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Steam City Copyright Š 2012 by James Halon All rights reserved. No part of this e-book or the included short stories may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or book reviews. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidences are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Published by TWB Press Steam City Cover Art by Terry Wright Interior Cover Art by Catherine Burr (www.catherineburr.com) as previously published by New Line Press (2008) ISBN 978-1-936991-45-7


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Table of Contents 50 Going on 25 Creative Writing 101 Jimmy Begood Evi’s Blind Date Mnomia’s World Expressions of Love About the Author TWB Press Catalog


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Jimmy Begood Copyright by James Halon All rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or book reviews. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


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Dedication Dedicated to my sons, Aaron and Andy


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Jimmy Begood by James Halon

It was a shit day that Friday. It rained most of the morning, and then turned cold. A front had passed according to KSFO radio. The weather girl talked about the passage as if it were something of concern. She advised everyone to carry an umbrella. And then warned all her listeners that the temperature was going to plummet, and it did. I laid down on my twin bed in my parent’s house and considered crying. Melissa always left me frustrated. Since we broke up last night, I felt more the need for the earthly gratification of true love. If Patty and I hadn’t broken up, I wouldn’t be going through any of this drama. Melissa was a waste of time. I was single again. Jesus! Yet it was worth telling her to kiss my ass. I fell asleep and woke groggy, not used to a mid-afternoon nap. I put on a sweatshirt and it wasn’t because of the earlier weather forecast. It was because it was the only thing that I owned that was clean. Yeah. It was a shit Friday. There was the run-in earlier this morning at work with my boss Carl. He’s such an ass. He thinks he knows everything. He came around yelling, “You guys always take too long delivering in Menlo Park.” And wouldn’t you know it; I’m the only one who makes deliveries in Menlo Park. His brash accusations pissed me off. That’s why I slugged him. What a jerk. Then he goes and gets


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me fired. The big cry baby. Yeah, he deserved the broken nose. I do feel some remorse now. I shouldn’t have kicked him so many times after he went down. But sometimes a guy has to let assholes like Carl know he can’t push around the little guys without getting punched in the face. Like I was saying, I put on a sweatshirt because it was clean. I brushed my hair back to look cool and even splashed on some Brut. I was thinking reckless—I was going out with the intention of getting laid. I counted up my bucks and had enough for beer and maybe a good motel. I had a credit card, but that was for real emergencies. Like the last time I used it. I used it for a keg of beer at Pam’s party. Now that was a party. Being in my car and headed toward town had an uncanny calming effect on me. No Melissa. No job. Just freedom. At least until Monday morning, then I’d have to look for new employment. But hey, the economy is good here in Silicon Valley. My five-year old Ford is a real honey. I never once had to change her oil in over sixty thousand miles. She runs like a good watch—most of the time. I’ve made love in the front seat and on the back seat enough times to call her my Love Machine. But I’m off the story here...so, let me continue. Blasting the radio with some heavy rock, I checked out the local bistros. Yeah, just a fancy name for beer parlors. I cruised past the best


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three and decided to go to the one with the most cars out front. Entering PDQ’s tavern, I immediately saw some fresh fish. I always liked the saying, “There’s a lot of fish in the sea.” And that night, PDQ’s was my ocean. Yeah, I had the big worm ready, too. I knew—in my pants—I was going to get laid. Hopefully before the bistro’s clock struck midnight. But something happened that night, a really weird thing, I fell in love. And now, I’m going to tell you my story, exactly as it happened. I sat down at the bar and ordered a cold MGD. I glanced at myself in the bar’s mirror. My hair was ruffled but—what the fuck. It looked cool in a way. I felt comfy with my Brad Pitt nonchalance appearance. With my self-confidence in check, I scanned the bar for familiar faces. Pat, a guy, was in a pool game with some kid wearing a cowboy hat. Pat was probably hustling him. He played pool like Minnesota Fats. Yeah, he never loses. I paid him big bucks to learn this. Yeah, Pat would beat the punk. He’d then drink up his winnings, Slur out, “Night.” Then stagger home to his bitch, Cutesy Fran. I did Fran a few times, before Pat hooked up with her. I sympathize with him. Fran’s not very good in bed. She just lays there— never moves, and me pumping her hard. But I’m off on a tangent here. Another familiar face was Eddie. He was with some new chick. One I never saw before. One of the few around that I hadn’t hit on yet. Eddie and I go way back to high school. But we drifted apart a


