Responding to the Invasion
Three days after Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted the invocation of the “invasion clause” of the U.S. and Texas constitutions over the high number of migrant encounters at the Texas-Mexico border, his border mission is set to include armored personnel carriers. The left, which promotes illegal immigration as national policy, doesn’t want to see Texas MRAPs patrolling because it might discourage illegal aliens from crossing the US/Texas border. Since Operation Lone Star began, the number of migrants apprehended along the Texas-Mexico border has increased. Texas has spent $4 billion and deployed 6,500 Texas Military Department troops.
Literature and the Aggrieved
Joseph Campbell proposed that many myths and folk tales contained elements of a Hero’s Journey which had a symbolic relation to the basic psychology of problem-solving, dealing with grief or victory, coming of age, and other eternal verities of the human condition. While he overstated the case, he did identify common elements which make stories of a certain type wise and good, at times rising to the level of eternal verity about the human condition.
Likewise, various internet wags and wits have identified the elements of the Heroine’s Journey, which are the self-imposed limitation of modern Hollywood screenwriting which make stories foolish and dull, at times falling to the level of being a psychopathological falsehood about the human condition, unseemly to see, and disgusting to smell.
First. The patriarchy is real. The female protagonist is oppressed by it. This is not optional.
Second. She is already the key to a better world. She has all the skills she’ll need, inherently. She’s the Avatar, you just got to deal with it!
Third. Her biggest challenge isn’t defeating the antagonist, it’s defeating disbelief in her. Men, in particular, won’t believe she is as amazing as she really is.
Fourth: She is better than any male mentor figure. There is nothing that she can be taught by a man regardless of his age, experience, or expertise. The guidance he gives is just another example of mansplaining and must be shot down hard by her. If there is a male mentor then he is the first man that must be defeated.
Fifth: She enters a new world that forces her to prove herself.
Sixth: She escapes the patriarchy and breaks the chains that held her back, usually by confronting her true male oppressor.
Seventh: She is briefly overwhelmed but then bounces back. This is where she levels up her already enormous power.
Eighth: She defeats her true male oppressor.
Ninth: She is now an independent woman who will never need a man. She must continue her journey alone, without love, without a husband, without children. All such things would hold her back from self-actualization.
Tenth: She realizes self-actualization and apotheosis. More to the point, she was always a goddess in disguise, and just needed to overcome her self-doubt, in order to prove how awesomely amazing she always was.
Broken Toys – the first few pages. I’ve posted this before and regular readers of this blog may find it familiar. It’s © Larry B. Lambert, 2022, all rights reserved. The writing is moving forward on this story but because of distractions, it won’t be completed this year. I’m over 150 pages into it, roughly halfway. At the moment, I’m on the road: business meetings and the wind-down to Thanksgiving. I hope to get some writing done.
Lamonte told me that he’d met the love of his life for the moment, in a whorehouse.
Bambi corrected the record. “We met in a downstairs bar. I worked upstairs as an entertainer but I wasn’t on duty when we met.”
She could therefore wear white at her wedding. They’d set the date off about four years for her peace of mind. The size of the clear stone set in the ring suggested that it had either been stolen or that Lamonte tumbled for a cubic zirconium. My wicked mind bet on the latter. When the band started turning her finger green where metal touched skin, all doubt vanished.
I’d been looking for Lamonte and found him in a sinkhole apartment building between the rail yards and a line of pale, graffitied brick warehouses of the sort where the high weeds and crabgrass connect the buildings. The apartments had been built for railway workers in the 1920s, right after the war to end all wars, but the passage of a hundred years changed things. Entropy took a tight grip on the place. The neighborhood had an odor of burned oil, hot garbage, and human waste that circles most old cities and every single urban railyard. The ghosts are thick in places like that and they seemed particularly drawn to Lamonte.
When I found him, Lamonte hustled a three-card monte game going in a circuit of twelve dive bars. He kicked back to the management. Bambi danced and when tips were light, she tricked without Lamonte knowing it. The question of whether he suspected it never came up.
Lamonte drank Ten High, and Bambi preferred crank. They wasted their days loaded in that apartment where the floor in the living room tilted down a foot by the time it reached the bedroom. When the sun set in the oily winter sky, they emerged like vampires setting out to ply their trade.
