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Sunday, December 5, 2021

A short story teaser . . .

cj Sez: The closer it gets to the first Christmas without my son, Mark, the harder it is for me to concentrate on creating new words for this blog. So, in the holiday spirit of “books make great gifts and anthologies an even better option,” here’s an excerpt from my short story, “Ida, Fate, and Mister Leon,” in the Mobile Writers Guild new anthology STORMY PIECES.


   When the downpour began to walk up the road in thick sheets, I knew I needed to stop. I pulled in under the county road overpass even if it wasn’t a safe place to be since wind tends to get surly when it rushes through a narrow slot. Thinking that Deena would be terrified if I’m too late, I was thumbing down to re-dial when the passenger door jerked open. A man dressed in an oversized tee shirt and baggy cut-off chinos slid in beside me and pushed long, black dreadlocks away from his face.

   I thought I’d locked that door. “Where’d you come from?”

   “My ride dropped me off down the road. I’ll just sit here ‘til the storm passes.”

   “Yeah, sure,” I said.

   The wind turned horizontal and yowled louder. Branches banged off the sheet metal. The truck bucked and pitched, and my heart thudded into my throat when the heavy rear-end wobbled as though it might lift, tow hook and all. There came a few minutes of peculiar quiet, and then everything started all over again. I exchanged big-eyed glances with my passenger. When Mother Nature’s freight train barreled into the distance, the pine grove across the road was a mess of kindling wood, soaking up a pouring rain.

   “Wow, that was something, wasn’t it?” I said. It’d been my experience that when people survive a common threat, they tend to become something akin to buddies, if only temporarily. He just eyed me. “I’m Roberta Joanna Thibideau. People call me Bobby Jo or BJ.”

   “You the BJ painted on the door?”

   “Yep,” I said, trying to sound humble.

   “I never met a woman who owned a gas station before.”

   “Now you have,” I said and stuck out my hand. “What’s your name?”


   “Nice to meet you, Mister Leon.”  I dropped my hand when he kept his buried under his shirt.  

   “Nice to meet you, too,” he said as he pulled out a handgun and pointed the muzzle at me, head high. 


Promo courtesy of Carrie Dalby Author

Promo courtesy of

   And when you’ve finished reading an anthology, we all would sure appreciate it if you’d take a few moments to leave a brief review. Please and thank you!


cj Sez: That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

P.S. TO ORDER a book by any author on-line and support an indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:

   If you’d like me to autograph or personalize one of my stories for you, be sure to tell them, and I’ll run by the shop.

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  1. The "first" everything was so hard without my husband. It must be many times harder without your son. Many many hugs, friend.

  2. cj Sez: I very much appreciate your kind thoughts, Kaye. Thank you.


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