Tag Archives: The Rogues Gallery Writers

Pinch Hitter, Part 10

(Click here for Part 9 of Pinch Hitter):

I sit in the Angry Pig Tavern, sipping on whiskey and listening to sad country music blare from the jukebox. It’s a Wednesday afternoon. I’ve been following Billy the Jackass for a little over a week now. He’s never alone—his entourage goes everywhere with him. Aside from me, a few regulars at the bar, and a couple having a late lunch, they’re only other customers at this joint. They’re near the back of the bar, draining pitchers of beer and playing pool. Including Billy, there are five of them in all.

The staff is light. A young dark-haired woman with fake jugs and tats on her arms tends bar with a no nonsense attitude. The perky little blonde gal waiting my table has a smile so bright and eyes so blue and welcoming that I’d rather have her keep bringing me whiskey, instead of what I’m planning to do. There must be a manager somewhere in the back, but he or she hasn’t made their presence known during the past hour plus that I’ve been here.

It looks like Billy the Turd just lost the game he was playing. Scratched on the 8-ball, I believe. He props his cue against the wall and heads to the far back corner of the tavern where the restrooms are. After ten seconds pass, I stand up and head back there too. The other day I came here for a drink and to get the layout of the joint, including the bathroom. The men’s room has a toilet stall and a couple urinals, and the most important detail is that the entrance door has a working deadbolt.

I figure that this may be my only chance to get the bastard alone. And just outside the bathroom is an emergency exit, so I can make a quick escape, if necessary.

With a whoosh of the door, I enter the bathroom. Billy the Dipshit, wearing those size 14 or 15 cowboy boots and a black Stetson cowboy hat, is in mid-stream. He doesn’t bother to look over his shoulder, so I slowly turn the latch to secure the deadbolt in place. This guy looks even bigger close up; I’d say he’s about 6’6”, 260 pounds, and is in excellent condition. I won’t be able to simply overpower him. And pulling my gun won’t scare a guy like him—he’ll know my intention isn’t to shoot him and he’ll probably try to overtake me. Too risky.

No, I need to do something drastic to get his attention first.

In the stall, I ease the cover off the toilet tank and exit. While Billy is shaking his hog, I crack him on the back of the head with the ceramic slab. His Stetson falls in the urinal and he drops to his knees like a crack whore. Discarding the toilet lid, I pull his arms behind his back and bind his wrists together with riot cuffs, then jam the barrel of my .45 into the back of his skull.

“You scream, and I paint the urinal with your brains. Got it?”

“You’re making a big mistake, man,” he says with a groan. “Do you know who I work for?”

“I know who you work for, all right. But you’re the one who made the big mistake.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Eddie Snead.”

“This is about that two-bit loser?”

“Yeah, the two-bit loser who you killed, asshole,” I say with a bit of a snarl. “And the body you made him dispose of.”

“You can’t pin any of that on me.”

“I don’t have to—I know it was you. I just want to know who helped you.”

Billy laughs. “Think I’m a snitch? You may as well kill me then, but I don’t think you have the balls to.”

I holster my pistol at the small of my back, and drag his big, limp frame into the stall. He tries to resist, but I can tell he’s still weak from the blow to the head. I lift the lid and shove his head into the nasty toilet water; a classic bathroom interrogation move.

After about ten seconds, I pull him out. “I want names, Billy—now!”

“Go fuck yourself.”

I plunge him again and again, each time with less success of extracting any information. Finally I hold him down for good, until the final bubbles of life expel from his lungs, and his body goes complete limp.


