by Kenneth James
The Eastern Black
Rat Snake is common in most of the eastern United States from the Atlantic
states through the Midwest and even into eastern Texas. They prefer wooded and
rocky areas, but because of loss of habitat, especially in the east, it is not
uncommon to find them in urban areas, especially areas with a high rodent
They will commonly
take any rodent smaller than they are, along with lizards and frogs and the
like. Depending upon availability of food, they can range over a large area,
but they prefer one resting place and perhaps one or two “home” places to sun
They will often
several weeks without eating, as they are cold-blooded and their metabolism is
they present little danger to man and in fact, make nice pets if they are
captive-bred. In spite of that, they can deliver a nasty bite if approached
when in a bad mood and should be handled only by persons familiar with snakes
and their habits. . . .
The worst predator on the planet is not a jungle cat or a
snake or even a shark or salt-water crocodile. The worst predator is man. He
seldom hunts for food, as animals do, and he is not without conscience. Even
those who profess to be mentally disturbed, usually have at least a rudimentary
sense of right and wrong. In order to do what they do, human predators first
must disregard all they know about love and fairness, closeness and respect for
others. They use many excuses when caught, and in our own system of
jurisprudence, they never truly get what they deserve. . . .
Nathan Rollie’s excuse was that he was an abused child.
Even though thousands or even millions of kids grew up with daily beatings and
were also commonly disrespected and mentally abused, Nathan was literally the
one-in-a-million. He began torturing and killing animals at nine years old and
by twelve, he had killed his first person, a sleeping homeless man. He sneaked
up and cut the man’s throat and enjoyed immensely watching him die. He doted on
the shock and panic when the man woke up to find himself cut nearly ear-to-ear
and spurting blood. Nate dreamed at night of the man’s screams and often, after
those best-of-all dreams, he would awake with an erection.
At fourteen, he began approaching and trying to molest
younger kids. He was mostly fascinated with young girls, but the occasional
smooth little boy would get his attention.
Now in his early 40’s, he could not remember all his
adventures, and if questioned, he would not even be able to remember how many
people he had killed. The basement of his home had been built into a soundproof
dungeon, where he kept his little projects, some of them for months, if things
worked out to his satisfaction.
The little project he had down there now probably wouldn’t
go on that long. While she was one of the prettiest he’d ever caught, she
wasn’t much fun. She seemed to spend most of her time crying and that wasn’t
nearly as much fun as the ones who screamed. . . .
Lucille was an
Eastern Black Rat Snake. Her territory was in an urban environment and
encompassed about a square mile. She had her favorite sunning places and her
own secure den, under a highway overpass. Her favorite resting place was very
unusual, though. It was in a sleeping bag with a man named Robby Metcalf.
Metcalf was a homeless veteran who had sustained injury in one of his country’s
minor wars; specifically, he was blown out of a Humvee by a roadside IED that
killed all but himself and one other of his crew. When he recovered from his
wounds and was back stateside, he discovered almost by accident that he now
possessed the ability to talk to animals. In his city, he was known as Crazy
Robby and he was shunned by many, but that was fine by him. . . .
I woke up
sweating, both because I had been involved in the dream again and because I was
packed in animals. Fuzzy was on the windward side of me and the body heat of a
120-lb German Shepherd will keep you cozy. Lucille was packed against the other
side. Snakes are cold-blooded and they enjoy any source of warmth. It speeds up
their metabolism and makes them feisty. As I began to move around, Fuzzy
scrambled and got up. I got the impression he hadn’t really been asleep anyway,
and I knew he didn’t like Lucille. It wasn’t a personality thing. It was just
the natural distrust that dogs and many other animals have for snakes.
Most times, when
decided to get up, Lucille would slither off to her den and I would have a
discussion with Fuzzy about why he couldn’t kill her. This morning, though, she
hissed at me that she needed to talk. I looked at Fuzzy and said, “Give us a
minute, okay?” He snuffed out of his big nostrils and set about his morning
run, checking the mail as he did every morning, finding where other dogs had
peed on posts and hydrants and adding his own notifications to the grassy
bulletin boards that were all over doggy-land.
I unzipped the
sleeping bag and sat up, cross-legged like an Indian and Lucille slid into my
lap and curled up.
mind, Sugar?” I asked.
If she’d had
eyelashes, or eyelids for that matter, she would have been batting them at me.
