Revenge is Necessary will publish December 6, 2020 and be available in paperback and as eBook on all major online outlets. You can pre-order signed copies directly through Bill Mathis for $18.00 shipped. Use PayPal: http://paypal.me/WilliamRMathis
Jens ordered four pizzas to go, grabbed a craft beer from the cooler and slid into the wooden booth closest to the front door of Katie’s Beer and Pizza. Three of the six booths were already filled. He used the wine/beer opener attached to the wall on a string to pop his beer cap and took several long slugs. He’d have a wait. Katie’s could only bake four pizzas at a time and sixteen inches was the only size they offered. If some were already in the oven and you ordered more than they could bake at the moment, you had a choice. Take them one at a time as they came out of the oven, which, if you were dining in, meant they came at staggered times, or, if you ordered them to go, wait till they could all go in at once and come out at the same time. Either way, they came boxed. No pizza pans, plates or silverware if you were dining in.
Dining was not a word used frequently for Katie’s. If eating in, you used your fingers to eat and the paper towels on the roll in each booth as napkins. Carry out, you paid up and left. Eat in or carry out, the waiter charged you seventeen dollars for each pizza, three dollars for each individual beer bottle or can sitting on your table, ten dollars for each six-pack, and twelve per bottle of wine. The staff gave you the stink eye if you asked for a glass for your beer. Katie’s didn’t offer draft beer. A grubby handwritten poster listed the eight mixed drinks they served. If you asked for a drink not on the list, the bartender ignored you or, at best, grumpily pointed to the sign. For wine, which customers opened themselves, the staff condescendingly gave you small disposable glasses. A sign over the bar read, Don’t like Our prices? Go to Walfart or dumb Domminoes. Don’t like Our service? Go to Hell.
It was the best pizza in the state. They didn’t take phone orders, so people waited for hours on weekends, which meant they could drink more beer and wine. Besides the typical mundane American beers, they kept a surprisingly good rotation of craft beers and decent wines, plus they held a package license to carry out beer and wine. Jens wasn’t sure if the current owner was the third or fourth generation of Katie’s. He wished he still carried a pen knife to add his initials to the carved-up table top.
It felt good to get out of the hospital room. It was clear Shaw was giving the family time to say goodbye. In the room, he squeezed Shaw’s hand, told him he enjoyed knowing him, and wished him the best. What the hell else can you say to a man who has chosen to die rather than to have his leg amputated? A man who intended to kill his wife and shot at his son, who changed his power of attorney to his farm assistant rather than let his wife have any control.
Earlier that day, after lunch, Gayle told the girls one of the nurses told her Shaw was busy reading pages and pages. The nurse said the lawyer brought them over.
When everyone entered the room at five, Shaw seemed alert in spite of the painkillers. He looked like hell. Like a man dying. He half-smiled at them and weakly thanked them for coming. Gayle asked him if he had anything to say. He said no and thanked them again for coming. Next, Gayle asked him about the papers he’d been reading before the family’s visit. “Are you going to share them with us? Will they explain some things?”
He managed to whisper, “No. Not today. My lawyer has them back with him. I just wanted to review them. You’ll see them in due time.”
Don’t miss the first virtual book launch or Revenge is Necessary, next week, December 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Join through this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82217853950. There will be prizes, several short readings and I will be interviewed by Kathie Giorgio, author, my writing coach and head of All Writers Workshop. Invite your friends!
One more excerpt next week Thursday! Better order the book–it’s available on all major online outlets; ask your local independent bookstore to order it for you or order a signed copy from me.