Well, 3.5 readers. It finally happened.
I got a draft of a book finished that I felt was worthy enough to print out:
I know. Very exciting. But this is big. I believe it will get done and sooner rather than later.
Well, 3.5 readers. It finally happened.
I got a draft of a book finished that I felt was worthy enough to print out:
I know. Very exciting. But this is big. I believe it will get done and sooner rather than later.
BQB’s EDITORIAL NOTE: 3.5 readers, I heard a rumor you guys are struggling with your self-publishing ventures lately, so I invited a special guest speaker to come in and motivate you. Please welcome a young Alec Baldwin in his prime.
Let me have your attention for a moment! So you’re talking about what? You’re talking about…(puts out his cigarette)…bitching about that book launch you shot, some son of a bitch reader that doesn’t want to read your book, somebody that doesn’t want to read what you’re writing, some broad you’re trying to screw but she won’t screw you because writers never get laid and so forth. Let’s talk about something important. Are they all here?
All but one.
Well, I’m going anyway. Let’s talk about something important. (To Levene) Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for self-publishers only. (Levene scoffs). Do you think I’m fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I’m here from downtown. I’m here from a primo e-book sales site. I’m here on a mission of mercy. Your name’s Levene?
You call yourself a self-publisher, you son of a bitch?
I don’t have to listen to this shit.
You certainly don’t, pal. ‘Cause the good news is you’re fired from my platform. The bad news is you’ve got, all you got, just one week to regain your jobs as self-publishers, starting tonight. Starting with tonight’s word count session. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. ‘Cause we’re adding a little something to this month’s self-publishing contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize is a box of steak knives. (Holds up box of knives).
Third prize is you’re fired. You get the picture. You laughing now? You’ve got words. That fuck who wrote the dictionary went to a lot of trouble to get you those words. Think about the right word combinations and write them!
You can’t finish writing a book with the words you’ve been given then you can’t write for shit. You ARE shit, so hit the bricks pal and beat it because you are going out!
The words are weak.
‘The words are weak.’ The fucking words are weak? You’re weak. I’ve been in the self-publishing business for fifteen years. That’s right. I went back in time and told myself to start self-publishing before any of this shit was even invented.
What’s your name?
Fuck you! That’s my name. You know why, Mister? Because you wrote your novel tonight on a bargain basement, second hand Dell and I wrote my novel on a state of the art, top of the line Mac Book Pro. That’s my name!
(To Levene) – And your name is “you’re wanting to self-publish but you’re too chicken shit to get off your ass and do it.” You can’t play in a man’s game. You can’t close out a book.
(To Everyone) – Because only one thing counts in this life! Get readers to read your books! Do you hear me, you fucking losers?
(Blake points to a blackboard. Two sets of letters are written on it: “ABS” and “ADIY.”)
A-B-C. A-always, B-be, S-self-publishing. Always be self-publishing! Always be self-publishing.
A-D-I-Y. Always Do It Yourself. Stop waiting for those traditional publishing pricks to give you the keys to the golden kingdom because it’s never going to happen. Are you going to do it yourself? I know you are because it’s fuck or walk. You self-publish or you hit the bricks!
Do it yourself! Who else are you going to do it for? Christ? Take action. Get out there!
You’ve got the readers coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? The guy doesn’t come to your online book sales page unless he wants to read. He is sitting out there waiting to give you his money!
Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? (to Moss) What’s the problem pal? You! Moss!
You’re such a hero. You’re so rich. Why are you coming down here just to waste your time on a bunch of bums?
(Blake takes off his gold watch and shows it to Moss).
You see this watch? You see this watch?
This watch costs more than your car. I made $970,000 on self-publishing last year, mostly on one book that had a really descriptive scene about a giant pair of titties. How much did you make? You see, pal, that’s who I am. And you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you. Go home and play with your kids.
(To everyone) – You want to self-publish here? Finish writing a book! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksuckers? You can’t take this, how are you going to take it when your book gets a one star review?
