Author: Joseph Decker
ISBN 978-0-9909869-6-6 (softcover)
In the Short Story Series - Volume II, author Joseph Decker presents readers with three very different short stories, two of which are fiction and the third a true, action-adventure.
In his first story, “The Poster,” Decker writes of the day-to-day life of three young, orphaned Mexican boys and describes their daily struggle to survive in a border town in Mexico. In the story, the boys deal with the harsh environment and a class society that has placed them at the bottom of the economic and social ladder. Remaining positive to survive, the young boys earn money in various ways to buy food and buy tickets for the bullfights held every Sunday afternoon in the summer, the only really source of enjoyment the boys had. Overriding their struggle to survive is a political system in place and run by crooked politicians who, unbeknownst to the boys, control all aspects of their daily lives. In addition, the elections are coming and the candidates' posters are everywhere presenting their pictures, their party affiliations, and then quickly followed by their speeches at gatherings where promises are made to the people and never kept. One of the young boys' ideas drift to another possibility and a better life.
In the second work, “The Battle,” the author takes an idea from one of the first short stories he read as a young boy that greatly impressed him. The story, “Leiningen Versus the Ants” by Carl Stephenson, was written by a German writer and published in Esquire magazine for the first time in the USA in 1938. The story describes a life and death battle between a plantation owner, his workers, and the army ants that inhabit the Brazilian jungle. Decker takes that idea and expands it to a present-day society and what it is confronted with on a daily basis in order to survive. A surprise ending is in store for the reader.
The last story is the true “Shootout at Chacon Creek (Circa 1958),” which tells of a BB gun battle that took place at a creek near the author’s hometown of Laredo, Texas, and neighborhood home. The battle occurs without provocation when two groups of young boys decide to fight it out. Like a typical western movie scenario, the author and three of his buddies are caught by surprise out in the open at the bottom of a creek bed by a gang of seven young shooters, the “bad guys” shooting at them from the top of a high embankment overlooking the creek. Exposed and seeking cover, the author and his friends run and hide behind a large sandstone boulder left on the creek bed by an earlier flood. With pieces of sandstone rock being chipped off the boulder by the constant barrage of BBs from above and the inability of any of the four friends to escape or to accurately fire back and above to the shooters on the top of the embankment, a plan is devised to gain the upper hand. The plan is implemented, but a valuable life lesson is learned and one of the shooters comes very close to a serious injury and another is confronted with the possibility of some serious repercussions that may affect him for the rest of his life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joseph Decker, a native of Laredo, Texas, is an author of short stories, poetry and novels. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has worked in the technology industry, owned an engineering firm and now directs business owners for a major university. He continues to write fiction, and also shares his thoughts on a wide range of topics — from historical to the paranormal — on the web at www.joseph-decker.com.
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