Join us as Hank Edwards goes Outside the Margins.
Good morning and happy Hump Day!
For my January Outside the Margins post on the Prism Book Alliance blog, I’m going to share a bit of the first chapter of my current Story Orgy weekly prompt driven blog story. This is an as yet untitled humorous paranormal mystery featuring Demetrius Singleton, who is gay, and his straight best friend, Cody Bowers, and their attempts to start up Critter Catchers, an animal control business, in the small town of Parson’s Hollow, Pennsylvania. This chapter opens with Demmy and Cody at a Home Repair and Design show trying to drum up business. If you like it, you can keep up with the story every Monday at my blog, www.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.
Demetrius sat in the chair beside Cody and pulled the other hot dog from the bag. It was loaded: ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, and hot peppers. He glanced at Cody and asked, “Trying to get your money’s worth?”
“You fuckin’ know it, Demmy,” Cody replied, already finished with his own hot dog and licking the condiments from his long fingers.
“Well, thanks for getting me one,” Demetrius said. He noticed the way Cody was eyeing the hot dog in his hand, and asked, “This is for me, right?”
Cody sighed. “Yeah. It is. I’m just still hungry.” He slapped his flat stomach a few times. “Takes a lot to fill this boy up.”
“Aunt Amelia and I are both well aware of that,” Demetrius said, and bit into the dog.
“I gotta tell you, that lady is a saint,” Cody said as he stretched his feet out under the table and stared at the crowd swarming past them. “I love her like family.” He looked at Demetrius from the corner of his eye. “Guess that makes us brothers, huh?”
Demetrius shrugged, his mouth too full to respond, but not too full for another bite of hot dog. Just as he did that, a young woman walked up and stood before them. She was younger than them, most likely in college, and quite beautiful, with smooth, dark skin and short cut hair. She flipped through the brochure for a moment before fixing them both with a look.
“Animal control?” she asked.
Cody shot to his feet and leaned over the table, his smile turned all the way up. “That’s right. We can wrangle any critter that might be giving you fits. Raccoon in your garage? Possum in your shed? Bats in your —”
“Belfry?” she offered with a grin. “Sorry. All of my observations are sarcasm-based.”
Cody grinned back and Demetrius hurriedly swallowed his the food in his mouth and slid the remainder aside. He stood up and, hoping to head off Cody asking out a potential client, interjected, “Hi, hello there. Hi. Yes, we provide animal control services. Do you need an animal removed from a structure?”
The woman looked at Demetrius and smiled before dropping her gaze. Demetrius cleared his throat and tried again. “Can we answer any questions for you?”
“Demmy,” Cody whispered.
“Not now, Cody,” Demetrius whispered back. “We’re speaking to a client.”
“Okay, never mind.” Cody pressed his lips tight together and stared out over the heads of the crowd in the aisle.
“Now, how can we help you, Ms….?” Demetrius tried again.
“Relish,” the woman said.
Demetrius gave a single nod. “Very good. Okay, Ms. Relish.”
The woman and Cody both snickered. Demetrius looked between them. “Something funny?”
Cody raised his eyebrows. “Permission to speak, Captain?”
Demetrius sighed. “What?”
“You have relish…” Cody tapped the left corner of his mouth. “Right here.”
Demetrius fumbled for napkins as Cody and their potential customer chuckled. Once he’d wiped the relish away, Demetrius faced the woman again and cleared his throat. “Sorry about that. Now, how may we help you, Ms…?”
Cody shot his hand out. “Cody Bowers.”
Agatha shook with him, her small hand swallowed up by Cody’s larger one.
Cody tipped his had in Demetrius’s direction. “This is Demmy.”
“Demetrius Singleton,” Demetrius corrected and shook Agatha’s hand, warm and soft. “How may we help you?”
Agatha held up the brochure, the front of it facing Demetrius and Cody. “You’re the two guys who killed that wolf man last year?”
“Uh…” Demetrius said, too stunned to say anything else. There weren’t many witnesses to that incident. Well, not many that survived.
Cody put his hands on the table and leaned in, closing the distance between himself and Agatha. “You heard about that?”
“Lots of bloggers picked up on it,” Agatha replied. “So, was that you two?”
Cody nodded. “That was us. You have a wolf man giving you problems? We’ll need some silver to melt down into bullets.”
“No wolf man,” Agatha said. “But how are you guys with a chupacabra?”
~ Hank Edwards
About Hank Edwards
Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from humor to paranormal to suspense to time travel romance. Like him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries) and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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