Jon M. Jefferson is one my favorite people. He is a talented author and artist, and an incredibly interesting (and funny) guy. If ya don't believe me, keep on reading...
So, hi, how ya doing? I bet you expected an interview here. But we did that some time ago (I have no idea when at this point and it would probably be good if Meghan would put a link here. And we should keep this aside cause yeah, that's how I roll.) Anyway, been there, done that, have the t-shirt (Meghan should invest in t-shirts, just sayin). We aren't going to repeat that. Instead, I am going to do a bit of blathering and I might even have a story at the end.
The funny thing is though, this is October. And the story I am going to lead up to has nothing to do with the month of October. In fact, the whole thing takes place in March, but it's a bit too early to get into that.
See, when I blather on like this, I like to lay a bit of ground work before I get to the story at hand. It helps to have some context and we can see the oddity for what it is... or something.
So we have to go back to the beginning.
I drink a lot of coffee.
I know what you're thinking. Who doesn't, right? But here comes the qualifier. I never really drank coffee till I joined the Marines. Then it became a part of my life. I had a single cup coffee maker long before such things were even a thing. It was actually an easy way to have a cuppa in the barracks without anyone else trying to horn in on the action.
See, coffee and the military is one of those match made in heaven kinda things. It's about like writers and coffee. It's the fuel that keeps life moving.
But here's the thing. For the most part I drink my coffee black. I can't have anything funky in there disturbing the robust goodness. Of course, there have been times that this wasn't always the case though.
I came from a time long before all the froufrou coffee drinks that we are assailed with now. Yeah, they aren't my thing and never will be. If I have something in my coffee it ends up being some cream and sugar. But that is a throwback to some time ago and what feels like a galaxy far, far away.
In the late 80s and early 90s there were a number of places that sold specialized coffee beans. I mean more so and different than we can find now. Sure the coffee house craze now can sell you all those crazy half caf, mint whips or whatever the hell now. But back then you didn't see stuff like that, at least not where I hung out. But you could buy some beans with different oils so the cup you brewed would have a bit more going on than just the standard roast toasty of the beans.
Come to think of it, that might be why I don't really care for anything but black coffee now. But I digress...
Anyway, I remember a number of times when we went to a diner called Tommy's (San Clemente, California. If you haven't been there, go. They used to have some of the best omelets in the world). I spent many a weekend morning there having cup after cup with breakfast. They didn't have sugar packets. Instead they had the jar with the pour spout. That was some of the thickest sugary coffee I have ever had in my life. Except for this one time.
Are you ready for this?
So when I was in Korea we spent a good amount of time there in the field. Funny thing about Korea, junk trucks follow the troops around and often know where the troops are going long before the troops do.
Most of the time, they don't sell anything too outlandish. Usually Ramen noodles with a slice of cheese on top (this stuff is nothing like the cheap crappy dried noodles you get for 25 cents). Korean ramen has dried kimchi to make it extra spicy. The stuff is amazing. They also sold moon pies. To t his day I can't eat moon pies in the US. They just aren't the same here as they are in the Korean wilderness. And lest I forget, they also sold glass bottles of Coke. Nothing like living in dirt without any thought of a shower, bed, or even a chance to properly brush your teeth while still chowing on some Ramen, moon pies, and Cokes. That is some high living, let me tell you.
There was a point to all of this...
Trying to think. Holidays that aren't Halloween. Oh yeah, March. So my birthday is in March. So is St. Patrick's Day. We still got mail in the field. I mean it isn't like now when most people have phones for instant communication everywhere. Nope, when I was in the Marines, letters were the way you kept in touch. Phone calls from a land line half way around the world can get pretty expensive.
So this time we were in the field was just after my birthday but before St. Paddy's Day. And I had gotten a birthday card as well as a St. Paddy's card from my parents. Nothing real crazy mind you, just some Leprechauns on the front looking all jolly like Leprechauns tend to do.
We were kicking back. Had our MREs and some ramen. Of course dessert is the dried fruit from the MRE and moon pies with Coke. I mean, you gotta have the whole shebang. Add to that the packets of sanka coffee that you save up from the MREs so you have a decent amount to brew (it's instant) and enjoy.
You know where this is going right?
I was hopped up on sugar like a mofo. I have never had a problem falling asleep after caffeine. This is standard military training. When it's time to sleep, you sleep. You may not get another chance at it.
After a while I jumped and grabbed my rifle because our position was being overrun. It was the real thing and we needed to be getting some. Gun fire all around me and these mini amtracs (amphibious tractor. These are the vehicle that Marines storm beaches with) were charging at us full bore. When they stopped and started unloading their infantry, it was the craziest thing. Korean leprechauns dressed in world war two green assembled and charged at us.
Needless to say when I opened my eyes I was in a cold sweat and my heart was racing. At least the area was quiet and the mini amtracs and their mini assault force were no where to be found.
I still drink a lot of coffee. But I don't add anything to it anymore. Black coffee is safer. You never know what might attack your position if you step outside that box.
About the author:
Jon M. Jefferson writes Speculative fiction with forays into Noir and Bizarro. His stories have appeared in the 2013 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology, the Weird Tales Magazine website, and in Siren's Call Magazine. His work can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. Flash fiction stories can be found at his site Misadventures in Strange Places or his anthologies, short stories and novellas can be found at his Amazon Author Page.
About some of the books:
The pressures of life have taken their toll on Trent. His sins, his crimes, his mistakes have pushed him over the edge and left him with few options. In an effort to atone for his past, he joined a monastery.
As he works to scrub his memories and cleanse his soul, he finds something he did not expect.
Ever crack a tooth on a piece of candy? You know what I mean, that candy that you really love but it caused you pain. Sometimes that bittersweet moment still hits just the right spot.
The monster stories of our youth have a bit of that same bittersweet candy. Magic and mayhem frightens and delights giving us moments that we seek to repeat.
The stories in Hate Candy celebrate those bittersweet moments. Embark on a journey into the darkness and maybe find some new sweets. But always remember, Hate Candy bites back.