flamenco troupe posted outside the public library caught my eye. A haughty young dancer stared out of the picture through smoldering eyes. His broad shoulders and unbelievably slender hips and accentuated groin instantly focused my desires and brought me into a state of physical discomfort. Glancing around guiltily, I was startled to find a man at my side eyeing me boldly. When he suggested what we could do for the handsome dancer… or for one another, I panicked and fled down the sidewalk.
          Realizing I had missed an opportunity to find what I yearned for, I turned back, but the pleasant-looking stranger was gone. Succumbing to a sudden urge, I did something totally out of character. The poster came away in my hand, although the corners ripped a little. A clerk at a nearby framing shop grumbled at my request for a rush job but assured me it could be trimmed and framed. An hour later, I carried my ill-gotten treasure into the apartment and hung it in my bedroom.
          The unknown young man’s whip-like body was as exciting as his features were handsome. A strong jawline saved his beautiful face from androgyny and made me wonder at his experiences with women—and men. Entranced, I stood before the picture and gave myself over to lust. The poster became my shrine. I spurned human contact and turned to the image of this young Adonis for my carnal needs. By late summer, I was content with my existence. I no longer hunted for something I didn’t know how to hunt


          One day, as I wandered the Times Square area in a moment of leisure, something caught my eye. My dancer! My poster strode down the sidewalk in jeans and shirt instead of a flamenco costume. I froze, caught my breath, and hastily fell in behind him. He moved in long, graceful strides—just as I had imagined—drawing me along helplessly in his wake.
          The tall youth turned into one of those Turkish baths that public health officials tried to close down years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Heedless of anything other than catching a better glimpse of my quarry, I handed over the price of admission, accepted a large towel, and rushed inside. He stood stripping off his shirt in the locker room, exposing a long, muscled torso. Eventually, I recovered my wits enough to sit on a bench and remove my shoes.
          This was not my dancer, but it could have been. Hispanic, twenty or so, six-foot, hundred and seventy, broad back, narrow waist. He nodded a silent greeting. I smiled but took my cue from him and said nothing. He slipped jeans and briefs down his trim hips. He was breathtaking—a dark golden tan all over. The youth fixed a towel around his waist and disappeared through another set of doors.
          I sat on the bench, shaken by proximity to a real, live Lothario. What had his face looked like? No idea, except he was handsome. My attention had centered on his smooth chest, flat belly, and exciting nether regions.
          A banging locker startled me out of my trance. I undressed and rushed through the door, coming to an abrupt halt. A big room dominated by a huge swimming pool with lounges scattered around the edges teemed with men. Some were older, and all appeared to be on the hunt. A dozen predatory eyes fixed on me.
          I secured the towel around my waist and fought a wave of panic. Ignore them! Go about your business and ignore them. Go about my business? My business was ogling a young man the way these guys were gaping at me. I strode through the room studiously avoiding eye contact. As I reached the far doors, a man rose from one of the lounges and started my way. Seeking to put distance between us, I more or less blundered into the steam room. There was one occupant. My young man. Totally naked, he sat on his towel and leaned back against the wooden platform, legs splayed. He opened his eyes long enough to give me a quick, irritated look. I took a seat opposite him, winced at the heat of the wooden bench, and emulated him by sitting on my towel.

*****
Many years ago, I visited a New York Turkish bath, and it scared the hell out of me. My tender Oklahoma roots weren’t built for such aggressive soil. I scooted right back out of there, but it looks like our hero—Rob’s his name, by the way—is made of sterner stuff. Of course, he’s pursuing a dream. I was merely a timid youth exploring the unknown and the unfamiliar.

Tune in next week to see if anything develops between Rob and his flamenco dancer look-alike.

Abaddon’s Locusts--my fifth BJ Vinson mystery series book--comes out on the 22nd. Hope you’ll get a copy of it. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Don Travis: A Look at the Upcoming The Voxlightner Scandal

Don Travis: A Look at the Upcoming The Voxlightner Scandal: dontravis.com blog post #319 TO MY READERS : The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or r...

