I’m pretty sure I told you about DSP Publications bringing out reprints of THE ZOZOBRA INCIDENT and THE BISTI BUSINESS. I also believe I told you that the third (and as yet unpublished) book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, THE CITY OF ROCKS, is due out from DSPP on July 14. What I haven’t told you as yet (hot off the presses) is that they’ve agreed to publish the fourth novel, THE LOVELY PINES. There is no publication date on that book yet.
Now I would like to introduce you to the fifth novel in the BJ Vinson series, which bears the working title of ABADDON'S LOCUSTS. The following are the Prologue and the first couple of pages of Chapter 1.
By Don Travis
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The two men gazed at the naked, sleeping youth sprawled across the mattress. The older, who had streaks of silver at his temples, handed over a number of large denomination bills to a young Hispanic almost as handsome as the boy on the bed but with a harder cast to his features.
“Fucking beautiful.” Now fully clothed, Silver Wings exuded the authority of a player, a someone who counted. “Are you sure he’s eighteen?”
“Just turned eighteen last week. He is that rare creature who is as beautiful as a woman and as macho as a man. He performed adequately, no?”
“More than adequately.” Silver Wings rubbed his eyes as if remembering. “He was fantastic. Must have worn himself out. Does he usually go comatose afterward?”
“Ah, that’s the drug. You see, he feels he gets a bigger charge if he uses something to enhance the moment. But you benefit as well, no?” He eyed his companion. “You can have him for twenty-five thousand. Exclusively yours for as long as you want.”
Interest flickered and died. “Tempting. But my household isn’t set up for that kind of arrangement. I prefer to call you when I feel the need. Even if that means sharing him.”
Hispano regarded the other man through large, brown eyes. “Sorry, but if you don’t take him, we’re moving him south.”
“South? To Mexico, you mean. Juarez?” That wouldn’t be too bad. It was a short flight to El Paso.
“Initially, but there’s a potentate in the Middle East who went ape shit over the kid’s photos. He wants him. And for a lot more than twenty-five, I can tell you. I only offered you that price because you’re a good customer.”
“Middle East, huh?” Silver Wings licked his lips. “Can you put that transfer off for a few days while I see if I can work something out?”
“Two days. Then I gotta move him.”
“Give me a week. I’d have to reorder my life, you know. And I’d like to visit him a couple of times. Usual fee, of course. That ought to give you reason enough to hold him here.”
“I can give you your week, but no more. I have people to answer to, you know.”
“Thank you. I’d like him again tomorrow night, but it will have to be late. I have a dinner meeting.”
“At your convenience. Just give me a call.”
Silver Wings left the motel reluctantly. What would happen in that room now those two were alone? He felt a twinge of interest despite his exhaustion. Oh, how he’d like to witness a coupling between those two. He wrinkled his nose. Perhaps he’d request that tomorrow. It would cost more.
But it was only money.
Monday, August 9, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico
I parked my car in the detached garage at 5229 Post Oak Drive NE and sat for a moment trying to figure out what I’d just heard on the radio. Something called “Alejandro” by someone proclaiming herself to be Lady Gaga. A devoted classical music fan, I’d failed to reset the station after Paul and I went for a rare game of weekend golf at the North Valley Country Club. I guess I qualify as a snob because what I’d just listened to was more of an assault to my senses than music. At least the music I was accustomed to.
After climbing out of the car, I shut the garage door. Paul wasn’t home yet, and I wanted to leave room for his Dodge Charger on the driveway. As I turned away from the door, a frail voice reached my ears.
I glanced up to spot the late afternoon sun catching in Mrs. Gertrude Wardlow’s helmet of blue-white hair as she waved to me. The widow had lived in the white brick across the street for as long as I could remember, and I’d grown up in this house my father built. She and her husband Herb had been with the Drug Enforcement Agency from the time it formed in 1973 until their retirement. Herb had since gone on to his reward—which turned out to be an urn on his wife’s mantelpiece. I walked down the driveway and met her in the middle of the street.
“I’m so glad I caught you,” she said, resting a blue-veined hand on her breast. “A young man on a motorcycle has been driving up and down the street. He’s stopped at your place twice. Rang the bell and then drove off.”
No doubt she was recalling the time three years ago when two thugs on a motorcycle attempted to gun me down. When she’d yelled to distract their murderous attention, they responded by shooting up the front of her house, scattering Herb all over the front room carpet. What we were able to scrape up of her late husband now rested in a new urn, although I’m certain a part of him exited the place in a vacuum cleaner bag.
I smiled and touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not involved in any gang disputes at the moment. Not that I know of, at any rate.”
She covered her lips with the fingers of her left hand. “Oh, I’d forgotten about that. I merely thought you should be aware someone was trying to contact you.”
“Thank you, Mrs. W. I’ll be on the lookout.”
After exchanging pleasantries for a moment, we parted. As I mounted the stairs to the front porch, I saw no evidence of a note, so the mysterious biker hadn’t left a message. That meant he would probably return.
I rushed inside and soon forgot the matter as I started heating one of Paul’s casseroles. I burned toast; he prepared gourmet meals. We planned on staying home tonight and watching an episode of a new gumshoe TV program called The Glades. Matt Passmore, the guy who played the detective, was a way-cool customer who Paul claimed should be my role model. I’d no sooner set the dish to heating than I heard a rumble on the street outside. A moment later the doorbell rang.
Did that catch your interest? It’s still abirthing, but I think I’ll be a worthy successor to THE LOVELY PINES.
Gonna leave the links to me and my writing and plus the DSP Publications buy links. Let me know what you think of the opening to the new book.
DSP Pub paperback: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-bisti-business-by-don-travis-361-b
As always, thanks for being readers.
New blogs are posted at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.