Del Rio Con Amor: Intro. & Index

This ain’t just Villa’s revolution anymore and there’s a whole lot of gold about to go disappearing. Viva this!

First, an introduction.

Hidely-ho, reader. I’m the writer best known as David Mark Brown and the infamous RedneckGranola. You may know me from such websites as www.thegreenporch.com or www.onetruepants. But currently you have stumbled upon my greatest achievement.

Reeferpunk is my self-created genre description (a sort of weird-Western, alternate history, 1920′s, humorous adventure thriller thing). Go here for more on that. These short stories take place in the same alternative history as the novels and sometimes involve major and/or minor characters. They are supplementary (but not necessary) to reading the novels and vice versa.

Join the Revolution!

No longer do good stories have to comply to the button-down world of publishing! You won’t find these bad boys behaving themselves under YA Paranormal or Mystery/Thrillers. Reeferpunk stories are written to blast apart retrictive confines of convention while still adhering to the classic elements of story-telling, the tried and true practices that carry us to the edge of of our seats, make us laugh and make us cry. I’m particularly fond of the characters that you will get to know and love over the next decade’s worth* of Reeferpunk.

*The first book will be cataclysmically good. The next three will be somehow even better. I’ll grow fat on my wealth of penny rolls (I like my money in shiny form) leading to a blase fifth book, then rebound for the sixth, seventh and eighth. The ninth will be a terrible attempt to take the characters into space on a diesel-powered locomotive (only read it if intoxicated). And blah, blah, blah.

Reading Del Rio Con Amor

DRCA is a delightful little romp, a classic train heist with a bit of a dieselpunk twist dropped right into the middle of the Mexican Revolution. ¡Viva la Revolución! Along the way you’ll get to sidle up to a couple of the main Reeferpunk characters (I’ll let you guess which ones) that will star in many more works yet to be written. This story is clickety-clacked full of action and suspense from beginning to end, so I hope you don’t get motion sickness.

DRCA is divided into fourteen scenes depicting a single monumental event in the unfolding of the latter years of the Mexican Revolution in an alternate reality not so different from our own. On a deeper level DRCA delves into the darker aspects of the consequences of our actions and whether violence is justified in the end if it leads to a more stable peace. And after all, who doesn’t want a piece of a stable? (er, I mean stable peace. If you’ve ever owned horses, you know what I mean.)

Follow these links for more on ReeferPunk or Fistful of Reeferthe first book in the series. And enjoy the show!

 

Del Rio Con Amor: p.14

The engine waited for its moment without complaint. Having set the wheels in motion the plan now drove itself forward, with or without Chancho’s assent. Momentarily he glazed over with doubt. But the lift’s gears tugged the armored car upward, gradually closing off his only means of exit. In reluctant surrender to the plan of his own initiating, he hoisted himself up to the original level of the tunnel and then jumped to reach the level where the armored car rested.

Dangling from the lift as it rose closer to the roof of the tunnel, Chancho realized he never thought the plan would actually work. He’d seen these last stages of the plan as a vague generality, thus proceeding through the early stages without acknowledging their end.

He swung his leg up and over the edge of the lift, rolling onto the uneven tracks just as they pushed past the roof of the tunnel and settled into place. Ah Puch had been right. Chancho played the revolution like a game, but human lives were at stake, many more than just his own.

He heard the rocket engine chug free of its restraints in the tunnel below. The lights flicked on automatically now that the electrical connection had been completed by the lift itself. No more kerosene lamps, the belly of the whale buzzed with diesel-powered electricity.

Ah Puch reached down to help him up, a grin stretching both corners of his mouth. “You did it. Your crazy plan actually worked.”

Chancho dusted himself off and felt the sudden urge to see the grisly conclusion of what he had set in motion. He needed to see it for it to be real. “Let’s get topside.”

“Good idea. It should be quite a show, and we need to make sure before we celebrate. Who would’ve thought you’d be the pragmatist.” Ah Puch slapped the side of the armored car as they squeezed past it toward the ladder going topside. “Jorge, hit the latch. We’re going up to see the fireworks. Then we’ll come back down to run our fingers through some of that gold.” He slapped Chancho on the shoulder and laughed.

Chancho reached the ladder first and flew up the rungs. In seconds he reached the trapdoor. With the mechanical lock having been thrown from below, he could see faint cracks of light around its edges. Shoving it upward with his shoulder, dirt and sunlight sifted through the opening. He emerged onto the surface in a daze. Shielding the sun he scrambled toward an outcropping of rock and followed the distant track with his eyes until he saw it.

