For the last fifteen or so years I've been living with a bunch of dead guys at a motel in West Texas. Like the characters in my stories, I'd really like to move on, see the world, go places. But I'm just like them. Anchored by love, worn down by circumstances and fascinated by how much there really is underneath it all. So I keep writing their stories and tell myself that someday, when I've got this all out of my system, I'll write deep, meaningful literature about... something else. In the meantime, this is a place for the short attention spanned. I'm making a commitment to keep it small here. Flash fiction and scenes from the life inspired by, The Bella Vista Motel.
"God damnit," Madge cursed aloud, once she had made a thorough search of the motel grounds and accepted that the young half-breed mexican girl she'd gone all the way out to the flats to procure, had left her work unfinished and run off. The cart with the cleaning supplies sat abandoned on the walkway outside of room number 12, and through the open door, she could see a dustpan lying on the floor, surrounded by scattered debris. Madge had ridden all the way out to the ruined adobe chapel that had been serving as an outpost cantina since the days of apache raids and missionary massacres had settled into contemptuous government neglect, but her spanish had been too rusty to keep up with what the serving woman, a middle aged indian with cunning black eyes and a hard edged mouth, had said to the three teenage girls she'd called out from the kitchen. She'd got the gist of what was going on, though – the older woman was keen to take the money she was being offered and wanted to send the oldest girl, but the tilt of that girl's hip, crossed arms and set jaw said she had other ideas – so, impatient to get on with it, Madge had stepped up and pointed at the middle sister, homelier then the other two, quietly shifting from foot to foot off to the side, and said with authority, "I'll take her." Madge covertly gritted her teeth as Slappy walked up, hands in his pockets and a satisfied smirk on his face, no doubt primed to begin his inevitable needling – he had called it correctly when Madge brought the girl back – "Those people got no work ethic, Madge, you're wasting your time." But his expression changed when he glanced in the open doorway and saw what Madge had missed; that the debris scattered on the floor around the dustpan was sparkling with bits of broken glass, and worse, as they both stepped nearer to get a better look, that the broken glass was mixed with a violent spatter of dark, glimmering drops of blood.