“When you call me Sugar, what does that mean? What is ‘sugar?’ ”
I was hard-pressed
for a minute for an explanation that would make sense to a snake, but I tried.
“It’s something humans put on food to make it taste better. Sweeter.”
“Awww . .
nice, baby. But there’s nothin’ tastes better than a nest of baby mice.”
That was as far
I wanted that conversation to go, and I said, “What did you want to talk
She curled a
little tighter against the chill air of the fall morning. It wouldn’t be long
and she’d be hibernating in her den and I wouldn’t see her again until Spring.
“Is it common for humans to hang each other up and make each other scream?”
Nathan Rollie’s little project was awake and needing the
potty. He donned his black leather mask and got the impressive black Colt
semi-automatic pistol. Sometimes he used knives to intimidate her, but the Colt
worked best. Like many city-dwellers, she had an innate fear of guns.
Throughout her childhood she’d had it drummed into her head: guns are BAD. Guns
are DANGEROUS. If you see a gun, DON’T TOUCH IT! Tell an adult . . . and blah
blah blah. Rollie had to agree, the Colt was a badass-looking weapon, and if
you had to shoot someone, it was a very final solution to a temporary problem.
And Anne Marie nearly pissed herself every time she saw it.
It had allowed him complete control over one of the
prettiest little projects he’d ever captured. Actually, she was a little old
for his tastes, being twenty and a college student, but she was very small and
delicate and easy to handle. The Colt allowed him to do anything he wanted to
her and she remained very docile throughout every instance of rape and sodomy,
throughout all the binding and whipping and various types of torture, the hot
candle wax, the tiny cuts inflicted with a scalpel, the biting. And she was a
good screamer, and that was always a plus.
Fuzzy and I went
to breakfast, right after I’d had my talk with Lucille. She had agreed to show
me the house where the girl screamed in the cellar later in the day, after it
warmed up some more. She wanted to be able to move quickly and the autumn chill
made her sluggish. It would warm into the 70s later on. Fuzzy couldn’t resist
dicking with me a little.
“You and the
reptile have a nice chat?”
“Hell, yeah, we
did. We talked about the upcoming election and the federal trade deficit and
the price of gas going up. . . .”
“Aw, c’mon, yer
just pullin’ my tail now. . . .”
“Yeah, well, just ‘cause
you can’t talk to her doesn’t mean you should discount her intellect.”
“Say whaaat. . . .
Turning serious, I
said, “She told me about a house we need to check out later today. She says
there’s a girl in there, hung up in the basement and screaming a lot.”
Fuzzy stopped so
quickly I almost stumbled over him. “Well . . . shouldn’t
. . shouldn’t we go check that out now?”
“Nope. Gotta wait ‘til
it warms up some, so Lucille can move better.”
“But . . . but Boss,
if somebody’s hurt . . .”
“I know, Champ,
but we’re gonna hafta wait. This could be a deal where people are just
pretending. . . .” I stalled right there. How do you explain bondage and sadomasochism
to a dog?
Breakfast was at
Barney’s on Lindel and Second. The place had been there for years, but it had
always been too hoity-toity for the likes of me and Fuzzy. Then, two months’
prior, a new guy took it over. From what I’d heard, the old guy who’d had it
before was very ill and the place was going to close and then the new guy came
along. He had been a cook in the Army. That’s what he told everybody. It
sounded more down-to-earth. In reality, he’d been a chef in officer’s clubs all
over the world. He turned a fine omelet and baked some of the best pies I’d
He didn’t like a
lot of homeless people hanging around, but he took a shine to Fuzzy and me. He
was about six-four and his head was shaved completely bald. He was also very
black and pretty jolly most of the time.
There was an
outdoor dining area behind the restaurant and that was where we got fed. We
didn’t come there more than once a week, but I got the feeling we could have
come there every day if we wanted.
Barney’s was just
the name of the restaurant, which he had opted not to change. His name was
Josie R. Malcombe. I’d bugged him about his middle name to the point that he’d
finally told me one morning. He’d come at me with a cleaver and backed me up
against his steam table and said, “It’s Rosebud, okay? And if you tell anyone,
you little asshole, I’ll fuckin’ kill yer ass.”
His secret was
safe with me. . . .
morning, Fuzzy and I returned to our place under the freeway and found Lucille
sunning in her favorite spot. She was maybe twelve feet from the opening to her
den, which was a bad spot in the concrete apron that had cracked and washed out
years ago. I hated to think what it might look like back under there and how
badly compromised the actual structure of the bridge might really be. She was
two feet from shade and twelve feet from safety and up high enough that anyone
just walking by would hardly notice her. She was also out of the line of vision
of anyone passing above on the freeway.