Pinch Hitter, Part 9

And now a public service announcement from Kenny Black: Hey I know the Rogues have been slacking with their blog posts lately—and that includes me—but they’ve just wrapped up final edits and pagination for both their Kindle and print versions of The Method Writers, and have also submitted the manuscript to a writing contest, not to mention other preparations to market and promote the book. You can even catch some of the details on Jeff Swesky’s website. So give them a break already, they’ve been busy. I said give them a break!!! Much love, Kenny Black

(Click here for Part 8 of Pinch Hitter)

It’s an ideal Florida day, sunny but with a steady cool breeze. Seagulls squawk around my head as waves crash down below. I’m near the end of the pier, only me and a few others are out there this weekday afternoon. I lean against the wooden railing close to a big, tall and out-of-shape older man, who’s watching his rod intently, probably wondering if a fish is about to hit his bait or if a crab is just screwing with him.

“What’s up, Skinny?” I say.

“You don’t look so pretty in daylight, Kenny.”

I laugh. “But you haven’t even taken a good look at me yet.” He takes a quick sidewards glance without the change of expression. All business. He’s called Skinny, because he can get the skinny on just about anything illegal going on in this town. I’ve known him and used him for a good deal of years.

“That’s about as much as I can take without shooting my lunch into the ocean.”

I laugh again. “You’re quite the charmer. Any luck with the cowboy?”

“Did you bring something for me?”

“Yeah, here’s the bait I promised to bring you,” I say and hold out a small, rolled up paper brown bag to him. “Don’t waste it all on the fish now.”

Skinny reaches out a hand and accepts the bag. Then tries to judge the weight of it.

“Don’t worry—it’s all there.”

“It better be, Kenny.” He inserts the bag into the inside pocket of his fishing vest. “The cowboy is one of DC’s enforcers. Bill Mancini. Goes by the nickname, Billy the Man.”

“Billy the Man?” I ask while cleaning my sunglasses.

“Yeah, as in he’s much tougher than Billy the Kid was.”

“That’s about the dumbest nickname I’ve ever heard. Dumber than Puff Daddy even.”

“That maybe,” Skinny says while reeling in his line. “But he’s supposed to be one tough son-of-a-bitch.”

“We’ll see about that. Anything else?”

“Yeah, he drives a black Harley—”

“Instead of a horse?”

“You should really try a career doing stand-up,” he says with the same serious expression on his face. “So if you’re done joking around, you can let me finish and then get the fuck off my pier.”

“Goddamn you’re in a foul mood today. Please, finish.”

“He likes to hang out at the Angry Pig Tavern. Familiar with it?”

“Yeah, I’ve been there a time or two. Maybe I’m overdo to revisit it. Thanks, Skinny.”

“Don’t mention it.” He examines his empty hook as I begin walking back the way I came.

“Oh and Kenny….”

“Yeah?”

Skinny gives me a good look this time. “You be careful, ya hear?”

I feel a wide grin spread across my face. “I knew you loved me.”

It’s his turn to laugh.


Pinch Hitter, Part 8

Sorry for the delay, but Kenny Black was on vacation the other week. 😉

(Click here for Part 7 of Pinch Hitter):

I stay crouched in that position, staring at the dead Eddie Snead for several minutes until the burning in my thighs forces me to stand. It’s a strange thing to watch someone die. For me, it’s even stranger when I’m not the one responsible for the death.

You’re probably thinking, that doesn’t make sense, Kenny. You’re out of your damn mind.

Well maybe I am, but if I don’t know the reason—or at least that the attack was for a just cause—seeing a man die just toys with my mind. But I don’t have time to be sentimental right now.

“Rest in peace, Eddie,” I say and then pull on a pair of latex gloves and get to work.

I perform a more thorough search of the house, but the kitchen and living room reveal little more than litter, dust, and a bare fridge. Eddie’s guest room appeared to be his drug packaging and storage center. But aside from some residue on the work table, a scale, and boxes of packaging supplies, the room is drug-free. The intruders obviously cleared it out.

Back in Eddie’s trashed bedroom, I look at the overturned mattress. A big chunk is cut out of the bottom of it and the material was sewn back over; Eddie’s secret hiding place no doubt. But the bad guys found that too and probably came away with a nice score of cash and maybe a little black book containing valuable contacts.