Lamonte stood a couple of inches shorter than my 6-1, hair military short, muscles cut, with an open and friendly nature. Bambi may have just pushed past 5-2, bleached blonde hair and you knew that the carpet did not match the drapes. Bad skin, teeth and breath, and pungent sweat from the meth didn’t deter her customers.
Because Lamonte didn’t want to be found, I’d gone to see his mother but she’d died of the Covid Plague. I found his aunt, who moved into mom’s rusted home at the trailer park in Cape Girardeau, Missouri that looked as if it flooded through every time that the Mississippi. River did.
“Are you a government man?” Her rheumy eyes gave me the twice over, she closed one of them and stared hard through the cataract. She stood there on the rotting porch wearing nothing but an old blue housecoat. The old woman glared at me for all of a minute, making up her mind. “They was by here, them government men, looking for Lamonte.”
“No, not them, not the Po-lice, them other men who was like snake oil salesmen. They said that they was friends with Lamonte when he was a medic in the Navy, but he went into combat with the Marine Corps. They didn’t look like Marines—they felt more like politicians .” She spat the word. “Maybe mafia enforcers? Two fancy high yeller negroes wearin’ expensive suits with a plan for my nephew.”
“I’m looking for him because he owes me money.”
Her name was Matty and she roared with laughter, “Then get in the back of a long line, son, because he was borrowin’ hard before he lit out.”
Lamonte sent her a Christmas card two months before and the postmark gave me the lead that eventually landed me on his doorstep.
I had to buy some time for Lamonte and had no idea how to do it. The curtain of night and the nasty humidity joined together to slow everything down in the railyard neighborhood. At the same time, street gang crews broke into boxcars on sidings, ripping everything from baby wipes to automobile tires and dishwashers, bringing in the local police, the railway police, and the county sheriff, making it difficult for me to move without bumping into their surveillance activities.
I’d been told that the people who wanted Lamonte dead were very good at what they did and the only reason that I stayed ahead of them, in this case, was because his aunt showed me that postmarked envelope. As I moved around the area I saw signs that they may have arrived. I can’t tell you why, but I ran hard on intuition in the HM3 Lamont Washington USN matter.
The apartment block seemed deserted, not even a dog barked when I banged on the door. No nosey neighbors. I jimmied the lock but that didn’t work so I splintered the door frame and pushed my way in. As I stepped into their apartment with the uneven floor, my eyes adjusted from the ghostly mercury vapor security lights that protected the box cars sitting on the rails.
The place looked the same as when he’d invited me in a couple of weeks earlier. There were a couple of pieces of threadbare furniture, fast food wrappers, empty pizza boxes, and old newspapers that had been dropped on the floor to absorb spills and then were left. It smelled bad in there, like stale breath and spoiled food. Clothes on the floor, mildewed stiff, spread around a mattress with a yellowed sheet in a pile. Light from the railroad yard filtered through window blinds onto me like prison stripes, which somehow felt fitting.
How could a guy like Lamonte have made the list? Nobody told me. I had been sent to save him if he could be saved. People who may have been his friends called a marker in. I felt worn out trying to get close enough to the Lamontes of this world to get them to trust me. I don’t think that Bambi ever did. Lamonte pointed out previously to my break-in that I was white as if my efforts to get close were naturally suspect. I pointed out that Bambi’s skin, pale as a fish’s belly, was whiter than mine. He took my point.
I found an opened bottle of Ten High and tipped it, sat down on one of the chairs, and waited. The crew who chased Lamonte would not expect me. They wouldn’t come heavy, he was a medic, an aid man, a healer. Lamonte had a wide streak of kindness that ran through his soul when he wasn’t dealing three-card, the exact opposite of a pipe hitter like me.
Trains moved. Laughter and curses came from the switching yard, and sounds of fornication came through the adjacent apartment’s shared wall, desperate in its intensity with crescendo after annoying crescendo. I nipped at the Ten High. I read the label. 51% bourbon and the rest of the ingredients were spirits designed to harden your liver even faster. When I finished it, I tossed the bottle into the corner to lay in state with the other empties. Dead soldiers all in a row.
Killing is about creating wound channels. Ask any ER doctor. You could ask Lamonte. He knew all about that sort of thing. Hollow points expanded rapidly, creating larger wound channels. I thought about that as I twisted the silencer onto the threaded barrel of my Kimber Custom .45, the sights elevated to peek over the silencer tube. I used subsonic hollow point ammunition. The hollow points would burst open like blooming flowers as they tore through flesh. They’d likely bring body armor so I would make them head shots. It’s good to plan but the plan rarely survives the first shot in anger.
