–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 laughter drifted into the night sky.
The desert iguana slithered off his vantage point and moved silently 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!”
Of course, a visit isn’t a visit without a two-way conversation. I really want to hear from you.
I truly hope you’ll pick up a copy of my novel Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT. The print version is on sale at Amazon for only $9.85!!! For your convenience, it’s also available for Kindle, the Nook and for most other eBook readers. If you love the Southwest and kooky little characters that make you laugh aloud as authentic danger and mystery swirl at every turn, you’ll love this novel! The second book in the series, CANYON OF DOOM, debuts in early 2013.
While you’re here, please have a look around my website. To sign up to receive notices of my new blogs, recipes, appearances and media news, just leave your email address above. I’ll take care of the rest. Y’all come back soon…I miss you already!
Jodi Lea Stewart grew up smelling cedar berries and cow manure on a mega-acre Arizona cattle ranch wedged between the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Reservation. Her friends were Native American and Hispanic, with a few Anglos thrown in for good measure.
Her pastimes were singing to chickens, climbing giant petroglyph-etched boulders, hanging on for dear life in the back end of rattley old pickups driven over terracotta roads so washed out they qualified as mini-Grand Canyons, and riding one of the orneriest horses God ever put on the planet.
Traumatized beyond repair, she now writes novels in the hope of neutralizing all that craziness.
Before giving her heart to full-time fiction, Jodi cattle-prodded herself through journalism, western magazine writing, college humor writing, album-cover design/liner notes, electro-mechanical drafting, and into a position of managing editor/chief writer of a Fortune 500 corporate newsletter.
Oh, she went on to earn that dreaded BS in Business Management too, but she was pretty much an expert on one part of that degree already.
Jodi Lea Stewart now lives in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two standard poodles and two rescue cats.
Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi’s first novel.
Book Two in the series, CANYON OF DOOM, debuts Summer of 2013. Book Three in the series, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, hopes to come out of hiding sometime in 2014.