Monday, 29 October 2012

Musa Monday: SS Hampton, Sr.

It's Musa Monday and I have special guest, SS Hampton, Sr joining me today with a little bit of Halloween imagination...


Take it away, SS.


It’s almost the full moon. Monday, October 29th, will be The Full Moon.

Centuries ago the full moon was a source of wonder and mystery. It was the inspiration of whispered stories; whispered because words have a power and strength to them, and there are some stories best not told out loud lest the words give life to something best left alone.

This weekend I am house sitting for a friend who is off with his girlfriend, attending football games. I have been here only once before, years ago. Yet, when we parked in his driveway and I looked out the window, I remembered the little corner that divides his property from the adjoining property (he lives in the middle of a cramped little middle class neighborhood of suburbia).

At that corner is a cluster of five evenly spaced little flat-topped bushes, and a pair of small, leafy trees. The ground is covered with rock, and a shallow channel that recalls a dry Japanese riverbed comes out of nowhere and ends at the sidewalk. Walking up to the front door there’s another bush and tree to the right. In such a small space there has always been a feel of “wilderness” about it. Imagine—wilderness in the middle of suburbia.

More, next door to my friend’s home is a typical 2-story suburban home. It is apparently empty. That is not so unusual in this Age of Recession.

But, in the moonlight the empty house next door has a different feel to it. When I step outside for a cigarette I sometimes find myself looking away from it. Not that at the age of 58 I am easily spooked, like wondering if I stared at the empty house would I see a pale white face peering back at me from the darkness of the second story window. Nor do I listen for the creak of the front door of that house opening.

And, for crying out loud, I do not peer at the moonlit street that runs up toward my friend’s home, wondering if I might see a misshapen shadow loping down the street toward me. When I turn my back to the street to reenter the home, after having a cigarette, I deny listening for the rapid patter of something racing out of the shadows toward my back. Of course, locking the door and testing it to make sure it is locked, is only a sensible precaution in this day and age.

Yes, I am too old to let my imagination run wild, or half-believe that on the nights of the full moon, hidden, unknown doors may open briefly.

Still, in the middle of the night when I’m upstairs watching television, it is a little bit startling when my friend’s dogs suddenly start barking wildly. Of course, I’m sure it is nothing. The dogs are just barking for the heck of it. I am sure they do not sense anything out in the street, or perhaps something creeping out of the empty house next door…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


SS's latest release is “An Incident on MSR Tampa.” MUSA Publishing, March 2012.

ISBN: 978-1-61937-246-7

Halloween Night, 2006 – a resupply convoy commanded by the Air Force and escorted by Army gun trucks, is leaving Kuwait for Baghdad. The lonely desert highway north is MSR Tampa, a bloody highway along which for years the convoys suffered insurgent attacks. And on MSR Tampa there is a particular wooded bend that no one speak of, though many know of its haunted reputation, a reputation given new life by a gun truck crew testing a new generation of enhanced night vision goggles…



Sergeant Travis Harland peered through the helmet-mounted, experimental Enhanced Next Generation/Night Vision Goggles, called Cyclops, at the bright, fuzzy, greenish-white glow of the Iraqi desert. Isolated homes and small villages swam out of the darkness before disappearing into greenish-black static that reminded him of a haunted landscape. From time to time he was rudely jolted when the Cyclops bumped against the side ballistic window of his growling HMMWV gun truck that led the supply convoy up Main Supply Route Tampa, bound for Baghdad.

A bright shaft of greenish-white light swept across the dunes and clumps of brush to their right before locking onto a small dusty mound further ahead. A metallic voice sounded in the earphones shoved under Harland’s already tight fitting Kevlar helmet.

“-at the one o’clock, a hundred yards ahead,” the Gunner, Specialist Paul Bonner, said.

Harland sighed. A gun truck wasn’t built for comfort, especially when the Gun Truck Commander was tall and thin, as he was. Being thin didn’t provide much of a cushion for sitting, especially on army seats. And communications glitches didn’t help his mood either.

“Bonner! You hit the off-switch again, you fucking idiot. Say again.”

“Pile of sand and rocks at the two o’clock, fifty yards ahead. Throwing a glo-stick,” Bonner said. A bright fluorescent stick tumbled through the dusty, windy night to land next to the pile that was already so well marked by glo-sticks from previous convoys. Glo-sticks warned of a sometimes suspicious feature for following vehicles.

The Driver, Private First Class Lee Stewart, veered into the left lane, away from the pile...

Available from Musa Publishing



Check out other books by SS available from Musa Publishing - click HERE


SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). He served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. He continues to serve in the Guard, where he holds the rank of staff sergeant. He is a published photographer and photojournalist, an aspiring painter, and is studying for a degree in anthropology—hopefully to someday work in underwater archaeology. He has wanted to be a writer since he was 15 years old; his first short story was published in 1992, after which it wasn’t until 2001 that he had another short story published. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy (forthcoming on 18 October 2012), Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. As of December 2011, he became the latest homeless Iraq war veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Thanks for joining me, SS.



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