Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | October 22, 2013

Prologue to “Overload”

The news today about certain people “demonstrating,” outside Busch Stadium makes the following something to grin about.   The book is, in the words of one reviewer, “[There is a…frighteningly real possibility of something just like this happening in the United States…” Larry Enright, author of Four Years from Home.

Terrorists are coming into the U.S. across our Southern Borders.   The atrocity that happened in the Kenyan shopping mall, could happen here.  The book has such an incident in the early pages.

Prologue to Overload
Rastus Wright screamed, spittle flying and dripping down his red plaid shirt.
His yells nearly drowned out the higher-pitched, frenzied yelping of his daughter.
Wright’s mouth, gaped wide with yelling, showed missing teeth and the yellow of the remaining few. He wore loose, dark-blue denim trousers. The frayed cuffs dragged the muddy cemetery earth at the heels of his hiking boots.
He carried a professionally printed sign, two by three feet reading, in six-inch tall black letters, “GOD WILL PUNISH QUEERS!” His daughter’s placard of the same size read, “BODIES OF DEAD SOLDIERS ARE LOVELY SIGHTS!”
Wright’s hollering echoed across the open ground, louder than one would expect from a bandy-legged man standing about five-seven.  His narrow chest contrasted with a belly poking out like half a basketball, stretching the bottom buttonholes on his shirt. He wore a blue baseball cap so dirty the original product or company advertised was illegible.  His hair was yellow-gray and hung in a greasy ponytail four or five inches below his shirt collar. His short beard dripped with drool.
“Filthy warmongers! Your miserable deaths are payback for the country’s fags in power! More are gonna die! The Lord will take them!”
A crowd of mourners stood around an open grave, about a hundred yards away, trying to ignore him.  An American Flag covered the coffin, held suspended by nylon straps over a gaping mouth of dark red earth, waiting to receive the vault at the funeral’s end.

Wright’s daughter, Cora, a short, doughy woman with a ruddy round face and oily brown hair, told the Texas State Trooper, in an adenoidal complaining voice, through snuffling and rubbing her nose on a well-used hanky—her memory of what happened next.
“Daddy was just a’ standing and testifying to them sinners over at the grave. He leaned backwards and drew in a breath to preach louder, and his head blew up.  His ponytail landed about five feet over yonder. Somebody shot him in the mouth.”
The Trooper grimaced.
“Did you see anyone with a weapon?” He said.
“Them soldiers over by the grave have guns”
She pointed her quivering double chins to where the funeral group hadn’t dispersed.
“Yes, Ma’am they do.  Those are honor guard soldiers.  Their rifles will only fire blanks. We’re currently checking their weapons and interviewing people who were around the grave.  Now, Ma’am, did you see anyone with a weapon pointing toward your father?  Could you tell where the shot could have come from?” the trooper said.
“Naw, daddy was just preachin’ to them sinners.  We gotta stay a ways away from their graves now.  New law.  He was witnessin’ real loud so they could hear what the Lord meant for them,” she paused, “…then his head blowed up.”
“Thank you, Ma’am, I’ll get back in touch with you when we have some leads on the perpetrator,” the trooper said.
He touched the brim of his “Smokey Bear” hat, turned away and marched back to the State Patrol cruiser.  The grim line of his mouth almost hurt. Laughter bubbled behind clenched teeth.


  1. Overload was a great read and you’re correct. It’s as relevant today as ever! 😉

    • Thanks, Rich. It’s one of my favorites.

  2. I can almost see the Trooper’s shoulders shaking

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