Andi Anna Jones, reluctant travel agent/amateur sleuth, friends, and pesky relatives are on the way back! Here’s an excerpt to wet your whistle!
Somewhere in the bayou
Luther woke up raring to go, for a change. Wasn’t sure why ‘cause he hated…hated the job! It was nasty. He stunk to high heaven by mid-morning. Hells Bells! Sweat already collected on strands of hair stuck to his grimy forehead. He adjusted the straps of his faded bibs so they fit snug to his shoulders. Couldn’t have a strap slipping down at the wrong time, or he could lose his catch.
He reckoned the only thing that got him up and moving so all-fired early was because today was Friday and he figured on adding enough money to finally take Marlene out for a real dinner and some Zydeco music and dancing afterwards. And, no, those nasty mini lobsters he depended on for his livelihood wouldn’t be on their plates; leastways, not his!
His toes squirmed in those hot rubber boots, but the alternative was sloshing around barefoot through the rice fields bordering the brackish water. He’d sooner have hot feet than grimy ones.
“Lawdy, Luther, you’re all fish-smellin’,” his—going-on-four-years—gal had complained on more than one occasion. “Don’t you even think ‘bout walkin’ ‘cross my clean floor ‘til you wash those feet!” The boots he could just kick off outside and hose down, so he put up with the discomfort.
He carried an extra trap on this trip in case the one he’d left the night before was full, along with fresh dry dog food for bait. He’d had to sneak it out of Molly’s bag when she wasn’t looking, otherwise she’d snap at him for stealing her dinner. Smart dog, that one. Ornery as an old mule, though.
The darkening sky spit rain by the time he got to the lake, but the clouds didn’t look angry; just mischievous enough to make the morning miserable and the swamp bank slippery. He’d have to be careful he didn’t end up in the water with the critters. He located the trap line, carefully tied to a cypress tree, and pulled…and pulled. Something, just below the surface of the water, flashed in the sunlight.
“What the hell? Must be snagged on a branch.” Or, maybe he’d caught the mother of all crawfish! Sure, Luther. Dream on. He moved sideways toward a large log, anchored his foot for leverage, and pulled again. The trap loosened and moved through the water, but something still dragged it down. “Crap!” He secured the rope and pulled off his boots. No choice but to wade in to see what was holding his “bounty” hostage. His toes squished in soggy mud about four feet off shore. One vicious pull and the trap sprang free. A mass of Spanish moss came with it.
“Now what? This ain’t my day.”
Luther could never be mistaken for a NASA engineer, but his ability to process the scene was slow, even for him. “Dammit all, dat ain’t moss. Wuz a wig doin’ in da lake?” People had no sense of decency when it came to littering. What next? A voodoo mask and top hat? Grabbing the cage with his fingers, he gave one last tug and yelped with the same intensity as Molly that time she ran under a storage shed and met the business end of a skunk. The sight before him, bobbing with the current, sent him reeling backwards into the murky water.