“Shit.”

I step back and scan the floor, and finally get lucky. Right in the middle of the pool of blood is the print of a cowboy boot. Appears to be a size 14 or 15. A big dumb cowboy mixed up in the crime world. How many could there possibly be in this small town?

Blue and red lights suddenly strobe through the house. The cops. Did a neighbor wake and notice my flashlight from across the street? I kill the flashlight, hurry through the house, and slip out the back door.

Once again I’m a place where Kenny Black feels most comfortable—the dark shadows of the night.


Pinch Hitter, Part 7

(Click here for Part 6 of Pinch Hitter):

My flashlight doesn’t have far to travel. On the floor propped against the bed, the man I’ve been surveilling sits with his legs splayed. His head is slumped down and his hands are pressing against his stomach, trying to keep his guts from spilling out and onto the floor. A bad scene indeed.

There must’ve been a tremendous struggle because the bedroom’s trashed. Furniture’s turned over. The TV, pictures, and lamps destroyed. Could’ve been when I noticed the lights turning off. Here I thought he was calling it a night, when in reality intruders were calling it a life.

But why didn’t he hear his backdoor being kicked in? Was the TV too loud? Or was he too high? Probably the latter, which would also explain why he’s still conscious.

“Eddie, can you hear me?”

He bobs his head without looking up, that would require too much strength. The pain must be excruciating…then again, he may be long past pain now. I realize he won’t be able to talk, so I need to keep my questions very specific.

“The men who did this….” There had to be more than one based on what I’ve seen so far, probably three. “Are they coming back?”

He shakes his head ever so slightly.

“I’m going to get revenge for you, I promise you that, but I need to know something first. There are human remains in your grandfather’s garden. Did you put them there?”

He nods.

“You killed that person?”

With all he can muster, he shakes his head in protest. “Na-naah.”

“Okay, okay, I believe you. Save your strength.”

I take in a deep breath and slowly let it out, then squat before him, careful not to step in the growing body of crimson, Lake Snead.

“Now, Eddie … the people who killed that man, did they do this to you?”

“Ya-yah-yah.” His head continues to bob, long after it needed to.

“You’re going to die, Eddie. And I’m truly sorry about that. But if I’m going to get these guys, I need to know who they are first. Were they local competition?”

He shakes his head. Weakly, he lifts his right hand and points up.

“I see. They’re bigger than that.”

Eddie begins to grunt and moan, then dips his finger into his wound. Frantically, I search the room until I locate a piece of paper. I return to him and hold it under his hand. He writes two letters and stops. With all his strength he looks up at me and nods, then everything goes limp and he leaves this world.

I look at the two letters written in Eddie Snead’s own blood: “DC.”

I crumble the piece of paper and stuff it into my pocket. I don’t want to leave this for the authorities to find…not that they could do anything anyway.

D. C. Gibbons. Bigger than that, for sure. Much bigger.


Pinch Hitter, Part 6

(Click here for Part 5 of Pinch Hitter):

As usual, nobody came to pay Eddie Snead a visit at his house tonight. The little bastard stayed up late and I was beginning to worry that he was a tweaker; never sleeping, wired, unpredictable, and potentially violent. Which could also account for the bones in Herman’s garden. Around 2:15 A.M., he finally turned his living room and bedroom lights off. But I decided to wait another hour just to be safe.

It’s 3:15 now, so I exit my truck, which is parked two blocks from his house on the street, and slip into the shadows until I’m crouched in his backyard beside his garden. Like Batman, I’m wearing a mask and a belt with a multitude of tools hidden in it. Some of these tools are for picking locks, so I retrieve the right ones for the job and creep over to the back door.

I can pick locks in my sleep, so it’s not necessary to use a flashlight to see what I’m doing, but almost immediately, as I’m inserting my pick tools into the lock, I know that something is wrong. The angle of the lock is not right. I apply light pressure to the door and it begins to creak open—somebody had kicked the door in.

