South Carolina. The only contiguous locality in America where red dirt may be the only repast of the day. A State where thick entangling vines with lengthy piercing thorns comprise all wooded areas - year round. There are sinister pools of quicksand that remove all existence of the encroacher. Waiting for careless hikers are smooth-walled sinkholes and abandoned, uncovered ancient water wells; shouts for help never escape these pits. In Spartanburg, the bereaved may position their loved one's corpse outdoors for drive through viewing. In some isolated back woods, Voodoo Priests conduct rites, apothecary potions, and issue curses. The State that began the Civil War, and the last bastion where the ideology of civil difference persists. Indeed, South Carolina is an Island in the Sea of States
One of the main characters-Gilda, (drawl pronounced Gildee) is a pre-pubescent female. Her parents offer refuge to a dispossessed couple. Manipulative, the homeless duo procures life insurance policies on members of the compassionate family, and kill an insured when their funds become exhausted. After the parents are disposed the man resolves that Gildee is more valuable as an insurance benefit. Gildee overhears the date of her murder; terrified, she decides to escape before the act. Gildee and Hainry, nee Heinrick, team up to find benevolent relatives for the teen. Exhausted from their travels and bruised from occasional attacks from thugs, the pair finally knocks on the door of Gildee's uncle. This kin turns out to be the worst imaginable human being; Hainry must use a trick that he recalls from his childhood for the pair to escape. Weary, the duo stumble into a South Carolina Voodoo hostel. The pair's association with this demonic entity manifestly ages Gildee.
About the Author
In 1999 the author fully retires from the workforce. For the next seven years during the mild weather months he wanders throughout the world. While peering out of the window travelling aboard the train through Malaysia he notices that he is stress free. No phone calls. No letters. No knock at the door. Viewing the lush olive canopy of the jungle, the azure coastal waters, and the hoary sands of the shore are his source of serenity. In 2007 attired in the meager remnants of American culture, and fourteen pounds of luggage he relocates to Vietnam leaving house, vehicles, and family behind. In Vietnam his days are spent writing, and exploring the countryside. The local Vietnamese welcome Fred into their midst, referring to him as, "Uncle Ped".