Thursday, May 25, 2023

What Lies Beyond the Fog? blog post #601

Image Courtesy of Wallpaper Access:


I hope you enjoyed last week’s dose of The Cutie-Pie Murders. This week, there’s a dose of recently created flash fiction. It’s quite a contrast from our last offering. Read on.




By Don Travis

Beau had seen many ocean fogs in his thirty years. Thick pea soup making landfall in heavy, gray curtains to overcome everything. A hand in front of the eyes became invisible. The viscoid brume filled nostrils with a briny dankness and clung to the body, wetting the skin and weighing clothing with a damp that seemed somehow soiled.

As he watched from the porch of his rented mountain cabin, the approaching white mist seemed lighter—gayer in a strange sort of way, evoking the delightful tinkling of silver bells, not the dire warning of hoarse horns. It floated, not roiled, rendering the trees anemic rather than consuming them. The branches and boles faded gradually as the drifting cloud drew near. Once past the forest, the dancing white wall cavorted across the small meadow, reaching for the cabin.

The feathery soup of suspended particles took Beau as it had the trees, with a touch of coolness on his face before enveloping him in its rimy grip. Unlike at the ocean, he was only semi-blind, enveloped in a nimbus of a near impenetrable light. Light that promised images of things yet to come. He drew a breath and experienced a coolness deep in his lungs. Delightful, in a momentarily painful way.

Having enough of a pleasurable new experience, Beau turned and fumbled his way to the door. The fine mist that escaped with him inside the A-frame quickly became heavy drops that fell to the carpet, rendering it damp beneath his boots.

He took comfort in the dancing flames of the fireplace, luxuriating in their warmth. Cup of hot coffee in hand, he pushed up the sleeves of his knitted cable sweater and stood at the massive front window, noting how the fog condensed on the glass, creating dewy droplets that traveled downward in halting, graceful trails, sometimes joining others to become heavier and outrace smaller beads to the bottom sill. A delightful fog, a pleasurable mist so unlike the smothering spindrift of the seaside.

Calming, he decided, as his eyelids drooped despite standing upright before the window. He hoped every morning of his one-week vacation started this way. What lay beyond the enveloping fog? Perhaps more snow. A fresh layer of pure, gleaming, unmarred white soon to be mysteriously crisscrossed by tracks of mostly unseen creatures. He’d glimpsed deer in the meadow once. And a family of coyotes. How did the creatures handle the fog? Did they frolic in it or hunker down until it passed?

Beau glanced at the window and noticed a change. Something pellet-like rat-tat-tatted against the glass, as if knocking to get in, seeking asylum. He smiled at his own imagination. The smile died as his ear caught a disturbance. A distant sound. A constant sound. A sound that grew until it rumbled against his ear.

Panicked, he recalled a morning radio newscast warning of avalanches in these snow filled mountain valleys. Nothing to worry about. He wasn’t skiing or hiking the trails. And nobody would build a cabin in an avalanche area. Of course, the locals he’d talked to said they’d already had more snow than any winter in over twenty years. That was a good thing, wasn’t it? Even so, his back puckered as the distant growling grew into a closer roaring.

His blood turned icy, warning him there was cause for worry. The approaching noise grew from roaring into thunder. The massive plate glass window vibrated, sang, whined, and then cracked. He watched, disbelieving his eyes, as snow crashed against the window, shattering it. The cabin floor tipped, throwing him to the carpet. Something white, no longer a pleasant fog, rushed into the cabin, tossing everything aside. The heavy couch flew through the air like a child’s toy. The white wall caught him before he could get to his knees, covering him, smothering him, crushing him.

Everything went quiet again as he lay buried in the snow. Inanely, he wondered how the animals had fared. Then he stopped wondering, thinking, breathing. Now, he was simply buried.


Perhaps it was the mood I was in as I penned the story, but there you have it. Bliss followed by Disaster. Till next week… and I have no idea of what that will bring.

Stay safe and stay strong.

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

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.  

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Cutie-Pie Murders, a look – A Look Three Years Later blog post #600

Image Courtesy of Dreamspinner Press:


It’s been a while since I’ve discussed my books on the website. Dreamspinner Press has published seven in the BJ Vinson Murder series, and I’d like to take the time to remind you of them. Burleigh J Vinson (any question why he uses his initials BJ?) and his life companion, the handsome Paul Barton appear in each book, and over the term of the series, their bond merely grows and strengthens. Paul graduates college (University of New Mexico), takes a master’s degree, and becomes a freelance journalist while BJ continues to run his private investigations business (although he picks up a partner, the retired cop Charlie Weeks). And, of course, Hazel Harris Weeks, Charlie’s wife, continues to run them all ragged as the office manager.

