With the recent release of my book Redneck Romance I wanted share something with you. Forget everything you think you know about Rednecks and go on an adventure with Kelly and Jimmy Bob. Sure Kelly is from New York, but she’s nowhere accustomed to what she’ll encounter in the wilderness with Jimmy Bob. She gets herself into plenty of trouble and luckily Jimmy Bob is on hand to help her out even if neither of them much care for the other.
When a mishap happens in the wilderness and Kelly and Jimmy Bob’s cousin needs medical, they are forced to go back to Jimmy Bob’s Ma and Pa’s house. While there, Ma is under the false impression that Jimmy Bob and Kelly are a couple and she plans a shindig to announce their impending wedding!
Take a step back in the Appalachian mountains and discover a real family, that thus far have shunned society to their simple ways. They are enchanting in their own backward way, but delightful. Kelly is in for a culture shock in a big way, but will she discover that it’s everything she has been missing all her life?
Redneck Romance: in this scene Kelly gets herself into more trouble than she’s prepared for.
I wandered straight ahead and entered a grove of trees that were clustered together, real sinister like, or so I thought by the light of the lantern. I turned and thought to go back, but I couldn’t quite figure out what direction I had come from. Oh great, I was lost!
When an owl hooted, I trembled. I raised my lantern high, illuminating a spotted owl on a branch above my head. If not for its glowing eyes, I wouldn’t have been able to see the blasted thing. It blended right in with the branches on which it was perched.
Up ahead, a glow radiated from within the trees. Maybe it was another camper. My stomach growled and that alone gave me the nerve to check it out. I could at least take a quick peek. Who wouldn’t give a lost camper food, right?
I heard people talking but couldn’t quite make out what was being said. The trees were quite thick in that area, but the glow of a fire could be seen clearly and smoke permeated in a small clearing of sorts.
Indecision and Jimmy Bob’s warnings about my trusting nature occurred to me, and I backed out a step, but not before two bloodhounds raced toward me barking. I didn’t have time to think about what my next move should be, because just then I was propelled upward as a rope tightened around my ankle.
I dangled, suspended above and thankfully out of the reach of the blasted dogs bellowing below me. I was swinging like some kind of live bait.
Wrong Turn movie memories came back to haunt me for real now.
“Pa, I think we caught us a live one.”
Below me stood a boy covered in camouflage clothing, including hat. Two more men surfaced and my heart nearly leapt from my chest. They both walked toward me. One of them raised a machete while the other took ahold of my leg to still me. I tried kicking him with the other and they all laughed at my pathetic effort.
“She looks like a frisky one,” one man said.
“That there is the best kind,” the other replied.
I felt like a complete idiot. I had let anger place me into a dangerous situation. Where was Jimmy Bob?
I shut my eyes when a machete sliced toward me.
My free-fall to the ground happened in milliseconds. As I hit the ground, the wind pushed out of my chest and I stared at the stars overhead, dazed.
“Is she dead?” the boy asked.
“Nope, she just had the wind knocked out of her.”
One man leaned down and examined my face. “What you waiting for? Breathe.”
I took in a deep breath and gasped as a pain ripped through my chest. Two strong arms grabbed ahold of me and yanked me up. They then pushed me into the clearing where there was a collection of metal pots. One of them was oval and quite large, sitting atop bricks with a fire burning beneath. My eyes widened when I saw a propane tank. Was it combustible? Metal hosing extended throughout the area and into a running stream. I wrinkled my nose at the stagnant odor.
I had run into damn moonshiners.
“Sit your ass down, missy,” the wrinkled man said. He looked about sixty, but it was hard to tell considering his beard covered nearly most his face.
I sat on an overturned log, and my hands were jerked backward and tied together. The boy held a shotgun and pointed it straight at me.
“You the law?” the older man asked.
I turned my attention to the old man and shook my head. “No. Hell, no,” I stammered.
“What you doing wandering round these parts then?”
“I’m a photographer. I came here to take pictures of the Fall leaves.”
He hunkered back for a moment. “I don’t see no dang camera.”
“I left it back at camp.”
“Pappy, what we gonna do with her?” the other man asked.
“Hell, I don’t know, but I sure hope she’s not the law.”
