Brown River Queen cover art

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Free Read!

Got a few minutes?

If so, ready your clicking finger for The Powerful Bad Luck of DD Dupree.  I wrote and sold this back in 2004, when woolly mammoths still roamed and I weighed 170 pounds.  Or maybe I roamed and the mammoths were 170.  Look, it was a long time ago.

It's a free read, and it's a short story, so you don't need to set aside the whole afternoon.

What is The Powerful Bad Luck of DD Dupree about?

It's set in my native Mississippi, in 1974.  I was 11 in '74.  Mississippi was a different world then, if one compares it to the present.  I've tried to make that clear in the story, and yes, I'm talking about race.

The character of Wade Lee is based on a black man I grew up knowing.  The rest?

Well, read it, and you decide.

Here's an excerpt, for anyone still on the fence:

Wade Lee lifted his wire-wrapped bundle.

"I call you out!" he shouted, in a voice that split the sky. He hurled his bundle into the fire, and the flames roared up and consumed it, as though it were soaked in kerosene. "I call you by yo' name! Come out!"

DD rose suddenly, jerked upright on as if by strings. His eyes went wide and his mouth fell open and his right hand lifted sudden across his face as though to shield a blow.

The flames shot up then, blue and roaring and higher than I was tall. And when they fell, as they quickly did, dead gone Lucas Dupree stood two steps away, just on the other side of the knee-high bank of blue-edged fire.

Lucas Dupree stank. A wind rose up and the stench of him, of rotting flesh soaked in cheap whiskey, curled about us. He exhaled, wet and gurgling, and I gagged and nearly puked.

"I reckon it ain't natural, and I reckon it's gettin' worse," said the dead man, with a crooked, bloody grin. He tossed an empty Black Crow whiskey bottle into the fire, and the flames leaped up and took it. "You was right about that, boy," he said, to DD. "I ain't done with you yet."

Enjoy!  And have a good weekend.  I'm planning on catching the last Harry Potter movie at some point, will probably blog about that too.


  1. Didn't mean to read it all, but I couldn't stop. Chills. wow.

  2. Evocative. Creepy. Awesome in the way it always is when we wrestle with the dark. I am always struck by the deft way you have with words. Thanks for the read!

  3. Tegan, glad you enjoyed it! The character of Wade Lee was based on a man I knew growing up, who really did have his legs and one arm torn off by a farm machine. That's his shack, too, right down to the rain barrels.

  4. Thanks R! The Browny Woods is based on a real place too - a public garbage dump that always gave me a serious case of the creeps. It just felt wrong, there. Wounded and angry. No wonder, I guess...