The Everwinter Files:#308 – Bugglesworth

The Frolic Room Prophet – page 84

Whap!Whapwhapwhap! Then dead silence. Robbie’s old car came to a stop in the middle of Sunset Boulevard in East Hollywood. “Shit! I’ll be late to work again.” He got out after shifting into neutral. Robbie started pushing with one hand and steering toward the curb with the other. Two more men stopped, and both started pushing from the rear bumper. The car then rolled so quick it hit the curb and bounced a little. Robbie lifted the hood to see what the matter was as the helping men came to look.

“It’s there, the fan belt.” Spoke one of the men. Robbie reached down and pulled the twisted broken belt out of the pulleys and sighed. “Where are you headed?” Asked the other man.

“Work, Piggly Wiggly and I’m late now.”

“I go right by there. Jump in.”

Piggly Wiggly was busy when Robbie arrived and his boss, Red Dawson was angrier than most days. With red hair and a florid face with red freckles he chopped a woman’s order behind the glass counter at the butcher’s block stained red and brown that spoke of the volumes of meat he already cut before Robbie came in late. After wrapping the woman’s order and sliding it across the steel counter, he turned to Robbie and vented.

“Goddamnit Bugglesworth! Of all mornings to be late again, I have worked my ass off and was supposed to be at school for my son’s Pinewood Derby! My fucking wife has called me crying. crying crying Goddamnit! I missed it. Say something you bastard!”

“Im sorry. My fan belt broke. I had to hitch a ride. I’m sorry Red.”

“That damn car of yours. Buy one that works.”

“I can’t afford to, you only pay me fifty bucks a week.”

“How about I fire you and then how much you gonna make?”

“Please don’t Red. Please don’t.”

Red stormed off to go for a smoke as Robbie waited on another customer. For the rest of the long day, Red sat in a chair off to the side of the butcher counter and watched Robbie work. He refused to help when several customers were in line, even when Robbie pleaded with him. At closing time Robbie clocked out and walked down the alley into the back door of the Tick Tock Lounge, a blue collar bar that nice folks did’t frequent. The bar was busy as people were getting off work and needed a distraction from the grind of the day. Robbie Bugglesworth found an empty stool next to Fred G. Woodley. “Woody” was a drunk, although a high functioning one. He ran a part time auto repair business but closed every day at three pm, so as to sit at the Tick Tock until bedtime. His age was uncertain but looked to be somewhere between thirty and fifty. Brown as a nut and lean as a pole, he read the newspaper as Robbie drank his fresh beer.

“Woody, I need a favor.”

The Everwinter Files is available in hardback on Amazon:

The Everwinter Files

Page 70-71

Cleo Wolfe was raised on a diet of armadillos, squirrels, possums, doves, stolen eggs, RC Cola, regular beatings from his bootlegger father, and Pentecostal beliefs from his mother. Educated along the Red River in a wet Oklahoma county inside a rough schoolhouse, he completed the sixth grade, far above his siblings and parents. The Wolfe house was barely a house. Four rooms in a shotgun layout crafted from cheap lumber and unpainted so it looked a dismal gray/brown color with a sagging porch and roof. The seven dwellers got used to loud arguments and rotten smells from their unwashed father and spoiled food he brought home in a gunny sack occasionally.

Cleo was small for his age and bullied by older boys as long as he could recall. When he turned twelve his mother sent him to Charlie’s Bar to fetch his old man. His father was drinking heavily and got angry when Cleo showed up to bring him home. The old man slapped him so hard Cleo’s mouth bled, and a customer took him to the dingy toilet to wash him clean. After wiping the blood from his face, the man proceeded to lock the door with a hook and take Cleo’s pants down. Cleo fought hard and the man had been drinking all afternoon. The man tripped as Cleo rained down blows hard into his groin and fell against the filthy commode. Cleo Wolfe unhooked the door and ran out the back door. He headed for the Farm to Market Road and began to hitchhike.

A car finally pulled over and stopped after about three hours into a long dark walk for Cleo Wolfe.

“Need a ride, son?” By this time Cleo was tired, afraid, hungry and disoriented from his hasty decision to run away from home.