The dull black engine chugged forward at an increasing speed. It even looked like a rocket, its huge cowcatcher making up a third of its length. It was an ingenious design, created to derail and incapacitate an object of much greater mass—to create chaos and distraction.

The others joined him on the rock. Chancho spoke to Ah Puch without shifting his gaze. “We did it, didn’t we? I mean, changed the revolution?” The general’s train came into view around the bend, returning to collect its lost prize. “It was worth it, right?”

Ah Puch knew what his friend was getting at. “Yes. It was worth it. You’ve made Mexico a better place today, my friend. You’ve proven the ideals of the revolution can and will prevail.”

The moment of impact came. The rocket engine slammed underneath the passenger car full of Constitutional soldiers, heaving it upward and derailing it. The rocket continued its forward momentum until it reached the officer’s car, bucking it off the rails as well. But before it could reach the General’s private car it detonated with an ear-clapping concussion. Flame and smoke burst outward before being swallowed by a larger surge of destructive force that tossed fragments of steel and iron arching in every direction.

“Aye yi yi yi yi!” Ah Puch and the others danced about, waiving their sombreros over their heads. Meanwhile, a half-dozen riders, one of them Pancho Villa himself, rode around the backside of the hill with the four victorious revolutionaries’ horses in tow.

END

Del Rio Con Amor: p.13

Through the ringing in Chancho’s ears a four-stroke, diesel engine pulsed to life, followed by a small explosion detonating the deadman. Cringing, he waited less than three seconds for what he knew was coming next. Thankfully the crashing of the armored car into the deadman sounded little worse than overly rambunctious freight cars coupling—no secondary clatter of a car derailed.

He checked his person for major injury. While bleeding in a few places, nothing seemed to be broken. He gave a second thought to the trailing train cars, but figured they would have run him over already had they been coming. Wrapping his bandolier securely around his waist, he hobbled toward the armored car on heelless boots. “Ah Puch? Emilio? Jorge?” He arrived at the landing on the back where Ah Puch was picking himself up.

“I think I should be a better Catholic, after surviving that.”

“I hope that doesn’t mean you’ll be a worse bandit.” Chancho dusted him off.

“By no means. I hear the Church needs a good bandit every now and then.” The two friends allowed themselves a smile before checking on Emilio and Jorge, who were fine despite being buried in lettuce and tomato guts. Finally Ah Puch brought them back to reality. “Chancho, the train will be returning.”

“Right. Everything’s fired up. I’ll start the lift. But after that collision we’ll need to clear the tracks. We can’t leave anything behind, or all of this will be for nothing.”

“No evidence. We’ll take care of that. Just make sure the belly is ready for its meal.” Ah Puch and the others scurried to the front of the car to clean up any debris and ensure the deadman would either retract or detach. Chancho inched along the wall until he found a control box dangling by its electrical wires.

He hit the first button. An orange-yellow light banished the darkness as three fixtures in the ceiling, still swinging from the impact of the armored car, flicked to life. The second button caused the floor of the cave to shift. It dropped a centimeter before cranking upwards at a rate of a centimeter per second.

He stood still, listening to the creaks and groans, thinking it indeed sounded like a behemoth of a whale slowly rising to the surface. The air in the tunnel tasted like the oil soaked dirt crusted on the fenders of the tractor he had maintained at the orphanage, before he’d left. The memory gave him both hope and guilt.

He waited a moment longer until it was safe to lay the control box on the slowly rising floor of the tunnel. He ran along the rail until he reached the end of the lift and jumped down to the original level. Breathing heavy a sudden dread overtook him as he watched the lower level rise to fill the tunnel.

An engine of sorts emerged from its earthly womb. Just born, and yet only moments away from its inevitable end—a harbinger of death being its only purpose in life. Painted dull black, it absorbed the sickly yellow light. Against the starkness of the moment, Chancho realized this contraption of his design was merely a diesel-powered rocket on wheels.

It was gruesome, and he hated that he had built it. But the plan—the life of the plan drove him on. He jumped down to the track that would become the new floor of the tunnel and scooted behind the rocket engine’s controls. Designed for one simple reason, the device took to its role quickly. The motor fired and pulsed up to speed, surrounded by nothing but a jacket of dynamite and iron plating.

Scene Fourteen