Jeff Carter’s We Bleed Orange and Black: 31 Fun-Sized Tales for Halloween

The premise of Jeff Carter’s new collection We Bleed Orange and Black: 31 Fun-Sized Tales for Halloween stems from the author’s all-encompassing passion for the Halloween season, which, in the course of our friendship, I’ve come to know and appreciate firsthand. The book is like a plastic pumpkin bucket with a sign that says Take One and one of those green rubber hands that snaps up and grabs you as you close your fingers around a Zagnut. It’s sincere as a van Pelt pumpkin patch and drips with October love like a jack ‘o lantern drooling black and orange wax in the wee hours of All Hallow’s Eve. If you’ve got a modicum of the same appreciation Jeff has for the holiday, you’re going to find something to love in this.

I asked Jeff a buncha questions. Here they are, with his answers. You know the deal.

1. You personally appreciate every aspect of Halloween, and there are a number of stories in the book where you offer a remarkably diverse series of interpretations of the holiday, native, foreign, even, in one of my favorite offerings, extraterrestrial.  What’s your favorite non-American Halloween tradition?

My favorite might be Bon Odori, a huge group dance held at Japanese Obon festivals where the dead are invited to dance with the living. I’ve had the opportunity to participate a few times (one time with you!)

2. In the same vein, I know we share a fondness for cryptozoology and obscure critters from folklore, but in one story where Busta Rhymes, the Mothman, and Sasquatch are judges on a kind of ‘American’s Next Top Monster Costume’ show, you really surpassed me. I was agog at the monsters you pulled out of your hat. Had you been itching to depict any of these for a while, or did you discover them in researching for this. Which was your favorite among the contestants in the story?

The ‘Fearsome Critters’ from American Folktales have been a blind-spot of mine for a while and I’ve been looking for a way to play with them. Many of the monsters that hail from the logging camps of Appalachia are silly tall-tales, but my favorite would be the saddest creature – The Squonk, a critter so awkward and ugly that if it’s ever spotted it dissolves in its own tears.

3. You wear your ghoulies on your sleeve in this one in terms of exploring the personal origins of your own love for Halloween, so I won’t have you repeat it here. It’s right there in the excerpt from The Year Without Halloween and the story of the werewolf in the Halloween costume contest (which…I’m pretty sure I was present at the gathering that inspired this one). Give me the best Halloween costume you ever wore, and your favorite Halloween experience.

My most ambitious costume ever was an expandable two-story high carnival-style Grim Reaper.

I intentionally make it hard to choose a favorite Halloween experience by packing every October with as much fun as possible. Therefore, I will simply reach back to my blurry recollections of childhood running through the dark streets with my friends, inhaling the fumes of bad latex masks and letting the night stretch out before us like a moveable feast of candy and adventure.


4. Christmas has its TV and movie classics. What about Halloween?

To avoid any angry mobs, I’ll give an honest answer: I loved every ‘Halloween episode’ of my regular childhood shows. I like the Great Pumpkin as much as the next kid, but it felt more special when Halloween took over an episode of MacGuyver or Quantum Leap. 

5. Who was the ambassador of Halloween when you were a kid? Like, in Chicagoland, we had Rich Koz, the Son of Svengoolie, and as a kid who sat in front of the TV a lot, watching his monster show around Halloween was a big deal. Did you have anybody like that?

Commander U.S.A. was our beloved Horror host for ‘Groovy Movies’, and every Saturday afternoon became Halloween when he and his pal Lefty were on.

6. This has been covered elsewhere (and I think at least one of these is answered in your A,B,C’s of Halloween in the book), but not here. What’s your favorite and least favorite Halloween candy?

Favorite: Mini-Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups (especially the modern dark chocolate kind)

Least favorite: Necco Wafers, hands down. Those brittle, chalky discs of plastic are like some cheap stale mint you’d find under the floor mats of an old family station wagon in a junkyard. I once lost a bet and my friend made me eat five entire rolls.

7.  In the face of Covid-19 and social distancing, it’s a great time for masks but possibly not a great time to go door to door for candy or bob for apples. What do you think Halloween’s going to look like this year (and in subsequent years, till this pandemic comes under control)?   

This is a developing story, of course, but according to a recent poll I saw many parents are still planning to celebrate and/or take their kids trick-or-treating. I’ve seen people planning clotheslines of individual goody bags, long tubes to slide candy down, and my favorite ‘#YeetTheTreat’.

For myself, I’ve considered a ‘Candy-pult’ and a rack with dozens of piñatas.

Ultimately, I think the focus will be on home decorating, scary movies and hopefully some ghost stories.

Stay tuned after this commercial break for the lightning round!

WE BLEED ORANGE & BLACK – 31 Fun-sized Tales for Halloween 

Available for Pre-Order Now – 

https://www.amazon.com/Bleed-Orange-Black-Fun-sized-Halloween/dp/B08FP25HZ4/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=jeff+carter+orange&qid=1599161059&sr=8-2

Kindle: 99 cents

Print: $5.50

Kindle Unlimited: Free

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Free Giveaway in October – 10/7, 10/8, 10/9 and 10/12, 10/13

Review copies available upon request.

And we’re back, boos and ghouls, with the lightning round…

8. Most Dangerous candy? Jaw-breakers
9. Weirdest candy? Wax whistles and juice bottles
10. Childhood Dream costume? Cylon from Original Battlestar Galactica
11. Adult Dream costume? Ghost Rider with convincing flaming skull

Ghost Rider - Wikipedia


12. Haunted house or Hay Ride? Hay Ride
13. Universal Horror Nights or Disney? HHN (Disney has never been in my Halloween Budget)
14. Your Worst Costume? Disco Zombie with curly wig, liquid latex makeup and vintage polyester shirt and pants. It was a great costume until I got caught in the pouring cold rain.
15. Freehand pumpkin or patterns? Freehand
16. Ever seen a ghost? Not that I know of
17. Eff, Marry, Kill: Vampires, Werewolves, or Zombies? This is why polygamy was invented.
18. Safest pandemic costume: Boy in the Bubble
19. Riskiest pandemic costume: Kissing Booth
20. Jason or Michael? Jason

Friday the 13th Part III' Slashing Up Portland in Classic Anaglyph 3D This  Summer! - Bloody Disgusting

