I’ve got two new releases this week, and it might get a little confusing for folks, so here’s the deal, just in case you want to buy a bunch of shit. I want to help you with that!
Once upon a time, I wrote several short stories featuring Bubba’s Great-Grandpappy Beauregard, the original family Monster Hunter. These were featured in anthologies and collected into a three-story volume called Moonshine & Magic.
If you bought that, and you enjoyed it, then you should pick up the fourth Great-Grandpappy Beauregard short story, called County Fairy Tale. It’s available for a buck, and has this awesomeballs cover from Natania Barron.
This story was originally published in Capes & Clockwork 2 from Dark Oak Press. The rights have reverted, and now I’m selling it as a stand-alone. You can get it on Amazon here.
It will be available everywhere else, too. I just haven’t done that yet. If you want it, go get it. 🙂
If you’ve never read any of Great-Grandpappy Beauregard’s adventures, then you can get all four short stories in the collection Shinepunk, which also features a cool-ass Natania Barron cover.
It looks like this.
This collection features four short stories, and is on Amazon here. It will also be available everywhere else, I just haven’t done that yet, either.
These four stories are all set in Georgia in the early 20th century, and feature moonshine, ghosts, fairies, explosions, and a redneck Frankenstein.
What more do you want out of life?
Oh, a preview? You want to little taste?
I can do that. Here’s a piece of the very first Beauregard the Monster Hunter short story – Fire on the Mountain.
Fire on the Mountain
“Beauregard Ulysses Brabham, get your worthless ass down here and help me!” The shrill voice rang out over half the valley and Bubba sat bolt upright in his bed. Only he wasn’t in his bed, he was in the hammock out in his back yard, so the motion of sitting up quickly deposited all three hundred pounds of him firmly and swiftly onto the hard-packed earth. Bubba hauled himself up to hands and knees, then crawled out from under the hammock, shaking his head to clear the cobwebs. How did I end up in the hammock? He wondered. And where are my pants?
The answer to the second question revealed itself a few moments later as Bubba walked around the house to the front porch. His worn overalls were folded carefully over the porch railing, with an empty quart jar sitting next to them. Well, that explains about everything, I reckon. Bubba thought. Apparently Preacher Mason had come by with a sample from his newest batch of ‘shine and they had commenced to tasting. It all made sense to Bubba now. After the better part of a jar of Preacher Mason’s recipe, the wind through a man’s beard felt mighty fine, and the best way Bubba had to generate wind was to swing as quickly as possible in the hammock. That didn’t explain why he felt the need to remove his pants, but perhaps in his state of mind last night he wanted to feel the wind other places than just his beard.
Regardless, he put his pants on then pulled on his battered leather work boots. He had just stepped onto the porch to go inside and fix up some grits and bacon and maybe see if there was a slash or two left in that jar when Octavia’s voice rang out again, this time sounding even more irritated. “Beauregard! Come here, boy! I need you!”
Godawmighty you’d thing she was my wife instead of my little sister the way that woman abuses me. I need to get her married off so she’ll have somebody else to make miserable, Bubba thought. He sighed the sigh of a man who knew he was ruled by a woman, and started off down the hill to see what his sister wanted this time.
* * *
Octavia was standing on her own porch peering into the woods when Bubba came stumping down the trail. “What in the blue blazes do you want, woman? Don’t you know a body needs his rest?” Octavia was dressed for work on the farm, in a plain homespun dress and apron, with her long blonde hair tied back from her strong jawline. She was what the mountain folk called a “healthy woman,” with “child-bearing hips” and a shelf of bosom that was impressive on an otherwise slender woman. She wore sensible leather boots and had a shotgun leaning on the porch rail beside her, along with a haversack.
She lit into her brother the second he hove his gigantic form into view. “Bubba, it is three hours past the noon meal you worthless layabout, so do not be speaking to me of rest! Now get your fat, lazy carcass down here and aid me in my moment of peril!”
“Moment of peril? You’re on your porch, what in the hell could possibly be periling you?”
“Don’t you swear in my presence, Bubba, for I am a lady. And it is not just my moment of peril, but the entire valley. We are under attack by sorcery and blackheartedness!”
“I told Pap he never should have taught you how to read, Tavvy. Now you ain’t never gone find a man.”
“I neither need nor desire a man, brother dear. Not for those purposes, at any rate. Now are you going to help me or not?”
“You got anything to eat?”
“There’s a rasher of bacon on the table with some grits, a half dozen biscuits and some gravy. Take what you like.”
“If you’ll feed me, Tavvy, I’ll do whatever you need.” Bubba pushed past his sister into the neat little kitchen. In complete contrast to his own, Octavia’s kitchen contained a modern icebox, a stove heated by some strange series of pipes from the wood stove out back, and food. There were also clean plates and no insects to be seen anywhere, both remarkable upgrades from Bubba’s house. Bubba piled all the food onto a serving platter and carried it back out to the porch. He sat down on the porch steps and called Octavia’s hound Buster over. After giving Buster a good scratch behind the ears, he slipped the dog a piece of bacon and started in on the biscuits.
A few minutes later the bacon and biscuits had all vanished, and Buster was licking the last remnants of the grits from the platter. Bubba leaned back on his elbows, let out a mighty belch that rattled the windows in Octavia’s cabin, and lookedup at his sister.
“Alright, Tavvy. What’s periling you today?”
“The children are missing, Bubba.”
“You ain’t got no children, Tavvy.”
“Not my children, you great lummox! The children from the congregation!” Octavia swatted him on one giant shoulder.
“If you would darken the door of our house of worship more than twice a year, you would know these things, Bubba. There are six children missing from nearby farms and homes.”
“I darken the door, Tavvy, I just can’t seem to find my way through it. Maybe if the door was taller I’d have an easier time of it. Where’d them young’uns go?” Bubba asked, sitting up and picking a tick from one of Buster’s ears.
“Nobody knows, Bubba! That’s why they’re missing.”
“Oh. Okay, what do you want me to do about it? You want me to go look for ‘em? I know the woods and these hills pretty good I reckon, but I don’t know where I’d start looking for kids…” He trailed off as he caught the black stare Octavia was giving him.
“You don’t want me to go looking for the kids, do you?”
“No, Bubba. I do not need you to go looking for them. I know where they are, I need your help to go get them back.”
Bubba stood up and snapped his fingers for Buster. The dog crouched beside Bubba’s feet but stayed alert. “Well, let’s go get ‘em! Are we gonna have to carry ‘em, Tavvy? ‘Cause half a dozen young ‘uns is gonna be hard to haul in one load.”
“Bubba, are you the stupidest human being in six counties? I don’t need you to carry the babies, I need you to shoot whatever took ‘em!”
“Oh. Well I can do that. Lemme go get my gun.” He stood and started back up the hill to his cabin, but stopped at Octavia’s exasperated sigh.
“Get in here, Bubba. You don’t need to go get that stupid double-barrel. I got something better.” She turned and went into her house, and Bubba followed. She led him through the kitchen into the rest of the cabin where they had grown up. Bubba took a moment to observe the changes Octavia had wrought upon the old home place since their Pap died just two short years ago. Gone were the spittoons that once nestled in a corner of every room. Gone were the ashtrays on the arm of every chair. Instead the floors practically gleamed, they were so clean, and the windows had been scrubbed spotless and new curtains hung in every one. Bubba thought fleetingly of asking Octavia up to clean his cabin, but decided against it for fear he’d never find anything again.