Thursday, May 24, 2018

MOUNDS, a Guest Blog blog post #286

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday got a host of hits, but few comments. Stop sending me mixed messages, guys. Let me know what you’re thinking.

Not too long ago, I posted a guest blog by Donald T. Morgan, an excerpt from his unpublished novel, Old Sassy Pants. Today, he’s giving me another one, the opening to another novel called Mounds. Let him know how you like his work.


By Donald T. Morgan

Courtesy of Pixabay

Malcolm County, Southeastern Oklahoma

She lay sprawled beneath him on a frayed horse blanket in the gloomy hayloft. There had been no greeting, no posturing, nothing except a harsh entry followed by a sweaty, steamy explosion. He aimed to hurt. But she was a match for him, meeting his thrusts, absorbing his anger, and frustrating attempts to reduce the assignation to the level of just another roll in the hay.
“Bitch!” He dragged the word across the breadth of his orgasm.
“Bastard.” A self-satisfied smirk hid in her breathy drawl; his had carried nothing but longing and suppressed fury. She sighed, already drawing breath more easily than he, and ran scarlet-tipped fingers through the pale flame of a candle lit to watch him labor over her. “I do like the way yawl screw.”
“Not… make love?”
“Wouldn’t wanna mess up a good thing by calling it wrong.” She laughed low in her throat at the way he vainly fought to keep his eyes off her shadowed curves.
A snarl tore out of him, ending in a sobbing shudder. “I oughta kill you. Someday, I will.” Without another word, he threw on his clothes and left, moving stealthily through the moonless Oklahoma night.
She lingered on the rough, scratchy blanket, allowing his aura of carnal fury to dissipate. Caressing her violated flesh, she inhaled the heady redolence of the barn: manure, urine, and the earthy aroma of the big animals in the stalls below, masked by the woody hay, her own fragrance, and his stimulating musk.
The thick, humid air crackled with the charged atoms of an approaching thunderstorm, although she preferred to believe it was the lingering essence of the most exciting man she had ever known. Drowsily, she mused over her conquest.
Dangerous? Of course, it was. That’s what made it so wonderful.


Figuring his daddy was about ready to emerge from a two-day hangover, Derek Monsum came in from the fields early and found Carlton working on Red Rover beneath the huge oak in the front yard. A good sign. His father wouldn’t take a wrench to the old Chevy pickup unless his hand was reasonably steady. That pile of bolts and faded red sheet metal was their only means of transportation.
“Can I talk to you a minute?” Private code for “Are you up to listening?”
Carlton adjusted the crutch under his arm to compensate for the right leg he’d lost in the Panama invasion. “Sure. Trying to tune this balky carburetor, but it’s a touchy piece of work. Fields look pretty good, Derek.”
“Thanks.” He took heart at his father’s grammar. Carlton’s drawl got heavy and his English went careless when he was under the influence. “Did you hear the news on the radio last night?”
His father pulled his head out of the truck’s innards. A trace of alcohol rode the heavier oil and grease fumes rising from the motor. “What news?” 
“Oklahoma University’s gonna excavate the mounds. Some fellow by the name of Dr. Henry Ericksen’s gonna lead a team from the Anthropology Department down here this summer.”
A flash of pain twisted his father’s features. “Oh, God, I’m sorry. I know that was your dream.”
“That’s okay. It was bound to happen one of these days. I’ll never be an archaeologist, anyway.”
He regretted the words the moment they came out of his mouth. Carlton looked as if he’d been slapped. But it was true—that ambition died when he quit school to take care of the farm after Bowie ran off. His brother had put up with Daddy’s new wife for two years, but Cassie was always on him. Derek was too young back then to understand things he could see plain as day now he was a grown man.
Ashamed of his thoughts, he cleared his throat. “What I was thinking was, maybe I can take a job at the dig. It’d just be labor work, but I could make a little money and get some practical experience, too. You know, see how they do things. At least be a little part of it.”
Carlton hid back inside the motor cavity. “Could be.”
“I’ve got the disking and fertilizing done. I’ll start seeding tomorrow. That won’t take long.” He scraped the ragged edge of a peeling rust spot on the raised hood with his thumbnail. “After that, it’ll be an easy time for a spell.”
“One your old man can handle.” The voice from the motor well held a wretchedness that drove Derek a step backwards.
“Shoot, you’re ten times the farmer I am. You could—”
“Don’t patronize me. I know what I am. What you’re asking is if I’ll stay off the booze for the summer. Well, you gotta ask straight out.”
Derek almost lost heart at the misery in his father’s tone, but he scratched the brown mole on his upper lip—his stress barometer, his mama used to call it—and held his ground. “Yes, sir, that’s what I’m asking. Will you keep it under control for a few weeks so I can try for a job with the dig crew?”
Carlton’s shoulders sagged as he pulled out from under the hood again to face his younger son. “I’ll keep a lid on things. You go see if you can get a job. The extra dollars will come in handy.”
“They probably won’t pay much.”
“Whatever it is, it’ll be welcome.” Carlton put his head down again, signaling the conversation was over.


If I had to guess, I’d say this is a story about a young man trying to recapture faded ambitions. Knowing Donald, I’d also say the novel holds some mystery. By the way, he’s writing about the country we both came from. In real life, it was McCurtain County, Oklahoma, centered around a little town nine miles from Arkansas and thirty miles from Texas. I know it well.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.

The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019.

See you next week.


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

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