21. Blade or Ash? Again, polygamy.
22. True Crime or fake crime? Fiction, please.
23. Grey Aliens or Xenomorphs? Xenomorphs
24. Are humans the real monsters? Not if actual monsters are on the rampage
25. Cutesy Horror? I like every flavor of scary. Halloween is for everyone. That said, it’s exposure to the real stuff that scars kids and turns them into horror fans.
26. East Coast or West Coast? East Coast has the leaves and cider. West Coast has a lot of creative people who blow it out with great costumes, makeup, haunts and theater. It’s a tie.
27. What might Halloween look like in the future? In the near future we may lose the associations of hot cider, sweaters and fall leaves because autumn will be just too damned hot. Costume technology will advance for those who want built-in AC, but otherwise I expect skimpy costumes to be the norm. Waterparks will get Halloween makeovers in the fall, so buy stock in The Creature from the Black Lagoon now.
28. Come back as a Spooky Scary Skeleton? Honestly, it seems like a lot of work.
29. Jack-O’lanterns: Pumpkins or turnips? I carved my first turnip last year and it was really fun, so now I do both!
30. Worst horror movie cliché? Person dragged away from camera.

REC | COM115.9

31. Halloween or Hallowe’en? In my heart there is always a comma in Hallowe’en

This Halloween, Curl Up With 31 Fun-Sized Tales in "We Bleed Orange &  Black" | All Hallows Geek

WE BLEED ORANGE & BLACK – 31 Fun-sized Tales for Halloween 

Available for Pre-Order Now – https://bit.ly/WeBleed

Kindle: 99 cents

Print: $5.50

Kindle Unlimited: Free

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Free Giveaway in October – 10/7, 10/8, 10/9 and 10/12, 10/13

Review copies available upon request

Social

Seek out more of Jeff’s work at JeffCCarter.com / Facebook & Twitter: @carterwroteit                 

Amazon Author Page & Good Reads: Jeff C. Carter / Instagram: @Jeffc.carter  

Published in: on September 4, 2020 at 1:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Express’ In Midnight In The Pentagram from Silver Shamrock Publishing

Silver Shamrock Publishing has put out a star-studded occult horror anthology, Midnight In The Pentagram, featuring –

Wesley Southard & Somer Canon
Catherine Cavendish
Glen Krisch & Mark Steensland
Rob E. Boley
Ronald Kelly
Brian Keene
Graham Masterton
Tim Curran
James Newman
Todd Keisling
Jason Parent
Stephanie Ellis
Chad Lutzke
Tim Meyer
Tony Tremblay
Laurel Hightower
Kenneth W. Cain
J.G. Faherty
William Meikle
Shannon Felton
Owl Goingback
Wesley Southard
Charlotte Platt
Cameron Ulam
Brian Moreland
Armand Rosamilia
Kenneth McKinley
Azzurra Nox
John Quick
Allan Leverone
Mark Steensland
P.D. Cacek
Mark Towse
Amanda Hard
Stephanie Ellis
Robert E. Dunn
Allan Leverone
Gord Rollo

And yeah, me.

My contribution, ‘Express,’ was directly inspired by my watching the Dutch horror movie ‘The Lift’ last year during my annual October horror movie marathon.

Junta Juleil's Culture Shock: Only now does it occur to me... THE LIFT

Basically it concerns an office building security guard whose suspicions are aroused by an irate bookstore owner’s eccentric behavior.

Here’s an excerpt. Link to buy is below.

————————–

Manning the day security desk in the lobby of The Sturgill Building mainly consisted of pointing out the directory sign to visitors and keeping the panhandlers from harassing the suits on their smoke breaks. It was a cushy gig. Most people knew where they were going when they came through the revolving door, and the stinginess of the corporate types was known far and wide among the downtown tramps, so all but the most addlebrained beggars knew it was useless to hit them up, and stuck to the park and the tenderhearted out of towners.

Dion Wilkes had been here six years now. He’d started on nights. At first the change had been jarring. You could doze through most of the night shift if you set an alarm to remind you when to get up and do your checks, and you could let the bums sleep in the doorways as long as they were packed up and gone by the time the cleaning crew left in the morning.

His promotion to days had been a hassle at first; not as many opportunities to screw around. But he soon learned the perks. No rounds to check, so you could actually plunk your butt in the chair and never move till quitting time. Sure some Fridays he got called upstairs to escort somebody out the front door for the last time. That kind of sucked. They always let them go on a Friday or before a holiday break. He didn’t know the psychology behind that. He had heard it softened the blow, but the people he walked out always seemed on the verge of crying, like they were bewildered refugees staggering away from the site of a bombing, clutching their boxes of personal items, family photos and the kind of goofy toys and knickknacks office workers decorated their cubes with to fly some desperate personal flag of individuality, something to fool themselves into thinking they were anything but what they were.

Dion didn’t keep anything on his desk. He brought his coffee in a thermos and took it home at the end of his shift. He didn’t leave anything of himself in this joint, aside from a fart in his chair and the occasional booger rubbed off surreptitiously under the desk.

But those final Friday dead man walks were as rare as the panhandlers during office hours.

End of the month was Dion’s least favorite time, and today of course, his relief had called in sick. He was pulling a double.

The top floors of the building were occupied by C.D. Holdings, one of those big name companies you heard about on the news whose names popped up all over the place, on car dealerships, baseball stadiums, construction sites, and protest signs.

What they actually did, Dion couldn’t say. They made a lot of people miserable, for sure, because every end of the month a recurring cast of sad looking people wandered up to his desk and asked to speak to somebody about their rent or their mortgage or their business loan. These he’d send to the directory. They would drift over there, blink at the placard, and invariably take the express elevator that bypassed the intervening floors and went directly to C.D. Holdings’ corporate offices up on fourteen, usually after meandering back to his desk to confirm which elevator they were supposed to take.

Some of them clutched thick manila envelopes stuffed with cash or yellow folders bursting with reams of receipts and wrinkled checks. When he called up to C.D., the snooty, attractive receptionist with a head full of race car red hair that didn’t fool anybody, the one who click clacked past his desk every morning and evening and never said hello, and seemed to take personal offense at the sound of Dion’s voice, would tell him to keep whatever offering the sad sacks brought at the security desk and she’d send somebody down to get it at lunch time.

He got to know their faces if not their names; the jittery old Korean lady trying to hold onto her late husband’s corner grocery, the skinny hipster in the ratty scarf who’d had a bad experience once and now didn’t trust his rent check to the mail, the overweight mother in the tube top with a tattoo of a the name ‘Bruce’ in cursive over the arch of her left breast, dragging her frenzied toddler by the wrist, there to tearfully ask somebody in charge for more time.

