E. A. Copen is a great Urban Fantasy Writer. To be honest, I used to think that. Then I heard about her latest book, Beasts of Babylon, a Horror Western and I wondered why she would write something like that. I decided to read it even though I don’t like horror and I’m not a big fan of westerns. Ms. Copen is not a great Urban Fantasy Writer, she is a great Writer who knows how craft an intriguing tale that grips you from start to finish, no matter what the genre. She is on my “must read” list for sure. (Spoilers ahead)
I was weirdly fascinated by this story that slowly unveiled a town where the sheriff fought to hide the obvious, even though it had already cost him his wife, sort of, and their kids. His wife, Ana, on a mission from God or the Devil, who knows, Copen keeps us guessing there, doesn’t cotton too well to death. She keeps coming back from the grave to continue on her mission, which she thought, at first, was a mission to kill the paranormal creatures that had killed her and her children.
When she can’t get the sheriff, her husband (?) to get a posse to help her, she turns to the other side of the law. The problem with the wrong side of the law is that the right side of the law is tracking them down. When circumstances bring both sides into contact, everything comes to a conclusion as Ana and the others meet the creatures for life and death battles. The twist at the end opens the door for more from these characters, and I hope it comes soon.
There’s still about an hour and a half left (ok, a little less) to vote about the joy in this week’s stories for #WOW555. I would have said something earlier, but I wasn’t able to get to the computer while traveling…so…head on over to Write on Wendy, read the four stories, and vote for your favorite!
So, after a week when I couldn’t come up with anything for the #WOW555 contest, I came up with something. How good is it? Well, that will be for you to decide! For this week’s prompt, your story must feature a strong woman in a moment of weakness. Check here for the latest updates, stories and the opportunity to vote! Please note that liking my story here will not count as a vote! You must go to Wendy’s place (see above link) and vote sometime between 8:00 Saturday morning and 6:00 Sunday night.
Mary hated cleaning. She looked at the mess and sighed. She’d need a while to clean up this mess. “Oh well,” she thought, “better get started. Then I can get out of here.” She looked under the kitchen sink and found the cleaning supplies. The worst stain was in the living room and she attacked that first. She started scrubbing and realized it would need to soak so she headed back to the kitchen and spot cleaned the drips on the kitchen floor.
She rinsed her rag and headed back into the living room to finish cleaning that stain, then stood up and grabbed at her back. It was a bit sore from the cleaning and she still had more to do. She headed towards the hall closet. The vacuum cleaner was ready and waiting. She pulled it out of the closet and turned it on. She almost didn’t hear the phone ring over the roar of the vacuum cleaner.
She turned off the vacuum cleaner and headed to her purse. She looked at the number on the phone and grimaced. Some clients were just so impatient. “Yes, John. I’m finished. All I have left is some cleaning.” She rolled her eyes at his response. “All I can say is that you’re the one calling me. I should be able to meet you in an hour so you can pay.” She tapped her foot. She didn’t like wasting time. If she had known he was going to be this much trouble, she would have charged double. “Of course I’ll let you see my handiwork. You’re dealing with a professional.” She stifled her laughter. “No, you don’t want to get me mad, that’s right. See you in an hour.”
She looked at the phone in disgust and went back to vacuuming. This place looked like it had seen a fight. That wouldn’t do. She vacuumed and straightened up as she walked through the living room and kitchen. Finally, the apartment was cleaned to her satisfaction. She carefully placed the cleaning supplies back under the sink. Then she took the vacuum cleaner and emptied it into her garbage bag before putting it back in the closet. She hated having to take the trash with her, but it did prevent complications.
“Now, to make final arrangements,” she thought. She looked at John’s former business partner sitting quietly on the couch. She looked around the area and smiled; nothing made it look like he had been dragged across the floor and placed there. She pulled the note out of her purse and looked at it, trying to find the best place to put it. Then she gasped. The note was written by a left hander. She had forgotten that he was left handed and shot him through right temple. She blinked back the tears that began to appear unbidden. She swore at herself. “All that work,” she said out loud. “All that work and they’ll know right away that he didn’t kill himself!” She picked up the trash, stomped out the door and headed to her car. She wouldn’t have time to stay in the city and savor her kill this time.