You don’t like it? Leave. I can go out there tonight with the words you’ve got and write myself fifteen thousand books. Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise!
A-D-I-Y! Get mad! Get mad, you sons of bitches! You know what it takes to sell books?
(Blake pulls a set of brass balls out of his brief case and dangles it in front of his crotch).
It takes a set of brass balls to sell books.
Go and do likewise, gents. The money’s out there. You pick it up? It’s yours. You don’t? I have no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those word count sessions tonight and rack up big counts then those words are yours. If not, you’re going to be shining my shoes.
Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar. (Speaks in a sad tone). “Oh yeah, I used to be a self-publisher. It’s a tough racket.”
(Blake takes a stack of index cards out of his briefcase).
These are the new words. These are the Glengarry words. And to you, they’re gold. And you don’t get them. Why? Because to give these words to you would be to just throw them away.
These words are for self-publishers. I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it.
(To Moss) – And to answer your question, pal. Why am I here? I came here because the book sales site asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said, ‘The real favor? Follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.’
(Blake heads into interior office).
Hey 3.5 readers.
Time for a State of the Bookshelf address.
First, check out the 3D cover of my upcoming book:
You know 3.5, I have to say it. This book cover is a small victory for me.
Maybe one day I’ll share my trials and tribulations but suffice to say, I’ve been through some shit. I’m ambitious. I try hard. I work hard. Yet inevitably, for as long as I can remember, I always end up landing flat on my face.
Life has always been like Lucy holding that football. There have been many times where I, in a Charlie Brown-like manner, would assume I was about to make it (i.e. kick that football) only to have life (or Lucy) take the football away leaving me (just like Charlie) flat on my ass.
I wonder if Charles Schultz ever realized how he captured a brilliant metaphor to explain how people can only try and fail so many times before they give up. Maybe that’s why Charlie is so lovable. He kept trying to kick that football even though defeat was certain.
I often wonder why I don’t give up, why I keep Charlie Brown-ing it. But lately, I think I’m Langston Hughes-ing it:
Dreams – Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Yeah, there are many more practical things I could be doing than blogging and writing, especially when my many attempts at kicking life’s football have left me shouting, “Uggh!” before rolling over and over again through the air then landing on my butt.
Yet, what’s the alternative? I’ve got to hold onto the dream because Langston is right. Without dreams, life is a field of barren snow.
So I must keep giving Lucy the chance to pull that football away to avoid a snowy life, if that makes any sense.
All this is a very longwinded way of saying that I don’t feel like the football was pulled away from me in this respect. I got off my butt, I did something, I set up a design contest, I talked to some designers and I got a pretty sweet cover.
I started out a pessimist. I thought it wouldn’t work out. But it did. Lucy let my toe briefly tap the ball and that’s a step in the right direction.
3.5 readers, I hate to set an arbitrary date but I really need you all to become 3.5 million readers by 2020. That’s more or less the last year where I could conceivably use my prospective book writing moolah to throw a wild, lavish party ala that party scene in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Yeah. I know. That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself. I’m not sure people could get excited enough about books to support an NWA style party in the name of books. (You have to see the party scene in that movie to know what I’m talking about).
But at any rate, that’s my gauge for success. Malibu mansion to throw NWA style party in to celebrate my writing career by 2020. If it happens in 2021, that’ll be too late. The millions coming in 2022 or 2023 won’t matter. Give me millions in 2025 and I’ll just smile and nod and then donate it to charity or some shit because by then I will have lost my ability to care.
Malibu NWA style party to celebrate my book career by 2020 or bust! And you all 3.5 of you are invited.
Hey, by the way, before I go back to yeti captivity, you nerds have put me over 2000 followers.
Thanks for listening, 3.5. The state of the bookshelf is strong.
Mack had taken his dress uniform out of the dry cleaner’s bag and laid it out on his bed.
He stepped into his pants and zipped them up, then put on his clean white dress shirt. He stared into a mirror as he made sure that he fastened every last button.
Next, he tied his tie and made a perfect knot. He put on his coat and buttoned it, then took a moment to admire the medals pinned to it.