Only one of these did Dion memorize the name of, and that was Dr. Verman Kind, the owner of The Mystic Scion Bookstore downtown.

Dion didn’t know what Kind was a doctor of. It surely wasn’t medicine, or if it was, he’d go see a vet before he’d step foot in any office of his. Kind was a compact little German man of indeterminate age, Dion guessed somewhere between forty five and sixty, pale, without a scrap of visible body hair. He squinted up at you with beady, bloodshot eyes from behind a pair of square Ben Franklin-type glasses, and spluttered demands in his thick war criminal accent. He dressed like one of those steampunk nerds, always in a black bowler and three piece suit with striped pants and a voluminous black velvet cape (so big, maybe it counted as a cloak) over a silky, brocaded vest and a shirt Dion expected a pirate would run you through to the hilt for. He carried a black case, and always walked swinging a shiny black cane with a fancy silver star-shaped handle.

Always, except for today.

Today, Dr. Kind came through the door (never the revolving door), with a little black terrier scurrying ahead of him on a silver leash.

Dr. Kind’s relationship with C.D. Holdings was tempestuous, and Dion knew the details of his drama by heart because Kind repeated it to him every month, angrily punctuating his narrative with repeated, sharp raps of his cane on Dion’s desk.

Somehow, several months ago, C.D. Holdings had acquired ownership of the building his weirdo occult bookshop had occupied for a number of decades, and they had raised his rent beyond ‘agreeable rates,’ no doubt with the intention of pushing him out so they could level the place and install some garish, soulless monolith like The Sturgill Building itself.

Every month since, Dr. Kind had come to renegotiate the terms of his lease with the powers that be, and every month he emerged from the express elevator loudly and flamboyantly declaring his hatred of C.D. Holdings and its moronic administrators in expressive curses both German and English.

For once though, Kind did not accost Dion at his post, but made straight for the express elevator.

“Hey Dr. Kind!” called Dion, in his authoritarian voice, which was basically an imitation of his father. He stood up as Kind walked by. “What’s with the dog?”

Published in: on August 28, 2020 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Doc Panda Interview

Hey y’all, I’ve been interviewed over on Aurelio Rico Lopez III’s FB group, Doc Panda, so head over there and listen to me talk about my favorite subject.

Published in: on August 15, 2020 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In The Weird West is once again available.

Hey all, the reissue of the final Merkabah Rider book, Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In The Weird West, is now available.

Published in: on May 20, 2020 at 3:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Tails of Terror from Golden Goblin Press

tailsofterror

Another Golden Goblin Press Lovecraftian anthology, this one concerning the exploits of H.P.’s favorite animal companions, felines and featuring

  • Derpyfoot by Christine Morgan
  • The Cat in the Pall by Pete Rawlik
  • Ghost Story by Brian M. Sammons
  • Palest of Humans by Don Webb
  • Bats in the Belfry by William Meikle
  • Satisfaction Brought Him Back by Glynn Owen Barrass
  • The Bastet Society by Sam Stone
  • The Veil of Dreams by Stephen Mark Rainey
  • The Quest of Pumpkin the Brave by Oscar Rios
  • The Cats of the Rue d’Auseil by Neil Baker
  • The Knowledge of the Lost Master by Andi Newton
  • The Ruins of an Endless City by Lee Clark Zumpe
  • A Glint in the Eyes by D.A. Madigan
  • A Field Guide to Wanderlust Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
  • In the End there is a Drain by Tim Waggoner
My story, Brown Jenkins’ Reckoning, is a follow up to Dreams In The Witch House, and posits the ultimate fate of its most infamous character.

Told from the point of view of the cats of Arkham, who have taken note of an uptick in activity and viciousness by the local rats, all centering on the abandoned Witch House. my story follows a stray cat, a master of the ninth incarnation who proposes to the dream council at Ulthar a plan to defeat the malevolent entity behind the incursions.

I had fun with this one. I like cats. I like dogs too, I’m not one of those people who has to choose. But as I can’t fathom picking up after a dog and I like having companions who don’t need me around twenty four seven, I like cats more.

Here’s an excerpt.

As some men dream of Dylath-Leen and the marble walls of lost Sarnath, all cats dream of Ulthar, the little cobblestone village on the winding River Skai where no cat may be harmed.

The dreaming cats of Arkham met in Ulthar at the old temple on the hill, in the little stone amphitheater-shrine whose top tier was arranged with graven images of the Elder Gods of Earth. The clowder seated itself before the greening brass statues of their patrons, Uldar, and the cat-headed goddess Bast, to discuss the depradations of the rats of Arkham, which had, for unknown reasons, intensified as of late.

The old priest Atal filled the stone bowls of the twelve respected master cats of the ninth incarnation with cream.

One of the housecats, a regal Maine coon spoke;

“The rats are on the offensive. Many new holes gnawed in the homes of man, particularly in French Hill. Food stolen. There are even little bites on the limbs of the sleeping children.”

Children sometimes wandered into the Dreamlands in their carefree slumber, and it was the duty of cats to guide them out again, to keep them safe from the various minions of the Outer God Nyarlathotep, who would steal them for vile ends. This oath of child-herding extended into the waking world.  It was a matter quite serious to the cats, particularly those fortunate to have human homes.

“Why are the mousers not curbing this behavior?” demanded a haughty, fat orange housecat.

“If it is the rats doing these things,” said one of the alley cats, a mangy tabby of the fifth generation, “then they are moving by avenues we cannot tell. The humans have not been idle. They’ve been blowing poison down into the rat nests for weeks. Most of the warrens have emptied into the hills west of town.”

“It’s not a rat,” said a voice from the shoulder of the statue of Bast. “Though I’d be amazed if any fat bellied housecat could hear a rat lapping from his milk bowl in the kitchen over the sound of their own complacent purring.”

A rough looking tomcat, nip-eared, broad shouldered, the color of pipe smoke with white socks, jumped down from his high perch on the statue and went to the center of the shrine. He bore some limp, bleeding shape in his teeth, which he deposited on the floor for all to see.

It was a rat, and it had been subjected to such tortures as only a half-feral alley cat can devise.  The tomcat laid one paw on its back.

