Mushroom Season in Rim Country. No idea what this mushroom is, do you? Picture by Randy Cockrell
The Spring Author/Blogger Giveaway has officially ended and I have two winners for my part of the event. My prize number one, an ebook copy of Slave Elf, was won by Jory. My prize number two, a $5 Amazon gift card was won by Richard. The overall event Grand Prize winner was Emy. I want to thank all of the hundreds of people who participated and I hope that you enjoy your prizes. Our Summer Giveaway has started, check out the info below to enter.
Writing has been slow for me. I have been involved in several other things in my life and the writing, unfortunately, has fallen off. I haven’t forgotten it though. I’m still mulling over Mystery at the Reunion. How can I make it better? I may just have to throw myself on the mercy of my editor and get some advice. How about a short excerpt? This is Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband.
He circled the glass on the bar in the moisture under it, idly watching the spiral circles it made on the glossy top. Dwight sipped again. How had he gotten here? Dawn had left him. That was the start. Too much time at the local bar. Crown Royal wasn’t exactly cheap. Then the gambling at the Off-Track Betting shop. That didn’t help matters. Especially since he was losing. OTB didn’t give credit, so he found himself in a little neighborhood still mostly Irish. There was a helpful young man there that would take his bets on the cuff. Dwight sighed and rubbed the spot just above the bridge of his nose.
What the hell had he been thinking? Now he was ten grand in the hole and the bookie wanted his money. Dwight sipped again, his stomach in a knot. He didn’t have ten grand. Hell, he had all he could do to pay the rent on the low-end apartment he was living in. Damn! He drank the last of the Crown Royal and signaled for another. He really couldn’t afford to come to the reunion despite the fact he wanted to see all of his old friends from Afghanistan. While the place had been a living hell, he’d made good friends with the people in Combined Joint Force Command squadron AG2017. They were good people sharing a hard, miserable assignment. His arrival in Las Vegas reminded him a lot of Afghanistan. Hot sun scorching everything it touched, even in April, dust, blinding light, it was not a pleasant reminder.
The bartender brought the drink. Dwight nodded his thanks. He was about to pick it up when a hand fell heavy on his shoulder. His heart nearly stopped.
“Dwight! Old buddy. What brings you to Vegas?”
Dwight turned to see who belonged to the deep voice. “Duncan?” His heart skipped a beat. “A long way from Boston.”
Duncan sat on the stool next to Dwight and waved over the bartender. “Irish Whisky.”
The bartender nodded and moved off.
“I’m here ‘cause Jimmy noticed you leavin’ town.” Duncan shook his head. “And you owin’ all that money. It made Jimmy think you were skippin’ out on your debt.”
“No, no, Duncan. I’m here to attend a reunion. Old military buddies from Afghanistan. I’m just here for the weekend. You know, catch up with old friends.”
Duncan nodded. “I hear ya. My brother, Mike, joined the Army. He got sent to that pit. Died when his hummer hit an IED.” Duncan said all of that while staring into the bottles on the bar back.
“I’m so sorry for your loss, Duncan. Too many young men and women died there.”
Duncan nodded as the bartender brought him his drink. Duncan peeled a twenty from a roll he’d taken from his pocket and dropped it on the bar. The bartender grinned. “Any change?”
Duncan shook his head.
Duncan nodded and the bartender moved off. “I’m sorry you had to serve there.”
“Two tours, with my wife.”
Duncan’s eyebrows rose. “No shit?”
“Yeah. We left our son with the grandparents and spent a year there. Then two years later, another tour.” Dwight shook his head Why the hell didn’t they go separately instead of leaving Jim all alone twice. It must have made sense at the time.
“That’s a shame. The little man must have missed you.”
“Yeah. He did.” Dwight sipped his drink.
“Despite that, Dwight, you gotta pay up. By the end of the month.” Duncan drank his whisky down in one gulp and slapped the glass down on the bar with a thump that made the bartender turn to look.
“I’m trying to get the money together, Duncan. Tell Jimmy that. I’m good for my debts.”
Duncan nodded. “Good to know, Dwight. But if we don’t get the money by the end of the month,” he cracked his knuckles. “Well, I’ll have to have a more…personal discussion.”
Dwight could feel his blood pressure rise. “Understood. I’ll get it to Jimmy as soon as I can.”
Duncan swung off of the barstool and with a heavy hand, smacked Dwight on the shoulder. “Remember what I said.” He moved off as Dwight nodded.
Dwight realized he was holding his breath after Duncan moved out of sight. He took a deep breath and swallowed his drink in one gulp. He signaled for another. The bartender brought the bottle over and poured. He eyed Duncan’s empty glass.
“He’s gone. Won’t need another.”
The bartender nodded and went back to the other end of the bar where he was chatting up two young women.
Dwight drummed his fingers on the bar. He needed to make some contacts this weekend. He needed a new job, one that paid more. That didn’t answer his immediate problem, though. Where was he going to get ten grand in two weeks?
That’s our introduction to Dwight. What do you think? Good guy? Bad guy? Glad Jean divorced him? Leave you comments in the comment box below.
Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!
The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is now live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.
Where will I Be?
I have no plans at present for any other in person events. Any I was thinking about joining I’m now reconsidering due to the uptick in the Covid 19 Delta variant illnesses spreading across Arizona. See you in 2022!
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