During the 1980s, the stink of evil permeates like bad cologne throughout Verney County, Mississippi. Hellhounds and demoniacs had taken up residence, hurtin' on folks and gettin' mean. But there's one feller they didn't count on. Bucky Dennis - high school football star, Vietnam veteran, and divorced father of two -- Bucky's the slack-jawed bayou bubba that won't take no guff.
After a botched insurance sale to a British stockbroker turned werewolf, Bucky stirs from his post-war decomposition and crippling apathy only to be baptized in hellfire. With a five-fingered Buick and a .44 named Harriet, Bucky delves into the dark side of the unknown and uncovers a devilish plot for the world's undoing.
Vin’s Wonder Wash was a dry-docked riverboat, one with a giant water wheel run by a chugging diesel motor. It sunk on its left side, crumbling into a cheap cement foundation made of rebar pylons and freeway dividers. The wash itself was a tunnel of over-sized mops and sprinkler heads, whirring unevenly in a shadowy tunnel of suds and stinking water. When the cars rolled through, they parked ‘em beneath a wooden trellis with sprung planks and antique moss. They looked like crooked piano keys.
I had a cigarette in the waiting room, examining dingy photos of fisherman and Civil War boys all packed like steers on the deck of the riverboat. None of them waved though. A tattered brochure on an old timey stove said it used to be a Civil War museum and still had some pricey trinkets mounted up here and there to bring in tourists. Worked too. From what I could tell, most of the clientele were vans with purple velvet curtains on the inside—those and Winnebagos. Folks in colorful silk shirts filed from the museum area, wavin’ Confederate flags and sporting brass U.S. Cavalry buckles. Kids with sticky, pink rimmed mouths pulled fluffs of cotton candy from cardboard cones, whiles ornery teens slumped over the Gettysburg pinball machine,pinging their way to victory.
Four fellers had already clocked in, business must’ve been good for scrubbing hubcaps. Too tired, I sighed and scratched my stubbley chin. My cigarette butt sizzled in an ashtray shaped like a cannon. Thing was funny ‘cause you stamped your smoke where the cannon fuse was. Boom, you know?
“Heyo! Buck is it?” That was Vin, a stocky Italian Yankee. And I mean really Italian. Hairy as a throw rug with a Catholic crucifix and I’ll be damned if he didn’t smell to high heaven of rigatoni. For sure, babe. Guy definitely had marinara pumpin’ through his veins or something.
“Yeah, that’s me. You must be Mr. LaGuardia. Fine place. Must be covered good?” Still tryin’ to sell insurance. Vin must’ve had a stellar policy: water damage, fire, hurricane. Hell, even historical landmark preservation coverage. That had to be a thing, right?
“You can bet your ass. This place is a historic landmark, ya know?” LaGuardia had eyebrows like caterpillars, inching up and down with every word and expression
I struggled not to stair. “Yeah? How’d a guy like you end up in Verney?”
“I traded for it straight up. I’m lookin’ for real estate down here and the original owner comes to me, he says, you know what he says? He says, ‘Eh, I got this museum I’m converting into a carwash franchise. I’m under water. You want it?’ And he wants I should trade for one of my joints up north.”