This tomcat was notorious across the neighborhoods of Arkham as a scrapper and a night yowler, a scavenging rover who had sired kittens as far away as Innsmouth.  He was also grudgingly recognized as the best mouser in the Miskatonic Valley.

Yet he was also a master of the ninth incarnation, the only one among the alley cats. Only a master could drag the dream avatar of another creature all the way to Ulthar. By their ninth and final incarnation, most cats, having lived several lifetimes of adventures, were content to settle into extended retirement like pampered mandarins, safely exploring their future Dreamland abode from the comfort of some warm human house where they could safely sleep all day, undisturbed in a forgotten hutch.

Not so, this tomcat. His behavior befuddled the other masters, for he had not attended a clowder in the Dreamlands in recent memory. In the waking world, he slashed the knuckles of hands that sought to stroke him, and pissed on proffered bedding. He would rather lie dead in a road than on his back in a soft lap. No one knew where he slept.

Beneath his paw, the mangled rat twitched. The cats licked their chops at its squeal, tasting fear.

“Tell them,” the tomcat hissed.

“Brown Jenkin!” squeaked the rat.

No photo description available.The cats stirred uneasily. The reputation of the creature called Brown Jenkin, the prowling monster rat with the heads and hands of a man, vile familiar to the witch Keziah Mason, servant of the Outer Dark, was well known. Keziah and Brown Jenkin, fugitives of the Salem trials, had haunted Arkham from the upper rooms of the Stinking House on the corner of Pickman and Parsonage for three hundred years, stealing out in the dead of night to snatch children to bleed on the altars of the Old Ones.

“The witch is dead, and her pet with her,” said the Maine coon dismissively.

This was true. The violet witch light had not been seen in the upper windows of the Stinking House for many months. Even the old landlord had at last abandoned it.

“You’re wrong,” wheezed the rat, sounding slightly pleased, even in his pathetic state, to know more than the cats. “Brown Jenkin lives!”

“Tell them the rest,” urged the tomcat, spreading his claws.

 

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Published in: on May 18, 2020 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

By Unknown Hands In Shadows Of An Inner Darkness from Golden Goblin Press

I’m pleased to be appearing in another Golden Goblin Press anthology.
innerdarkness

When the dark and malevolent forces of the Cthulhu Mythos gaze upon mankind’s inhumanity towards his fellow man, it casts a long and dark shadow from our own inner darkness. These seven stories explore such shadows, with tales of all-too-familiar evils further darkened by the corruption of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Shadows of an Inner Darkness: Stories of the Struggle Against Eldritch Horrors & Our Own Inhumanity – Edited by Brian Sammons

The Parkland Experiments by William Meikle—When a Doctor begins performing chemical and surgical eugenics experiments on prisoners at Parkland Correctional Facility, the results take an unexpected and otherworldly turn, resulting in horrific consequences.
Carrion Crows by Peter Rawlik—In the aftermath of a terrible hurricane, John Crow is pressed into service with a work gang to recover the dead and bury them in mass graves. The terrible experience changes him, quite literally, forever.

A Ghastly Industry by Lee Clark Zumpe—A couple fleeing from a lynch mob in central Florida takes unlikely refuge in a moldering manor. However, they land in the middle of a family dispute between a desperate young man and his ancient undying grandmother.
The Last Appointment by Oscar Rios—An Arkam doctor is kidnapped after performing an illegal medical procedure on a terribly deformed man from the shunned town of Innsmouth. His patient’s family has some questions and his life depends on the answers.
Man of the House by Christine Morgan—A fabulously wealthy man rules over a houseful of his female relations. He controls their fortunes and keeps them prisoners to his abhorrent desires. But it’s a New Age; women have the vote now, and the time has come for a change.
Heart Mountain by Glynn Owen Barrass —With Executive Order 9066, young Aiko and her family are forcibly taken to Heart Mountain, a detention camp for Japanese Americans. There she discovers a hidden diary and learns the camp has been used before.

My offering, By Unknown Hands, tells the story of a pair of murderous conmen in 1920’s Oklahoma duping and murdering Osage Indians out of their oil rights.

It’s inspired by the actual Osage Indian killings, most recently depicted in David Grann’s Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and The Birth of The FBI.

Grann’s book details the far reaching and long running conspiracy by Anglo businessmen and officials to undermine Native rights to lucrative oil wells discovered beneath their treaty allotted land, previously thought worthless.

Sometimes I write out of catharsis, and after that infuriating read, I needed it. Of course, using the tools of Lovecraft (and Zealia Bishop), I can put those who escaped justice in the path of the inevitable. Sometimes the apathetic forces that inhabit the Outer Dark do justice by accident. In this case, I tied history to the Mythos via what was previously set forth in the posthumously published The Mound.

Here’s an excerpt.

————————————————————

I never set out to kill no Indians. It was just something I fell into.

After the war, I came back to Tulsa County to find my old maw dead and gone, and our Sooner land sold off to the oil company. I don’t know who they paid for it, but it wasn’t me. The house was just gone, which explains why none of my letters were ever answered.

I worked for a while as a wildcatter, but that got to feeling too much like being back in the Army. Most jobs did, when you got right down to it. I had brought home a deep unease with me that I just couldn’t shed. Thunder made me jump inside, and open spaces made me fret. I had little patience for men, women, and beasts. Though I had cropped my hair short since I was a boy, it was like somehow they could smell the Indian in me. Maybe it was all that sun from working outside. I left a lot of them bleeding.

In late summer ’21 I drifted west, headed for California, but got tripped up by the Osage Hills and wound up on a ranch on the west edge of the big Indian reservation, manning a 500 gallon copper still for a fellow named Henry Grammer, the world steer roping champion and the biggest bootlegger around.

There were some rough customers among Grammer’s bunch, many who had been bank and train robbers in their day.

One of them, a wind-burned older fellow with nickel blue eyes and an easy manner named Casey Matheson approached me one day while I sat smoking under the blackjack.

“Where are you from, boy?” he asked.

“Berryhill,” I answered, “and leave out that ‘boy’ talk.”

There was threat in that, but he didn’t seem to mind.

“You ain’t no moonshiner,” he went on. “What’d you do before?”

“All kinds of things.”

“You was in the Army though.”

“How’d you know that?”

“You just got that look about you. Makin’ shine don’t fit your pistol, does it?”

“Nothing much does anymore,” I said, tossing my butt away.

“I bet you don’t like sleepin’ in that bunkhouse neither.”

