Short Stories

Published in BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS, edited by Lawrence Block; ISBN 0425190358.

= = = = Plot Line = = = =

Down-and-outers in a rich beach town: one woman, three men, each with their talents for surviving. The one with a lofty dream, though, didn’t. Now it is left to the rest of them to persist in finding the truth outside of the official explanation. Two of them don’t wait for the elusive thing called justice. They find a way to recycle his few belongings and honor the gold of his dream.

= = = = Excerpt = = = =

“All you turkeys is just narrow-minded. You got no power o’ vision.” JoJo had this big idea he could find gold ore beneath the sand on the beach. I could not hold that against him. Every man must have his dream. But JoJo’s dream turned him into the devil’s own target.

I get ahead of myself. You have to understand how we were together, what a team the four of us made, how that makes what happened all the more a cause for grief.

Cindylee was of our company. Cindylee would listen to JoJo go on about the gold, then say, “You got the IQ of a watermelon, JayJay.”

He would just eat it up. There’d she be, standing with the wind whipping her skirt, pasting her hair to her cheek. She’d be eating an apple and spitting out wrinkled peel she didn’t like.

And Buddy, he’d be all casual, laid out on his army blanket spread there on the sand, and he wouldn’t even look over, just tell JoJo he was a sun-fried fool.

JoJo would pluck a bottle cap off the bottom of his metal detector, toss it toward Cindylee, and wait for that cockeyed smile where her lips disappear but her eyes glow with seashine. Then off he’d go, waltzing with that widget he thought was his gold-finder but to us looked like a saucer on a broomstick.