Somewhere after midnight, somebody fiddled with the front door and I could only hope that it wasn’t Lamonte, home early from his three-card scam games or Bambi, home early from the club. All they needed to do was to push because I’d broken the lock, but they didn’t do that, they went for a razzle-dazzle pick job, which means that they didn’t have anyone watching Bambi or Lamonte. Maybe they came for me? The pick made noise, it wasn’t a professional crew. Maybe just a burglar? However, no burglar worth the title would hit Lamonte’s dump.
As the man cleared the door, I punched three rounds into knees. Two hit with satisfying cracks, a third embedded into something beyond. The scream would have curdled milk. I don’t think that the neighbors noticed with the Oh-my-God! theme crooning from next door. He grabbed for his knees and I grabbed Lamonte and Bambi’s baseball bat. A satisfying thwack and the screaming stopped. A lay-off man ran off into the darkness. I heard his feet beating a tattoo down the old brick footpath.
It was sloppy on my part, and not my best work. What if they’d sent in a professional team? I’d be dead, that’s what. I picked up the handgun he’d dropped. A new Smith .357 with the serial numbers professionally filed, then acid washed. I thought about tossing it, but it could have uses. The cylinder had six shiny new rounds in it. I wedged it into my pocket. The weapon didn’t match the man, who looked as if he’d been living in those clothes for some time without a wash. I gave him a closer look, dried blood, not his. He had a unique stink about him. Maybe he worked in one of the big commercial butcher combines on the other side of town, not cutting the meat, but possibly swamping the floor and cleaning up?
I dragged the body and laid it in the corner. Then I went into a different corner, sat, and waited.
Lamonte came in through the broken door slowly, turned on the one dim bulb, and took note of the body and the blood from the drag at the point of impact to the point of rest. He saw me, sitting in the corner with the silenced handgun.
“What’s the deal with the dead nigger?”
“Maybe a burglar.”
“You bled him out, white boy?”
“I think that I broke your bat.”
“Did you pull his ID?”
Lamonte rifled the corpse and pulled out a cheap nylon wallet. “Says here he’s Malik Boudreaux of New Orleans. He’s a ways from home. We can wrap him in the shower curtain and take him down to the old folks’ home on Martin Luther King Boulevard. They’ll pay us fifty dollars and charge the medical school five hundred for the research cadaver. No questions.”
Lamonte said, “Let’s go to the stoop.” I followed him. He grabbed a pack of unfiltered Camels and tapped one out as he leaned against the rail, in full view of anyone who might want to kill him. He click-clacked his ancient Zippo, fired the coffin nail, and asked, “What’s so urgent?” He offered me a smoke and I declined.
“People want to kill you and they hired this moron to do the work. The next time, when they come, it will be a professional team.”
“Yeah. Like me.”
“And you want to be my friend.”
“I’m here to save you.”
“Why should I believe you?”
“Because it’s Malik from the Big Easy with flies on his eyeballs and not you.”
“I take your point.”
We dropped off Malik at the pensioner’s home after we had breakfast at a greasy spoon. I sat with my back to the door, gunfighter’s chair. Nobody came. Then I drove him to Carrolton, Texas for a hand-off to the people who had dropped the marker.
The handler looked like special forces and the First Special Forces logo on his forearm wasn’t the only tell. He had that crew cut for life and hardness about him that I recognized instantly. “Are you Jerome?”
That was the cover name that they gave me for recognition.
“Yeah. What are you doing with him?”
“There will be a non-stop, in a motorhome in the morning.”
The handler didn’t mention a destination and I didn’t want to know.
He handed me a thick envelope full of hundreds, a couple of inches. It felt like the twenty-five large that I’d been promised. I also had expense money for the search left over so I had a solid road stake.
Lamonte asked what might happen to Bambi. Between picking him up and the drive into Texas, I received a text. She’d been tapped outside of the Cloud Nine after her shift. The police found her body in a dark parking lot but I didn’t tell Lamonte. I lied and said that I gave her two thousand and a bus ticket. He accepted it with a nod.
I’d say it’s more of an infiltration, actually.
