I didn’t plan on coming back to Meadows Ford, Nebraska. Having set several short stories there during the past couple years and posting the collection to Amazon in 2012 (Meadows Ford Blues), I pointed my keyboard to the far west and forgot about the dark, mythical town. But one night last spring I had to drive home in a torrential downpour. It was close to midnight, I was in a hurry, I took a shortcut. Nobody should have been on the lonely gravel road I took. But somebody was. Of course he pulled out directly behind me.
You’ve probably had a similar experience. Immediately you know (somehow) the person behind you is not a nice person. You know (somehow) he’s a predator, and you know if you stop, you’re dead. Most frustrating is that even though you’re hurrying toward the safety of home, that’s precisely the place you should not lead him.
Don’t let him know where you live!
As usually happens, nothing happened. The car pulled off somewhere, and I made it home with nothing but the black of night in my rearview mirror. But I stayed up the rest of the night and wrote Stringtown Road. Just like that, I was back in Meadows Ford.
At the same time, David Cranmer (not unfamiliar with road stories himself) was continuing his careful, consistent work of bringing online thrill seekers only the best crime, suspense, noir, SF, and gritty western stories at Beat to a Pulp. With a handful of others he’s kept online pulp fiction ablaze while raising the bar of quality ever higher.
Don’t forget to wear your seat belt.