Those of you who are regular Bish’s Beat readers know I have a soft spot for well written, pulp-style, boxing stories. Now, prolific writer Mel Odom has just e-published his second novella using the Kindle platform and it’s a doozy of a two fisted tale. SMOKER: A BOXING FABLE retails for $1.99 via Amazon.
Set in 1952, it’s a story of revenge as young merchant seaman Terry Farrell goes after the men that murdered his father in an illegal underground boxing match called a “smoker.”
Odom claims it is one of the favorite stories he ever wrote.
HERE’S THE OPENING . . .
When the Malaysian stopped heckling the young waitress and upped the ante by grabbing her, I tossed the pair of Jacks and deuces I’d been holding onto the ratty tablecloth and pushed my chair back. The docks of Singapore were some of the most dangerous in that part of the world, and if the police came at all they’d be too late to help the woman.
Tipper’s was a sailor’s bar and had a reputation as a bad place to be. The only décor consisted of American movie posters of Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth and a half dozen others on the smoke-stained walls. Bottled beer sat at room temperature behind the scarred bar and everybody paid to drink from the house bottle. Night draped the room and left heavy shadows that felt cottony from tobacco smoke. I’d stayed past the sundown curfew I’d promised myself I’d stick to.
The sandy-haired British seaman to my left glanced at me casually. A tattoo of an island girl in a grass skirt with bared breasts decorated his left forearm. He spoke in soft warning. He was fortyish and spoke softly, belying his rough exterior and the oily smudges on his weathered face and scarred arms. “This isn’t any of your concern, Yank. Let it go.”
The young waitress struggled against her captor. I guessed that she was sixteen or seventeen. The Malay sailor laughed as he held the woman and ran his free hand over her. He bumped up against his prisoner obscenely.
“Can’t,” I said. Part of that decision was mine, but a lot of it had to do with the way my old man had raised me.
TO READ MORE OF THE OPENING CLICK HERE