As we approached,
she raised up and flicked her tongue at us and I felt Fuzzy press against my
leg. “Steady there, big boy,” I said and then to Lucille, “You ready to show us
this house?” I heard a muffled, “Follow me,” and we headed north, under the
freeway, past an old warehouse and a junkyard and then into a rundown
residential neighborhood. Lucille followed the paths she was used to taking and
I was hard-pressed to keep her in sight. She flowed like water, over and under
obstacles, through fences and around junk and litter. More than once I lost
sight of her and then she would raise herself enough I would again catch sight
of her shiny black head.
We travelled seven
blocks and wound up in an alley behind an especially nasty old house. Lucille
stopped and I told Fuzzy to sit and I walked up and knelt down, making a show
of tying my shoe. As far as anyone watching was concerned, I was just a guy
walking his dog. The back lot of the house was weedy and overgrown and Lucille
was down in the high grass, completely invisible unless you knew right where to
place,” she said, “I went in through that hole just above the ground. . . .” I
looked the foundation over and spotted a missing chunk of concrete and reckoned
it was big enough for Lucille to slide through.
“You were inside,
“Well, yeah,” she
said, as if humans were just too dumb for color TV, “you wanna catch rats, ya
gotta go where the rats are.”
“Does it look like
anyone actually lives there?”
“Not really, but
who am I to judge where humans wanna live?”
“Okay. Fuzzy and I
will come back tonight and check it out. Thanks, girl.”
Lover.” Ten seconds later, she was gone.
Back at our digs,
Fuzzy and I discussed plans for that night. He wasn’t much of a strategist. His
plan would be: You kick the door in, I’ll bite anyone that gives us any shit.
Too many years of being a police K-9 dog. By the time the officers put the dog
in, the strategy part is long over. I decided maybe we should talk to Julius
Tambar before we jumped off the deep end. I hauled my seldom-used cell phone
out of my stash of valuable crap and fired it up. An hour later, Julius rolled
in, driving a shiny new Dodge Charger slick-top. He was in a suit and grinning
like a possum in a gum tree.
“What the fuck?
They promoted you?”
“Damn right, My
Man. They know who’s doin’ the job and crushin’ crime.”
We high-fived and
smacked each other on the back and did the buddy-buddy shit for a minute, then
I asked, “What division they got ya workin’, bicycle theft?”
“No, no, no! Big
Daddy is in crimes against persons. Robbery, assault, homicide and all the good
“Oh, man! Mr.
Big-time detective! All right, Mr. Big-time, gotta lead for ya.”
He abruptly turned
serious. “This gonna be a he-said, she-said, or a dog-said, cat-said, or what?”
“Well . . . it’s
kind of a snake-said. . . .”
“Aw, fuck! Come
on, Man! Snakes now?”
when Lucille crawled across that banger’s foot and he shot his toe off? Gotta
give her some credit, right?”
He sighed heavily
and cast his eyes up to the heavens and said, “Why me, Lawd?”
“Hey, here’s the
deal. Lucille says there’s this house over north, I’ll show it to ya, and she
says there’s this girl in there, hung up in the basement and she spends a lotta
time crying and screaming. I think you should check it out.”
“Uh-huh. Okay, now
you have my attention. Show me.”
I had Fuzzy wait.
I was sure Julius didn’t really want dog hair all over the seats in his new
ride. We drove over into the neighborhood and looked the house over. It looked
worse from the front than from the back. The windows were all boarded up and
there were signs from the health department tacked up, warning the property was
unsafe and had been condemned. Julius parked, and we walked up on it and
stepped up on the front porch.
“There are tracks
in the dust here,” I said, pointing them out.
“Could be kids. Or
Jehovah’s Witnesses, for all we know.” There was a shiny padlock and hasp
securing the front door. “I can’t go in, Robby. Not without a warrant, or at
least probable cause to believe someone’s in danger in there. And, no, the word
of a snake is not gonna get me a warrant. Judges don’t like cops bothering them
for warrants based on the word of reptiles.”
“Gotcha. Well, I
just wanted to touch base with ya, so you’d be aware.”
“You’d best not go
bustin’ in there, either. Although if ya did, that would only be a property
crime. Not my department. . . .”
