The collection opens with the signature story “Beat On The Brat” where Stevie Boyle makes balloon animals for the kids. These days he is far from his days of playing for the New York Yankees, but he can bring some joy to the neighborhood kids by making anything they want with the balloons. But he can't change their reality or his own. As the story shifts in point of view through various characters readers learn quite a lot about life and justice in this award winning story.
Dr. Chrome has a room in the basement in “Mind Your Step” and Jess is willing to go down there and participate in whatever medical research he is conducting. The plan is for Jess to shock an unseen person when the Dr. tells her to for as part of a research project for the psychology department. As soon as they are done Dr. Chrome intends to take her out to eat. Things don't go as planned…. or maybe they did.
“Too Much Too Young” comes next where a recently released man is home from prison just in time to be there when his mom is buried. Johnny is not really welcome by what is left of his family and certainly not by his neighbors. Nobody really wants him around and considering his history they have very good reason.
A snow storm made getting to work difficult, but made for quite the snowball fight after the visit to the bar. It escalates quickly into something for more in “Snow Angel.” The fireworks his uncle has will work nicely in what he is planning.
Some kids are not made of “Sugar And Spice” and you know it as soon as they come out of the womb. Tommy Atkins has always been one of those. So too was Bruce Robertson who did the muscle work for Tommy. Killing Barnsey and his wife was pretty typical of them. But Bruce didn't kill their kid like he was supposed to and let her live. Now, thanks to the fact that the young girl has identified both of them, the police aren’t the only ones looking.
John Champion is back in “Hoodwinked” and this time to legendary bs artist has company with him in the form of a female film director. Supposedly a movie is planned based on his novel and the locals are going to be in it. Plans are made and certain expectations on and off set are created.
“Regret” is a poem mixing history with reality where a crime was committed. A crime that will have to be answered.
If you ever watched that famous bounty hunter reality series of the last few years or any of the numerous imitators, you may have noticed many episodes were devoted to chasing the same person again and again as they move into and out of the justice system. Such is the case here in “Dance With Me” told from the perspective of the person being chased by bounty hunter Eddie Mailman. Willie is very tired of being caught--especially by such a man as Eddie Mailman.
“Killer Haiku” comes next to close the book and is open to more than one interpretation.
This is an interesting collection of mostly previously published works as well as three pieces that appeared to have never been published before. The nine pieces share a common theme of folks on the lower end of society looking to right wrongs. They don't wait for the legal system to dispense justice. These are folks who settle scores amongst themselves using whatever means and weapons are at hand. That theme that runs throughout Beat On The Brat (And Other Stories) is one of justice in this good read.
Beat On The Brat (And Other Stories)
61 Pages (estimated)
The author supplied a PDF of the book a very long time ago in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014
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