Finally, he put on his beret. The outfit was complete.
The solider inspected himself in the mirror, brushed a bit of lint off of his shoulder, then shouted, “Atten hut!” and snapped to attention.
“Left face!” Mack barked as he snapped his body in perfect time to the left.
“Right face!” was next and Mack quickly snapped to the right.
“Forward!” Mack found himself standing up straight in front of the mirror again. He snapped his right hand up to his temple in a salute then whispered to himself, “At ease.”
The soldier stood there, trembling. He unholstered his service pistol, pressed it up against the side of his head, closed his eyes and clicked off the safety.
His hand shook as he hovered his finger over the trigger. He was thinking about pulling it when he heard a car door slam.
Then he heard some familiar voices.
“Look,” came Abby’s voice from outside. “I don’t need this. You two are going to stop being little monsters for one week and you’re going to have a good time.”
“How can I have a good time now that Tommy is going out with Heather instead of me?” Paige asked. “Hashtag life over.”
“Your life is not hashtag over,” Abby said. “One week at Wombat World and you’ll be saying, ‘Tommy who?’”
“Wombat World is a tool of the man to turn us all into mindless consumers, slowly giving away pieces of our soul to the corrupt and oppressive capitalist state,” Dylan said.
“Maybe,” Abby replied. “But its also fun as all get out so stop complaining. Huh. Weird. Why is Mack’s car here?”
“Shit,” Mack said as he clicked the safety of his pistol on and holstered it.
The soldier shut the door and sat down on the edge of his bed as the voices of his family poured through the house.
“Can’t we just have a nice vacation at home?” Paige asked.
“Yeah,” Dylan said. “I can work on my beatboxing skills.”
“You have no skills,” Abby said. “God, you kids are the worst. When I was your age I would have killed for a trip to Wombat World.”
“When you were our age there was only like three things to do,” Paige said.
Mack lowered his head into his hands and closed his eyes as the voices grew louder.
“That’s not true,” Abby said. “There was at least nine things to do.”
Abby knocked on Mack’s door.
Mack grunted as his sister creaked the door open. “Are you decent?”
The door opened all the way. Dylan ran into the room and playfully socked his uncle in the gut. That move would have hurt most people but Mack just shrugged it off.
“Aww sweet, you’ve got your uniform on,” Dylan said. “We gotta play Power Action Ninja Soldier Force.”
“After dinner,” Abby said as she held up a pizza box.
Paige poked her head into Mack’s room. “Unk can you teach me how to drive? Mom can’t handle it.”
“I guess so,” Mack said.
“Thank God,” Paige said as she left. “Hashtag someone knows what they’re doing.”
Abby shook her head in disgust. “Dylan go polish your action power soldiers.”
Dylan instantly corrected his mother. “They’re power action ninja soldiers serving together in a single force.”
“Whatever,” Abby said. “Uncle Mack and I need to talk.”
“OK,” Dylan said as he left the room.
Abby sat down next to her brother and opened up the pizza box to reveal a steaming hot wheel of pepperoni pineapple.
“Some za?” Abby asked.
“Don’t mind if I do,” Mack replied as he took a slice.
Abby took a slice for herself and closed the box. Brother and sister sat there for awhile, silently chewing and avoiding talking to each other.
Finally, Abby gave in. “So, you were supposed to be working until five.”
“Yup,” Mack said.
“I take it another job has bitten the dust?” Abby asked.
“You take it correctly,” Mack said.
“What happened this time?”
“I shared one of my stories,” Mack said.
“Oh,” Abby said. “No wonder.”
“To an eight year old kid,” Mack said.
“Oh God,” Abby said.
Abby pulled a crispy piece of pepperoni off of her slice and ate it. “So to recap…”
“Do we need to recap?” Mack asked.
“To recap,” Abby said. “There was the car wash where an engine backfired and you tackled your boss to the ground because you thought it was an ambush.”
“Right,” Mack said.