All Grammer’s employees slept in the ranch bunkhouse off the main house, cowboy and moonshiner alike. It was drafty, and the Negro handyman was stingy with caulk, boards, and nails.

“You see that car over there?” Casey said, pointing to a grey Bearcat I had seen about the place once in a while. “That’s a thirty nine hundred dollar automobile, and I got it for a day’s work.”

“Running shine?”

He laughed.

“Hell no. Killin’ Indians.”

He watched me for a minute, gauging my reaction. I tensed for a fight, but said nothing.

“You know how to drive?” he asked.

I did.

“You wanna take a ride?”

It beat squatting over the still.

My hands shuddered on the wheel till we left the gravel drive behind and hit the pavement. I opened her up and whipped those 6-cylinders to galloping, leaving the blackjack hills behind. I hadn’t moved this fast in years. The wind blew over me, roaring in my ears, and those big empty plains of bluestem and spiderwort flew past. I lost my hat, but I didn’t care.

After a bit, Casey waved for me to pull over so he could be heard.

He lit a cigarette, offered me one. I saw he was missing the last two fingers on his left hand.

“Meanin’ no offense, but you got some Indian in you, don’t you?”

I took the cigarette, stared at him. I had a great-grandfather on my mother’s side who was Choctaw.

“Berryhill,” the old man mused, when I didn’t say anything. “What’re you? Quarter Cherokee?”

“Eighth Choc,” I allowed, waiting to see if I’d have to lay him out.

He nodded and waved his cigarette across the big empty prairie, trailing smoke.

“We’re on the Osage reservation now. You notice anything?”

I put my foot on the running board and looked. I could see far, to the towns northeast; to Fairfax and Grey Horse. In between were clunking derricks, laboring like giant metal picks rising and falling on the earth.
The Osage Nation is moving forward but not forgetting a violent ...

“Just oil.”

“That’s right,” said Casey, grinning. “That’s sharp. Most folks’d say ‘nothing.’ Government shuffled these Indians around, stuck ‘em on the barest, rockiest patch of nothing they could find. Only they didn’t figure on what was underneath it. Devil’s tar. Lakes and lakes of it. The Underground Reservation. And the lawyers fixed it so every full-blooded member of the Osage tribe got headrights. Six hundred and fifty seven acres, every man, woman, and child, and mineral rights for leasin’ to the oil companies.” He spat. “Devil must’ve been runnin’ the government back then. Come on, Buckwheat, let’s go into Pawhuska. I wanna show you something.”

We drove thirty minutes along the state highway into the county seat. You could swear we were in Kansas City by the amount of cars going up and down the paved streets. It seemed like every sedan we passed had a white or a Negro driver and an Indian riding in back. The sidewalks were lined with suited Indian men in clean white Stetsons and tall silk hats, some of them trailing blanketed squaws, others with wives in full length beaver coats, their crow black plaits dangling down from under stylish, sequined cloche hats like real St. Louis ladies.

“Just look at ‘em,” Casey growled. “Struttin’ about like red roosters. And every one of ‘em’s got a price on their head. Head downtown.”

We passed a big brown brick building with a tall, wide elm next to it. Stretched out below in the shade was a passel of Indians and well-dressed white men. There was an auctioneer in a skimmer and shirt sleeves calling out rapid fire to the crowd. Parked out front were rows of limousines, the uniformed chauffeurs smoking and chatting.

“Tribal Council House. That there’s the Million Dollar Elm,” said Casey, chin on his elbow, propped on the door of the car. “Better fruit than any apple tree you ever saw. Today it’s ripe. Today’s the day the oil men come out to buy leases. Look at ‘em. Thousands…millions of dollars changing hands. Old John Paul Getty himself’s been under that tree.”

We drove by, continuing down into the residential neighborhood. The old man pointed to the sprawling mansions, two story brick houses with papooses rolling in the green grass yards.

“Look at all they got!” Casey fairly hissed beside me. “Tell me, what’d the Yankees give the Chocs, Buckwheat? Hell, what’d they give you for catchin’ Hun bullets? You got a house like that back in Berryhill?”

The forgotten murders of the Osage people for the oil beneath ...

Not even when I’d had a house. It had been a drafty two room cabin and maw had brought the pigs in to keep ‘em from freezing in the winter.

I pulled over outside of town. You could still hear the cars guzzling up and down main street.

“You don’t need to sell me,” I said. After driving all this way, seeing all this, I didn’t cotton to going back to the bunkhouse. “How does killin’ ‘em make you any money?”

“You know what a blood quantum is?” said the old man.

How much Indian blood a fella had. I nodded.

“State evaluates every Indian, appoints a white guardian to anybody full or even quarter blood. Basically it’s a check-signer, usually a lawyer, whose job is to keep ‘em spendin’ their money responsibly. Guardian gets a monthly percentage, usually a hundred bucks or so. Sometimes they got ten or twelve Indians to look after. Lotta places for money to slip through. And they make a deal with the white merchants, to overcharge the Osage and split the difference. If you can get in that system, shit, Buckwheat, you’re set for life.”

“And if you can’t?” Because it was plain this old train robber wasn’t part of that system.

“Oh,” Casey said, grinning, “I got friends who are in it. Bankers, merchants, a rancher. Rich folks. And rich folks is hungrier even than you and me. They’ll pay more than we ever seen just to get a little more of what they got. See, tribal members can’t sell to nobody out of the tribe. Headrights is inherited. So if you bump off a rich buck, any kin he might have, marry his woman…”

“I dunno,” I said. “Seems complicated.”

“It is. But I don’t do the figurin and I don’t do the goddamned marryin.’” He reached into the side pocket of the door and pulled out a broom-handled Mauser. He leered at me like it was his peter. “I still do just fine.”

Well, I didn’t want to go back to that drafty goddamn bunkhouse.
In The 1920s, A Community Conspired To Kill Native Americans For ...
Pick up a copy of Shadows Of An Inner Darkness here – https://www.goldengoblinpress.com/store/#!/Shadows-of-an-Inner-Darkness-Print-Format/p/196568586/category=14026709

 

Published in: on May 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Isle of The White Lady in Tales of Cthulhu Invictus: Britannia

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/golden-goblin-press/britannia-and-beyond-a-regional-guide-for-cthulhu-invictus

Golden Goblin Press is running the Kickstarter for their book Britannia & Beyond, a Roman setting campaign supplement for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game and the newest stretch goal is Tales of Cthulhu Invictus: Britannia, a fiction anthology which contains the last of my Macula and Damis stories, The Isle of The White Lady.

