“How hard must I try
To put my dreams aside
And open your eyes so you’ll realize
Once and for all
That the fear, the Fear is worse than the fall…”
-“The Fear is Worse Than the Fall”– Leauxco
Two local bands are featured in Running on Empty when Grace and Gabe take a road trip to Lafayette. Those bands are Destination Sanity and Leauxco. When it came time to plan a release party for ROE, I asked Neil Ray if his band would like to come play for the party. And they did.
All the Boonie books are titled after songs, “Tangled up in You” is a song by Staind. “Running on Empty” is a popular song by Jackson Browne. I had already started the third novel in the series, but had tentatively titled in “Everything Changes”. That’s also by Staind, and I was definitely feeling like two songs by the same artist were a bit overkill.
During the evening, Neil Ray, the lead singer, says, “Alisha, you need to name one of your books after this song. When he started singing, I knew then that “The Fear is Worse Than the Fall” would be the inspiration for Carly and Joey’s story. It describes perfectly what is keeping the two lovebirds apart. Fear, plain and simple. It also plays into Carly’s constant search for her fairy tale ending. Will Carly get her happily ever after, “once and for all”? Well, we’ll just have to see about that.
Once and For All
Saturday September 27th
4 days until landfall
Bon Chance, Louisiana
Carly Devereaux rolled over in bed, one eye opening to see the time on the clock on her nightstand.
The red light shone 10:00 a.m.
She groaned and started to get up. Sammie, her fat and ancient weenie dog thumped a heavy tail under the blankets. Probably hoping to get another half hour or day of sleep.
Carly pulled the sheets back, “Come on lazy. We have to get up. We have a party to get ready for.”
Carly managed Snapper’s, the bar and grill that she owned with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Joey. They had opened it a couple of years ago, after their younger brother, Benjamin had been killed in an oilfield accident.
Tonight was a big birthday party for Tessa, one of the bar’s regulars and Carly needed to be there to make sure everything was ready. She had already decorated, but there were a few last minute things to take care of. Jello shots to make. Extra beer to stock. The food, her roommate Joey would make. She was a hot mess in the kitchen. But, Carly would need to make sure there was adequate plates, silverware, etc.
As she thought about food, she smelled bacon cooking. Her stomach growled. Sammie, who was still half under the blankets, flopped around and stood up.
Carly laughed and patted her on the head, “Yeah, that bacon gets you going every time, doesn’t it?”
A hearty ear flop was her answer.
Carly picked the dog up and placed her on the floor. She did a little dance around Carly’s legs as they walked to the door.
The tip tap of the dog’s feet accompanied Carly’s footsteps as she walked through the house the she and Joey had shared since she returned from Biloxi.
She reached the open kitchen that Joey and her brother, Noah, had remodeled recently, and her heart started doing that weird flutter thing it had been doing for the past few months.
Her friend, her best friend, Joey, was at the stove wearing only pajama pants. His hips swayed slightly to the Cajun music playing on the streaming radio station. His hair dark hair was rumpled. When he turned and he flashed that dimpled smile at her, she had to look away to keep herself from throwing herself in his arms.
Instead, she crossed the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee.
Sammy, that bitch, trotted over to Joey and placed a paw on his bare foot. She rolled over on her back, kicking her tiny legs up in the air. She was rewarded with a tummy rub and piece of bacon.
“C’mon Sammy, let’s go out,” Carly said as she walked over to the door. She opened the door and the dog pranced out. Carly carried her under one arm and held her coffee in the other hand down the steps of the raised house. She plopped down on the bottom step, and looked out at the gulf while Sammy sniffed around the grass.
Carly couldn’t see the water from where they were, but it was a short walk.
“C’mon Sammy,” she said, and the little dog took off, ready to go on an adventure.
Reaching the beach, Carly plopped down, her coffee mug still in hand. She continued to sip while Sammy along the water’s edge, nose to the sand, looking for something. Carly had long ceased wondering what the dog was on the hunt for.
The heavy clouds were shades of gray and navy blue. It was hard to see where the clouds ended and the water began. White surf churned and splashed against the sand.
A storm was brewing.
Carly frowned and took a sip of her coffee. A cold breeze blew off the water, and she shivered.
She thought of Joey and her reaction to him in the kitchen. The same feelings she’d been fighting for months now.
The ocean wasn’t the only thing in turmoil.
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