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while ago—over some girl. I gave him a nod with my beer. He shot me a thumbs-up. I don’t like it when he does that, but that’s Eddie’s way. I’d like to have given his babe a thumbs-up—right up her crotch. I almost went over to their table, but what the fuck. It was still early. Maxine, the bartender (a girl we all call Mack), came over to wipe the bar-top where I was sitting. Guys say she always does this when I come in. Then they laugh. They say she has the hots for me. They say she’s waiting for me to notice her. So I’d just ignore her deliberately. It’s my way of avoiding love. Who needs a barkeep for his woman? Besides, she fucks everybody. Or—at least everyone says she does. Personally, I really don’t know anything about her, or about her amorous antics. I decided to check her out, for the first time with any genuine seriousness, as she worked. I called for a second MGD just to get her close. She was wearing black nylons. I thought her legs looked nice. Her skirt was on the short side. There was a small hole in her left nylon. She showed a bit of cleavage; but she isn’t overly busty, not by any means— just noticeably nice. Yeah, probably a pair of nice big pears slung down in that bra she had on. Yeah, she wasn’t gregarious about herself either and I liked that. When she came back and set down the Golden, I looked her straight in the face. I’ve known Maxine for three years now. And when I looked at her—with sexual curiosity—I found myself pleasantly


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surprised. She had extremely cute features. Her nose was well formed. She had nice soft cheeks. And her smile was warm. Much better than that Mona Lisa chick. I was thinking, Jesus, no wonder everyone’s fucking her, she’s really dynamic looking. So I live by this rule. “Never take a girl to bed that you’re not willing to look at in the morning.” Personally, I include Nooners here, too. Yeah, Mack passed the initial once over. She made the wake-up in the morning thing—hands down. Mack is a cute one. I gave her a “Sleep With” green light. Willie Chin came in and sat down next to me. He wouldn’t have done this if he knew I was about to hit on Mack. But he did. Willie knows there’s always some chick around me. He likes being around when I tell one to go shove it. He’ll pick up the pieces, and that always amuses me. Once, when Chin was down and looking lonely, I picked an argument with the girl I was with. Just to turn her in Willie’s direction. I guess it worked. He claimed her as his steady for over a year. I kept telling him to invite me to his wedding. But that wasn’t in his ways. He’d always say, “Yeah. Right.” Then, change the subject. Once he said, while drinking heavy, that he wouldn’t marry her because I had dated her first. After that confession, I told him to go find himself a nice nun. But he didn’t get it. Maybe he just doesn’t want to get married. I don’t know... I do think a nun would be way too habit-forming for Willie.


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Amen. Willie asked if I was meeting someone. “Yeah, your Mama. But she’s a no-show.” Then I smiled. And so did Willie. He knew I wouldn’t mess with his property. I think he called me an asshole—like buds do.

To purchase this story go to www.twbpress.com/steamcity.html where you’ll find the links to TWB Press bookstore, Kindle, Nook, and other online booksellers


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About the Author

Mr. Halon published his first book, Poetry, in 1992 while working as a writer for the weekly radio program, C.R.Y., Concerns and Resolutions for Youth, a Head Start program sponsored by the Ada S. McKinley Foundation out of Chicago, Illinois. Since this book, Jim has published numerous poems around the world, a sequel to The Malagasy Tortoise, called Orchids to Die For, which was coauthored with Catherine Burr; and second book of poetry, Expressions of Love, in 2008. His third novel in the Jim Morgan adventure series is near completion and will be published in 2012. Mr. Halon has worked as a Weather Forecaster, a tornado chaser, a solar observer and an Astrogeophysical Data Analyst. Prior to turning full time writer, Jim worked as a nuclear scientist de-activating nuclear submarines for the Department of the Navy. Mr. Halon studied English at Chapman College in Orange, California, Math in Hawaii, Physics and Engineering at Purdue University


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in Indiana. He later taught creative writing at a Notre Dame, prep-school along with basic English classes. Today, Jim just writes... He has two sons, Aaron (An artist) and Andrew (A writer), he travels a lot and now calls home wherever he hangs his hat.