A Look at the Upcoming The Voxlightner Scandal


dontravis.com blog post #319

TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or responding to your comments. I’ve tried all the corrective suggestions by “experts” to no avail. Please make any comments directly to my personal email, dontravis21@gmail.com, until this situation is corrected. Thanks.

As I wrote last week’s post,  flakes of snow feathered lightly to the ground outside my patio door. Some of the cursed stuff is still there, especially in shady parts of the parking lot. Unusual for snow to last this long in Albuquerque.

Another matter of potential interest. Once or twice a year, the site gets 3,000 or so hits from Israel, usually all on one day. For last week’s posting, I noticed a new phenomenon: 1,700 hits from Russia. They can’t all be spies, can they? Even so, I encourage them to continue reading my blog.


Last week, we looked at my most recent novel (release date January 22), Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series. This week, I’d like to give you a peek at my latest, and as yet, unreleased novel, The Voxlightner Scandal. The story begins when BJ’s young companion Paul Barton, a budding investigative journalist, decides to look into the murder of an Albuquerque author. That leads to reopening one of the state’s largest scandals. The excerpt that follows is set in BJ's and Paul’s home on Post Oak Drive NW in Albuquerque in July 2011.


Alas, no artwork yet exists on Vox, rendering this week’s post pictureless.

*****
THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL
Chapter 1

          If this was the year of the Arab Spring, this morning’s Albuquerque Journal neglected to mention it. The international lead story—above the fold—reported the bombing of the government quarter in Oslo and the subsequent murder by gunfire of sixty-eight youth activists of the Labour Party by a native Norwegian terrorist.
          The below-the-fold story told of the death of local author John Pierce Belhaven in a garage fire mere blocks from my home. What snagged my attention was that the terrorist attack in Norway took place today. The local tragedy occurred two nights ago. Our paper reported foreign events faster than local ones.
          Paul strode into the kitchen where I sat at the table munching an English muffin slathered with cream cheese and dusted with ground black pepper. He brought with him the aroma of his shower. He was using a new aftershave lotion… Axe, possibly.
          He halted at the sight of me. “Whoa, Vince, I was gonna fix omelets.”
          The rest of the world called me BJ. This young man, my companion and the love of my life, preferred Vince, a pet name derived from my family moniker of Vinson.
          “My stomach wouldn’t wait. By the way I know why we heard all those sirens Wednesday night. Garage fire just down the street.”
          “Where?”
          I checked the news article. “Forty-eight eighteen.”
          “Belhaven’s place?”
          “I’ll admit you’re more neighborly than I am, but how do you know who lives four blocks down the street?”
          A minute later he plopped a bowl of instant oatmeal on the table, apparently abandoning the idea of an omelet. “I know him from SouthWest Writers.”
          Paul joined the professional writing association a year ago when he got his Master’s in journalism from the University of New Mexico and decided a membership would provide him some valuable contacts. He was probably right, although I never considered journalism as writing until he pointed out that’s exactly what it was.
          “Can I see the article when you’re finished?” he asked.
          After I commandeered the sports section and handed over the rest, his voice startled me out of a story about the Lobo baseball team.
          “This can’t be right.”
          “Uh.” I refused to be distracted.                                                   
          “Vince.” He shoved the newspaper in front of me. “I didn’t know Belhaven well, but I know one thing for sure. He wouldn’t repair his lawn mower. He’d have the kid who mowed his lawn do it or else buy a new mower.” He paused. “The rest sounds right. Belhaven would probably spill gas all over himself and somehow manage to light it up. But I’m telling you… he’d never even try it.”
          “A klutz, huh?”
          Paul nodded. “You could say that.”
          “I’ll tell you what I can’t believe. This happened two days ago, and Mrs. Wardlow hasn’t broadcast the gory details all over the neighborhood.”
          Gertrude Wardlow, the septuagenarian widow living across the street, was a retired DEA agent and the grande dame of our local neighborhood watch. But I had no gripes coming. She’d saved my bacon a couple of times when suspects tried to bring grievances to my home. More importantly she’d warned me Paul was in trouble when a gang kidnapped him a few years back.
          “Can I assume you smell a story?” I asked.
          “I smell a rat. But you’re right, I’m going to look into it. Who do you know in the fire department?”
          I gave him the name of the AFD Arson Squad commander I’d worked with a couple of times. “You can call Gene Enriquez if you want to know if there’s a police case working.”
          “You call Lieutenant Enriquez, okay? He’ll talk to you. You’re the confidential investigator, not me.”
          “Don’t sell yourself short. Way I figure it, an investigating journalist is simply a confidential investigator without a license.”