The books are as follow:

The Zozobra Incident

The Bisti Business

The City of Rocks

The Lovely Pines

 Abaddon’s Locusts

The Voxlightner Scandal

The Cutie-Pie Murders

 Always in need of sales, I’d like to give you another look at Cutie-Pie, the last of the series. At the beginning of Chapter 5, BJ and Paul are talking to the Baca family, whose son Petey, is the fourth of the murderer’s victims. The passage is sort of long, so please stick with me.





The Baca family’s house looked to be in mourning. The dirt-brown stucco reminded me of a tomb. The Moroccan arch leading onto the front porch and the equally crescent-shaped walnut carved door both brought gravestones to mind. The woman who answered the door Wednesday morning did nothing to relieve the impression. Small and walnut hued, she looked damaged but enduring.

I let Paul take the lead. He had such an open and sincere attitude that most people reacted favorably to him.

“Mrs. Baca?”

She nodded mutely.

“My name is Paul Barton, and this is my friend B. J. Vinson. May we offer our condolences about Petey? I wonder if we could talk to you about him?”

“Are you the police?”

I spoke up to spare Paul from explaining he was a journalist, which might not have gone over too well with a grieving mother. “I’m a confidential investigator, ma’am.”

“Why are you asking about Petey? Are you looking for his killer?”

“We’re investigating a series of killings of young men, and your son’s death seems to fit the circumstances.”

“I read something about that. You think that horrible serial killer murdered my Petey?”

“It’s possible. And I want to put a stop to it.”

“Come in, and let’s see if I can help you.” The “and him” she added in a whisper probably referenced her dead son.

From what Roy and Glenann had told me, the Bacas were solid middle class, but their modest home in a not-so-affluent Southeast Heights neighborhood reflected both frugality and pride of ownership. Afghans in bright colors covered inexpensive furniture in a sitting room obviously used only for visitors. A vase of pink roses on the mantelpiece surprised me until I figured out they were probably plastic. The delicate attar permeating the room was likely an air freshener. The family lived in other parts of the building. In fact, I heard a child, probably Petey’s little brother, somewhere in the back of the house.

Once we were seated and served with particularly good cups of hot tea, Mrs. Baca leaned back in her chair and waited expectantly.

I took a sip and placed the cup on the small coffee table in front of me. “Is your husband home?”

She shook her head. “He’s at work. He works for the public school system. And lately, he’s been putting in long hours. You know, to take care of expenses we didn’t know were coming.”

I understood her to mean Petey’s funeral expenses. I cleared my throat. “Could you introduce us to Petey? Let us see him for the young man he was?”

With a great deal of dignity, Mrs. Baca led us through Petey’s brief life. Bright, quick to anger but rapid to forgive, he appeared to be a decent youth willing to work hard and keep his nose clean. He’d been both patient with and exasperated by his little brother, Jimmy. Although the murdered youth had been in his freshman year at UNM, he lived at home in order to save money. And as Jules’s nosy neighbor had told me, Petey often picked up little Jimmy at his math tutor’s house when the older boy had no classes that interfered.

As Petey’s life unfolded between tears and sniffles and frequent photographs of the two boys, I grew even more incensed at the heartbreak and misery this killer spread over Albuquerque. Even seasoned lawmen often became so wrapped up in seeking justice—or retribution—for the killer’s victims, they sometimes missed the tragic effects on the victims’ families. Murder not only brought death, it also rent families apart, ruined ambitions, and caused health problems and heartbreak. My resolve to bring this to an end stiffened and brought back the memory of my exchange with Charlie the other day. I’d said, “Nothing illegal.” Now I was willing to reconsider. I wanted this bastard found and put away.

Once Mrs. Baca had purged her soul talking about her son’s life, I started with the questions. The first one was about Matt Zapata. She scanned the picture and said she’d never seen him.

“Of course, Petey might have known him at the university. He was a freshman, you know.”

“Yes, ma’am, that’s a possibility. Did he have any friends at an apartment house in the 4200 block of East Central known as the Park House?”

Her brows knitted, deepening the crease between them. “Not that I know of. But….”

“Yes,” I finished for her, “he might have known someone from the U.”

“You said you called his friends. How about friends from the university? You know any of them?” Paul asked.

“He talked about one or two of them, but he never brought them home. Maybe my husband knows some names. Is it important?”

