When you live in a place long enough, it gets to be a part of you. Keyhole Bay – and my little corner of it in particular, the junkyard inherited from my daddy – is that place for me. Name’s Sylvester, but call me “Sly.” All my friends do.
I tried to move away once, but that was a long time ago, and the world was a different place then. I saw a lot of that ol’ world, and there weren’t anywhere made me want to set down roots and stay.
My uncle, Uncle Sam, he tried to show me the rest of the world. He sent me to cold and foggy Fort Ord, then some steamy jungles in Asia, and on to a German hospital for a short time. Ain’t none of those places I wanted to go back to.
So I came back to Keyhole Bay, to the people and the place I knew. To the place that was a part of me.
My life here is good. Wasn’t always; being a black man in the South had what they call issues, and there were some good ol’ boys who didn’t think much of me, even if I was a vet. But there were some good people too, people like Miss Glory’s Uncle Louis.
Nowadays I spend my time in the junkyard with Bobo, the best dog a man ever had. Sometimes I get a visitor, like how I met Miss Glory, but not so often as to be a nuisance.
Most days it’s just me and Bobo, keeping the yard clean and organized, and filling the orders that come from all over. That’s the part most people don’t know: there’s a fax machine in my office that spits out parts orders from clear across the country. Me and Bobo pull the parts, and I send ‘em out quick as I can.
My house is done up the way I like, I’m comfortable here, and mostly folks let me be.
Well, except for that Fowler fellow. He’d like me to sell him my place and move on. Stops by every couple weeks, saying I ought to retire and enjoy what he calls my “golden years.” Just goes to show you how much he knows. Hell (pardon my French), I am enjoying my years, golden or not.
And there ain’t no way he’s ever getting his hands on my property. I intend to stay here until I die. Old Mister Wilson knows what to do when I’m gone, and Fowler won’t like it no better than he likes it now.
But for now I have a good life here, me and Bobo. And now that we have Miss Glory and her friends, it’s even better.
It’s like Judy Garland said in that old movie, “There’s no place like home.”
So tell me, friend, where’s home for you? What place is in your blood and won’t let you go?
** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of MURDER HOOKS A MERMAID to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends January 17 . Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **
Meet the author
Christy Fifield, author of the Haunted Gift Shop Mysteries is just one of writer Christina F. York’s many alter egos.
Fifield’s latest from Berkley Prime Crime, Murder Hooks a Mermaid, released on December 31, a sequel to her March release, Murder Buys a T-Shirt. And look for Murder Sends a Postcard in 2014.
As Christy Evans she wrote the Lady Plumber series (Sink Trap, Lead Pipe Cinch, Drip Dead), also for Berkley Prime Crime.
She also writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance as Christina F. York.
They all live in sight of the Pacific Ocean, with husband and fellow writer J. Steven York (Panorama Beach Mysteries, Tsunami Ridge Publishing) and their feline overlords.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.