“Yeah, I guess.” Cleo reached for the door handle and let himself in. The car started up and took off down the Oklahoma back road into a dark night. The man was wearing a suit that looked like he slept in it but had a cheerful attitude.”Where you headed son?” The man smiled at him.

“I…I just want to head out of here, out is this country.”

The man driving the car didn’t say anything for a least five minutes. When he spoke again his tone was lower and serious.

“Running away from your folks?” Cleo felt he had no choice but to be honest.

“Yeah.”

For the next twenty minutes Cleo recounted his poor and abusive young life. A cafe came into light as Cleo finished and the man pulled the car into the gravel lot under a neon sign that blinked green “Lorene’s Good Eats.” he killed the motor and opened the driver’s door.

“Hungry?”

“Yes sir.”

“My name’s Elmer J. Johnson. I’m a preacher.” He stuck out his had and Cleo shook it.

“Cleo Wolfe, nice to meet you.”

The Everwinter Files: #308

Page 39 – The following night the weather was calm again and the boat Ambrose had hired was ready to go at 1 am. Carl Crane went with him as Jimmy McFarland agreed to wait back at the Inn. Not many local boat owners were willing to embark on a post-midnight secret mission to trespass on the feared Hollister Ranch and their armed guards. However, for triple the fee, after a rash of family setbacks, Willy Reese was hard put to turn down such a large pile of ready cash, even if the risk was high.

Ambrose and Carl brought several guns on board and gave Willy the signal they were ready to go. The thirty foot boat was old, but the engine was in good shape and roared to life and started out into the black night of the Pacific calm. The night waves were short as they glided past a group of dolphins who turned and went up the coast toward Pismo. Willy’s old fishing vessel cruised south along the shore but far enough out they would be hard to spot. Ambrose had Willy turn off the lights as they relied on Willy’s ability to captain the boat in the dark.

The trio stayed silent as they heard only the lapping of the waves as they could now see the faint lights on Hollister Ranch. The intelligence Ambrose had was the place had a night watchman at the front gate and two armed men who roamed the property randomly but only once or twice per night on the beach. It seemed that most were not foolhardy enough to try entry anyway, so the guards were usually trying to stay awake and finish their shift.

Willy guided the old boat near a small beach that adjoined the Hollister property and killed the engines. Ambrose and Carl went down a rope ladder with rifles, handguns, flashlights, and a knapsack of various supplies and dry clothes and shoes. They were waist deep in water and waded ashore. On the beach they removed their wet shoes and clothes and buried them under some rocks by a cliff. In dry footwear and pants the pair quietly slunk up the beach toward unknown danger in the dark night.

The Everwinter Files : #308 The Frolic Room Prophet is now available in hard back on Amazon.com.

The Frolic Room Prophet

Page 22 – Ambrose Everwinter was greeted by an old man in uniform when he walked up to the gate at Columbia Pictures. The man just motioned for him to follow and walk down the sidewalk toward several sound stages. As they passed one working on a night shoot, Ambrose saw a fake mountain with a giant fan blowing thousands of pieces of paper to resemble snow toward some freezing climbers. Larry, Curly and Moe. The director yelled “cut” as Moses Harry Horowitz was walking fast toward him waving his hands. Evidently, Moe Howard was not pleased with the way the scene was going. Ambrose followed the guard up a flight of steel stairs to a small private office. The guard knocked, heard something, then opened the door for the detective, turned and left. Ambrose went in the office to see Dewey La Londe on the phone behind a mahogany desk smoking a Cuban cigar with his tie loosened and sleeves rolled up. Dewey saw Ambrose, grunted something, and hung up the phone. He motioned for Ambrose to sit as he poured two glasses half full of imported Scotch. The men sipped in silence until Dewey found his voice.

“You have to help find her.”

“Tell me the whole story.”

The Everwinter Files by John K Bucher Sr. is now available on Amazon.

An Inside Look…

Upon my third return to college I was introduced to Arthur Conan Doyle and his wonderful stories of Sherlock Holmes. Nothing prepared me for the lifelong love affair I would carry from that first reading. I would get lost in London circa 1890’s and beyond. To me, Holmes, Watson, Professor Moriarty, and company were real unlike most of the reality that surrounded me.

