I haven’t posted in awhile. I am working on my first book, “Blood on the Delta”. It is going to be historical fiction about the Lake Providence, LA. area. Hope you like it.
“Good shot, boy.” Howie said, “What’s the score?”
“That’s another twenty five.” Buck replied, “That makes it two hundred to one fifty, you’re behind Howie.”
Buck ruffled Howie’s hair like he had several hundred times in the past. Howie hated it, but Buck was a lot bigger than he was, so he acted like he didn’t mind. He had been on the receiving end of Buck’s wrath and he did not have any desire to experience that kind of beating again. They were on their way back from the Casinos in Vicksburg. Back to their old stomping grounds. Back to Lake Providence. To ease the boredom, they were taking turns throwing empty beer bottles at those unfortunate enough to be walking along Hwy 65. They had just driven through Transylvania where Buck has scored seventy five points, hitting three people, two of them children. He had barely missed a forth, coming out of the Country Inn restaurant. Blacks were worth twenty five points. White trash crackers were only worth ten.
“Take a look at this.” Howie said, “What in hell is this fucker supposed to be?”
One hundred yards ahead and barely visible in the dim glow of the truck’s headlights was what looked to be man dressed as a confederate soldier. He was walking very slowly, his grey cape blowing in the night breeze.
“This freak’s got to be worth at least fifty.” Howie asked. Buck was squinting, trying to get the figure in focus. The closer they got the more out of focus the figure appeared to be. Howie had slowed down to twenty and was looking around the floorboard on Buck’s side of the truck for an empty bottle. “Give me that bottle.” Howie said, with a sense of urgency. They were getting closer. If he didn’t hurry, he’d miss the shot.
“My eyes must be tired from staring at those damn slot machines all day.” Buck said, as he handed Howie the empty, “Hit that fucker in the head, then I’ll give you fifty.”
As the truck got closer, the figure stopped and turned toward them. Still the man seemed out of focus. “Alright, fifty for a headshot.” Howie whispered, “Here goes.”
Howie timed his shot perfectly. He tossed the bottle over the roof of the truck and could see it sailing directly toward the man’s face. “Oh, shit.” Howie giggled, “This is going to be good.”
When the bottle was mere inches from the man’s face it seemed to stop in midair. “What the shit.” Buck said. The man had disappeared and in his place looked to be a million flying insects, mosquitoes, he figured. “Just a huge swarm of mosquitoes.” Buck thought to himself.
The bottle continued on its way, landed in the grass and rolled into the ditch. “Where did that fucker go?” Howie asked.
“That was no man.” Buck said. “We been fooled by a swarm of Louisiana’s finest. No wonder I couldn’t get a good look at him.”
“Bullshit.” Howie replied, “I seen him, blurry or not, he was there.”
“You’ve had one too many of these.” Buck said as he held up a fresh beer and again ruffled Howie’s hair. “Drink up.” He continued, handing Howie the beer.
This strip of I65 was notorious for being a speed trap. The speed limit was fifty five most of the way through. Beside the local traffic, I65 was used by many Midwesterners heading toward the coast of Florida on spring break. Every year, starting in March, East Carrol Parish used this opportunity to replenish their government coffers. It was not unusual to see a police car every few miles. Most travelers would obey the speed limit until they got past the first patrol car, but then would crank it up to at least sixty five. However, unlike most places in the country, East Carrol Parish did not tolerate even ten miles over the speed limit.
“Slow it down a bit Howie.” Buck said, “You don’t need another DUI.”
Howie had been lost in thought. He was thinking about the swarm of mosquitos they had just passed. He was sure he had seen a man in a confederate uniform. He tapped the brakes and the truck dropped down to fifty. Not slow enough to get attention, but not speeding either. “Couldn’t have been.” Howie said to himself, “Just a mirage I guess.”
Just then the truck drove through another huge swarm of insects. In seconds dead insects had completely obscured the front windshield. Howie flicked on the wipers, trying to clear the windshield so he could see the road. He looked in the rearview, trying to catch a final glimpse of the swarm, but it wasn’t there. Suddenly he felt something hit the roof of the truck.