“Then there was the job at Price Town, which was going well until you told an old lady which common household items she should stock up on and how to use them to kill intruders,” Abby said.
“In my defense,” Mack said. “She asked.”
“The deli where your co-workers accused you of looking way too happy while you were slicing the ham,” Abby said.
Mac had finished his slice of pizza and started working on the crust. “Trumped up charges if I ever heard them.”
“The club where the patrons accused you of bouncing too hard,” Abby said.
“Had they not started shit they wouldn’t have been bounced at all,” Mac replied.
“And the groundskeeper gig you went way too overboard on,” Abby said.
“Squirrels are no match for C-4,” Mack said.
“You blew up a golf course, dumb ass,” Abby said.
Brother and sister each grabbed a second slice.
“So,” Abby said. “I can’t help but notice that you’re wearing your dress uniform.”
“Just wanted to take it out of mothballs to see if it still fits,” Mack said.
“I’d believe that if it weren’t for the gun on your hip,” Abby said.
“You have to take them out once in awhile and clean them or they get rusty,” Mack said.
“Bullshit,” Abby said. “I’ve seen Scent of a Woman, Mack and I know perfectly well what you were up to.”
“You do?” Mack said as he took a bite of his pizza.
“Yes,” Abby said. “And I think it sucks. These kids love you, you know.”
“I know,” Mack said. “I’m not sure I was even going to do it. Sometimes it just helps to know its an option.
“But…why?” Abby asked. “Why would you even entertain such a thought?”
“This,” Mack said as he looked around the bare room. “This isn’t a man’s life.”
“What?” Abby asked.
“Outside of America there’s a whole world that’s a pile of shit,” Mack said. “People are suffering. My fellow soldiers are dying. I’m not able to do the one thing I’m good at.”
“Are you ever going to tell me what happened?” Abby asked.
“Can’t,” Mack said. “Classified.”
“Come on,” Abby said. “Something embarrassing happened, right? You got drunk and brought a hooker to the base or something?”
“No,” Mack said. “And thanks for thinking so highly of me.”
“Well I don’t know,” Abby said.
“You’re not cleared to know,” Mack replied.
Abby scoffed. “Fine. But you have got to figure out how to make it as a civilian.”
“I can’t,” Mack said. “There’s no one like me in the civilian world that I can relate to. No one has done the things I’ve done, seen the shit I’ve seen. No one at a regular job understands me and I can’t do any security contracting because of the bogus dishonorable discharge, which I assure you, was completely undeserved.”
“And I trust you enough to take your word for it,” Abby said. “And you know you’re welcome to be here for as long as you need to be.”
“Thanks,” Mack said. “But real men pay their own way. Real men have their own homes. Real men…”
“The kids listen to you when you tell them to do something and the house has never been cleaner since you moved in,” Abby said. “That’s payment enough.”
“It’s not enough for me,” Mack said.
Abby stood up and held her hand out.
Abby flexed her fingers toward herself.
“A soldier never surrenders his sidearm,” Mack said.
“He does if he wants to keep staying here,” Abby said. “I don’t need the kids coming home to your blown out brains one of these days.”
Mack grimaced then stood up. He popped the bullet out of the chamber, took out the clip, and handed it all to his sister.
Abby reached into Mack’s closet, took out a lock box, and locked the gun and parts inside.
“This stays in my room for awhile until you’ve got it together,” Abby said. “Understood?”
“Understood,” Mack grumbled.
“Good,” Abby said. “Now come hang out with the kids. You’re not going to see them for a whole week.”
Paige was sixteen years old with a mouth full of braces and hair that was best described as “frizz bomb aftermath.” She’d tried shampoo, conditioner, various sprays but nothing could tame her locks. Even though she had her hair pulled back in a pony tail, strand after strand had managed to escape and reach for the sky.
But that, much to her mother’s dismay, didn’t stop her from pursuing a social life.
“O…M…G…” Paige said into her blue tooth headset as she completely ignored the road. “Oh to the M to the friggin’ G, Becky, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Paige,” Abby said from the passenger’s seat as she monitored her daughter/student driver, “You’ve got to watch what you’re doing.”