Since becoming a writer, I have fantasized about creating my own detective. The Everwinter Files came born out of that desire. Number 308 – The Frolic Room Prophet is the first offering in what I plan to be an entire series. I wish to that my three sons for their support and encouragement: John Jr., Matt, and Josh. I also want to thank my girlfriend, Edina Rush. On our last camping trip to the beach last fall, she insisted I bring the first chapters and read it aloud to her around the fire at night. I was troubled with the story at that point and this trip crystalized the whole story.

It begins as …..

Evening traffic at Sunset and La Brea whooshed by as occasional horns honked and engines revved at red lights. The parking lot at Carolina Pines Jr. had filled up and Ambrose Everwinter found one of last spots and came to a stop. H e favored the 24-hour southern cooking at this location more than the original because of the staff. The “Jr.” was a square box and stone corners. It was so well lit you could pick it out from any of the Hollywood balconies all the way up to Mulholland. Ambrose got out and admired his new 1955 Packard Clipper Touring Sedan washed in pale blue with white accents. Even though it was only April, 1955 had already been a good year, he thought. He straightened his tie and fedora in the sedan’s side mirror and made his way to the front glass doors. The smell of strong coffee and fried chicken was well distributed by the fans placed to keep it cool. He found an open stool and removed his hat.

The Frolic Room Prophet by John K. Bucher Sr. is now available on Amazon. Click below to get yours!

On The Beach

Page 53 “Corkscrew Days Rolling Rock Nights

Liquor store man looks funny at me

Shakes his head and snorts

Every day I visit his sorry ass

To get my supplies, my needs, my joy

Sitting on my blanket

I watch and pull a cork

Skies are blue and the birds soar so high

I loose them on the fuzzy horizon

The wine tastes like an Italian village

In the late summer

With the sun going down

My thoughts are slow and vivid

Empty bottle and the n night birds call

Rolling Rock green

The light yellow water adds years

To my life span

I know it

The night gets cooler

Beach lights shine

Games are played

I only watch

And think

And then I sleep

Tomorrow I must go

To the liquor store man

On The Beach by John K Bucher is available on Amazon.com

Meeting John Senenfelder conclusion

The next day Ron came and drove me the alley after he had picked up the type of cigars John S. was smoking. It was raining lightly and the garage was closed. No John S. We planned to try the next day and about an hour before it was time, Ron called me to say “He’s there right now.” We drove over and gave him the cigars. He seemed very happy to see us, and this time all four of us just talked for a while. I made up my mind to not bring up anything serious. John S. lit up a cigar as I showed him pictures I had been taking along the river. He told me how he lost his legs. He was in a boat fishing when a blood vessel burst in his lower back. He said it felt like a bolt of electricity. The problem stemmed from his diabetes. They had to take his legs. I asked him if he cooked for himself and how he managed at home? His daughters come to take him shopping and to check on him. Most days he is content to be alone, wave at people passing by, and visit with Harley. Several times he wheeled into the alley and I asked if he was going? He smiled and said no. He just likes to move around a little. He stayed for over an hour. I told him I was leaving in a few days to see Jack and other business in Minneapolis. I asked if Saturday was a day to see him again and ask some of the questions I needed for the book. He said sure. Before he left he wheeled right up next to me and stuck out his hand. “Thanks for the cigars.” I told him that is was Ron who bought them and he thanked Ron as well, A few days later, Ron and I were coming back from seeing Jack. He said that Harley called called him because John S. was wondering where I was. Ron reminded Harley that I would be back on Saturday. Evidently John S. was eager to see me now. I wish I had that effect on everybody.

