Someone once called my books “romance with teeth.” Man, I love that. Love isn’t always pretty, is it? In fact, sometimes, it’s downright shitty. It can hurt like a gut stab and take much longer to heal. Most of my readers know by now to open my novels with one eye closed. They expect a bumpy ride. Most of them love it. (Except you, “Utter shite, but I still cried at the end.”)
God bless every one of you for hanging on long enough to get that happily ever after you crave. By golly, you left nail marks on the book cover, but you did it!
I decided recently to embrace the dark side of my writerly self that sneaks into my romances. I wrote a dark and disturbing short story called “Justice.” Just for kicks, I submitted it to Running Wild Press. Imagine my surprise when the editor emailed to say she loved it!
I’ll give you the opening to set the tone:
Johnny Sinclair says God don’t answer no prayers. I’m gonna say one anyway.
Please, God, don’t let Mama hear my belly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I cross my arms and lean forward in the passenger seat of our 1987 Coachman Classic motorhome. My stomach rumbles, but Mama don’t notice, and that’s a miracle. I can’t wait to tell Johnny how God just saved me from a bloody mouth. Johnny will say Mama never notices me anyhow, but that’s a daggum lie. When I do something wrong, she notices me plenty.
Beginning to get a sense that our main character doesn’t have the best life? Know who does have a good life? The show dogs in the back of the motorhome:
Vice—or, as Mama makes me call him, Champion Maple Grove Miami Vice—ain’t hungry. He ain’t sunburned or bit up by mosquitoes, and he didn’t sleep three straight nights in a passenger seat, neither. No, he’s lying on a tufted polyfiber cushion covered in ultra-soft polyester fleece. He smells like baby powder, and his belly is chock full of my dang hot dogs.
I shouldn’t complain, I guess. Staying home with Tom would have been worse. Far worse.
Why? What’s so bad about staying home with Tom, the kennel help?
Find out by downloading Running Wild’s Anthology of Stories, Volume 2 . “Justice” is only one of 20+ awesome short stories sure to tug at your emotions and make your imagination run wild.