*****
And so it opens, reeling backward in time to 2003 and 2004 when a gigantic scam took $40,000,000 out of the local economy and resulted in multiple deaths. I hope you found this teaser interesting.

I encourage reader feedback on all my novels, and if you do read one, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Don Travis: Interview of BJ Vinson About Abaddon’s Locusts

Don Travis: Interview of BJ Vinson About Abaddon’s Locusts: dontravis.com blog post #318   Artist: Maria Fanning TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I h...

Interview of BJ Vinson About Abaddon’s Locusts


dontravis.com blog post #318
 
Artist: Maria Fanning
TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or responding to your comments. Please make any comments directly to my personal email, dontravis21@gmail.com, until this situation is corrected. Thanks.

Outside my patio door, flakes of snow are feathering lightly to the ground. I put it that way because we more often have wind than not when it is snowing or raining. Snow here in the high desert country is usually the way I like snow: I comes one day, goes away the next, and we all remember it fondly. Not so this one. We had a blizzard (officially determined as such) last Friday, and as the temperature remained in the 20s, it hadn’t gone anywhere. Now here’s more to add to the mix. Okay, enough already!

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series,is due for release on January 22 (although I think you can get advance copies from Dreamspinner). In view of this, I wanted to give you an interview between me and the protagonist, Confidential Investigator Burleigh J. Vinson. (Do you blame him for going by BJ?)

*****
Travis: First, let’s clear up this name thing. I sometimes see it with periods between the initials and sometimes without. By the way, what do the initials stand for?

Vinson: When I sign something formal, like a contract, it’s B period J period Vinson. Informally, it’s BJ. What do they stand for? Well, I’m named after my mother’s father, so it’s Burleigh J. The J is a middle initial only. Do you blame me for using initials?

Travis: Yet, your significant other, Paul Barton, calls you Vince. Why?

Vinson: I’m BJ to everyone except two individuals. To Paul, Vince is a pet name he draws from my family name.

Travis: And the other individual?

Vinson: Del Dahlman. He’s a local lawyer and my first companion.

Travis: This leads to a sensitive—at least personal—question. You’re gay, right? And you seem rather open about it.

Vinson: I don’t advertise the fact, but I don’t deny it, either. That’s not always been the case. As a kid, I struggled to be like everyone else. To be honest, that’s probably why I played football in high school and enlisted in the Marine Corps. By the time I joined the Albuquerque Police Department, I was ready to accept and admit who I was. After all, it wasn’t a significant factor in doing the job.

Travis: It didn’t cause you a problem with the other cops? You hear stories about them leaving their gay brothers out in the cold in dangerous situations. And you were shot once, on the job, weren’t you?

Vinson: That’s true. Shot in the thigh while apprehending a suspected killer. But it wasn’t from lack of support from my compadres.

Travis: So tell me about this book we cooperated to put together.

Vinson: One of my favorite people is this mixed-blood kid named Jazz Penrod over in Farmington. He’s super handsome and hunky and gay, which caused Paul some needless anxiety. Jazz and his Navajo half-brother, Henry Secatero, helped me out on a case I call the Bisti Business three years ago. When Jazz disappeared recently, Henry came to me for help. It turned out Jazz had been lured by sex traffickers and hooked on crack cocaine.

Travis: Why don’t we take a look at how things developed.

