–Image by John Lofgreen http://johnlofgreen.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-most-famous-paintings.
Draped over a rock still warm from the day’s scorcher,the lizard gazed thoughtfully at the ghost town silver-lined by a full Arizona moon. A saloon glowed softly among the deserted buildings. Tinkling piano music, mixed with the occasional clamor of loud voices and guffaws, drifted into the night sky.
The desert iguana slithered off his vantage point and moved soundlessly through thirsty weeds and baked red rocks.
Cautiously, he darted beneath the rotting boards of the old boardwalk running the length of Main Street. He paused to chart the slope of the saloon wall and catch his breath. His eyes rolled in a full circle to check for danger before he scampered up the rough-hewn timber. Upside-down and hidden by the shadow of the overhang, the desert sentinel gazed through the dull glass window into the amber haze of kerosene lamp light.
Something definitely had the customers riled up inside.
Buttery yellow and dirty-white shapes clustered against the inside walls. More shapes waddled side to side around the room. The choking odor of rancid grease hung in the air.
Yessir, the lizard allowed, Blubber Gulch Saloon was like no other this side of the Rio Grande. It was known in the West as a place where outlaw fatty globules and lost, lonely pounds could hang out with no diets breathing down their double necks.
“Bartender! Give me another!” shouted a clotted, ill-shaped Pound at the bar. He lifted a shaky mug toward the serene Pound behind the bar.
“You betcha, Blob,” said the bartender, quickly filling Blob’s mug full of syrupy lubricate. Blob downed the liquid in one gulp, burped an oily belch, then spat on the floor.
“Yeah, I dropped off ol’ Jodi and laid on her floor shaking like curdled cream. That is, until I got mah wits back together.”
Blob’s wheeze sounded like a sack full of cats. He turned to the crowd gathering around him and continued. “When I got back to sensibility, I rolled over to a corner and waited. Couldn’t even sit up at first.”
Once again, Blob extended his mug toward the accommodating bartender.
“It ain’t no fair. That Jodi never appreciated me. Nah, not one bit. Fact is, she out and out hated me!”
A collective gasp rose from the onlookers. Blob’s eyes narrowed to slits as he leaned toward them.
“Don’t feel sorry for old Blob, gents. I’ll bide mah time and hang low for a spell. You just mark my words. Before that ornery Jodi can cram her legs into those new…” He looked around with fiery cinder eyes “… SKINNY…jeans, I’ll be right back where I came from, right in the middle of her left thigh!”
Commotion broke out among the Pounds.
“Now listen here, Blob. This is a respectable place. Don’t come in here using bad language! You cuss that ‘skinny’ word again, and I’m gonna have to throw you out,” the bartender warned.
Blog growled and dipped his fingers in a jar of grease sitting on the bar. After noisily sucking them clean, he pointed at the ceiling.
“I’ll be back, Miz Hotsy-Totsy Jodi Lea Stewart, and I’m bringing a bunch of mah renegade friends with me. You ain’t seen the last of me and my kind!”
With that, Blob fell backward in a greasy stupor. His cohorts strained as they pulled him toward the wall, leaving a broad streak of fat on the floor.
No one noticed the lizard shaking his head over the smudgy glass window. Slowly he made his descent and disappeared into the darkness. He walked until the light peeked over the horizon, his tail leaving curvy “S” marks in the silent sand.
Did you ever think about where all those pounds go when we drop them? Maybe a little ghost town in the Arizona desert? If you’re like me, my pounds don’t have to wait very long before “coming home.”
Just for fun . . .
Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.
If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindle, the Nook and most other eBook readers.
Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:
Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?
Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.
Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.