Readers may remember mystic talisman seller Damis of Nineveh and his bodyguard Macula’s printed adventures began in the first Cthulhu Invictus anthology with The Unrepeatables, and continued in The Apotheosis of Osirantinous .

This story sees Damis and Macula returning to frontier Britannia where they first met, to confront a terrible threat drifting south on winds of freezing snow.

Here’s an excerpt…
———————————————-

 

Modius Macula had never suspected he would return to the grey, rain-soaked hills of Britannia, let alone to the dismal little vicus of Vindolanda itself. Yet here he was, leaning in the doorway of a shabby tavern, watching the Tungrian auxiliaries march east along the Stanegate Road.

He closed his eyes and listened to the clink of the auxiliaries’ gladii. Preparations for Antoninus Pius’ invasion of the Caledonian Lowlands were in full swing. The new stone fortress at Corsopitum was nearly complete, and the Vindolanda garrison was lending three hundred men to the coming campaign.

It was unseasonably cold for Martius.

Macula drew his woollen cloak closer about his shoulders. He felt the keen pangs of a veteran among young soldiers too busy to think him anything other than some faceless, idle civilian. This dredged up in him the old envy of the fighter whose campaigns had ended.

He heard a prolonged, deep cough from behind, and glanced at the table where his employer, the venerable Damis of Nineveh, sat hacking into his balled fist. He should never have allowed his friend to make this journey.

Damis should have been in Rome making a killing off graven images of the newly deified Empress Faustina in his talisman shop on the Vicus Cesaris, but the old Assyrian had been plagued by disturbing, prophetic nightmares since the start of the year.

“A terrible doom is moving, Macula,” Damis had moaned one night in a sweat. “I saw a strange grey flame consuming all Britannia. Over everything it passed it left a blanket of white ash. It spread to Rome herself. Apollonius took me up to stand on the orb of the Moon. I saw the whole world smoking like a ball of pitch.”

Being a Pythagorean, Damis had never been one to dismiss a dream, particularly when his late master, Apollonius of Tyana was involved.

Twenty years ago, while touring the province with Hadrian, Damis had stopped an incursion of foul little creatures that still slashed their way through Macula’s nightmares by negotiating a peace between Rome and an isolated sub-tribe of Christian Brigantes. Part of that peace had involved the secret installation of talismans in the milecastles along the border wall, to keep the things from migrating south.

Damis had petitioned the Emperor for permission to journey north to Britannia and inspect the eighty talismans. Pius had finally issued him an imperial assessor’s writ.

They had travelled thirty nine inclement miles between Maia and Vindolanda this past week. They’d found none of the talismans disturbed so far, but the intensity of Damis’ nightmares had increased. He slept little. Macula attributed it to a fever the old Assyrian had contracted from exposure to the chilly northern weather.

Macula watched the last of the auxiliaries pass up the road, drained his dregs, and rejoined Damis.

“You look like shit, old man,” he observed.

“Forthright as ever,” Damis grinned weakly.

That the old Assyrian had survived this journey at all Macula could only attribute to his Pythagorean diet and asceticism. Yet it was clear Damis had reached his limit.

“You can’t take another week of this. Let’s go to the valetudinarium.”

“Submit myself to the proddings of some Greek-hating alcoholic army bone cutter?” Damis shook his head. “No, just some warm colostrum, I think. Then we can be on our way again.”

“We should rest until the weather warms,” Macula said.

“The weather will never warm,” said a voice with a thick Brythonic accent. A youth stood over them, in a robe of dingy white sackcloth, dirty blonde hair dangling from beneath his hood.

Macula held up his cup.

“More beer, boy,” Macula growled. “And a word of advice. It’s not polite to insinuate yourself into a private conversation.”

“Are you Damis of Nineveh?” the youth asked, ignoring Macula.

Damis looked up.

“Do you know me?”

“I’m Gildas, son of Driskell, smith of the Textoverdi.”

“Tex-to-ver-di,” Damis repeated slowly.

“You came here one dark night, when I was a boy,” said Gildas. “You took shelter in my father’s hut.”

Macula looked hard at the young man now, going over the coincidence in his mind. He had just been thinking of that dark night twenty years ago, when he and Damis had hid in a Brigante roundhouse near here. He still remembered the smell of unwashed bodies and peat fire, and vaguely, the frightened eyes of a dingy little boy peering out behind the skirt of his mother.

“I remember,” said Damis. “Please.”

Gildas sat between them.

“The Bishop of Albion, Josaphus ben Joseph, was killed that night,” Gildas went on, in a conspiratorial tone. He looked about quickly, then took from his tunic a rude bit of wood shaped into a fanciful representation of a fish; an icthys, the sign of the Christians.

Macula remembered Josaphus too; a priest of that Jewish sect, slain by an overexcited centurion. Before dying, Josaphus had taught Damis the charm that now warded every mile of the Wall.

“This was his?” Damis said, reaching out to touch the holy symbol.

“The very one,” Gildas confirmed, returning it to his tunic.

“Has the Wall failed?” Damis asked anxiously, gripping Gildas’ upper arm.

“Against that which threatens Britannia now, it could never hope to stand,” said Gildas, producing a leather pouch from his cloak.

As he undid the strings, Damis and Macula leaned closer to see.

Gildas removed a small wooden box from the pouch, and from that, using the folds of the leather, he gingerly lifted out a foggy white stone with a bright purple glow in its center. He set it on the table.

“Some kind of jewel?” Macula asked.

Damis touched it, but recoiled and hissed, jamming his fingers into his mouth. He stared in shock at Gildas, then drew the sleeve of his tunic over his hand, as though he were touching a pan hot from an oven, and held the stone up to the lamplight.

There was a purple flower perfectly preserved in the center.

“Ice,” Damis said in hushed awe. “Ice that does not melt. So cold, it burns.”

“A Caledonian was found with this, on the banks of the Verda,” said Gildas, “skin blackened, half-frozen. Before he died, he spoke of a living light moving south, like the pillar of flame that guided the Hebrews. Anything caught by it, anything that breathes in the air, animals, men, even the birds of the sky,” he snapped his fingers and stabbed at the frozen flower. “Like this.”

“What is it?” Damis mumbled.

“Bishop Alain believes Satan is marching up from the coldest depths of hell, to punish those who have strayed from Christ,” said Gildas.

