Techno-dinosaur at your service.

Yup. That’s me! The Techno-dinosaur. Though perhaps it is a derogatory term to some. In a way I take pride in it. When I run into a computer glitch I try working it out, but am never succesful. I call my publicist sniveling and sobbing. Elizabeth verbally pats my bald pate and tells me to go play computer games. She’ll take care of the problem.

Regular computers are not my only downfall. I once had a computerized commie coffeepot that only worked when it wanted to and that wasn’t often. I swear it took three hours to brew a pot of mighty mudd. (A most horrible thng for an author) It was given to me by my mother-in-law. My wife at the time said I couldn’t toss it as that would hurt the mom’s feelings. Thankfully two years later it tried hiding from me behind the tires of Ol Blue, my truck. I didn’t see it and ran over the poor thing five times. To this day I don’t know how it got behind that wheel.

Then the other day I’m sitting in the sty wearing my fingers down on the keyboard when my buddy pulls up in his new car. I made the appropriate ooos and ahhs, then he asks if I want to take it for a spin. I don’t busually drive other folks cars, but he insisted. I get in and there ain’t no place to put a key. I’m looking around and he says “Put on your seat belt and mash on the brake while pushing this button and saying this magic word.” “Ishabibble!” I yells and that mother comes to life. It has nine gears in an automactic transmission and more durn bells, whisles and buttons than you can shake a stick at. I reach up to adjust the rearview and some gal’s voice calls me by his name and asks what she can do for him.Durn thing was haunted I tell yuh!  I’m about to order a burger, mudd and a deck of smokes when he tells her there’s a new driver and calling her was a mistake. Can’t tell you how disppointed I was when the grub and the smokes didn’t pop out of the glovebox.

Off down the road we go. That little four cylinder putting my big V8 in Ol Blue to shame. I reach over to turn down the ac and the music from 500 speakers blows my eardrums into my head. I turned that varmint around!

Back in my yard, I’m making appreciative noises about his new car. I can see his mouth moving and his head bouncing up and down. Couldn’t hear a thing he said. Went back in the house and peeked out the window until he was gone. Once he was out of sight, I ran out and hugged Ol Blue. She ain’t new. She ain’t purty, but the engine starts everytime I turn the key and yuh know. That’s good enough for me. : )

JC

Just remembering my Alaska days

Once I was running a metal detector up the banks of an unnamed stream looking for the yellow iron. It was a beautiful day. The sky was a robin’s egg blue, the breeze was warm and birds flitted among the branches. I was wearing headphones, but had one ear uncovered in case some big ugly ill tempered critter took exception to my being there.

Working my way around a bend in the stream I came to an aburpt stop. Something was watching me. I look around to see a Robber Jay sitting on a limb looking at me as if to ask “What are you doing here? Don’t you know this is bear country?” Of course I know! But I’m Manly Man! Hunter of much gold! (Yeah , right) 

A few yards upstream I glance up to see something strange. It looks a lot like a huge bear’s head glaring at me over the tops of some ten foot trees. Nah! It can’t be! I mean it looks like a bear, but bears can’t be that tall … can they? Pretending I didn’t see it, i start backing slowly down the stream. Heck. There weren’t no gold here anyway and even if there was it wouldn’t be enough to bother with. Let the bear keep it. While I’m at it … Let the bear keep everything including the trees, ant fish in the stream, even the birds in the air! They are all yours Mr. Impossibly Big Bear! 

I back clear around the bend of the stream before releasing the snap on my holster. “You know that little popgun on your hip will just anger him all the more if you shoot him.” I tell myself. “Yeah but if I shoot him five times and me once, i won’t care how angry he gets! Right!”