Excerpt from beginning of Chapter 3 of Abaddon’s Locusts. Our hero and the missing man’s half-brother, a Navajo named Henry Secatero go to BJ’s old riding partner at APD, Lt. Gene Enriquez to report Jazz Penrod as missing. Henry—who’ll we’ll call an independent soul—isn’t very cop friendly. He’s also having trouble accepting his half-brother’s in the hands of sex traffickers. So here’s how things go:

Henry couldn’t quite hide his discomfort at shaking hands with a policeman—even a friendly one—the next morning when the two of us met Gene in the downtown stationhouse. I could see that my ex-partner was aware of the Navajo’s attitude, and no doubt he would run Henry’s ID through the system the moment we left. I was wrong; he’d already done it.


“You always get in fights when you go to the Blue Spruce?” Gene asked.

“Mostly.”

“It’s a good place to find them. Bad place for staying out of them.”

“You got that right.”

The Blue Spruce was an Indian bar out on East Central near the fairgrounds. The place was notorious for its police calls. On the other side of the coin, it was a good spot for cops short on traffic tickets to make quota.

“Your brother like to fight too? Or is he all sizzle and no steak?”

Henry’s face clouded for a moment. “He’s better at starting them and standing around watching ever’body scrap, but he’s good backup when it’s needed.”

After that, Gene settled down and guided Henry through filling out a request to search for his brother’s car. There hadn’t been any results overnight, but none were expected, unless Jazz was moving around. Or someone was using his Jeep. There were a couple of Juan Gonzaleses in the system, but when I hauled out the photo of Jazz’s email contact, none of them matched.

Henry tapped his finger on the photograph. “Don’t you guys have some kinda gizmo where you can compare photos and make an ID?”

“A facial recognition program, you mean?” Gene asked. “Scuttlebutt says it’s on its way, but we don’t have a system yet. The state boys have something, but I’d have to have probable cause for an arrest before I could even ask them to run a search.”

“My brother’s missing, and he was talking to this guy. Ain’t that enough?”

“No evidence this guy’s the cause of your brother’s disappearance. Hell, for all we know, he and his new friend are just out having a good time. But I think BJ’s right on this, Mr. Secatero. Your brother’s caught in the sex trade racket.”

“Call me Henry, and just because my brother’s gay don’t mean he goes around selling his body. Never has. Never will.”

“Look, fella—” Gene pointed a stubby finger at Henry and nodded at me. “—don’t get your back up. I rode with this guy for three years, and we never had trouble over him being gay. But the human trafficking racket is getting to be big business. Some people figure there are more people in slavery today than before the Civil War. And I made some calls this morning and found out more kids than we’d like to admit disappear from Indian reservations. I grant you it’s mostly women and girls that get caught up in the sex part of it, but some boys and men do too.”

“Jazz wouldn’t stand still for that. He’d just walk out the door and go home.”

“Unless they’re holding something over him,” Gene said. “I’ll admit he doesn’t fit the pattern. He’s older than the norm, and he’s male. Most are female somewhere around the ages of thirteen to fifteen or sixteen. Usually, the traffickers claim a debt’s gotta be paid or threaten somebody—maybe a family member—with bodily harm or death. They’ve got lotsa ways of making victims toe the line.”

“Not Jazz. He’d go postal.”

“Some of them do, but they’re overpowered or done away with. So maybe he did fight them.”

 Either the implications of that remark went over Henry’s head or he chose to ignore them. “I can’t think of a damned thing they could threaten my brother with. He knows his dad and me can take care of ourselves. His uncle Riley will make sure his mother’s okay. There ain’t nobody else.”


*****
I hope the book sounds as interesting to you as it does to me. If I were forced to pick a favorite from the series right at the moment, Abaddon’s Locusts would be it.

I encourage reader feedback on all my novels, and if you do read one, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

The Voxlightner Scandal is on the cusp of being finalized and on its way to DSP Publications.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Shark’s Tooth Wilson


dontravis.com blog post #317
  
Courtesy of Pixabay
TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or responding to your comments. Please make any comments directly to my personal email, dontravis21@gmail.com, until this situation is corrected. Thanks.

Pure nonsense this week.

