OK, so my longest published story to date Ain’t No Law in California has hit the stands in both paperback and the more wallet friendly Kindle version…anyone reading this thing yet?
All that I can tell you, is that it is a western or kind of a western? Marshal Dan Bardwell and his young partner Franklin Curtis ride out from Sacramento on the trail of more than a few bad guys.
The story takes place in the future and is told as if an old west cowboy was running up against locomotives and military helicopters and the like at times, but is a western mostly only with drug using zombies. So it is tinged with elements of Steampunk and comes off dystopian and post-apocalyptic. It all takes place after a nuclear war.
“The eyes of Sanchez widened, now knowing his fate. “What is your nombre señor?” he asked. “You name, your name?”
A dead silence settled over the tiny cantina––not a single soul stirred. Four men lay dead on the dirty floor, the product of their own violence and poor judgment here in no man’s land, a place where bad things could happen if a man were not careful.
“Lucifer,” he said thumbing back the hammer, “Take my hand por favor?””
Funny story about that last line…I had got to that point in the story and needed something big to finish the chapter. I had been over at the airport and was driving back with the radio on. Ozzie was singing the line in Black Sabbath’s NIB …my name is Lucifer, come take my hand…
As a lot of Ain’t No Law in California takes place among the Mexican population in the desert southwest, the line (translated to Spanish) was perfect!
“The putrid smells were enough to make a man think otherwise about continuing on. Peddlers stood trading and hawking their goods. Here and there, a piece of copper was traded for a sack of long grass. Smoke rose skyward. Bodies of the dogs skinned during the day hung lifeless waiting for a willing buyer. More of the mongrel animals skittered away into the darkness between the rusting automobiles forgotten four generations previous.
A woman walked closer, smiling in the fading light. Her smile exposed several missing teeth and bright sores inside her mouth. “Want to fuck, sweetie?” she asked.
Bardwell continued past without acknowledging the woman. Curtis shook his head in the negative, but still, he dared a look back.
“What the fuck was that?” he asked, closing back up next to the lawman.
“Zombies,” he said. “You don’t have to talk to them.”
The passage above is the lawmen (Bardwell and Curtis) making their way into the fortified desert city, Arroyo de las Vegas.
This piece stuck in the craw of the gal that edited the story for me.
So anyway…if you like weird westerns and drug using zombies with a post-apocalyptic / dystopian feel to it…what not give this one a try?
The story started out to be really dark, but got off track by the end. A second—hopefully—much darker story is being rewritten at the moment and I hope to have it out later this year.