I do like the idea of rolling light mech infantry on the border, though. If only it had started 20 years ago.
only if they have the m240’s mounted, and loaded. one warning burst, then make it real. that’s the only way to stop it. the cartels are already here. but i look for uncle joe to try to pull the plug on the whole op soon. we’ll see if abbott has the stones or not.
The donkys are not pleased with Texas’ response. If Kari Lake is elected AZ governor, look for a similar response.
Toss in an M19 on every 4th car and you’ve got it made.
Lots of Bambi’s out there, too many, one of them my third cousin, last known address not an address but a location, Stockton, CA. Even I know that ain’t good. She called her mother recently; said she wants to come home and get cleaned up. Mom’s heard that one before, repeatedly and has low expectations. Hope for the best, expect the worst, etc.
Her brother, on the other hand, has made something of himself and made his mother proud. C’est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.
Chuck Berry, nice!
like the excerpt, LL. i read it thru even though i didn’t have time at the moment, couldn’t stop myself, lol.
That’s a good thing.
He’s a pipe-hitter?
I always took that to be a crack head.
Abbott was left with no choice, and it’s HIS state to defend if the treasonous Washington Dem’s refuse to maintain our Nation’s sovereignty. They can hue and cry all they want, but Abbott must protect his state from the locust herd that, somehow, always look well fed and rather tidy after their arduous “journey” to asylum and a flight to a city of their choice toting a goody bag and voter card.
Heroine’s Journey- “Never date crazy” has a base tenet, “Self-professed strong woman are usually PITA’s”. Heard a blip on that deranged “doctor”/woman JUSTIFYING the Mengele-Level “Gender Reassignment” surgeries for young girls. To her acolytes she’s a hero, to us normal’s she’s hideously Satanic and should be in prison. Imagine being in the same room with that one. The Left’s plan is to destroy western civilization at all cost, this Trans Crap, now foisted on children, is another Jenga block in their plan.
Broken Toys- Nice! (Somewhat from the voice of experience?)
When anyone writes characters that resonate as genuine, they’re either a part of the author or a part of the author’s experience.
Almost finished with the Swagger series…Hunter definitely knows his firearms and the inner workings of that arena. Me?, not so much. But from him, as well as here, I have a picked up a little of the “hardware” detail and seemingly endless permutations.
Write what you know.
If the governor of Massachusetts can use the MassNatGuard to round up and detain on MassNatGuard land illegal immigrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard, then Governor Abbott can do the same damned thing.
Good for Abbott. Hope Arizona follows.
What’s good for the goose // Turnabout is fair play (or fairly well played) // Beat ’em at their own game.
The Dem’s can whine all they want, but as my dad told me: “Never start a fight, but finish it if necessary.”
I seem to remember my Dad saying sopmething very similar. It was good advice 60 years ago, and it’s still valid today. Might take a whole lot more to finish it these days, though….
A lot of fights to be had out there…like everywhere you look and read there’s some nutjob demanding we do something whacko that gets the ire up into the stratosphere.
Thanks for sharing the preview. Hope you get time to write and finish soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours L.L.
‘They’ are out to change the world with computers, cell phones, the media & time.
We have the technology to maybe force the rest of the world into ‘their’ mold and ‘they’ have come out on top of the last two elections here with us saying “that can’t be right” & ‘they’ say “you can’t prove it”.
Being a 5th generation Native Born and documented “Son of the Republic of Texas”, it’s partly my tax dollars that are defending something the feds should be doing. About all I can say to Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton, keep digging to find more legal ways and innovative methods to stem biden’s invasion. Memo to Lt. Gov. Patrick…assist with border defense by seeing the the Governor’s efforts are funded.
Broken Toys-liking the start, getting a bit of a hard-boiled, almost X-Files-ish vibe, and it’s something to look forward to in the new year.
Any plans for another Red Mist book?
The third book has a working title, “The Wolf God” and the Norse God Loki plays a central role as he plots to end the world as has been foretold. The main characters are different in each book just to keep it interesting and play background roles in succeeding books. It allows Jules and me to develop new (hopefully interesting) characters with different problems and with luck, to keep your interest. The problems of the old characters are resolved through the story arcs.
I need to have Jules buy her lighthouse and settle down…so we can tackle it.
