This time, Bubba hunts La Chupacabra! Here’s a little preview of the new Bubba story, on sale this weekend!
It was the middle of the night, and I was crouched in a damp, smelly field waiting for something the happen. This wrapped a lot of my least favorite things all up in a nice little ball of suck for me to gnaw on. I hate waiting. I’m a man of action, as they say. I like to do stuff, not wait around to do stuff. Now I’ll admit that some of the stuff I do sucks, like chasing down zombies, or werewolves, or fighting witches or ghouls or vampires or pretty much anything else that goes bump in the night. But it’s a damn sight more entertaining than sitting around waiting for something to show up for me to kill. Especially when I don’t know what I’m waiting on. Waiting to me just seems like a great big waste of my precious drinkin’ time.
I hate being wet, too. I’m a big dude — six-five and a good bit past three hundred pounds. And every damn inch is covered with hair. I got a ponytail that hit me halfway down my back, a beard that reaches almost down to my chest, and a pretty good suit of man-fur everywhere else. I ain’t one of these billboard pretty boys that’s got nowhere for a tick to hide on their cute little manscaped six-pack abs. I got a whole great big fuzzy pony keg of a belly, and that all makes it pretty uncomfortable when I’m rolling around in the cold damp grass. And it takes forever and about three big towels to dry off. I tell you, it’s just irritating.
And as much as I am a bonafide country boy, I’m not a big fan of the smells of nature, if you know what I mean. And this field was full of some impressively natural smells. I much prefer the kind of smells that come from a bottle. Like the sweet, soothing smell of Jack Daniels. Or the glorious lavender-scented cloud of stripper perfume. I once heard a fella say “they call it Destiny, but it smells like shame.” I disagree. It smells like the hopes and dreams of desperate men and women smart enough to take advantage of them. I love strippers, they have an uncomplicated view of life. You give them money, they show you boobies. I have a similarly uncomplicated view of life — monsters need to be killed, I kill ‘em.
And that’s why I was stuck in a damp, smelly field in the middle of the night miles away from the scent of whiskey or the sight of a boob. I had a monster to kill, and as long as the critter was playing shy, I was stuck out there freezing my ass off and bitching to Skeeter over the Bluetooth. Skeeter’s my backup, my technical liaison, my navigator and my best friend. He’d appointed himself my best friend since the day I kept Jason Skoonfield from running his underpants up the flagpole in middle school. I probably wouldn’t have stopped Jason from having a little bit of innocent fun, but since Skeeter was still wearing his underpants I thought that was a little over the line. So me and Skeeter struck up an unusual alliance. I kept him from getting killed for being the only black kid in our school, not to mention the only gay kid and the smartest kid in three counties, and he made sure I passed algebra and got out of high school. Even the principal thought it was a fair trade. He was pretty tired of replacing all the desks that couldn’t hold me, and he didn’t want to deal with the paperwork if Skeeter ended up dead. So he didn’t ask about my grades, and I didn’t tell.
“Skeeter, you remember when Jason Skoonfield was gone run your drawers up the flagpole in tenth grade?” I asked the air.
Skeeter’s disembodied voice came back in my ear. “It was one of the most traumatic experiences in a traumatic youth, Bubba. Of course I remember it. It may have been the pinnacle of my humiliation in that vile institution they called a school. Why do you bring that up now?”
“You know I get all philosophical-like when I’m stuck out here smelling cowpies and staring up and the stars. You ever wonder where we’d be if I hadn’t stopped Skoon and his buddies?”
Skeeter’s voice got very quiet. “I do, Bubba. Sometimes I do, but I try not to think about that too much. And you shouldn’t either, we’ve got a job to do.”
I knew where he was going, and it wasn’t a road I wanted to go down right then. Or ever, for that matter. I looked down at the glowing face of the child’s Mickey Mouse watch and thought back to happier days. Then I gave myself a shake and answered Skeeter. “Yeah, but what the hell is the job, Skeeter? I’m freezing off my danglies out here and ain’t heard nothing all night.”
“You know the monster’s been feeding every third night, and this is the only herd that hasn’t been attacked this month. So if there really is a chupacabra somewhere around here, this is the best spot to find it.”
“Yeah, it’s a pretty damn good spot to get a frostbit sack, too.” I grumbled. “You got it easy, sitting there in your nice warm little command center. Remember, I was on a lake just a few days ago in flip-flops and no shirt, and supposed to be there for another four days. Instead, I’m fully dressed in long pants, a leather jacket and a sweater and I’m still freezing my ass off!”
I heard a sharp intake of breath as Skeeter started to reply, but I cut him off with a hiss. “Shut up, I think I hear something.” There was a rustling sound coming from the fenceline a few feet away. I crept over in the direction of the sound and suddenly realized that the source of the sound was a cow. I got to within three feet of the beast before I could make out its shape in the moonless night, then I scrambled backwards as quickly as I could as the cow unleashed the most terribly stench I’d ever experienced right in my face.
“Skeeter you sonofabith a cow just farted on me!” I screeched into the earpiece, trying to get away from the cloud of methane that was wrapped around my head. I heard Skeeter laughing uncontrollably in my ear as I worked hard not to vomit.
“You know I’m gonna kill you when I get out of here, right?”
“I don’t make the assignments, Bubba, I just send you the emails.” He sounded dangerously close to hyperventilating, and I was dangerously close to walking off the job when I heard the scream.
If you’ve never heard a goat scream, you should do everything in your power to keep it that way. It’s a sound like nothing on earth, kinda like a mix of a human scream with a deeper tone than any human can make, and it can carry for miles. It chilled me to the bone, and put my butt in gear. I started running for the sound, drawing Bertha, my fifty-caliber Desert Eagle as I went after the monster. When I got there, I stopped dead in my tracks at the scene in front of me.
This was not what I had come here to hunt.