Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

ROAD TO KEY WEST #Excerpt by Michael Reisig #AmReading #Humor #Adventure

Friday, June 27, 2014

We sat in the little downtown cantina with a mixture of somber locals nursing cervezas and a handful of older, tour bus touristas adorned in flowered muumuus and “I love Costa Rica” T-shirts. Will and I were discussing exactly how many rum and Cokes 500 colones would buy, because if we nursed them, we could fill up on the free nachos, when a gentleman who had been sitting quietly in the corner across from us rose and came over to our table. The first thing I thought of when I saw him was Casablanca. The guy looked like an overweight Bogart. He was only about five-nine, but was a rotund 200 pounds, easily—not so much fat as heavy, in a formidable fashion. He had on a white dinner jacket, which had seen some wear, a red flowered shirt that strained to contain him, a pair of cut-off shorts that might have, at one time, been a relative to the jacket, and leather sandals. An old Panama hat that was a little weary around the edges was perched atop his head, tilted back slightly, covering most of his longish, straw-colored hair. He took the cigarillo out of his mouth and exhaled a blue cloud at the ceiling fan, which immediately sucked up the smoke and dissected it. Glancing briefly at both of us with confident, pale blue eyes, he pulled back a chair and sat down without invitation. “Do you mind if I sit down?” His accent was a little clipped, almost British, but carrying the occasional inflection and cadence of a person who has spent a good deal of time south of the border.  “I couldn’t help but hear you talking about your present predicament.” He sighed, a little on the dramatic side. “The lack of finances does have a way of spoiling these beautiful Costa Rican days—and they are beautiful, no? The name’s Sundance—just a nickname, but I like it. From Canada—Vancouver. What’s yours?
“Kansas, and Will,” I said, motioning toward my partner. “The Florida Keys. On a diving trip and having a pretty damned good time, until we lost all our belongings in a boat wreck.”
The man nodded sagely as the waiter delivered two more drinks for us, and a shot of tequila for him.
He looked out the window of the cantina at the street then back to us. “Well, today providence has smiled on you, because it just so happens I’m on the way to make a withdrawal from my bank, which is right across the street. Now, if I lent you some money, would you promise on the soul of your favorite whore to pay it back?”
Will shrugged almost imperceptibly. “I don’t have a favorite whore,” he said. “I love ‘em all.”
Sundance smiled, displaying a remarkable collection of pearly teeth. “Ha! A man after my own heart!”
“Yeah, we’ll pay you back,” I said. “Every last penny, as soon as we get back to the States.”
Five minutes later we were walking through the doors of the First National Bank of Puntarenas. The five tellers looked out from their stations, friendly, smiling. A withered old guard stood slouched against the wall in the corner. Two executives chatted from their desks on the other side.
Sundance turned to Will and I. “You guys just go get the money.”
I was about to say, “What money?” when our new friend pulled a large revolver from the opposite side of the mescalin his coat and fired twice into the ceiling. “Este’ es un robo!” he shouted in what I thought was excellent Spanish. “Hands up!”
Everyone just stood gaping for a moment. Sundance fired into the ceiling again. That brought the hands up. “Drop your gun!” he yelled at the guard, who gingerly took out his pistola and let it fall to the floor. Pulling a flower sack from his coat pocket, Sundance threw it to Will and me. “Get the money from the tellers!”
I turned around, facing him. “What do you mean get the money? I’m not robbing a freaking ba –”
Bam!  Bam! Bam! There were three neat holes in the floor by my shoes.
“Just get the money!” he yelled. “You wanna be rich or walk with a limp?”
While Will and I were politely asking for cash from the tellers—trying to explain that this was all a misunderstanding, that we really didn’t know our accomplice was a madman, and we weren’t really bank robbers—Sundance pulled out his flask and took a long shot of mescal, then tucked it under his armpit as he flicked out the cylinder on the revolver and ejected the six empty casings. He was rummaging through his pockets, trying to find more bullets, when the old guard started slowly bringing his hands down, reaching for his gun on the floor.
Sundance swung around and drew down on him, cylinder of the pistol still open, empty. “Don’t do it, old man, or I’ll shoot!” he said, still rummaging for cartridges.
The old guy reached down a little more. Sundance’s voice was rising.
“I’m telling you, don’t do it or I’ll drop you!” (He found two rounds but in the process of trying to get them into the cylinder he dropped them on the floor.)
The guard finally had the gun and was rising, albeit a little shaky and uncertain.
“I warned you, didn’t I!” screamed Sundance as he stomped over three paces, aimed the gun point-blank at the guard, and yelled, “Bang! Bang!” as loud as he could.
The old man recoiled and cried “Arrrhhh!” stumbling backwards, losing his balance and falling against the banister of the teller windows, knocking himself out.
Sundance turned to us—us with the bag of money—and smiled. “Man, am I good or what? I shot him with an empty gun! No?” He fumbled for a moment longer and found his bullets, then quickly reloaded. Snapping the cylinder closed, he yelled, “Viva la revolucion!” and tossed the mescal flask high into the air. Raising his pistol he fired twice in quick succession. The bottle tumbled to the floor unscathed—two more bullet holes in the ceiling. He looked at us, and smiled, eyebrows up like Groucho Marx. “You’ve got to admit it would have been impressive, no?”
Two minutes later we were in the back of a taxi and Sundance was waving his pistol at the freaked-out driver, giving him directions. Then he turned to us in the back. “That was glorious! Just glorious! We were a great team today. I can see the headlines in tomorrow’s paper, ‘Tres Banditos Strike!’ We can rob these beaner banks for years! El Tres Banditos! We may go down in a hail of bullets eventually, but we will have had our time—left our mark!”
“I don’t want to be a bank robber,” I said.
Will leaned forward and grabbed the top of the front seat. “I don’t want to go down in a hail of bullets.”
Sundance just laughed. “C’mon, where’s your adventurous spirit?”
“I think it got sucked up my little puckered asshole when you started shooting holes in the ceiling of a bank and demanding their money,” I said.
Sundance shook his head and smiled. “No cojones, no colones, man. That’s how it is in the bank-robbing business.”

