Hello fellow writers/artists/speakers/art lovers/teachers (and everyone else),
As indie artists, we have to change things up to get our works out there, right? So, my short story book, Mississippi Window Cracks has a story about Hurricane Katrina. Being that Saturday the 29th is the 10 year anniversary of the devastation, I have a book offer for you:
When you buy an autographed copy of my new novel, The Town Dance, and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I will send you a copy of Mississippi Window Cracks FREE! If you enjoy my poetry/prose, you will enjoy the characters in my books 🙂 And here is an excerpt from Mississippi Window Cracks, “When Chris Met Katrina“:
Chris wobbled up the walkway to his parents’ home. It was Sunday afternoon so his mother was playing her gospel music loudly. He grew up in a large, white two story house with a wraparound porch that had been passed down through his family for two generations. City builders had been trying for years to get his parents and their neighbors to sell. But they knew their homes were in a historic area and worth almost a quarter of a million dollars each. As Chris walked his aching body up the creaking wood porch steps, he was startled by his mother as she threw the screen door open to put another piece of luggage on the porch. His mother, a short, robust woman with a head full of proud gray hair, grabbed at her chest at the sight of her son. Chris knew he must have looked a wretched mess so he lowered his head in embarrassment.
“I don’t even know why I’m surprised. I truly thought you wanted to turn your life around,” she said sharply.
Chris finally made it to the top step and leaned against the post to rest, “Mama, I’m not in the streets like that no more. I was only playing pool…”
“They re-arrange folks face like that from playing pool?,” she asked. Before he had a chance to respond, the phone rang and his mother walked back in the house.
She yelled at him, “They saying on the news we need to get out of here and pack like we going camping. Chris you should get some things together to go with us.”
Chris finally made it inside the house and stood at the front door rubbing at this left thigh. It had a knot in it the size of a gold ball.
“That was Joseph. He got caught in a lil’ traffic but’ll be here any second to bring us to the superdome. Him and the girls are heading up to Lafayette. They say this one is going to be something else! Katrina, is what they calling her,” his mother proclaimed.
“Well, Imma’ be here to meet Katrina just like I met Hannah, Irene and that category two we had the other week,” Chris went to sit down but his mother stopped him in mid motion.
“Oh no! Don’t get your dirty behind on my couch! Grab some of that newspaper over there and wrap up my pictures on the mantel. Your father never got around to fixing that side window and I now that wind is gonna’ whip through here and knock over all my picture frames!”
Chris held on to his lower back as he bent down to pick up the newspaper. One of the first photographs he saw was that of his younger sister, Crystal, in her airline stewardess uniform. She had just died in a plane crash a few months earlier in Mississippi. Her plane was struck by lightning while they were still ascending. His mother took her death really hard and was even hospitalized for two weeks from severe depression. This was another reason he decided to move back home. Besides, the only other family he had in Mississippi was Crystals’ estranged husband Joseph and their two daughters. But they moved back to New Orleans after her death too.
His father came through the door wearing his favorite pair of faded black jean overalls. Older age had not slumped his height as he still stood slightly over six foot. He always kept a clean shaven face and like his wife, he let his hair turn it’s natural course of gray. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Chris’s face.
“Good Lawd!” Boy what’s wrong with chu’?,” he asked disappointed.
His mother yelled from the kitchen, “He look like Halloween in August don’t he?”
“It ain’t nothing…”, Chris tried to explain.
“It ain’t nothing? Have you seen yo’ face?,” his father asked. “You better not bring no mess around my house! I don’t want nobody coming around here for nothing!”
His father walked in to the kitchen mumbling. A car horn blows outside.
“Chris, see if that’s Joe and the girls!,” his mother asked.
Chris walked to the front door and looked out. Outside sat a silver suburban SUV with tinted windows rolled up. The truck reminded him of his truck club days back in Mississippi. He smiled to himself.
“Yea, dis them,” Chris replied to his mother.
“Well, don’t you let them girls see you looking like that! Let me put these sandwiches in a bag and I’m ready,” she said.
His father walked back in to the front room, “I’ll start bringing the bags to the car.” He looked at Chris, “You staying? They say she whipping across that water with a lot of force.”
“Yeah, I’m cool. Ain’t nuttin’ but another hurricane that’s all.”
“Ok, well look after my house. I got the rifle loaded out back on the service porch,” his father walked out the front door and took the luggage to the car.
His mother came from the kitchen with another small bag. “If you leave, make sure you lock everything up and take you some food.” She walked up to Chris and turned her head sideways for him to kiss her on the cheek. Chris walked her to the front door.
“See ya’ll in a few days,” Chris said.
He locked the screen door as he watched his parent get into the truck and drive down the street. Chris slowly sat down on the couch groaning the whole time. He tried to reach and pull his shoes off but his bones were too sore and stiff. He piled the throw pillows up in the corner of the couch and went to sleep.
A loud slamming noise came from outside the front window. This startled Chris and his body jolted up. He grimaced in pain as his head and stomach still ached. He could feel that both of his jaws were swollen and a few of his side teeth were loose. One was so loose, he could actually wiggle it with his tongue. He managed to pull himself up from the couch and walk over to the door. The storm poured buckets of rain onto the city streets. It looked like regular hurricane storm weather. Strong winds and heavy rain. He positioned his sore bones back on the couch so he could sleep through the rest of the storm.