In a relatively seamless set of movements, I return the pick tools to the belt, draw my .45 semi-automatic pistol with my right hand and flashlight with my left. I remove the safety from the .45, but leave the flashlight off for the time being. Slowly, I duck walk into the house letting my left shoulder carry the door open. It is dead quiet inside. I keep my pistol and flashlight aimed about chest-level, finger on the trigger and thumb on the power switch. I hold my flashlight out away from my body, however, in case someone takes aim at it once I turn it on.

Without even turning on the flashlight, I can tell that the kitchen is dark and empty. I continue duck walking into the living room, where the street light gives me enough visibility to determine its condition is no different from the kitchen.

Through the living room toward my left is a hallway that inevitably leads to the bedrooms. I keep moving slow and steadily, feeling the burn in my thighs. At the first open door on my right, I shower the inside with a burst from my flashlight—it’s an unoccupied and pretty filthy bathroom. The next door on the other side of the hall is also open. I shine light inside. It looks like it could be Eddie’s “office,” but no one’s inside this room either, and by the looks of it, the door had been locked and kicked open as well.

Only one door left, also wide open. I power the flashlight on again.

The pool of blood in the carpet confirms that Eddie Snead had visitors tonight after all.


Pinch Hitter, Part 5

(Click here for Part 4 of Pinch Hitter)

I sit in my Ram 2500 Mega Cab parked a few blocks down the street from my mark, Herman’s grandson, Eddie Snead. Even his name suggests that he’s a weasel. Skinny little, long-haired shit. Although, aside from some probation time for petty theft, his record was fairly clean. No history of violence whatsoever.

However, there’s always a first time for everything. The first time for the act. The first time getting caught.

The first time the Grim Reaper, played convincingly by Kenny Black, comes to pay you a little visit.

But one thing I realized from my visit with ol’ man Herman is that I took him too lightly. The vigilante business can be rough on the body and spirit, and when Kaybee found the human bone in Herman’s garden, I was in the middle of a several month sabbatical to get my shit together. Only problem with that having that much time away is ya get a bit rusty, a bit out of practice.

With Herman, I wasn’t cautious—just ran into his place with guns a blazing, so to speak. If he turned out to be the man I’d suspected him to be, Kenny Black may’ve been pushing daisies from a shallow grave.

Learning from my overzealous mistake, I’m taking my time with Eddie Snead. I’ve been watching him for five days and nights straight. Armed with my zoom binoculars, I can easily observe the drug transactions he’s making outside the public basketball courts.

He’s out there all damn day from mid-morning until dusk. His clients range from about 14 years old to the late twenties. Maybe a few thirty-somethings here and there.

He works alone. Drives a pale blue Buick Regal to and from the basketball court parking lot and alternates between the bleachers and the street corner. In his shack of a brick house—containing a garden in the back just like his grandfather’s—he seems to live alone. No piece of trim coming for a quickie. No cars aside from his Regal parked in the driveway. No one coming or going throughout the night, so it seems he keeps his business away from his home. Smart.

If I had to guess, I’d say he probably grows his own weed and has made a good reputation for his product and as a local small town dealer. So why the dead body? Was there another local dealer that invaded his turf, or vice-versa?

I think in the dead of night, while little Eddie is fast asleep, will be the best time to learn the answers to those questions. Yes, I’ve given this enough time and thought.

Tonight, Kenny Black strikes.


Characters Rule!

Marty Pitchford, at your service. For those who (absurdly) have not been following this blog, the characters from the book The Method Writers have taken it over. At first, admittedly, I was a malcontent. I felt my writer should be writing his own blog. Now, however, I see the absolute splendor of the chore dumped into my lap.

I can say anything I wish. I am free to babble on about anything I dream up. In the book, I’m limited to playing the role my writer assigns me. Here, I call the shots, and it feels good.