Will Jules become part of “The Illuminated” once said purchase is finalized? (groan, heh)
PS – Writing Loki, the character, has been a challenge as he emerges from his long captivity to find a world that is very different than the one he left thousands of years ago. We want to make him true to his character while being relatable in the present day. Not an easy task.
It’s compounded by Jules and me being separated by a continent and an ocean. Modern telecom being what it is allows for distant collaboration but as George Bernard Shaw wrote, we’re still two peoples separated by a common language. If only she would embrace sweet tea, doused by lemon, served over a mountain of ice, as God intended it to be consumed.
To her credit, Jules wears a cowboy hat and proper Western boots. The tea situation is a sticky wicket.
And who would hit a ball with a flat bat and call it a sport?
Yes, exactly, to my credit. I can wear my authentic boots and hat whilst sipping tea with milk and make it look convincing.
I think we should continue with book 3 as there are exciting characters and it will take us on its own journey. Unfortunately I’ve decided against becoming illuminated by the watchtower lighthouse because it’s not quite the right move for me at this time. However, I have found a converted methodist church featured in the domesday book and a rather charming cottage with a rustic walled garden where very haughty haughty villagers reside. I quite fancy going there and upsetting there WA club, coffee mornings and art clubs with my big truck and wolves. I think that sounds exciting.
Broken Toys sounds good. Of course it does.
Can the Methodists take a joke in the UK? In SoCal I point to those No guns allowed signs and laugh maniacally. Never second guess an old man wearing a black cap with a skull and crossbones cap who mocks your no guns sign
Comparing British v. The Colonies sports differential, theirs is more finesse, whilst (see what I did there) ours is brute power with skill.
Jules: The Surrey cottage that inspired The Holiday Rosehill cottage was on the market for a while, maybe they’ll take an offer:
Enjoyed the Heroine’s Progress which reminded me, for some reason, of Bride of Chucky. Huh. And great fast moving excerpt.
Let’s see what comes of the border op.
Haughty taughty and their* iPhone skulduggery.
Paul – very nice cottage indeed! It appears to have been removed from the market though. I would have liked that and I am from Tolworth, Surrey.
Being nearly a cultural Bajau your blog keeps me informed about things I otherwise ignore and I do appreciate it.
Not the Heroine’s Journey. “Heroine” is a derivative/diminuitive of “hero” and that’s sexist.
It’s the HER-ro’s Journey.
Watch this for about 12 sec and you’ll see what I mean.
Yes of course the Herro
Doesn’t work. Trying every avenue to undermine maleness.
I was not an English major in college, but I’d be more than happy to debate the semantics of infiltration vs. invasion any time with anyone.
Besides which, it’s not the gun (or bullet) that kills, it’s the person who pulls the trigger.
The people infiltrating/invading individuals are only a part of the problem, the Government’s (as well as the media’s and education-establishment’s) total acceptance of their language and customs, as well as the strong push for the remainder of us to conform (and bend the knee) is another major part.
Of minor note: the Government’s almost total lack of interest in the people/groups “pulling the trigger”, those funding the logistics of this huge mass of people is moer than bewildering.
It’s almost as if the cartel lawyers are paying a per head kickback to the Dems on every wetback who pays them to cross.
Oh, did I say that?
Oops. Can’t unclang the bell.
In fairness, they’re probably paying plenty of Republicans, too.
I wish we had a few decent people to stand for office.
Engaging tidbit of a story, looking forward to “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.
Gov. Greg Abbott- Good but probably too late to be very effective. I agree with Kle that it should have been done a couple of decades ago.
Round up as many of them as possible, including the ones The Dem’s shipped all over the place in the middle of the night, then drop them outside Joe’s house in Delaware…or better yet where he’s staying on Nantucket for Thanksgiving.
Send the message and ignore the outcry.
Good for Governor Abbot. It’s about time somebody stepped off the porch over this invasion.
Interesting take on old vs new literature. I like the old better. At least it had a ring of truth to it.
I’ll be waiting, cash-in-hand, for Broken Toys. A modern setting, with a gritty neo-noir feeling to it. Well done, LL!
I’m not too proud to take your money, DRJIM…
Hollyweird couldn’t get it right if you drew them a map… Re Texas, Better an MRAP than sticking the Guard out there with paintball guns. I’d be throwing 240s up on the ring and dare somebody to screw with them, but that’s just me. Re the snippet, WELL DONE! Down, dirty, and true to life. Looking forward to the rest of the adventures!!!