I placed my card on the coffee table. “It could be. Perhaps you’ll ask your husband and let my office know if he comes up with any names. What about girlfriends? Was he going with anyone?”

“He did in high school. Got quite serious, but her family moved to Las Cruces. They tried to keep in touch, but you know how it is at such an age.”

“Did Mr. McClintock ever tutor Petey?”

“Heavens no. Petey was always a good student.” She looked abashed at her outburst. “Of course, Jimmy is too, except in math. But Mr. McClintock has helped him a great deal.”

Jimmy ambled into the room with a football under his arm and stopped dead still. He stood for a moment without speaking before blurting out, “Who’re you?”

“Don’t be rude, Jimmy. These men are investigators asking about your brother. They want to help catch the monster who killed him.”

Paul reacted faster than I did. “I see you’re a football player. What say we go outside and throw some passes while your mom and Mr. Vinson finish up.”

“Yeah. Sure.”

“Be careful of traffic,” Mrs. Baca called as they headed out the door.

That told me Jimmy and his friends played ball on the residential street in front of the house. When the door closed behind them, I turned back to the grieving mother.

“Did Petey ever spend any time with Mr. McClintock? You know, go over early or stay late when he was picking up his brother?”

“Not that I recall. Sometimes I had to poke at him to get him to get over there in time to pick up his brother.” She frowned again. “Most of the time he went directly from his classes or the library at school to pick up Jimmy. It’s quite a drive from here, and Petey saved on gas that way. He didn’t want to be a burden. He worked evenings at a café not far from here to help pay his expenses at college.”

“Was he able to contribute much?”

“More than I thought. He waited tables, you see, and was usually tipped decently. Petey had a good way with people. They liked him, so they left him good tips.”

“Ma’am, I’m going to ask you a question that might offend you, but it has to be asked, and I’m doing it in the most respectful way possible. You’ve told me about Petey’s girlfriends. Did he have boyfriends?”

“Of course he had boys as friends. He—”

“No, ma’am. Did he have boyfriends?”

Her mouth dropped open. “Dios no! He went to church with us regularly. Went to confession. He… wasn’t like that.”

Her unconscious prejudice saddened me a little. The coming enlightenment hadn’t reached everywhere. Maybe someday.

“Thank you, Mrs. Baca. It was something I had to ask. But think about it for a moment. It’s not something he would have admitted or made obvious. Are you certain?”

She gnawed her lower lip for half a minute, telling me her mind was flashing back over her late son’s life from birth to death. She’d give me an honest answer.

“There was a boy who lived next door a few years back. They were close, like brothers, really. But I’m certain there was nothing like that going on. No, definitely not.”

“Again, thank you, ma’am. What can you tell me about the day he disappeared? A Thursday, I believe.”

Maria Baca swallowed audibly. Her eyes moistened. “Yes. Thursday. I was at work all day. I housekeep for some families up in the Heights. I came home and found his car in the driveway with the hood up. He’d been working on it, you see.”

“What did Jimmy say about it?”

“Jimmy was still at school. When he got home, he said his brother had been having car trouble. So we assumed he was off getting a part he needed.”

“Petey wasn’t in class that day?”

“He only had morning classes on Thursday.”

“And when he didn’t return home?”

“I didn’t start to worry until after dark. Then I called all his friends, but no one had seen him all day. So I asked the neighbors. Mrs. Samuelson next door saw him start up the street toward the Gas Mart. Waved to him in fact.”

“When was this?”

“Around two, the best she could remember.”

“Aside from calling his friends, what did you do?”

“I called the police station over on Louisiana Street, but they told me there was nothing they could do. He hadn’t been gone long enough. Promised to keep an eye out for him, but that’s all.”

“That’s true, ma’am. Then what?”

“I called our church. Petey’d been to confession the Sunday before that, so I thought maybe the father could tell me if he was disturbed about something. Of course, he couldn’t tell me anything, but I wanted to know if Petey was worried about something. He… he said no, Petey seemed okay. His usual self.” A tear spilled from her right eye. “My husband and I spent a sleepless night. Even called his father up in Denver to see if he’d heard anything.”

“Your husband isn’t Petey’s father?”

She shook her head. “We were divorced. But my husband’s been Petey’s father for the last six years. He loved Petey as much as he loved Jimmy.”

“Had your ex-husband heard from Petey?”

“He hadn’t.” Her voice almost failed. “And then… and then the next morning, they called and told us… they’d found him.”