“Maybe we should search her.”
“Good idea, Pete, but be quick about it.”
Pete pulled me up and ran his hands along my body, lingering in intimate spots.
“Jesus, Pete, you’re not enjoying yourself, are you?”
“Knock it off. Your boy is watching, you know.”
“Maybe he needs to see what she looks like naked,” he suggested.
I tried not to panic. The old man didn’t seem like he cared for what ole Pete was saying and I hoped he’d interfere if he tried to do anything further.
The boy laughed. “Pa, I already know what gurls look like under their clothes.”
“How’s that?” Pete asked. “You better not be messing with Becky Sue.”
The boy hushed up and looked away.
“Her pa will string you up by your balls, boy.”
I sat again, hoping the men would change subjects. “I’m with a guide from around here.”
Faces turned in my direction. “She’s trouble. Do you reckon we should just shoot her, Pa?” the boy asked.
“I’m not trouble and if you untie me, you’ll never see me again.”
“Sure, that way you can lead the law straight here, right?”
“I told you I wasn’t—”
“Shut your damn mouth so I can think. I just hates a woman that keeps yapping on like some kind of barkin’ dog,” Pete said.
“I’m not the law. I don’t care about the law or moonshiners.”
“Sure you don’t, but you might not feel that way if’n you tried some. You might even warm up to ole Pete real good,” he suggested.
“My boyfriend is back at camp and I’m sure he’s wondering where I am by now.”
“Where are you camped?” Pappy asked.
“I’m not sure which direction, but he’s a redneck like y’all.”
“Redneck,” the boy spat. “Pa, please let me shoot her. She’s so irritating.”
“If’n you say one more dang word, I’m gonna slice you up with this here knife. Got it?” Pete said menacingly.
I nodded. I caught a flash of light, but I must have imagined it because when I looked again it was gone.
My eyes teared up. Not because I thought they’d kill me, but because the smoke was so thick. I leaned my head down and all but ignored the men until I lost all feeling in my legs. I rolled to the ground and curled into a tight ball to warm my body as the ground was so cold.
I wondered how I had managed to get myself into this predicament. Where in the hell was Jimmy Bob? I thought he’d have at least tried to rescue me by now. Maybe he just thought I was cooling off, or never noticed I had left.
* * *
I awoke to the sound of pans being clanged together and I sat up with a start. The trio were holding tin cups in their hands, coffee from the aroma that lingered in the air, and something was cooking over a fire.
“Attention! I’m coming in,” a voice yelled.
My eyes widened when I saw Jimmy Bob walking in with a shotgun held to his shoulder. The men jumped up and grabbed theirs, too.
“I don’t mean to be interfering, but that there is my gurl,” Jimmy Bob informed them. His eyes were cold as steel.
My heart leapt a bit when he said it and I hoped he could get me out of the fix I had gotten myself into.
“What’s your name?” Pappy asked, his eyes shifting from Jimmy Bob to me.
“Name is Jimmy Bob Willows, and this here woods is my kin’s hunting grounds.”
“Who says?” Pete spat.
“All this equipment you’re using belongs to my kin, and when they find out you’ve been using it, your lives won’t be worth a plumb nickel.”
“Those are big words coming from a dead man,” Pete suggested.
“My first shot is gonna hit your boy,” Jimmy Bob said. “I’m willing to overlook the borrowing of the still. I’m only here for my gurl.”
“Then y’all be a tellin’ your kin, for sure.”
“Not much point to it now. They have already packed in for the season and so should you. The leaves are getting real bare and the law’s planes will be able to locate the still real easy.”
Pete stepped forward. “You’s a damn fool. The law never comes this far into the wilderness. Take your dang gurl. She weren’t no dang good anyhow.”
I scrambled up and Jimmy Bob’s eyes narrowed when he glanced toward my tied wrists. He then glared at the men. Pete looked a bit too smug like he didn’t give a hoot.
Jimmy Bob led me from the site of the still and reached behind him, retrieved a knife from his pants, and cut the ropes at my wrists. I tried wiggling my hands once they were free, but it hurt and a tear trickled down my cheek.
“City. We need to haul ass before they change their minds.”