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Other e-books by James Halon

The Malagasy Tortoise A Jim Morgan Adventure, Book 1(TWB Press, 2012) A novel by James Halon http://www.twbpress.com/themalagasytortoise.html

Orchids to Die For, A Jim Morgan Adventure, Book 2 A novel by James Halon and Catherine Burr http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0013H3Y5C


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Enjoy other fine short stories and novels from TWB Press

The Gates of Hell, Justin Graves Series, Book 1 (TWB Press, 2010) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thegatesofhell.html

Night Stalker, Justin Graves Series, Book 2 (TWB Press, 2010) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/nightstalker.html

Black Widow, Justin Graves Series, Book 3 (TWB Press, 2010) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/blackwidow.html

Riches to Rags, Justin Graves Series, Book 4 (TWB Press, 2010) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/richestorags.html

The Beauty Queen, Justin Graves Series, Book 5 (TWB Press, 2010) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thebeautyqueen.html


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Judgment Day, Justin Graves Series, Book 6 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/judgmentday.html

The Assassin, Justin Graves Series, Book 7 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/theassassin.html

Drunk Driver, Justin Graves Series, Book 8 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/drunkdriver.html

Hate Crime, Justin Graves Series, Book 9 (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by Terry Wright – includes The Perfect Crime http://www.twbpress.com/hatecrime.html

The Perfect Crime, Justin Graves Bonus short story (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/theperfectcrime.html


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A Choir of Angels (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Marilyn Baron http://www.twbpress.com/achoirofangels.html

Follow an Angel (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Marilyn Baron http://www.twbpress.com/followanangel.html

The Stand-in Bridegroom (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Marilyn Baron http://www.twbpress.com/thestandinbridegroom.html

Just Desserts (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Stephen A. Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/justdeserts.html

C.A.T. (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Rosie Oliver http://www.twbpress.com/cat.html


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Neptune’s Angel (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by Rosie Oliver http://www.twbpress.com/neptunesangel.html

Z-motors, The Job From Hell (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/zmotors.html

Street Beat (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/streetbeat.html

What Happened to Rhodri (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/whathappenedtorhodri.html

Gem, No Loose Ends, Vampire Series, Book 1 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemnolooseends.html


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Gem, No Secrets, Vampire Series, Book 2 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemnosecrets.html

Gem, No Choices, Vampire Series, Book 3 (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemnochoices.html

Gem – No Fear, Vampire Series, Book 4 (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemnofear.html

Gem, No Conspiracy, Vampire Series, FREE ebook (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemnoconspiracy.html

The Jokers of Sarzuz (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Paul Sherman http://www.twbpress.com/thejokersofsarzuz.html


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Daemon Page (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Paul Sherman http://www.twbpress.com/daemonpage.html

Perfect World (TWB Press, 2011) A novel by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/perfectworld.html

The Black Book (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/theblackbook.html

The Haunting of Annie Nicol (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/thehauntingofannien.html

The 13th Power Quest, Book 1 (TWB Press, 2011) A novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerquest.html


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The 13th Power Journey, Book 2 (TWB Press, 2011) A novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerjourney.html

The 13th Power War, Book 3 (TWB Press, 2012) A novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerwar.html

The Grief Syndrome (TWB Press, 2011) A novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thegriefsyndrome.html

The Duplication Factor (TWB Press, 2011) A novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/duplicationfactor.html

Ghost in the Machine (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/ghostinthemachine.html


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Alien Apocalypse – The Storm (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsethestorm.html

Alien Apocalypse – Genesis (TWB Press, 2012) A short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsiegenesis.html

Alien Apocalypse – The Hunger, FREE ebook (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Dean Giles (Prequel to The Storm) http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsethehunger.html

Incurable (TWB Press, 2011) A short story by Brandy de Cusack http://www.twbpress.com/incurable.html

www.twbpress.com


Steam City