 I shall not say that I turned and ran. That would be a misnomer. I turned a flew with a foot touching the ground about every thirty feet. Suddenly I’m only a hundred yards from the truck and closing too fast to radio the flight tower. One last log to hurtle and I’m in the truck. Safe! Heading back to where the bears are decent sized, not some disgustingly horrible thing that I just witnessed! Just as I clear the log I hear something in the brush behind me. “It’s the bear!” my mind screams. “It has come to masticate my delicious delicate bones in those awful yellow ivory fangs! It will rend my succulent flesh with those terrible claws! Draw your gun!”  I landed in mid turn wrenching hell out of my ankle. As I turned expecting top see two thousand pounds of ugly with an appetite about to pounce on me, I see the Robber Jay looking as if to say … “See? I told you this is bear country!” Crawling on all four, I made it to my truck and was glad to be going home. : )

JC

Excerpt from “Round Mountain: Book Two of the Trail of Blood on Ice Trilogy”

From the work in progress, “Round Mountain: Book Two of the Trail of Blood on Ice Trilogy”

Private Glen Johnson watched the retreat from the shallow ditch he was using as concealment. The Cherokees ran like rabbits with the mounted Creek after them like hounds. Once in a while one of the Cherokee would stop to pin his shadow to the ground by sticking his knife in the dirt, telling all that he would run no more, but would fight in this place until he fell. It showed great honor and courage, but the mounted riders swarmed over them like ants on a piece of dropped candy. The Rebs came behind them all, howling and screaming as if all the demented souls of hell had been loosed on the earth.

Glen thought about his Ma and Pa. He wondered if his sister Ellen had married that worthless Billy Warner. God, he hoped not. Billy was a known goat rustler and hog thief. Like his Ma said about him “Just no account. No way.”

The first Cherokee passed his position and Glen returned his attention to the business at hand. He was glad that the Creeks were mounted. It made it easier to tell one Indian from another. How the hell a whole group of people could look so alike was beyond him.

Drawing bead on the first rider he watched astounded when at least three bullets hit him at the same time knocking him from his horse as a dozen more bullets whistled through the place he had been. Glen drew bead on another Indian only to see the same thing happen again before he could squeeze he trigger. “Hell.” he said aloud. “Maybe I can get through this war without firing a shot.”

The third rider pounded toward him and Glen waited to see him shot as well, but this one seemed bullet proof. Though Glen could see the bullets tugging at the rider’s hair and nipping at the sides of his galloping horse, nothing seemed to stop him. It was like the red devil had singled him out to drag him into hell and torture him forever. At twenty paces away. Glen shot him off his horse. Swearing that he could see this undying horror still moving toward him, Glen shot him three more times just to be sure.

“Ya sumbitch!” Yelled Glen after the third shot. “Gonna poke out my eyes and chop off my nerts before hacking me to pieces and lifting my hair, were yuh! That’ll show you that Momma Johnsons little boy, Glen has more grit than you thought!”

The Creeks paid little attention to the Yankee soldiers. Their blood feud with the Cherokee dated back a hundred and thirty years when the Great Liar Andrew Jackson had come against the Creek Warrior Faction “The Red Sticks”. Jackson knew that without help he would never track the Creek through the many streams and swamps. Approaching the Cherokee who had once been brothers of the creek, he had promised that if the Cherokee helped him against the Creek they could keep their lands instead of being forcibly moved to a distant barren place called Indian Territory. The Cherokee fell for the false promises and lies. With their help the once mighty Creek Nation was not only defeated, but sent west under an armed guard. It was the beginning of The Trail of Tears that the Cherokee themselves would soon after follow.

Now the Creek wanted revenge and though many brave Cherokee fell, the Union troops took their toll on the mounted horsemen. The wave of riders had passed when the Rebels surged across the open ground, a human tidal wave of gray and butternut brown.

“Aw hell.” said Glen sighting his rifle into the advancing mass.

“Retreat!” yelled Waite seeing the mounted riders followed by the row upon row of white men. The command was repeated along the line and Glen noticed that not nearly as many blue coats left the field as had been stationed there.