*****
SHARK’S TOOTH WILSON
By Don Travis
My real name’s Bobby—well, Robert, actually—but everyone in high school called me Shark’s Tooth ever since our Algebra teacher, Mr. Langston, said I was as sharp as a shark’s tooth in class one day. Before I knew it, everyone in my world except my parents and this girl named Becky called me that. Guess I’m lucky he didn’t say sharp as a tack or else I’d be known as Tacky. Praise the Lord for small miracles.
But back to that one girl who still called me Bobby, the one known behind her back as Boxy Becky. To be honest, that sort of described her, but as a victim, myself, I tried not to think of her in those terms… as difficult as that was. My closest friends—my buds—who’d shortened my unwelcome nickname down to Sharky, claimed she was sweet on me, but all that did was put a twist in my shorts. Why couldn’t some of the other girls… the babes… be sweet on me, instead of Boxy Becky?
I managed to keep my distance from Becky—although I was always polite to her—until just before the winter prom my junior year. She caught me in the hallway and let me know she didn’t have a date for the dance. I felt my cheeks burn as I said I didn’t either and then rushed off to English class.
The prom was neat, and I managed to dance with just about all the girls, but I was constantly aware of Becky standing off in the corner with a couple of other girls the football jocks unkindly labeled as cows. Being sort of soft-hearted, I occasionally asked one of them for a dance, including Becky. By this time, she wasn’t carrying as much weight, so her old sobriquet wasn’t quite so appropriate. Still… a habit’s a habit, and she was still Boxy just as I was still Shark’s Tooth.
Somehow, I ended up with her for the last dance of the night. Finally noticing that she had pretty good moves, must have flustered me, because when she asked what I was doing after the dance, I blurted out that me’n some of the guys had plans.
“Do they include girls?”
My cheeks heated up again. That only seemed to happen around Becky. “Not… not that I know of.”
“I don’t believe it,” she retorted.
“Look, Boxy, I---”
Even in the subdued lighting of the ballroom, her eyes flashed. She puffed up like a tire on an air hose.
“S-sorry, Becky. I just….”
I was talking to thin air. She stalked toward the exit, the sway of her broad beam expressing righteous indignation. She didn’t speak to me again that term.


Over the course of the summer, I managed to swallow the shame of my indiscretion with Becky. In fact, between my temporary construction job and hanging with the guys, I forgot about it completely. But as opening day at school grew closer, I found myself composing apologies for my careless mouth.
First day eventually arrived and proved a busy one. Getting classes squared away and talking to old friends you somehow hadn’t seen for three months, turned it into a zoo.
Finally, I heard a familiar voice speaking to someone behind me. I whirled and butted into the conversation.
"Becky, I…."
My voice died in a constricted throat. Chill bumps played down my back. Despite myself, my eyebrows shot up. The girl who stood before me was Becky all right, but she was another Becky. Her face was still broad, but it had shape, definition, from violet eyes to cupid’s-bow lips. Her frame displayed curves that weren’t there before. I swallowed hard and tried again.
“B-Becky, it’s good to see you.
She smiled broadly, said “Hello, Shark’s Tooth, and swayed provocatively away, chatting and laughing with her companions.


*****
Life catches up with you, doesn’t it? I’m sure we can all recall something similar to this when we were growing up. Hope you enjoyed the reading.

Please buy a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is finished and the second draft is about half done.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Don Travis: That One’s Trouble

Don Travis: That One’s Trouble: dontravis.com blog post #315 Courtesy of Instagram TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I hav...

That One’s Trouble


dontravis.com blog post #315

Courtesy of Instagram
TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has disappeared from my Web Site, so I have no way of reading or responding to your comments. Please make any comments directly to my personal email, dontravis21@gmail.com, until this situation is corrected. Thanks.

Another piece of flash fiction this week.

