Of all my short fiction, one of my stories that is near and dear to me is “Mojave Green” which I originally wrote in 1988 for my MA Thesis at Western Illinois University. The story, which takes place in the small town of Adelanto, California outside of George AFB, is about an airman who finds out a troubling secret about his wife and the visit of his wife’s ex who liked to hunt for Mojave Green rattlesnakes.
I cut my teeth as a writer with the story and it will be featured in a collection of short fiction I hope to publish this year. I learned a lot about the craft of writing with this story and the importance of the rewrite.
Mitch moved past me, kicking up some sand as he moved toward his truck. From the back, he pulled out a cooler. “Didn’t want Betsy to know I had this. She used to get really bent out of shape with my drinking. I don’t think I could have gone another minute without a cold one. Beer?”
“Listen, Mitch, if it’s about—”
“You know why I’m here.” He pulled out a dripping bottle of Budweiser, opened it on the lip of the truck’s rust-flecked bumper and hoisted it to his lips. Beer streamed out the corner of his mouth that he wiped away with the back of his hand. “It’s a hot one today. I don’t know how you two can still live in this place. I figured you for base housing, being an E-5 and all. Betsy probably told you that I was redlined for promotion a couple of times because of my drinking. No promotion. No base housing. That sucked.”
Oh, yeah the photo. That’s the barracks I lived when I was stationed at George from 1978-1980.