Fiction: Hooked Up

Buck followed, having nowhere else to go. He glanced around at the filth and total confusion of the tiny place divided by a soiled and torn old quilt. The walls moved with bugs in the flickering candlelight. Fred grabbed at Ginny, who wore a threadbare wrapper. She had a wonderfully white and soft-looking body, Buck…

Fiction: Gaming

“I want to make money and visit with real whores. As the teamster said, life’s short.” Fred gulped his last drink and down the road they went. Quiet, almost sweet, music played somewhere within the gaming hall. “I’ll wait out here, Fred.” “Oh, no you won’t! Don’t be such a prig. Play one hand,” Fred…

Fiction: Blood Brothers

“The night is running along and I want a good time—for your sake—to educate you. I can’t stand you leading such a morbid, saintly life,” Fred groaned. Buck was disappointed at the stables. With most of the army out looking for Geronimo, the stable owner feared for his safety and ordered that no one be…

Fiction: Provoking Talk

“Be on alert now, boys,” cautioned the teamster. “This is where the bandits cut my friend down not two weeks ago.” “Be on alert,” Buck remembered. “Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.”  He took a deep breath. He must try to have faith. The huge, dark sky…

Fiction: Overshadowed

Fred’s expensive cigars, the way he shot, and the way he rode when taken out for a race impressed a few of the young officers. Though his cocksure attitude provoked the more experienced commissioned men and the privates who were the victims of his superior words and actions, he had a small coterie of loyal…

Fiction: A Doctor’s Mistakes

Graham wiped his eyes. “That watch … the one I gave you … it was for Nathan—my younger brother first — during the war. You are the light of the world like a city on a mountain … Nathan was the light of my family. Something about him—we could all love him without embarrassment—he was…

Fiction: Sleeping Arrangements

“Mrs. Crenshaw, I want to apologize for my acid tongue earlier on,” Mrs. Markham said. “I was worried over Buck, as I’m sure you were, but that was no excuse.” Margaret surveyed the plump, plain, little woman. “I accept your apology. We Easterners have high standards as far as manners go. I couldn’t possibly hold…

Fiction: The Invalid

The front door opened in the hallway. Mrs. Markham called in, “Everything all set in there? We have eager visitors, so stop your sparking!” Her voice was high and nervous. Before Thankful or Lieutenant Fahy could respond, the Crenshaws stepped in from outside and crowded the hallway. Fahy grabbed his blanket and Thankful threw another…

Do You Have Theme Songs For Your Life?

Today feels like a day to listen more than to talk. I’ve noticed when writing novels that random music will stop me in my tracks —  as if the characters in the books are begging me to listen to another layer of who they are. I write about BROKEN HEARTS so I don’t think it…

Fiction: Into the Gloaming

“So now you give up and hide behind your little Bible studies and weird friends? You heap embarrassment upon the whole family. What will our friends at West Point say?” “You’re no embarrassment, Buck,” Graham said. “It’s only that you’re lost in there somewhere behind those bandages. And you’re right to say I was never…