False River Chapter Excerpt

June 16th, 2009  |  Published in profiles


False River (novel excerpt)
By Stinson Carter

The Cathedral bells knocked Cam out of dreamless sleep into a cold and dewy Sunday morning. As the clangs rattled his teeth, he crawled out from the hibiscus bushes to get a jump on the morning Mass crowd.

He hopped the fence onto Royal Street and drew stares from a horse-drawn carriage passing by with the day’s first batch of tourists. The driver was warming up his hangover voice with lies about ghosts and old battles––weaving a peculiar history in which Napoleon and Andrew Jackson were not only contemporaries, but even fought alongside one another in the Battle of New Orleans. It was clear to Cam that the twenty-dollars these Yankees paid wasn’t for the history lesson as much as for the sound of horse hooves clacking on the cobblestones.

As the carriage went off and left things quiet again, the silence of an empty Sunday morning street handed him the hard truth that sleeping in the St. Louis Cathedral prayer garden left him no less tired than he was when he collapsed there at 4am, and thanks to the fresh topsoil he was as dirty as he was stranded. He knew if he was going to have a fighting chance of somehow conning forty bucks by the day’s last Greyhound to Shreveport, he’d have to find a way to look presentable at best and trustworthy at least… click to read novel excerpt

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