Due to a Dame

Dead Guns PressSo for this morning’s post, I have no review. I have to admit that I’m kind of worn after a couple of marathon sessions reading Chris Derrick’s ‘The Tainted Dollar’ & ‘The Sheriff’s Sister’.

Great stories both of them and I really can’t say enough about the indie writer from England and his take on the old west.

For today, I’d like to put up a warning of sorts? A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from John Thompson down at Dead Guns Press accepting one of my short stories ‘Due to a Dame’ for next years ‘Dames & Sin’ anthology.

The contract is signed and returned and now I just have to wait for its release to report on the writers included and the stories contained inside.

Several years ago I got to hold a Thompson sub-machine gun like the ones used back in the prohibition era by both the good and the bad guys.

I’ve always wanted one, but the price tag on something like that is just too rich for me. My other dream is to own a BAR or Browning automatic rifle, yeah one of the big fuckers invented for the Army and used by the badest of the bad back in the day.

OK, so if I’m losing you…I’m not of the typical liberal writer type. I do own guns and enjoy recreational shooting and I entertain writing as a hobby. Don’t ask me how this came to be? I can’t figure it out either.

Anyway, years ago I combined the experience of just holding the Thompson (it’s damned heavy and don’t be fooled by the old Hollywood movies with the bad guy holding and firing one in each hand) with my wild ass imagination and spun a short story The House Next Door.

The story went from real time to a fractured dream where a bank was robbed and back to real time…only to leave you wondering at the end of the story if maybe this hadn’t really happened. I loved the story and knew that it wouldn’t work because of the dream which was so much of it.

Last year I somehow got bitten by the prohibition era bug again and starting writing or rewriting the story. I love that time period for some unknown reason? The gent’s all wore suits and hats and the gals all dressed to the nines? I’m sure that everyone couldn’t do this, but I can dream can’t I?

Several stories came out of this, ‘Due to a Dame’ (which has been picked up by Dead Guns Press), ‘Whiskey Woman’ (which has been submitted to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine), ‘Three Days with the Devil’ (which I haven’t done anything with), ‘Early Morning Diner’ (submitted to Dark House Books) and finally the novella ‘Meet Me in Tulsa’ (which has been submitted and rejected as being too short, although it got a good review with the publisher. It has since been submitted elsewhere and I keep my fingers crossed. If not there, I have already lined up another publisher that is willing to give it a read)

So four short stories and a novella, not bad for one wild dream huh?

In ‘Due to a Dame’ Dean West lives out what he perceives to be maybe his last. He and three fellows made a run at the Crooker National Bank in Litton California earlier in the morning after being released from Folsom State Penitentiary. Elmer Johnson—Ugly Elmer—was fatally shot at the top of the bank steps. Big Pat Garrett was shot while holding the Coppers at bay behind his Lincoln with the Browning automatic rifle and giving those blue clad policemen hell just as good as he was taking it.

Garrett’s boy Levi was shot in the gut making a run for the idling Cadillac as he West make a run for it. A sweet looking gal in red opens the Cadillac door and slips a calling card down into West’s coat pocket. The card is for a juke-joint out on State Route 1 South.

From there West and the boy make a clean getaway with the elder Garrett holding those Coppers back. West retells the story of the day over a bottle of watered down bourbon (another favorite of mine…over ice though) until he starts to smell a familiar perfume making its way into the one room shack where the younger Garrett has passed from this earth.

The gal offers West a way out of the coming predicament once the law finds him holed up there behind the gin-joint. She has a late model Chrysler outside and a place they can go out near Tulsa.

West has his Thompson and a soft leather bag full of bank deposits.

For anything more than that…you’ll have to wait just like me to see how things turn out.

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