Julius dropped me
back at my place and Fuzzy and I had another conference. “We’ll hafta do this
on our own, Buddy. We’ll wait until dark and then go check it out.”
“Was the girl
there? Was she screaming?” Fuzzy was very anxious and he kept pacing around.
“I don’t know,
Fuzz. We didn’t hear anything.”
“I should have
been there. I would know if she was there. . . .”
“I know you would.
Funny you should suddenly believe the word of the reptile.”
“I never said she was
a liar. . . .” He finally curled up and tried to rest.
When Robby and detective Tambar were standing on the porch
of the nasty old house, the owner, one Nathan Rollie, was standing quietly a
few feet inside watching them and listening to their conversation. The health
department warnings were bogus. He had managed to get his hands on a real
condemnation form and create a facsimile on his computer, which he had then
posted after boarding the place up. He had managed to fit the boards just badly
enough that there were small cracks he could still see out of. The electricity
and gas were still on and the padlock on the front door was his. If the
detective had gone to the back, he wouldn’t have seen any padlock back there.
Nathan had just put his little project down to sleep when the detective and the
other guy had shown up. He routinely placed a gun to her head and made her take
a sleeping pill, sometimes two, if he needed to go out for a while. It allowed
her to get some real sleep and it helped keep her strength up. And if he made
her take two pills, he could do anything he wanted without her even waking up.
. . .
It was fall, and
it was getting dark earlier. Soon, we’d have to do that time-change thing,
which really doesn’t mean much when you live under a bridge. By seven-thirty,
Fuzzy and I were on the move. I wanted to watch the place for a while and see
if there was any activity. Fuzzy wanted to chew the doors off and be a
When we arrived at
the old house, I selected a place back at the alley, tucked in between three
55-gallon steel drums that were being used as trash cans. Along with the weeds
that grew around them, they actually made pretty good cover. I was not
surprised to see a small amount of light oozing out around some plywood that
was fastened over a basement window. Fuzzy was doing that almost inaudible
whine he gets into when he’s keyed up. At least there were no bugs.
We watched for a
while and then Fuzzy said, “What? This is it? We just gonna sit around and get
cold?” Half a heartbeat later, he gave a jump and abruptly backed up about four
feet. Out of the weeds, Lucille joined us, moving through the weeds as silently
as oil running through a tube.
She raised her head and propped herself on my knee.
“Hey, girl. Kinda
cold for you out here. . . .”
“Tell me about it.
I’m a little slow, but I know you can warm me up, anytime.”
From behind me, I
heard Fuzzy say, “What bullshit.”
here, ya wanna go have a look for us and see what’s goin’ on in there?” I
absently ran my hand along Lucille’s smooth scales.
“Mmmmm . . . give
ya ‘bout a half hour ta quit that. . . .”
“You don’t mind,
She slid out from
under my hand and whispered, “Be right back. . . .”
into the dark of the backyard. In a minute, I saw her, a darker stripe against
the dark concrete of the foundation, and then she was gone.
Fuzzy moved up and
shoved his nose up under my arm. I reached to pet him and he shied away,
saying, “Other hand, okay? That one smells like snake.”
minutes, Lucille was back. “The girl is sleeping. In the basement. I didn’t see
the guy anywhere around.”
I turned to Fuzzy
and said, “Might be a good time to go in, if he’s not there.”
No point in
stealth, I figured, so we just walked across the backyard and stepped up onto a
ramshackle porch and then up to the back door. Before I kicked it, I tried the
knob. It was unlocked. I pushed the door open and stepped inside, with Fuzzy
right at the “heel” position. It was pretty dark, but I could see enough to
tell we were in a kitchen and there was a doorway and stairs to our right,
leading down. Just as I started to turn, the lights came on.
I was momentarily
dazzled, then, as my eyes adjusted, I saw a smallish man wearing hospital
scrubs. I saw three eyes, two dark eyes under heavy black eyebrows and another
dark eye, which was the end of a .45 caliber pistol barrel.
“Good evening, Mr.
Metcalf. Welcome to my home. Who’s your friend?”
Nothing to do now
but try and keep him talking. Maybe we’d get a chance to jump him. “This is
Fuzzy. How do you know my name? Have we met?”
“A number of
times, actually, Mr. Metcalf. I work at the VA hospital. I’m a phlebotomist
there. I’ve drawn your blood a time or two.”