“And then Bobby said what?” Paige asked. “No! Shut up! He did not. He did? Hashtag classic Bobby.”
Paige’s brother, fourteen-year old Dylan, sat in the back seat. The black hair undernath his backwards ball cap was long and it covered the buds in his ears. The boy loved his music and he lost himself as he repeated the lyrics to a rap song from his favorite artist, the controversial gangster rapper Stank Daddy.
“Bitch,” Dylan rapped. “What makes you think I won’t cut a bitch? Chop yo’ head off, leave yo’ ass lyin’ in a ditch…”
“You know I thought Justin and Laura were acting way too buddy buddy lately,” Paige said to her friend through her blue tooth. “But they’re totes official now? Wow…are we calling them ‘Jaura’ or ‘Lustin?’ Right. Jaura because Lustin would be way too dirty. OMG Jaura is so going to be trending on Lifebox…”
Abby’s stomach did backflips as she noticed a stop sign coming up that her daughter was completely oblivious to.
“And who is Judy to be even complaining about this?” Paige asked her friend. “She was all like, ‘Justin is so twenty sixteen’ but now that she sees him with another girl she’s all like totes sad hashtag whining like Adele.”
Dylan was of no help. “Set yo’ ass on fire, bitch, run yo’ ass over with my tires, bitch…”
The stop sign had officially become way too close. “PAIGE!”
“Oh my God!” Paige squawked to her mother, “What?!”
Paige followed her mother’s pointing finger until she too finally saw the stop sign. She jammed on the breaks, knocking Dylan ass over teakettle until he landed on the floor. The car was stopped just in time to narrowly avoid being creamed by a pick-up truck whose driver honked angrily at Paige.
“OMG,” Paige said to her friend. “I almost got run over by the worst driver ever.”
“Dylan,” Abby said. “Are you ok?”
There was an unusual amount of quiet in the back seat until Dylan finally popped his head up, flashed a gang sign and proudly declared, “thug life baby!”
“Paige,” Abby said. “Hang up the phone.”
“Oh God,” Paige said as she rolled her eyes. “Becky I have to call you back. Yeah. I know. Hashtag drama.”
“Look both ways,” Abby said. Paige did so.
“Move,” Abby said.
Paige took the car through the intersection and was on her best behavior when Abby ordered her to pull over.
“Oh come on.”
“Now,” Abby said.
Paige did as instructed. Abby got out and walked around the front of the car as Paige scooched over to the driver’s seat.
Dylan took a break from his rapping to make an observation. “Women drivers. No survivors.”
“Shut up douche face,” was Paige’s response.
“Make me, brace face,” was Dylan’s one-up.
Abby got in and took the wheel.
“I don’t know why you’re doing this to me,” Paige said.
“Because,” Abby said as she checked her blind spot and rolled out onto the street. “You almost got us killed.”
“Come on,” Paige said. “That could have happened to anyone.”
“Anyone who’s talking nonsense to her friends on the phone instead of paying attention, yes,” Abby lectured.
Dylan returned to his rapping. “Bitch don’t you know that I’ll blow yo’ ass sky high? Blak ka ka kat goes my nine when I do a drive by…”
“Dylan,” Abby said. “What are you listening to?”
The boy ignored his mother and kept rapping.
“How am I supposed to get my driver’s license if I don’t get any time behind the wheel?” Paige asked.
“When you’re ready to listen to me, you get all the time you want,” Abby said.
“Whatever,” Paige said as she folded her arms and stared out the passenger’s side window. Hashtag Hitler mom.”
“Did you just verbally hashtag me?” Abby asked.
“Hashtag maybe,” Paige replied.
“Bitch you know I’m strapped,” Dylan rapped. “Got an AK-47 and a big ass bat…”
“Dylan!” Abby shouted.
“What?” Dylan whined as he popped out his ear buds.
“What are you listening to?” Abby asked.
“Stank Daddy,” Dylan said.