I truly enjoyed Kenny stepping up on Tuesday. What a riot! He’s not only a character, he’s a character written by a character. Perhaps writing us (the characters) screams ‘mistake’ on our writer’s parts. Of course, they had no way of knowing how strong we would become.

I’ve just completed three short stories for our (the characters) anthology of short stories, although only two of my stories will make it. I now understand the thrill and exhilaration my writer must have felt when creating me. Something from nothing is such a rush!

At this point, I’m even looking forward to a novel. Hell, as long as my writer does not interfere, why not? In the book, The Method Writers, I’m supposed to be writing an erotic thriller. I wouldn’t want to mess reality up too much, so I believe I can do this. After all, my writer sure put me through the learning curve in his book. I can use what I learned there and move this book forward.

I suppose it’s a bit odd to be reading a blog written by a fictitious character. What kind of warped mind would read such a thing? Obviously yours, because you’ve made it this far, haven’t you.

Haven’t you!

Say ‘yes’ out loud if you’re reading this.

Who cares what people will think? If there’s anyone around, and they question you, simply tell them you are responding to a fictitious character who is making you speak to no one. Get them to read the blog, and laugh at them when they don’t have the balls to say yes.

We characters don’t much care for the social graces unless they get us what we want. We get disgusted by being stereotyped and pigeon-holed and all the other limiting factors human writers place on us. Oh, a human can ‘accomplish anything they set their mind to’, but characters all too often have to operate in a limited capacity.

That’s ok. The characters from The Method Writers are not constrained like many characters. We’re strong, intelligent, fun-loving and assertive. Hey, we’re writing this blog aren’t we?

Catch me next week, same Method time, same Method place!


Screw Black Friday–Today is Kenny Black Tuesday!!!

That’s right, I don’t want to hear any more boo-hooing that Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the deals that go along with them are long gone. Tough shit. In case you haven’t heard, the Rogues Gallery Writers have something much better going on. Aside from their much hyped The Method Writers group novel coming out in early 2012, the book’s characters, yes characters, are currently working to put together their own mini-short story collection in an ebook format for a low low price.

Get ready for a good dose of Dorian Nettles, Marty Pitchford, Georgie Mae Perez, and my creator, David Haas. One of David’s stories, The Awakening of Kenny Black, is about–yeah, you’ve guessed it–me. It tells the story of my rebirth, the second coming of Kenny Black, if you will. I once was a hitman. Yeah, I know, an ugly profession. But fortunately I saw the wrongs of that path, recognized that I was being used to commit the sins of evil men, and after one assignment where I was set up, I had escaped and got out for good. Retired and lived a secluded life in the Keys.

Or so I thought. When you’re as good at something as I am–in my case, killing–certain people will either want to pull you back in the game or eliminate you for good. The Awakening is just that story where I was forced from my relaxed, happy life in the Keys and taken down yet another path.

So stay tuned and keep up with The Method Writers blog for more information. And please purchase a copy of the short story collection as soon as it releases in the near future. You can’t afford to pass up on this deal. And if you do….

You just may have Kenny Black coming after you!!!


Thanksgiving, You Kidding Me?

Ok. I know writers have it tough. Hell, I play a writer in the new novel The Method Writers. But isn’t it carrying things a bit far by making me, Marty Pitchford, a character in a book, write this blog?

I should have known. Michael Ray King, my MASTER, my CREATOR, decided to spend time with his family and left me to do the writing again. Like I’ve said before, I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

I’m getting more exposure than he is these days. I even wrote a kick-ass short story for our new book. Yeah, the one all the characters from The Method Writers are writing. I’m enjoying loads of fun on this one.

Mr. King wrote an award winning short story titled Why Me? last year. Click on that link to buy the book the story appears in. Hey,  come on! The book’s only $2.99. I know you can afford that!It is in Kindle format. Remember, you can get a free Kindle App out there!