*****
THAT ONE’S TROUBLE

          “Seth Fortner,” the bailiff intoned in a bored monotone.
          A slender youth rose from the cluster of prisoners awaiting arraignment in Henry Salman Zamora’s Metro courtroom and shuffled forward uncertainly.
          “That one’s trouble,” predicted the public defender next to me.
          "How so?" I asked.
          “Too pretty.”
          Another lawyer scoffed. “The kid can’t be old enough for Metro.”
          As if Hizzoner were privy to the conversation, Zamora peered over his glasses. “What is this, Mr. Prosecutor? This young man belongs in Children’s Court.”
          The assistant DA promptly handed over some papers. “The prisoner turned eighteen two months ago, sir.”
          As a probation and parole officer for the City of Albuquerque, I had a privileged seat with a clear view of Seth Fortner in profile. I understood the confusion. The kid’s face was smooth, unmarked, and untroubled by a beard. He didn’t even look old enough to have suffered through acne. Tanned, resilient skin stretched tight with the freshness of youth. High cheekbones balanced his features perfectly. Smoky eyes that could have been drawn by a caricaturist—brooding, and vulnerable—glanced nervously around the small courtroom. Brown hair with blond highlights, wavy in front, smooth at the back, couldn’t have been improved by a visit to a two hundred-dollar stylist.
          But the kid’s frame reinforced the prosecutor’s claim. Although lanky, his torso was defined by broad shoulders and flaring ribs seldom observed on minors. Even in baggy jailhouse blues, the kid made me think of the guy back in school we called “High-Pockets.”
          Outwardly cool, the boy’s fear was apparent to anyone who looked carefully. Probably his first bust. Soliciting, the docket read. Young Seth had propositioned an equally baby-faced undercover cop.
          Things went about as expected. The kid’s public-pad mouthpiece pled him out, anticipating a simple fine. For a while, it looked as if Zamora might upset the applecart because Seth Bayless had no family or permanent address in the area. His problem became mine as soon as the jurist’s eyes lit on me.
          “I see Paul Govan in the courtroom,” Zamora announced gravely. I rose grudgingly. “Mr. Govan, are you willing to take this young man under your wing and find him a spot in a halfway house?”
          “Uh, my boss usually makes the assignments, your honor.”
          “My word carries no weight with you fellows down in Probation and Parole?” Danger lurked in that question.
          “Of course, sir. I’m certain it will be all right for me to accept the assignment.”
          Yeah, right. My boss would tear me a new one… but he wouldn’t take the kid off my shoulders. What was it the PD lawyer had said? “That one’s trouble.”
          It took three hours out of my busy day to locate a halfway house with room for Fortner, and another hour to get all of the paperwork done. Finally, I sat across my desk from the probationer, intending to intimidate him with a dead-level stare. I was immediately flummoxed. Some mortals are blest with either a fine profile or good frontal features; few have both. Seth Fortner was one of the few. His eyebrows; dark and pencil thin, dipped slightly before arching gracefully over his eyes. This guy was a looker, front, side, and back! If I was an Adonis like this kid, I’d probably be out shagging my ass, too, but I’d sell it to the ladies.
          “Okay, Fortner, you understand what happened, right? Judge Zamora gave you a six-month suspended sentence with supervision. A few ground rules. No drinking of alcoholic beverages and no drugs of any kind. You’ll be subjected to random testing for the six months your ass is mine. Got that?”
          The solemn, respectful youth nodded. “Yes, sir.”
          “And stay away from the rabbit run.”
          “Rabbit run?”
          “The place you were busted. That area out on East Central where the gays gather to sell their goods. Got it?”
          A nod this time.
          I ran down the rest of the list and told him to report tomorrow afternoon to get with the program. I hesitated before going personal. “You seem like a decent kid. Why were you out peddling your butt to a bunch of fairies?”
          “They like me. And they aren’t always queer.”
          My beetle brows climbed, although I don’t know why. After ten years in this business, there should be no more surprises.
          “Even that cop had me do him before he busted me.”
          The old eyebrows really reached for the hairline. “Come on, he—”
          An elaborate shrug. “He said you wouldn’t believe me. But he did. And he didn’t pay me, either,” he added bitterly.
          “I wouldn’t make accusations like that, if I were you,”
          “Not an accusation. Just the way it was.”
          “Well, you stay out of trouble. Understand? You need a ride to the halfway house?”
          “I can probably hitch one.”
          “No way,” I came back at him.
          He grinned, that wide, mobile mouth curling devilishly at either end and altering his face dramatically. He looked like a heart-wrenching male ingénue. “What’s the matter, you afraid I’ll hit on someone?” he asked.
          “Whatever. I’ll give you a ride. You’re not about to proposition me.” Jeez, that sounded like a challenge.
          His sudden calculating look let me know he’d taken it that way and sent a shiver up my spine. He was up for the game.
          Was I?