“I don’t like it,” Abby said.
“Then you’re racist,” Dylan replied.
Abby felt her blood pressure boil. “Excuse me, young man?”
“You don’t like Stank Daddy because he’s black,” Dylan said.
“I beg your pardon?” Abby said. “I’ll have you know I voted for Obama twice.”
“So?” Dylan asked.
“So I don’t like Stank Daddy because he talks about chopping up bitches and blowing them up and so on,” Abby said. “Those are very violent lyrics and ‘bitch’ is not a nice word to use to refer to women.”
“He’s not using ‘bitch’ in the female sense but rather as a term to emasculate the various societal forces that want to keep him down due to his blackness,” Dylan explained. “And you wouldn’t be complaining if some white bread country ass turkey like John Denver Michael Mellencamp Bolton or whoever was talking about blowing up bitches.”
“I certainly would,” Abby said.
Dylan shook his head and popped his buds back into his ears. “A phony ass cracka like you just wouldn’t understand.”
Abby felt all the energy drain out of her body as she took a right and headed for home. “Hashtag worst kids ever.”
Happy Fall, 3.5 readers.
So here’s where my mind is at.
I’m going to use this Fall to:
A) Get super buff. Gotta get my exercise on. Get my eating right on. Drop a few lbs to improve my health so I can live long enough to entertain my 3.5 readers far into the future. Plus, Video Game Rack Fighter keeps her shit hella tight so its only fair I reciprocate before she drops me like a hot potato for a studlier nerd.
B) Write a new novel, “The Illiad Rebooted.” That’s right. Alien Jones has resurrected Ancient Greek Poet Homer and together we are going to reboot the shit out of the Illiad for fun and profit. Mostly profit. Actually, mostly fun. I can’t imagine there will be much profit.
I’m going to bang out this draft by Dec. 31, spend the first few months of next year getting it rewritten, edited, and self-published, then devote the rest of next year to rewriting, editing and self-publishing How the West Was Zombed.
This may be a dumb idea but I’m getting restless and feel the need to move on to something and then I’ll be able to come back to Zombed with a fresh mind.
I worry as this has been my downfall in the past – I start novels, then go on to other novels, but I think it will be ok because I’m more determined than ever to get a novel out.
This is all subject to change of course but as of today, this is where I am.
I like to fantasize about renting my own office, starting my own profitable self-publishing business, earning boku cash and most importantly, laughing heartily at friends, family, and assorted dummies who told me I’d never amount to anything and have thus far proven themselves to be psychic.
“No, dummies!” I will say. “You were not psychic. You just did not look far ahead enough into the future – a future where I have purchased a mansion in Malibu with my self-publishing money and have wild hot babe infested parties every weekend.”
It is important to remain humble and to keep your dreams realistic, 3.5 readers. It really is.
Hey 3.5 readers.
So, how the heck I find myself writing this story?
It all happened really fast.
Tuesday, I was perusing some books when I came across a novel set during the time of Ancient Greece about Helen of Troy falling in love with a warrior.
I didn’t read it but I started to become curious about Good Ole Hotpants Helen.
I’d seen movies and/or read about her before. The most prominent movie I can remember is 2004’s Troy.
So I looked up some information about her. I found some scholarly articles written about her, how she was born, how she was kidnapped or possibly fell in love with another dude and was taken or went voluntarily to Troy, depending on whose side you believe, thus resulting in the ten year long Trojan War.
Apparently, I’m an old hat at this now because as I began reading, I started writing jokes in my head:
Now, here’s the thing.
I have put way too much work into my Zombie Western books.
So I absolutely will not abandon them at this point.
An idea for a funny book about Helen of Troy, told through modern language, popped into my head.
Wednesday night I wrote two chapters then went to bed.
Thursday morning I woke up, read what I wrote, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I peed my pants laughing.
That’s big for me because I am always very harsh on my own writing. But laughter is honest. Laughter never lies. As I read those two chapters, I couldn’t stop laughing.
