"I locked my door. I turned my battered Sentinel radio on. It came alive with a blast of static. Boston Blackie, the reformed crook and misunderstood good Joe, was on the trail of a cold blooded killer. He told the inspector, 'It's a dangerous world full of unscrupulous men.'
"The inspector agreed.
"So did I. I said to Blackie, 'You can say that again, brother.'
"I tapped the bottle of rye on its chest. It didn't bark at me. It was a quiet pet, almost serene. I hoisted it by the neck and took a long drink and another and one more until I sighed like a mother of twelve when the last kid (leaves) home.
"I grabbed my almost dry and almost clean clothes off the radiator and changed back into them.. I fished my bung hammer out of the desk drawer in case I saw any more bugs. I moved my chair and whiskey next to the radiator. I looked out the window.
"Nothing had changed.
"Franco had Madrid surrounded, though the Spanish Loyalists were through when I left, almost a year earlier. Hitler had taken Austria and the Sudetenland without firing a shot. Mussolini, after his fun loving Italian army had some target practice in Ethiopia, annexed Albania. Uncle Joe Stalin was threatening the Baltic States and Finland. The Japanese were mowing down men, women, and children in China like Kansas wheat. In the USA, people were out of work, hungry, angry, and restless.
"The world was primed to blow.
"On cue, Boston Blackie said to Joan Blondell, 'It can be a very scary world out there.'
"'Amen, I said to everybody in the room.' Then, I saw a cockroach sneaking across the floor. So I picked up my hammer and went back to work." - from the novel Otis Moon by Kevin O'Kendley
"Welcome to 2017: Our future is in the rear-view mirror and gaining on us."
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A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts.
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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