I was just notified that LONNIE, ME, AND…: A SHORT STORY COLLECTION is a finalist for an Imadjinn Award at the 2019 Imaginarium. I neither expect nor deserve to win, seeing as how I’m not the only entry. Still.
Here’s a sample from one of the stories. I share it because Tony Acree, author of the HAND OF GOD thriller series, and I are working on a crossover story called “Lonnie, Me, and the Hand of God”. Father Dan has a bit part in it, so he’s in the sample.
excerpt from “Lonnie, Me, and the Battle of St. Crispin’s Day”
by Marian Allen
I reached up and picked a dry brown catalpa pod off the tree above us.
“Remember the time we tried smoking these things?”
A big voice boomed, “I prefer cigars these days, and I’m trying to cut down on those.”
The big voice belonged to a tubby priest with a round red nose, bright blue eyes and thinning strawberry blond hair.
If Lonnie hadn’t told me who we were meeting, I would never have known him.
“Danny? Dang, Dime-Store! Long time!”
We wrung each other’s hands and slapped each other’s shoulders and stood around laughing with our hands in our pockets until a thin old woman opened the back door.
“Tea’s getting cold, Father Dan.”
We followed Danny through the kitchen and down a hall into a cluttered and comfortable sitting room that might have belonged to any normal bachelor. Well, except that there was a tray on the coffee table with a teapot on it, and tea cups and a bowl of sugar lumps and a tray of cookies.
When the old lady had closed the door behind herself, Lonnie put on a high voice and said, “May I have two lumps of sugar, Miss Halloran?”
Danny shook a fist and said, “Two lumps upside the head, Weasel!”
“Folks don’t call me that no more, Dime-Store. I’m just plain Lonnie, now.”
“Folks don’t call me Dime-Store, either, you know.”
Lonnie said, “Naw, it’s Father Dime-Store, these days.”
“I’m still Tiny,” I said, and they both laughed.
Danny reached around to a cabinet behind his chair and pulled out a bottle of Beam. He tipped some into his own cup and held the open neck toward ours. “Touch of Kentucky?”
“I married me a hardshell Baptist,” Lonnie said. Then he winked and said, “But what the little woman don’t know won’t hurt me.”
I waved the bottle off. Not that I don’t drink–I just don’t like whiskey.
“I’m saving myself for the beer garden,” I said. “You do still have a beer garden, don’t you?”
That set Lonnie back off on the “happy days” magical memory tour about how us boys would sneak into the festival’s beer garden and drink the leftovers and get sick. Yeah, I really wanted to relive those moments. It’s a wonder we didn’t catch AIDS or diphtheria or something.
Buy LONNIE, ME, AND….
Or you can buy LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL, which contains the first Lonnie and Tiny story plus about nine other of my odd animal stories, for 99 cents.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone meets a childhood friend who has turned out differently that anyone expected.