Here it is: the first true Jake Calcutta story. Download the 5,000-word short story right now, absolutely free.
I begged Best Beloved to add an extra week to this trip north.
If I hadn’t done that, we’d have left for home this morning.
I’m having a hard time finding the joy. I made a bunch of changes to my online life the weeks before we left home and I’ve found myself more than bored.
I haven’t been bored in 15 years.
Things are complicated by an injury to my right foot that makes walking excruciating. Otherwise I’d take long walks every day, enjoying the beauty.
There’s always going for a drive. In my socks.
Jake Calcutta’s first story is going well. Fully outlined. I’ve written 1,500 words so far, and that’s just quickdraft. I’m pleased with how it’s coming out, though it’s not the Edgar Rice Burroughs clone I was hoping for. Maybe I’m not Edgar Rice Burroughs. Maybe I’m me.
This short story starring the real Jake Calcutta won’t leave me alone, so it’s getting at least a thorough outline and maybe a quickdraft before I can go back to Love Runs Out.
He looked down the cliff’s face to the water. It wasn’t the distance that concerned him; he’d gone into water from far higher than the 30 feet it looked to be.
It might mean shallow water with a dark bottom.
Even deep water could have jagged rocks, old tree trunks, any manner of solid sharp debris.
If you have no choice but to go in, it doesn’t matter whether the water is deep or shallow, or so he told himself. What matters is that you go in feet first. An injury to one or both legs could be survived. Head injuries, out here in the middle of nowhere, probably not.
The first arrow hit the dirt close enough behind him that he heard it, felt a tiny shock in his feet. They would wait until they were close enough before loosing any more.
And as he went over the edge feet first, one foot snagged in the tangle of a tree root sticking out, flipping him completely, holding for less than an instant before he dropped again.
So, there’s this time-travel fantasy I’ve been working on . . .
Round 1: Too Conservative
Years ago I wrote a book titled (at that point) Anodyne. It was going to be the first in a series of connected stories each with a different protagonist, each telling their story under the pseudonym Jake Calcutta.
Long before the book was finished an author friend pointed out that the artsy intellectual guy in the book was nothing like the name would suggest. Jake Calcutta, he said, is a modern day Indiana Jones.
He was right.
I changed the protagonist’s name to Jesse Donovan and the book’s title to That She Is Made of Truth. It may become a series, but not in the way originally intended.