Macula was vaguely aware that Satan was a vindictive underworld god in the Christian pantheon.

Have you strayed?” Damis asked.

Damis was no Christian, but the cult was something of a hobby for him.

Like most good Romans, Macula didn’t care overly for Christians. Jews were at least tolerable in that they kept their unbearable self-righteousness to themselves. Macula had mashed the nose of a zealot named Justin when the fanatic had tried to lead a frothing mob to vandalize the talisman shop over some heretical symposium Damis had hosted there with his mind-numbingly loquacious Christian philosopher friends Valentinus, Marcion, and Cerdo.

Yet by his own adventures with Damis, he knew the Christian god was as real as any other.

“Some of us have begun worshipping the old goddess Satiada again,” said Gildas, “with blood sacrifices led by a strange White Lady. Bishop Alain says that Satiada is a name by which Satan goes, and that the White Lady is the Whore of Babylon.”

That, at least, sounded interesting to Macula.

“My father told me you were a very wise man,” Gildas finished. “When I learned you had returned, I had to find you. Will you help?”

Macula grimaced over the boy’s shoulder and shook his head furiously at Damis.

“Macula,” said Damis, “it is nearly the start of the campaign season. How many of the provincial legions has Lollius Urbicus committed to the drive against the Caledonians?”

Macula lowered his eyes. All along the Wall the talk among the soldiers had been about the governor’s preparations for Pius’ expansion of the northern border.

“All three,” he said. Nearly fifteen thousand men, to say nothing of auxiliaries. He had an image of those men encased in ice like this purple flower.

“I don’t want to die in Britannia, old man,” Macula sighed.

Image result for winter roman britain

Merkabah Rider Shirts

T-shirts featuring Juri Umagami’s art for the Merkabah Rider series are available on Teepublic.

Just a heads up that the Have Glyphs Will Travel shirts are on sale for thirteen bucks for the next two days.

Have_Glyphs-eCover

Published in: on March 17, 2020 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Adventure of The Three Rippers in Sherlock Holmes And The Occult Detectives Vol. 1

Berlanger Books has released Sherlock Holmes and The Occult Detectives, featuring Holmes interacting with a variety of paranormal investigators.

Fans of Terovolas may recall Professor Abraham Van Helsing making an aside reference to having crossed paths with Holmes and Watson.  In Volume 1 of this new series, you’ll learn the particulars of that momentous meeting, as it features Van Helsing and Holmes in ‘The Adventure of The Three Rippers.’

This takes place in 1888, a number of years before the events of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Terovolas of course, and features a excerpts from Van Helsing’s papers relating to his heretofore unrevealed pursuit of a lunatic who attacked his wife, herself a long time patient at the Het Dolhuys facility in Haarlem.

This entry, taken from the narrative included in Belanger Books’ anthology, gives us an intimate look at the brilliant professor’s mindset at the time, and is followed by Dr. John Watson’s complimentary narrative account.

——————-

From the Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing (translated from the original Dutch)

5th November.

Van Voorhees yet eludes me. My sabbatical from the university draws to a close. I have secured an engagement lecturing The Physiological Society Friday morning which will extend my stay in London, but it is not enough. God, am I to be foiled in the end by lack of resources? Inspector Swanson has promised to solicit my services should the need arise, yet I know he is dubious of their worth. My room here is fast draining my funds. I am tempted to take up John’s kindly offer to stay in Purfleet, but I fear it would take me far from my purpose. Van Voorhees is very near. Three days until the eighth. He must strike again.

I had a peculiar dream last night. I saw his face, tiny in the corner of the eye of the guiltless, wretched janitor, a scheming homunculus leering as he directed the blade toward my dear wife’s throat like a man looking out of the glass in a pilot house.

In the manner of dreams, I next saw the honey-colored Anglican peripteros with its prominent circular spire, which has been my daily scenery since my arrival here in Marleybone. Majestic between the Corinthian pillars, like the legendary quarry of Wodan’s hunt, a great hooved, pitch-black stag stood pawing the stone steps.

I awoke to the sonorous bell of All Soul’s echoing the call to morning mass across the street.
Image result for all souls maryleboneI shall take the air. It is frustrating to know he is somewhere in this city, one among millions and yet, is there any more vile? He is a devil inside a man inside a man. But which man? Or which woman, for that matter?

He watches the women as I watch for him, both of us eager to be about our work.

If I could but predict his next act – but I am no medium, and even less a detective.

God grant me aid.

——————————–

Of course, this story also concerns the legendary Sherlock Holmes, and as such, I have supplemented Van Helsing’s journal entries with the writings of his longtime colleague Dr. John Hamish Watson as they pertain to Van Helsing’s London adventure, to corroborate the validity of the Professor’s account.

I must here express my gratitude to the Watson family estate for allowing me access to these previously unpublished writings, which, due to their fantastic nature, were never relinquished to Holmes’ unofficial biographer at The Strand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, even though they shed light on the activities of London’s most famous consulting detective during the events of one of the city’s most heinous crime sprees.

——————–
The alacritous ricochet of a violin bounded up Baker Street as I strolled toward our rooms. I noticed more than a few of the passersby touching their ears and grimacing as they directed their collective annoyance up at the open window of 221B, where I discerned the silhouette of Holmes sawing furiously at his instrument.

Paganini’s Arpeggio is of course, not readily to the layman’s taste, even when played expertly. I confess to not being fond of it myself. There was something to Holmes’ playing this afternoon which added to its discordance. By the time I had ascended the stair and come into the drawing room, I knew what.

He was in his shirt sleeves, and the morocco case sat open on the mantelpiece.

My friend had been in a state of idle melancholy for the better part of a week, due to some matter which he would not confide in me. I perceived it was related to the infamous Ripper case.

Holmes of course, had been involved in the affair prior to our departure for Dartmoor, back when the fledgling killer’s tally yet numbered two. He had been summarily dismissed from the investigation after a row with Sir Charles Warren, the Chief Commissioner. Two years ago, Sir Charles’ near-fanatic enforcement of an edict to muzzle dogs had resulted in an overzealous constable clubbing one pitiable cur to death on our very stoop. The incident had soured Holmes on the man. Displeased with Sir Charles’ comparatively middling dedication to the Ripper case, Holmes had excoriated him that if he only pursued the murderer with as much zeal as he chased down stray dogs, the women of Whitechapel could breathe easy.