Saturday rolled around and so did the clouds. It rained all afternoon. Still we went over to the closed garage just to see. Sunday was my last day in Winona. Ron and Tasha ( a friend ) came to get me. As we drove up the alley, John S. was waiting in front of the closed garage. We parked quickly as Ron got Harley from the house and we set up the chairs. Harley came out with refreshments and Tasha took pictures. I signaled John S, to move to the side of the garage so we could have a private chat. When we were out of earshot of the others I told him about my visit with Jack in prison. In a clearer and stronger voice he as asked me how he was doing? He allowed that prison was no picnic. I mustered up my courage and asked him if the documents I had were right, and that he never had sex with his step-daughter. He turned and looked me in the eye and said “Ada framed me.” I asked him why? He replied she wanted to be with Bobby Fort and wanted rid of him. When I asked him his opinion of Bobby Fort, he muttered “He’s a crook, a criminal.” I then inquired if he thought Jack killed his wife? Very calmly he he told he knew Jack did not kill Ada, that we was certain Bobby Fort had her killed. He said that he met a man at the Labor Temple bar who claimed Bobby Fort paid him to kill her. Very soon after that, the man moved to the Twin Cities. He couldn’t remember his name.

I sat there thinking that if the justice system had any real desire to solve her death, there were plenty of people willing to say without a doubt Bobby Fort, not Jack Nissalke, was responsible for her murder. I tried to imagine the jury from Jack’s trial listening to this man in his wheelchair. I sipped a beer as John S. drank one of Harley’s Pepsis, right next to the man whose son is serving a life sentence in prison for the death of his wife. The day after I left, Ron stopped by John S.’s home and gave him a bag of unshelled walnuts. He enjoys feeding squirrels.

This interview is found in the book Murder and Deceit and is available on Amazon.com.

Cowboys and Witches

Inside the Stanley Hotel

Here is an excerpt from the novella Foster’s Fall, found on page 47.

“My name is Chas, Mr. Tennenbaum told me to expect you.”

“Foster Everwinter.”

“You are our house detective, in charge of security?”

“Yes, at your service.”

“He has told you about the black peacocks?”

“Yes, he has.”

“Dreadful business. The entire staff is just sick over it. We are all very fond of them.”

“Who do you think is responsible?”

“A madman. It couldn’t be an animal.”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you know? They are locked up every night. Someone would have to unlock their barn and take them up into the woods.”

“An animal couldn’t manage it?”

“Not unless he has a key and walks upright.”

“It’s a riddle, I admit, but who would want to do such a thing?”

“Like I said, a madman.”

Cowboys and Witches, along with my other books are found on Amazon.com.

Cowboys and Witches by John K Bucher

I wrote this book, or I guess parts of it from 2006-2008. It was published in 2010. The short story was a continuation of one of the characters in my first novel – The Suicide Cowboys. It was during this period I moved from Denver to Ft Collins and about once a week, my son Josh and I would drive up into the mountains to Estes Park and spend the day. We would park in town and walk up a nature trail past pools of trout and grazing elk to the the Stanley Hotel. The old hotel was where Stephen King got the story for The Shinning. We would have a drink at the bar and talk to the employees about their own supernatural experiences while they were on duty. Later we would retreat down the trail again and eat lunch at Lonigans Saloon, and Irish pub. I would go home with a car full of ideas and stories. This book holds some of them.

Just Me and the Night

Go away loneliness I want to drink Vodka

perverse drunken logic beckons me to the party

walk straight damn it the cops are watching I think

oh my God why, such a waste of the moment,

just then I girl asks me “what am I doing?”

we walk and she takes me someplace as sparks shoot from

her ass while she lies to me, what a performance!

4 am and I am at a 7-11 buying milk as a vast array of people lie

sleeping in old brick apartments. I hear a scream,

“Don’t call the cops!” I trudge home behind a black cat and let

myself in. Lying down I feel the rhythm of the night and wait

for the sleep fairies to close the gate of my mind.

Evening Street Lights

Walking along the busy sidewalks of the life soaked day

Autumn winds catches my collar and thumps my thoughts

My eyes go up to the third floor window and no lights shine

Loneliness shakes me

Damn!

I walk all this way and she is not home- Darker now

I shuffle around and go

To a corner bar and sit down

Blonde whore

Smiles

She wants a drink

I buy her one

Now what?

Her tale of woe, God

I pay

Walk out the door

Still no light

Where is she?

Cold, I stumble

What now?

The dull yellow street lights

They mock me and tell me to go home

I go as the street lights keep watch

On the third floor window

These and many more poems and stories are in Cowboys and Witches. This and all my books at Amazon.com/John K Bucher