I allowed her to recover before spending another fifteen minutes asking questions that gave me nothing new. I terminated the interview, and when we stepped to the porch, she smiled—the first one I’d seen from her—at the sight of Paul throwing passes to an obviously delighted and coltish Jimmy Baca.

Her voice sounded strong when she called out to her son. “Time to go to the school bus, Jimmy.” In a near whisper, she added, “Time to move on.”




I felt a touch of nostalgia as I perused the book to locate this segment. I’m gonna have to give BJ and Paul another mystery to solve one day soon.

Stay safe and stay strong.

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

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.





New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Spirit Wolf, A Guest Post blog post #599

 Image Courtesy of Dreamstime:



How about that, another guest post this week. My other Okie buddy asked me if he could guest post, and I liked the story, so I said yes. This one’s a short one. Let Don and me know how you like it.



By Donald T. Morgan

 The big wolf slipping through the trees a hundred feet to my right unsettled me. I wasn’t worried about the beast, but he spooked my horse. A wolf’s howl – real or dreamt – punctuating the same dream three nights in a row had started me on this trip. I considered shooting the thing, but Ma’am’s got Ojibway blood, and she looked on wolves as medicine animals.

My sir had wanted me to wait until after planting before taking off for Waususa ten miles to the west. And I’d agreed, until those vague, formless dreams about Tillie, each punctuated by the call of a wolf, riled me up.

Matilda Thorgensen was my best friend until her widowed pa pulled up stakes for Waususa. The day she left a year ago this coming April had been magical. We’d snuck off to say goodbye, and until casting eyes on her exposed bosom, I hadn’t known I lusted after her. I entered that pine grove an eighteen-year-old boy and left it a man. Then, after that magnificent awakening, she was gone.

Other than claiming I was mopey and likely needed a tonic, Sir was blind to my discovery. Ma’am saw right through me. She might even suspect I’d had a taste of the carnal.

So I set off for Waususa before a proper spring arrived. Heavy, dark clouds pressed the sky down on me. The air smelled like rain. Trees struggling to bud dripped water. Mushy ground made the going slow. Old Red, our riding horse, splashed through springs and brooks—all running high from early snow melt—without any trouble, but Beaver Creek looked more like a river. With my heart down in my boots, I stared at the tumbling water. I’d have to turn back.

Suddenly, Red jumped sideways, almost dumping me. I got him under control and saw the timber wolf had snuck up on us. I made threatening noises, but he kept coming. So I let the horse retreat down the bank.

The lobo halted in his tracks when I came to a spot where the creek fractured into three shallow branches the horse could wade without dumping us both. Fifty yards on down the trail, I saw the wolf was still with me.

I started looking for Tillie as soon as I reached Waususa late that afternoon. People mostly avoided me, but someone finally steered me to a burned down house. Neighbors turned shy, so I ended up on Main Street in front of the Silver Spur. The saloon was too wild and noisy, but that’s where the people were, except for God-fearing folk home having supper. I went to every table in the honky-tonk asking about Tillie and her pa without learning nothing.

Just as I gave up, I came upon a woman like I’d never seen before but heard about all my life. Little bitty skirt. Bare legs showing through black stockings made like a fishnet. I’d never seen a woman’s legs before, except for Tillie’s that one time. Naked shoulders. Bad women, my ma’am called them without explaining. But I knew. They drank whiskey with men and did other things with them too. Remembering I’d done that same act with Tillie last spring put a blush on my face.

She rested a small hand with fingernails painted bright red on a sprung hip. “Hello, handsome. Buy a lady a drink?”

“Excuse me, ma’am, but I don’t have no money.”

“Did I hear you asking after Tillie Thorgensen?”

It felt like I turned redder. “Yes‘um.”

“Your name ain’t Luke, is it?”

I glanced up. Her eyes were blue. Like Tillie’s. “Yes‘um. Luke Streller.”

“Tell you what, Luke. You mosey on out the door over there and meet me round back.”

“Ummm, like I said, ma’am, I don’t have no money—”

I’d heard about bawdy laughs but didn’t know what they were. I figured I was hearing one right now.

“Honey, I might take a cutie like you on for free, but that ain’t it. Go on now.”

My face musta matched her fingernails as I scooted for the door. But as I walked the shadows between the saloon and the building next door, I went squirrelly. What if she set one of the big bouncers on me? The alley at the rear of the saloon was even darker. I paused and wrestled with my doubts.


I made her out beneath a stairway leading up to the second floor. A lace shawl covered her shoulders. That red dress splashed with shiny spangles looked black in the night. The alleyway smelled like cat piss as I approached her.