“I’m sorry, I
don’t remember. . . .”
“Nate. That’s all
you would know from my nametag. Doesn’t matter now. You won’t live to tell
anyone anything about me. Of course, since you brought that cop here, I’ll have
to move, but that’s okay. I’ve been here too long, anyway.”
My mind was racing
and I said, “You probably know why I’m here, then.”
“Yes, of course.
You’ve figured out my hobby. I’d like to know how, though.”
“Let’s just say a
little bird told me.”
“Okay, I’ll leave
that for now. Later, you’ll tell me whatever I want to know. Right now, let’s
“I don’t think so.
. . .”
“Move! Or I’ll
shoot the dog.”
“Don’t do it,
Boss!” Fuzzy whined.
it’ll be okay.”
I led the way down
into what turned out to be a very well-equipped dungeon. Nate turned on some
lights and the small woman asleep on a bunk to our left never moved. I had to
look close to even tell she was breathing. She slept under a rough wool olive
drab army blanket, pulled up to her neck. Her wrists were handcuffed to the bar
at the top of the bunk.
reached over and whisked the blanket away. She was entirely nude and slightly
built. She was about five-foot-nothing and probably weighed in at ninety-five
pounds. She had small red burn spots and small cuts all over her body,
especially on her breasts and around her lower stomach and pubic area. I
assumed the burns were either from cigarettes or hot candle wax.
stuff, huh?” Nate leered at me and then put the blanket back.
“She’s drugged, I
suppose. Probably pretty easy for you to get something from the hospital.”
“Oh, you have no
idea. Step over there, please.” He waved the .45, indicating the opposite wall,
where a pair of high-quality chrome shackles were bolted to the wall.
“Boss? I can take
him. . . .”
“At ease, Fuzz,
Fuzzy sat down and
cocked his head to one side, put a sappy, doggy grin on his face and let his
tongue flop out. He looked like the canine version of the village idiot. “Good
boy,” I said.
“Put your back to
the wall, please, and snap the shackles around your wrists.”
I hesitated for a
moment, and Nate turned slightly and aimed at Fuzzy. He cocked the hammer on
the big, black gun. “Quickly, please. Haven’t got all night, here. . . .”
Lucille slid silently down the wall and under the bunk. Fuzzy almost gave the
game away at that point. His head snapped to his right as he caught sight of
the six feet of blackness, but then he covered quickly by scratching his right
ear with his hind foot. I snapped the cold steel around my wrists.
“Thank you,” Nate
said, and then, “I’ll be right back.”
As he headed up
the stairs, Fuzzy said, “Boss, what’s she doin’ here?”
“Helping. Now be
quiet. And be ready.”
Nate was back in a
couple of minutes with a rather large blue cylinder in one hand and a wire
contraption in the other. I recognized the paraphernalia immediately. It was a
propane torch and a lighter. He smiled at me and turned the valve on and
snapped the lighter once, twice, then on the third try, the propane lit off
with a pop and produced a blue flame three inches long. The .45 was stuffed
down the front of his pants, partially covered by the top of his scrubs and his
“Now, Mr. Metcalf,
I’m going to ask you some questions and you’re going to provide answers. If you
don’t, I’ll be using this torch to move things along. You understand?”
“Sure, no problem.
I don’t know why you feel like you’d need that thing.”
He just smiled and
said, “First question. How did you find out about me?”
“From a friend.”
“A friend. And who
might that be?”
“Her name is
Doesn’t ring any bells. Should I know her?” He was still jovial, still smiling.
“I think you
should. She’s been right here in your little funhouse on several occasions. . .
“Um, no, I don’t
think so. I know the names of every little friend I’ve ever had here and I
recall no one named Lucille. Now, tell me the truth!”
He advanced toward
me with the torch and I could tell he was just dying to light me up and hear me
scream. I said, “I never said she was one of your friends or victims. I said
she’d been in here. She’s here right now.”
Nate started to
turn and look around, but then he caught himself. He wasn’t going to be
suckered into turning around. Just as he turned back, Lucille slid neatly up
his pants leg and the shit went down.
By the time he
could react, two feet of Lucille had already made it up almost to his knee and
she was going for sack. He dropped the torch and started screaming and yanking
at his scrubs. I looked at Fuzzy, who was up and quivering, and, just as Nate
got the gun out, I said, “Now.”
