Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sample Saturday: The Usual Game

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This snippet is from my short story, The Usual Game, set in the early days of the State of Arizona.

The Ford sputtered and died.

Verl allowed the car to slip backward down the side of the steep mountain road to the almost-flat place where the switchback zigzagged in the other direction, then turned off the lights and set the brake. Night surrounded him with insect chirps and the crisp, tangy odor of creosote as he stepped off the running board of the 1926 Model T.

I shoulda put in gas at Clarkdale, he thought, and wondered if the gas can was as dry as the tank.

The young man let his eyes adjust to starlight for a moment, breathing deeply, hoping to cut the concrete dust that filled his lungs with the night air. Even if his was a dirty job, it was honest labor, like he'd promised Betty. Construction work was good for the economy of the young state of Arizona, and pretty well paying for him.

He felt the wad of bills in his pocket. Maybe his earnings weren't like before, but soon there would be enough money for him to drive down to Phoenix to visit Betty and Ma. He could wire his wages to them, but he longed for some home cooking, and for the sight of Betty's laughing face when he came in the door.

Verl felt along the running board for the gas can. He untied it, then gave it a shake. Should be a good two gallons in there. Plenty to get him up the hill to his lodgings in Jerome.

He got the funnel out of the toolbox, uncapped the tank, and slid the funnel into the hole. Pungent fumes rose from the opened can as he lifted it, carefully adding the liquid to the tank. Then he was finished, and a tuneless whistle flowed through his pursed lips as he put away the gas can and funnel.

"Let's go on home," he said, patting the car.

Verl fired up the engine with the electric starter and eased off the brake to make another run up the steep road. The car settled into the proper gear and putted into the long ascent.

The engine died again.


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The Usual Game (An Arizona Short Story) is available at the following online retailers: Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore

My latest novel, The Zion Trail, will be published in 2016 as an ebook, and if there is sufficient demand, in print. To keep up-to-date on when The Zion Trail will be published, along with other new releases, and to learn of special offers and sales, click here to join my Readers email list. In your inbox, you will also receive instructions on how to download a free ebook of my last novel, Gone for a Soldier. 

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