Slim Randles' Home Country
Closer to the finish line
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could feel it in the mornings ... the cool breeze on the skin, the
slight chill in the air, the messages nature sends to tell us autumn
is almost here. And in autumn, Dud knew, the duchess and the truck
driver would return to his computer for yet another season of novel
In fact ...
Dud switched on the computer and sat down to work on
"Murder in the Soggy Bottoms" once again. Doc thought that sounded
like mayhem in the neonatal ward, so we just called it the duchess
and the truck driver.
Anita smiled when she saw her husband back at work on his dream
book, and she made coffee.
It was always hardest for Dud to type the first word, so he wrote
"Dear Mom" as he always did, and then proceeded with the story. He'd
delete the "Dear Mom" later.
"When the duchess came to the truck driver's hometown," he wrote,
"she was startled by the small houses she saw. Where would they put
the servants? How could you hold a dance in one? And a garage for
just two cars? But it was here that her truck driver lived, and here
became ... a special place. If she'd known those many years ago,
before their steamy relationship, of the children: his daughter by
his first wife and her dukelet by him, and the murders in the Soggy
Bottoms that wrenched their idyllic tranquility into wrenched shards
of cross-cultural agony ..."
[to top of second
Dud smiled at that and sipped his coffee. Not bad. Not bad at
all. The coffee was good, too.
"... would she have fallen for this man of her dreams? This man
with the long billfold on a chain? This American with the stainless
steel insulated coffee mug with the lid on it? This paragon of
Oh yes, Dudley, he told himself. This year I think we'll finally
finish this novel.
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