Fuzzy shot into
the air and grabbed Nate’s gun hand and bit down hard. The German Shepherd is
known to have over two thousand pounds of jaw pressure. Nate’s hand popped
every bit as loud as the propane torch and the gun tumbled to the floor. Almost
as though they had practiced, Fuzzy brought the hand down, still locked in his
best grip, and then Lucille bit Mr. Rollie somewhere on his genitalia.
became screeches, and Fuzzy loosed his grip just long enough to re-attack,
taking Nate by the throat, and savaging his major arteries. It was not pretty.
Lucille slid out onto the floor and moved across, coming nearer to me.
“Anything else we
“We need to find a
key to these shackles.” I said.
She turned and
looked around at Nate’s body. “Pockets?”
scrubs, they don’t have pockets.” I was eyeing the torch, which had rolled
across the floor and was now under the bunk where Lucille had been hiding.
Fuzzy had backed away from the body and was avoiding a large blood pool and
looking pretty proud of himself.
“What does this
key look like?” Lucille had made her way around the room and was moving toward
a doorway to another room.
“It’s small, shiny
with a circle on one end.” Seriously, how do you explain a key to a snake?
In a minute she
was back, with a small key ring in her mouth. I shook my head in disbelief. It
held four handcuff and leg shackle keys.
“Will any of these
work?” She sounded as smug as any snake could.
“Hell, yes! Perfect.”
She brought me the keys and raised herself up high enough to put them in my
hand. With some fumbling, I was free in short order. I went directly to the
girl and unlocked her cuffs and set about trying to wake her up. I turned to
Fuzzy and said, “You did great, Big Guy. Now we need to find this girl’s
He came over and
sniffed her, then took off, straight up the stairs. In a minute he was back with
a pair of jeans and a bra. Then he made three more trips, bringing a white
t-shirt, panties, and shoes, and a purse.
The girl was
sitting up and she was groggy. “What’s your name, Hon?”
She looked around
uncertainly and then she saw Nate’s body on the floor. I saw her swallow and I
thought for a minute she would scream, but then she just turned back to me and
said, “Anne Marie.”
“Okay, Anne, hurry
and get dressed. We gotta split, okay?”
“Who the hell are
“We’re the good
guys. C’mon, get dressed.”
She needed no more
urging. In about a minute flat, she was up and back in her clothes. The torch
was still hissing under the bunk and that gave me an idea. I turned to Fuzzy
and said, “Take Anne Marie and go up and wait in the backyard, I’ll be just a
The secret to
successful arson is to never use a petroleum or chemical accelerant. You set up
your fire with a plausible source of combustion and adequate fuel to get the
structure started. I rambled through the house and found a lot of dirty
clothing and rags and paper. Piled it all on the bunk and dropped the hot
flaming torch in the pile and hauled ass up the stairs.
already slithered out the same hole she came in, earlier. She was in the backyard,
waiting with Fuzzy and the girl.
“We need to get as
far away as we can; this place is gonna burn like a sumbitch.”
Fuzzy and Anne Marie
and I started walking south. Lucille stayed right where she was. “Hang on a
minute,” I said, and ran back.
I found her lying
in wait along the foundation.
“What are you
doing?” I asked.
supper,” she said, “In a couple minutes, everything that lives in there is
gonna come running out. Time to eat.”
I shook my head in
wonder and disbelief and then said, “Well, be careful…and bon appétit,
Kenneth James Crist is a tired, broken-down old motorcycle
Wichita Kansas. He began writing a novel in 1994 as keyboard practice
has since written four more novels, several novellas and a butt-load of short
His publications have been seen in Bewildering Stories,
Tales of the Talisman,
A Twist of Noir, A Shot of Ink, Eaten Alive, The New
Flesh, The Sink, The Edge, Skin and
Bones, Twisted Sister and
a few. Recently, he had three
stories accepted by John Thompson at Hardboiled, for two anthologies that
were published in April
of 2014, The
Undead War and Hardboiled,
both available from
Dead Guns Press.
He also has
four books up in Kindle format, for sale on
Dreaming of Mirages, The
Gazing Ball, Joshua, and Groaning for Burial,
his latest zombie fiction. One of his novellas, Surviving Montezuma, is
by Anne Stickel at Black Petals.
Having turned 72 last
June, he still rides his big Harley every day that weather
permits and is now completely
retired. He volunteers as a blood
services driver for the American Red Cross and he is also a member of the American
Legion Riders and the Kansas Patriot Guard.