Town Hero By Hildie McQueen

in Fiction, Guest Blogger, Toni Linenberger

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Me TennesseeTown Hero by Hildie McQueen

Driving is my favorite thing to do. It’s during long drives that I come up with the best story ideas or can work out one in progress. On my way to Nashville in August, I drove through several small towns, some so lovely, I felt the need to pull over and walk up and down the street to get a feel for it.

I don’t remember the name of this particular town I stopped at. The small two-block downtown boasted one restaurant and a several cute boutiques. There were decorative banners waving from every light post announcing an upcoming festivity. People milled about greeting one another as they stepped in or out of buildings. I wondered what life would be like in a small town like that?

Lovely, Tennessee was born that day.

When a sheriff’s deputy got out of his car and made his way down the sidewalk, the idea of Sebastian Castro, the hero in Town Hero was born.

Here is a short excerpt of Town Hero, my story in Unlucky 7. Enjoy.

A few seconds after he rapped, a skinny woman wearing a dingy tank top with no bra underneath and jean cut-off shorts opened the door. Her reddened eyes immediately raked over his body making Sebastian feel as if he needed to go home and shower. With very hot water.

“Hello.” Her voice was raspy from too many cigarettes. She reached up to her hair and attempted to pat down the tangled mess with no visible results. “You wanna come in?” She took a step back.

Since she was barefoot, he saw the remnants of red polish on her neglected toenails.

“No. Thank you. Mrs. Shelly Mason?”

She leaned against the doorjamb and attempted a seductive pose, her right hand on her non-existent hip. “Who wants to know?”

She knew who he was. Shelly Mason had been arrested for driving under the influence a year earlier and he’d been the one to process her after Sheriff Clark brought her in.

“I’m deputy Castro,” he told her, showing his badge.

“Yes, well, what can I do for you?” Her eyes pinpointed the region between his legs and he fought not to roll his eyes.

“I have bad news, ma’am.” He plunged right in, sure it was the wrong way to approach the situation, but at the same time, he didn’t think Shelly Mason was the type to be too solicitous with. “Your husband was killed this morning.”

Her eyebrows rose. “Really? Hmmm. What happened to him?”

Not exactly sure what to make of her lack of reaction, he regarded her searching for a sign of grief. “He was found in his truck this morning.” He decided for now to keep the details to himself.

Her eyes shifted side to side as she took in the news. “You sure he’s dead?”

“Yes, ma’am. Is there anyone you’d like me to call for you? I need to ask you a few questions.”

She waived her hand in the air, dismissing his first question. “Where is he?”

“At the coroner’s office.”

“Well, shit. When can I see him?”


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