“Tillie talked about you. That’s how I knew it was you,” she said.

“Where is she? Her house is all burned down. What happened?”

“They think Old Man Thurgensen fell asleep while he was smoking one of his cigars. He’d been drinking a lot ever since the baby came.”

I thought she’d hit me in the head with a club. I got swoony. “Baby? What baby?”

“Your baby.”

“My baby?” my mouth asked without any help from me. Hell, we’d only done it once. A fellow couldn’t make a baby on the first try, could he?

“A little boy. She named him Lucas, after you.”

“Where are they?” My voice sounded like I was at the bottom of a well.

“Oh, honey, Tillie and her daddy died in the fire.”

She might as well have slugged me in the belly. My legs went wobbly. I think I woulda fallen over if she hadn’t reached out and grabbed my arm. Some sort of God-awful sound came outa me.

“Why wouldn’t nobody tell me?” I managed to ask.

“The whole town treated them awful. You know, her without no husband, and all. But the baby’s alive. Tillie threw him out a little window at the back, but she couldn’t get through it herself.”

“Where… where is he?”

She led me down the dark, rank alley to the back door of a small house. She knocked once and entered with me right behind her. A fleshy black woman with short, graying hair rose from a chair with a small bundle in her arms.

“Mazie, this here’s Luke. Big Luke.”

“Yes’um, Miss Lupe. Pleased to meet you, sir.”

“Is that….”

“That’s Little Luke. Your son,” Lupe said.

I don’t remember reaching for him, but somehow, he was in my arms staring up at me through Tillie’s eyes. He was littler than I thought a human could ever be. When I pulled him up for a closer look, his tiny fist grabbed my lower lip… and yanked my heart right out of my chest.

As I set out for home with Little Luke in my arms, I was a believer. Wolves were medicine animals … at least this one was. And somehow, I had to let him see I’d got his message.

I ought not have worried. I hadn’t gone a mile before I saw a gray shadow in the tree line. A little later, a long, lonesome howl sent shivers up my spine, but Little Luke just snuggled deeper in my arms.


Well done, Don. I enjoyed the story. I would have thought it was more of a Mark Wildyr type of story, but understand you guest posted it on his website a year ago. Thanks.

Hope you readers enjoyed Don’s tale.

Stay safe and stay strong.

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

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.  

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Yip, Yap, and Yup, Part 3 of 3 Parts (A Guest Post) blog post #598


Last week, Mark Wildyr’s story of trouble among triplets, two identical and one fraternal was told from the viewpoint of Yep, the neutral identical. Today, we conclude the story by hearing from Yup, the fraternal (and victim) triplet.



            YIP, YAP, AND YUP

By Mark Wildyr


I don’t believe it. One of the two guys I shared the womb with has a problem with me. And I do mean a problem. Last week he picked a fight with me by talking trash about a girl I know he likes. Just because she picked me over him. Okay, so I do believe it. I just don’t understand it.

We used to get along, all three of us, like the triplets we were. Went everywhere together. Did everything together. Buddies… buds… brothers. Now it’s me against Yip with Yep standing in the middle trying to figure out which way to dodge. That fight I mentioned? It was a real fight. I merely defended myself at first, but when it was clear he was out to hurt, I started slugging it out with him. Dunno where it’d have ended if dad hadn’t stepped in.

Things went from bad to worse last semester when he got thrown off the basketball team for trying to provoke a fight with me during a practice game. But worse went to worst last Friday when the soccer coach threw him off the field for bad sportsmanship. Kept trying to hurt me with the ball while I was playing goalie. I felt sorta bad over that one because soccer is Yip’s game. Pretty good at it when he plays the game instead of plays to hurt.

Tomorrow, I’m gonna try to see if I can’t work things out with my brother. Families oughta hang together, not tear one another apart. Tonight, I just want a good night’s sleep, and in the morning, I’ll say whatever I have to to set things straight.

I tried to still my mind—you know, rehearsing what I was gonna say tomorrow—but it wasn’t easy. I’d about enticed the sandman through the bedroom door, when a “whomp” brought me wide awake.

The night outside my window lit up like Christmas. It took me a minute to figure out something was on fire. I pulled open the curtain and found it was my car. I’d been low on gas, and that sound I heard was the fumes in my tank going off. Now the back end was burning away merrily.

I pulled on trousers and loafers and raced outside, but there wasn’t much I could do. Both my brothers showed up in the yard, and Dad wasn’t far behind, already on his cell to 911. The fire truck arrived first with the police not far behind.