*****
Well, what’s the outcome of this story. Was the kid’s will stronger than the probation officer’s? You can fashion your own ending and have fun doing it.

Please buy a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is finished and in the second draft as we speak! Hooray.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Dinky-Dos


dontravis.com blog post #315



Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
NOTICE TO MY READERS: My comments section has disappeared, so I have no way to read or acknowledge comments. Until this is corrected, please send comments directly by email to my dontravis21@gmail.com address. Thanks.

Don

A bit to total nonsense this week. Sorry, folks, that’s the way my mind works.

*****
DINKY-DOS

          Kate trailed Ellie out of the public swimming pool locker room Saturday afternoon, her hair still damp, her pink pedal-pushers clinging to moisture on her legs. Ellie was always in a hurry. She caught up with her friend.
          “Did you see Will’s swimming suit?” Kate asked, slightly breathless from all the rushing.
          “Hard not to. It was psychedelic.”
          “No… I mean… Well, the way it fit so tight. You could almost see his dinky-do.”
          “His what?”
          “You know, his dinky-do.”
          “Geez, Kate, how old are you?”
          “Nine. Just like you.”
          “Then don’t talk like a baby. Who calls it a dinky-do?”
           “I do, for one. What do you call it?”
          “What everybody else does. A thing.”
          “Thing?” Kate thought that over for about a dozen steps. “Have… have you ever seen a thing?”
          “Course I have. I’ve got a brother. You?”
          Kate shrugged. “How could I? I don’t have a brother.”
          “You’ve got a father, don’t you? He has a thing.”
          Kate’s gut rolled. “He does? Well… I guess.”
          “Sure he does. How else did you get here?” Ellie asked.
          Kate swallowed hard to quell a rebellious stomach. “I-I don’t like to think about that.”
          Ellie tossed her head. “Oh, grow up. And believe me, when a boy gets as old as my brother, it's not so dinky anymore." She smirked. "Did you see Peter today? He’s going to turn out to be a hunk like his brother.”
          “Probably.”
          “They call them that, too, you know.”
          “Call what?”
          Ellie drew a breath like she was dealing with a dodo. “Dinky-dos.”
          “They call them Peters?”
          “Without the cap.”
          “What?”
          “You know, small p peters.”
          “Oh. How does Peter… uh, Pete hold his head up?”
          “Doesn’t think about it, I guess. Can you imagine going around saying 'Hello, I’m Peter?'”
          Ellie laughed, drawing Kate’s chuckle right along with her. They walked half a block without speaking. Ellie broke the silence.
           "If you think Peter ought to feel bad, so should Richard."
           " They're called richards?"
           "No, silly. Dicks."
           "Kate blushed and giggled. "I don't think I'll be able to face either one of them again."
           "Not without laughing, anyway. They call them something else, too,” Ellie went on.
          “I know. Penises.”
          “That’s a medical name or something. They call them the C word.”
          “C word?’
          “Come on. Like in cock-a-doodle-doo.”
          “They call them cock-a-doodle—”
          “Just the first word.
          Kate spoke without thinking. “Cock?”
          Ellie giggled. “Ahmmm, you said a dirty word.”
          “Didn’t either.”
          “Did too! You said cock-a-doodle-doo without the doodle-doo.”
          Kate snickered. “You know, I think I like dinky-do better.”
          “So do I. Did you see that tacky bathing suit Mavis had on? She must think she has boobs, wearing a two-piece like that."
          The two walked down the sidewalk laughing and chattering like… well, like two girls.

*****
Like I said, a piece of nonsense this week. Hope you enjoyed the by-play. Ladies, don’t beat up on me too much for trying to get into the head of two little girls. Haven’t had much practice, you know.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is finished!

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to the Lovely Pines:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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