On Tuesday Joseph Courtemanche made us laugh (click here) and yesterday Joe Shaw (click here) made us cringe with horror. And of course on Wednesday Greenbean told us (click here) the true origin of coronavirus. Today, we have a tear jerker to remind us we are not the first generation to suffer through pestilence. Enjoy the newcomer to our team, Kathy Kexel, and the only one of our conspirators who doesn’t have a J to start her name, although we are fond of referring to her as Jkathy.
Next week we return with more free stories for your COVID Captivity.
Yes indeed, that is the phrase I used. Turtle hull.
It is from my childhood. Turtle hull is what we called the ‘trunk’ of a car.
I uploaded my new science fiction short story, The Deep Cove Investigation last night after working at editing the 12k word tale all week. It is the fourth installment in my monster series, set in 1978.
I looked turtle hull up on the cosmic source of confirmation and research, a writer’s most trusted verifying tool: Google. Sure enough, there it is. Other people use it too. So, I decided to keep turtle hull in the manuscript.
Other things, however, didn’t stay.
1. Part of the story’s narrative involves some teenagers who were partying by the lake, but now they can’t be found. The newspaper man asks The Sheriff if he’s got any clues on the missing teens, and in the original I had The Sheriff reply, “Don’t start printing the milk carton backs just yet, it has been less than 24 hours.” I really liked that line and thought it was clever. Sadly, a little research turned up that milk cartons were not used until 1979! Drats! I missed it by one year. I had to reword it.
2. I’ve already shared with you the “ain’t” (click here) conundrum.
3. The original opening paragraph said “The Sheriff walked direct to his office on the . . . ” My mother read that and said, “It should be directly, not direct.” I told her that adverbs were bad for writing and that direct was proper. I asked her to substitute the word straight for direct, and if so, would you say straightly? She didn’t buy it. I therefore rewrote the whole paragraph.
This is the first of the three short stories in this series that doesn’t have an obvious reference to music. The first story has country music on the AM dial, the second story featured Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac on 8-tracks, while the third, set further back in the 1960s showed a romantic scene with what else but the Righteous Brothers. Music is an easy way to set a period piece.
Without music, I was forced to set the time period in other ways. The police squad car is a Plymouth Fury. References are made to the movie Jaws. A sub-plot involves a man who left Austin after the infamous 1966 Charles Whitman murder spree atop the Texas Tower. Then there are the Polaroids. I though that the Polaroid camera was a nice touch.
The story should be available soon (within the next week or so, probably). The next thing we have to do is get the cover art squared away and then, since it is all digital for E-Readers, we can upload it and you can read it.