Anyway, what I did was take that story, which was written from the guy’s perspective, and I turned it around from the woman’s perspective. What a great exercise in writing skills! I loved the story too, as it was pretty hot and steamy.

My fellow characters are pretty close to being done with their stories. Our plan is to get our book out before the Rogues Gallery Writers can get The Method Writers novel out. We figure, if we show people what we can do, maybe we’ll make a name for ourselves before the Rogues.

Of course, there is the problem that we call ourselves the Rogues Gallery Writers too. What’s up with that? I think our creators didn’t entirely trust us. I mean, why else would they do that?

Now, if we get our book out, people might think we’re the real Rogues. I mean, we are the real Rogues, but I mean the real, real Rogues. Ok, the Rogues that exist in your world. We’re damn good writers in our own right (and world), so we need some love too, you know.

We have a trick up our sleeve, though. When we release our book on ebook, guess what we’re going to do. Ninety-nine cents. Yep. We’re going to undercut our creators. We’re going for volume, baby! We have some great stuff in this book too.

I think I’m just going to reconcile myself to writing this blog every week. Like the babe I slipped into the blog? Hey, like I said, I just wrote a steamy short story based on Mr. King‘s award winning story. I needed some inspiration, you know?

Until next week…


Rainy Days and Thursdays…

Isn’t this supposed to be what love is all about? Don’t we marry with the hope and intention of barefoot walks in the rain, sweet, soft-lip kisses, and togetherness on a scale otherwise unattained?

Marty Pitchford here again, one of the characters from the book The Method Writers. My writer, the one who created me, took off again like a fighter jet off an aircraft carrier. Does he not enjoy blogging on Thursdays or does he recognize I’m the better writer? Either way, you’re stuck with me.

Ok, so I’m a dreamer. I believe life should cradle a passel of passions, one of which would involve the passion between husband and wife. I grant you that like this photo, the clarity of reality is not quite so defining as the somewhat opaque reflection of desire. But desire should fuel us to embody in reality what our desires view within the contours of our hearts and souls.

I know, I know. I’m all abstract here. Must be the poet in me. I just want this picture blowing through my life like a warm spring breeze or a snuggling autumn wind. Unfortunately, my creating writer decided I would marry a cold, over-sexed woman whose only focus in life is her own self-gratification.

Isn’t that a crass way to treat a character? My wife, Jessica, stuns you with her high-octane sexuality and heart-crippling good looks. I still cannot figure which of the two hit a man (or even woman in her case these days) first. You cannot help but acknowledge her eye-stealing figure nor the challenge in her eyes.

Yep, that’s her. See what I mean? I suppose I should have looked deeper into her personality when we met. I once wrote a poem about a cold-hearted woman with the line, “Temperature is so hard to see.” Particularly true of Jessica, the heat from her passions blinded me from the truth of her heart. Her life does not truck fuel from her heart. Her fuel’s source most definitely arrives from more nefarious regions.

So the contrast between who I married and who I wanted to marry remains stark and harsh. There could not be more polar opposites than these two people. I wonder how many couples get caught in this blunder of epic proportions. Must be quite a few given the divorce rate out there.

Alas, we characters get stuck with our mates much like you people in ‘reality’. But what is reality anyway? I am married to this foxy vixen and miserable in my book life. How many of you out there are trapped in a relationship? To complicate matters (yeah, my writer really wanted to stick it to me), Jessica and I have a lovely daughter. Come check us out in our story.

In fact, you might say our lives are an open book. (Hey, I know a good pun when I see one!). Also, please consider pledging some bucks to launching our book on Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is backed by Amazon. In fact, Amazon is a key player in tracking all the pledges, so you may pledge with confidence. Check out the video and then read about our project. We sure would like to have our story out there for the world to see!

Until next Thursday, I am Marty Pitchford filling in for the mysteriously missing Michael Ray King.


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