The fire department was efficient, the police… not so much. There’d been a couple of similar incidents on the other side of town, but nobody’d been busted for it. The cops decided the miscreants—their word—had moved to this neighborhood. But I knew better. All I had to do was look at Yip’s smug kisser, and I knew. Still, I couldn’t accuse my brother of arson, not even when he mouthed “how do you like them apples,” when nobody else was looking.

The car was a total loss.

“Don’t worry, insurance will take care of it,” Yip said in a consoling tone of voice when we all went back in the house to try and get some sleep after all the responders left.

Yeah right. Whoever came out ahead when dealing with an insurance company?


“Jerry, I can’t see you anymore.”

Cindy was the only person alive who called me Jerry. To the rest of the world, I was Yup. I sorta liked being Jerry, but I didn’t like what I was hearing. With my blood running cold in my veins, I put a hand to her cheek and forced her to look at me. Other kids swirled around us as we stood in the school’s hallway.

“What are you saying? We get along great. I… I love you, Cindy.”

She clasped my hand and pulled it away. “I have feelings for you too, but… but I can’t take the pressure. I hate getting up in the morning anymore.”


“Yip calls me every day. Tells me I’ve gotta break up with you.”

“You can’t let him tell you what to do.”

“I even told my folks, and they called your folks, but it didn’t do any good. He quit for a day and started back up.”

“Tell your dad again.”

“It won’t do any good.”

“Call the police and tell them you’re being harassed.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that!”

“You’d break up with me before you’d go to the police?”

She was silent for a long moment, head bowed, her long brown hair shielded her face, denying me the opportunity to study her big, brown eyes. Her eyes were her best feature.

“He… he said you were queer… uh, gay. That you went to Lincoln Haverson after our dates and… and….”

“And you believe him?” I demanded in a harsher voice than I intended.

She glanced up, those fabulous eyes troubled. “I… I don’t know. We just need to cool it for a while.” After those words, Cindy ran for the exit.

“I’ll take care of it!” I yelled after her.


Yip was waiting for me when I got home. He sat on the front porch with his beach bag between his feet. I knew it held his swimsuit, a brightly colored beach towel, and some sun lotion. But I didn’t know what else was in there, and these days I suspected he was toting. Our dad was a gun rights activist, and saw that all three of us had a Ruger’s pistol and a Winchester .30-.30 rifle.

“Hello, Yup, you don’t look happy,” he said with a shit-eating grin on his face.

“You son-of-a-bitch, what lies have you been telling Cindy?

“Cindy?” he asked with a smirk on his face, letting me know it wasn’t just Cindy he’d spread his filthy rumors to. “Just wondered why you and the town queer were so close, that’s all. Thought maybe she’d ask you and clear it up.”

“Lincoln and I are acquaintances, not friends.”

“Seem friendly to me. But then, you’re a friendly guy.”

“I don’t treat him like dirt, like the rest of the school does.”

He spread his hands. “There you go. Friends. Does he give a good blowjob?”

“I wouldn’t know,” I said. “But you probably do.”

Yip gave that smile that made him so handsome and so infuriating all at the same time. “Matter of fact, I do. He gives a great one when a guy gets hard up. Gotta run. Meeting the guys at the school pool.”

He grabbed his beach bag—which seemed awfully heavy to me—and brushed past me on the way to his car. I sat on the porch for thirty minutes to think things over. Maybe I should go to Dad. In the past he’d just tut-tutted his way around a problem between us, blamed everybody and done nothing.

Mom was a little more effective, but I didn’t want to get her in the middle of this, especially if he was throwing the “queer” word around.

The cops? Sibling rivalry. Plus, they tended to be unsympathetic to anyone labeled gay, true or not.

The coaches at school? Possibly, because they already knew how he acted toward me.

After some more thought, something became clear. I needed to handle this on my own. Man up, Yup, man up. I went to my room for a moment before starting for the pool… hiking because I hadn’t been able to replace my car yet. That was okay, it wasn’t a long walk. It would give me time to get in the proper frame of mind for what I had to do.

With that thought, I wondered if anyone thought it strange I wore a windbreaker this time of year. But I needed a jacket to conceal my Ruger.



Quite a ride. All I can say is that Yup thinks long and hard on that walk to the school swimming pool. Otherwise, there’s gonna be blood in the water, and we don’t need any more of that senseless action.

Hope you enjoyed Mark’s tale.

Stay safe and stay strong.

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

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.  

Blog Archive