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In Unlawful Combatants, an 1850s Comanche war party passes through a time warp to the present day. They encounter a family enjoying a Sunday afternoon at a river and do what a Comanche war party would do. How should the legal system respond? Are they criminals who, having committed a capital crime, should be punished accordingly? Or are they prisoners of war. If prisoners of war, should they be released given that the war ended long ago? In this short story, the State of Texas sentences the Comanches to death, but the case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court on the prisoner-of-war issue.
In Wild Man of the Navidad, a young couple inherits a section of rural land backing up on the Navidad River. The land includes a ramshackle house. School teachers, they decide to devote their summer to making the house livable. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious creature inhabits the Navidad bottomland. In this short story, the young couple runs afoul of the creature.
Texas really does have a Navidad River, and there really are legends of a creature living in the bottomland. As for the rest, read the story and decide for yourself whether you want to camp near the river.
This book contains not only “Wild Man of the Navidad” but also other short pieces and some doggerel. Much of the doggerel concerns the chupacabra, another mysterious creature said to live in Texas. Here’s a sample:
Have you heard chupacabras are out in the brush?
If they find a goat, they’ll come in a rush.
That story is true, I’m here to say,
And don’t you be saying there ain’t no way.
Not many has seen them and lived to tell.
They look like a creature come up from Hell,
But I has seen one, yessiree,
And I’m here to tell it, glory be.
I was home at my ranch way out away,
Resting my bones from a wearying day.
I’d tasted the squeezin’s to check they was good,
And washed out the dishes as best as I could.
It was late at night in the middle of June,
Was dark as a pit, ‘cause there weren’t no moon.
I heard a noise and checked it out.
Then I saw it; there weren’t no doubt.
A chupacabra was in my pen.
I drew a bead and that was when
He went and hid behind my truck,
So I couldn’t shoot my double-aught buck.
Now I bar the windows and lock the door.
A strong shot of whiskey is what I pour.
Them chupacabras has drove me to drinkin’,
‘Cause I can’t get ‘em out of my thinkin’.
They drove me to drinkin’ and squeezin’ more corn,
And stayin’ up listenin’, awaitin’ for morn.
I take me a nip and look for what moves,
And nip a bit more, ‘cause what’s there to lose?
Now Abraham Lincoln was known for the truth,
As sure as he was shot by Booth.
I swear it’s true on old Abe Lincoln;
Them chupacabras has drove me to drinkin’.
The stories are in Kindle format. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app for your phone, tablet, or computer.