Billy Wayne Bastrop has one arm and one mission in life: to find his sorry-ass father, and kill him.
At age four, Billy loses his right arm, his mother, and his baby sister. Abandoned by his father, he is rescued by two unlikely Samaritans: his Aunt Sunshine, and his only friend Poe. Sunshine chain-smokes Camels and spews profanity and racism while praising Jesus, but at least she’s flesh and blood. Poe is mere shadow, a spirit guide born of Billy’s trauma who lives only in his dreams. As Billy matures, Sunshine tries to take him to Jesus. But Poe has other plans, driving Billy away from salvation and toward patricide.
Billy’s quest to remake his life takes him from the piney woods of East Texas to the Little Appalachia slum of Cincinnati, and finally to the fatal backstreets of Matamoros, Mexico. By journey’s end, Billy discovers the difficulty of escaping one’s own blood, and how deeply family defines us, from our worst fears to our greatest hopes.
STATUS: Draft manuscript completed. Editing in process.