I’m going to get back to Zombie Western and see that through. My feeling is that maybe once a week I’ll write a chapter of Helen of Troy just to see if I can keep it going.
The story of the Trojan War is long, detailed and has like ten zillion characters. It would be a challenge to keep the comedy going throughout. Not sure I can do it but the first couple chapters have led me to believe it is worth a try.
But at any rate I won’t be quitting Zombie Western as I have put way too much work into that to hang it up now.
And what I have learned is no matter how tired you get, how busy you get, you do need to keep coming back to the story you are writing again, and again, and again because if you go away from it for too long then you’ll never come back.
So fear not. Zombie Western will continue. Not sure about the future of Helen of Troy yet but if it continues to be this funny I don’t think I can stop. But I think I have the discipline now to keep coming back to write two stories at once.
The key is that you keep coming back. Like anything difficult in life, if you keep coming back to work on it, it will eventually get done. Maybe not as soon as you’d like but it does get done.
Tell me what you think and be honest, 3.5 readers.
The story of Helen of Troy, told through modern language. Yay or nay?
Whack! Whack! Whack!
Aunt Lu buried her meat cleaver into a slab of beef and took a break, just long enough to spot Charlie and the Reverend carrying Jane’s sleepy carcass into the lobby.
“Good God Almighty,” Lu said as she met them. “Is Jane alright?”
Jane interrupted her snoring long enough to sing to herself.
“John Brown’s body lie a-molderin’ in the grave! Something, something’s marching…marching on…”
And she was out again.
“About as good as she ever is,” Charlie replied.
“Mercy,” Aunt Lu said. “She does like to start celebrating early doesn’t she?”
“Not sure she ever stops,” Charlie said.
Aunt Lu returned to her cafe. Charlie, with his arms locked underneath Jane’s armpits, and the Reverend, with his hands grasping Jane’s ankles, slowly carried their cargo upstairs, being careful to not bonk her head along the wall on the way.
“Is Miss Jane a believer? the Reverend asked.
“Have you ever heard her invoke the word of the Lord?” the Reverend inquired.
“She takes the Lord’s name in vein just about every hour on the hour,” Charlie replied. “Does that count?”
“Not as such,” the Reverend said. “But I do hate to see Miss Jane in this condition. I wonder if I could appeal to her with the good book?”
Upon reaching Jane’s room, Charlie sneaked one hand into Jane’s vest pocket, snagged her key and unlocked the door.
“You’re welcome to try,” Charlie said. “I fear she may just tell you where to stick your good book though, Reverend.”
Charlie and the Reverend hoisted Jane onto her bed.
“Many I have reached out to with the word of the Lord have done just that,” the Reverend said. “But once in a great while I’ll find that someone listens. Those people make my work worth it.”
Charlie struck a match and lit a candle, providing the room with dim illumination. He tugged on one of Jane’s boots until it was off, then did the same with the other. He set the footwear down neatly in a corner, then covered Jane up with an old, tattered blanket.
The Reverend looked around the room. There were no decorations, or pictures, or even much in the way of furniture. Just a bed, a table, and lots and lots of empty glass booze bottles…and one book.
“Perhaps Miss Jane is more pious than you think?” the Reverend asked as he held up the book.
Printed on the cover were the words, “Holy Bible.”
Charlie smirked, took the book from the Reverend, opened it up and pointed to some writing scrawled across the front page.
May you pay more attention to this than I did and become all the better for it.
J.B. Hickok, 1868”
“Lovely gift,” the Reverend said as he set the bible down. “Certainly she must be a believer if she has held onto it all these years?”
“She’s um…very loyal to Bill,” Charlie said.
Jane shifted about. “Bill?”
“Shhh,” Charlie said. “Its ok.”
“Does Bill….need my help?”
“No,” Charlie said. “He’s fine. Go to sleep, now.”
Charlie waited a moment until Jane was out.
“Miss Jane looks rather peaceful like this,” the Reverend said.
“Yes,” Charlie replied as he blew out the candle. “Shame she’ll soon open up her mouth and ruin it.”