There was assuredly a political element to his dismissal as well. The police simply did not want their most famous case solved by a civilian.

I knew though, that Holmes had in some way defied the injunction, and kept me at arms’ length during his private investigations so as to shield me from reprimand should they be discovered.

He had been in constant contact with some person or persons very close to the case. I had seen him scrutinizing the handwriting of the letters reportedly sent by the killer to the Central News Agency, which he received via courier, and a driver I privately questioned admitted to me that Holmes had visited Whitechapel so many nights in the past few weeks he was worried his passenger might actually be the Ripper.

Since the end of October, however, Holmes had retreated into indolence, or rather, as much indolence as his vigorous mind was capable of. He pored over his volumes, scraped at his violin, and succumbed to his more unworthy habits.

As I took off my coat, I surreptitiously peered into the morocco case and saw that the last of his tinctures was drained.

He stopped his playing upon perceiving me, and sparing one last look out the window, returned his instrument to its case.

“We shall have a new problem before us soon, Watson,” he said without preamble, rolling down his left sleeve and shouldering into his jacket.

“Ah?” I replied, and privately thought that a new conundrum to occupy Holmes’ troubled brain could not come fast enough. “How soon?”

Presently there was a knock on the chamber door. Holmes allowed himself a thin smile and bid the client enter as he settled into his chair.

An extraordinary looking gentleman entered. He wore shoulder length hair and a drooping, insistent mustache, and was dressed in a fringed top coat of tanned leather, and knee high gaiters of yellow deerskin, over dungaree trousers and a pair of high heeled boots. His bibbed shirt front was adorned with a number of badges, so many that one had retired to the crown of his wide brimmed hat, which the man wore cocked at a slant. I should say that a colorful kerchief tied about his neck capped off his unique appearance, but that honor surely belonged to the shining, overlarge, ivory-handled revolver thrust brazenly through his wide belt.

The man doffed his hat upon entering. His smile barely poked out from behind his whiskers.

“Which of you gentlemen is Mr. Sherlock Holmes?” he drawled slowly, in the manner of an American.

”I am,” Holmes confirmed. “May I present Dr. John Watson?”

The man bobbed his chin at me.

“Watson,” Holmes said, “this is Colonel Joe Shelley of Austin, Texas, proprietor of Mexican Joe’s Western Wilds of America review, opening in Sheffield tomorrow. Please sit down, Colonel, and tell me about this missing Sioux Indian of yours. He’s only been with your show five months, so he’s not the man who shot you. Why would a Red Indian who doesn’t speak a word of English go wandering the streets of London?”

Mexican Joe” and his troupe in Liverpool – "Play Up, Liverpool"The colonel stood dumbstruck.

“By God you are Sherlock Holmes! They told me you’d know who I was and what I was after before I sat down.”

“They?” I ventured.

“Mr. Barker and Mr. Levillard,” said the colonel.

“Monsieur le Villard,” Holmes corrected him.

“’At’s ‘im! They told me if’n I ever found myself in a bind you was the one to go to. But now, sir,” he said, dragging the stool from Holmes’ workbench and perching on it, “you must tell me how you came by all that.”

Holmes nodded and settled back in his chair.

——————————

If there were ever doubts about the veracity of my claims as to the historicity of Professor Abraham Van Helsing after the publication of Terovolas (and there were), I cannot help but think that the publication of this new account, which involves such documented historical personages as Colonel Joe Shelley, the poet Francis Thompson, Mrs. Alice Meynell and the famous Lakota prophet Black Elk, will surely vindicate my previous efforts, and perhaps lead to my being able to publish more of The Van Helsing Papers.

As a fun side note, in researching this book, I may have inadvertently identified the full name of a previously unidentified (and exonerated) Ripper suspect, Richard Chester Dere….just a neat tidbit. (a link to the announcement on the Jack The Ripper forums – ( https://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=29285

Meanwhile, pick up the new collection from Berlanger Books here on Amazon.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

The train my dad’s been waiting for finally pulled into the station last Thursday, January 23rd.

My mom said he had a smile on his face when he went. Maybe my grandfather stepped onto the platform to bring him on board. The smiling father he never knew, and only heard for the first time last year, on his last Father’s Day. 

I’ve heard the horror stories of lots of people, the stories of angry, drunken, or absent fathers.

My dad never gave me any of those stories to tell. The hardest thing he ever put me through was his own death. I love him dearly and miss him sorely. I never knew a better man. He was faithful, loving, and kind. He and my mom took me all over this country, taught me to love history and to cleave to each other, and to always pull over when someone needs help .

The last movie we watched together was The Shootist, which funny enough, took place from January 22nd-29th. The last week of the main character, JB Books’ life, the last movie of John Wayne’s career. I somehow always thought my dad would die somewhere in this span of dates, if not on his actual birthday. It’s fitting. The 22nd was Robert E. Howard’s birthday too, and the line, “gigantic mirths and gigantic melancholies” keeps making me think of Dad.

Today, the 27th, is his birthday. Last night I opened the fridge and saw a single bottle of Beck’s, his favorite beer and just lost it. It’s the last one left in the house. Mom says I should drink it today. I don’t know. I feel like he’d want me to get rid of all the Coronas in the downstairs fridge he bought for me. He called them creek water, and was always asking me when I was gonna finish ’em. I’d tell him to drink them with me.

“Noooo thank you,” he’d demure.

The last thing he said to me from his bed a couple weeks ago as I went to the door was;

“I love ya Ed. I’m gonna miss you.”

He never forgot me. Even when he was forgetting everything my Dad never forgot me.

“I love you too, Dad,” I said. “I’m gonna miss you too. Just promise to come and get me when it’s my turn.”

“I promise,” he said.

If he was ever afraid, I never saw it.

Mom said once before he fell unconscious he worried that he “had to finish that thing for Ed.” I don’t know what he was thinking about. He didn’t leave anything undone. Today I find myself a son with no father on earth. As far as I’m concerned, my Dad fulfilled his duty to me magnificently.

I hope now that he is with his own father. Now that I am without him, as I told him, I will live the rest of my life trying to be the father to my kids that he was to me. I hope now that he’s somewhere enjoying being the son he never got the chance to be, running with his dogs and his dad.

dadpic3dadandeddadedandauggiedadpic4
https://www.boersmafuneralhome.com/obituary/Edward-Erdelac

Published in: on January 26, 2020 at 11:32 pm  Leave a Comment