Wayward Message-Short Story Collection(In Progress)
I am in the process of trying to complete this collection of short stories. I’ve always had a sweet spot for the short story format. Short stories require crisp and succinct storytelling, which for someone who likes the long form of prose can be a challenging process. I hope to have the manuscript completed for publication in the fall of 2018.
Frank, along with two of his best friends, Ed and Warren were cruising down Highway 65 with a good stock of German beer, a full ice chest of baby back ribs, and an assortment of Warren’s homemade sausages. Add to that enough chips and dips to impress even the most avid tailgaters,and the Bad Boys of Dublin County, as they so boldly named their middle-aged posse, had all the provisions needed for their annual summer outing to Lake Hadley. The only thing missing was their leader and founder, Buddy Wallace. Buddy was about to miss his first trip in eighteen years. Not since Frank’s second son was born three weeks premature had any of the Bad Boys of Dublin County come close to missing this all-important rite of summer. Ever so steadfast were The Bad Boys of Dublin County, that even on the occasion two years ago when Warren almost cut off his index finger while putting the finishing touches on his hot n’ spicy sausage had barely qualified as a speed bump in their rush to get to their lakeside camp.
From the moment his mother stepped across the threshold into his perfectly organized bedroom to shake him from a dead sleep, Stewart dreaded his day. Cringing at the thought of leaving the private confines of his bed, he pulls the heavy handmade quilt tightly around his head hoping to escape the never-fail 6:30 morning wakeup call. It would be a far stretch for him to accuse his parents of not being flawlessly punctual. He knew from the moment his feet hit the cold hardwood floor that his day would fall out in front of him to the resounding echo of his parent’s relentless steerage and governance. In his brief twelve years of life, he could not remember feeling totally free from their watchful eyes’. Yes, Stewart knew he came into this world a delicate “preemie,” but in no way did it excuse the irrational behavior of his parent’s obsessive control his life.
A Garden of Lessons
“Eddie, stop fooling around and get ready!” Mother bellowed down the hallway as she struggled to reach the fastener on the back of her yellow cotton dress.
This mid-summer Sunday morning arrived not unlike most days in our mob-scene-of-a-household. My mother determinedly fighting against the chaos the infighting between my siblings and I as to who would have to be the first to face the cleansing wrath of our twice-weekly baths. I relished watching her slightly overweight frame chase down my youngest brother, Wesley, as he raced down the hallway in an attempt to escape the greasing down of his unruly hair with a sloppy portion of Vaseline. It was a miracle amid this frenetic scrubbing of bodies, brushing of teeth and screeches of resistance, that somehow, we would all be ready for our weekly family outing at eleven o’clock sharp. With our mother and father in the lead, we would march in single file the twelve blocks to my grandparents’ house the outskirts of Venice, California. My two younger brothers and I, in our unbounded enthusiasm for twisting the truth to match our imagination, christened our grandparent’s white-clapboard Victorian “the big country house.” Anything resembling an environment other than the blacktop world of the inner city of Venice where we lived, just had to be what the dime-store western novelists meant in describing “the untamed life beyond the concrete jungle of the city.”