The Road to Key West is an adventurous/humorous sojourn that cavorts its way through the 1970s Caribbean, from Key West and the Bahamas, to Cuba and Central America.
In August of 1971, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell set out to become nothing more than commercial divers in the Florida Keys, but adventure, or misadventure, seems to dog them at every turn. They encounter a parade of bizarre characters, from part-time pirates and heartless larcenists, to Voodoo bokors, a wacky Jamaican soothsayer, and a handful of drug smugglers. Adding even more flavor to this Caribbean brew is a complicated romance, a lost Spanish treasure, and a pre antediluvian artifact created by a distant congregation who truly understood the term, “pyramid power.”
Pour yourself a margarita, sit back, and slide into the ‘70s for a while as you follow Kansas and Will through this cocktail of madcap adventures – on The Road To Key West.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS NOVEL BE SURE TO READ THE SEQUEL, “BACK ON THE ROAD TO KEY WEST” (To be released in late August or early September, 2013)
“Jimmy Buffett should set this tropical tale to music! The best Key West stories can only be written by those who have lived here, and Reisig expertly captures the steamy, seedy, beautiful allure of the islands. “The Road to Key West” takes readers on a hysterical journey through the humidity and humanity that only exists in the lower latitudes. And much like the Keys in the 1970s, it’s a hell of a trip.
—Mandy Bolen, The Key West Citizen
“The Road to Key West” combines the dry cleverness of Lewis Grizzard, the wit of Dave Barry, and Reisig’s impeccable sense of timing. It’s an action-packed, romantic, charming, hilarious take on the ‘70s and its generation. A must-read!
—John Archibald, Ouachita Life Magazine
Buy Now @ Amazon

From the best-selling author of “The Road To Key West” comes a sequel guaranteed to take the reader even higher – another rollicking, hilarious Caribbean adventure that will have you ripping at the pages and laughing out loud.
“Back On The Road To Key West” reintroduces the somewhat reluctant adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell, casting them into one bizarre situation after another while capturing the true flavor and feel of Key West and the Caribbean in the early 1980s.
An ancient map and a lost pirate treasure, a larcenous Bahamian scoundrel and his gang of cutthroats, a wild and crazy journey into South America in search of a magical antediluvian device, and perilous/hilarious encounters with outlandish villains and zany friends will keep you locked to your seat and giggling maniacally. (Not to mention headhunters, smugglers, and beautiful women with poisonous pet spiders.) You’ll also welcome back Rufus, the wacky, mystical Jamaican Rastaman, and be captivated by another “complicated romance” as Kansas and Will struggle with finding and keeping “the girls of their dreams.”
So pour yourself a margarita, and get comfortable. You’re in for another rousing medley of madcap adventures in paradise, with “Back On The Road To Key West.”
Michael Reisig takes us back once again to the Key West I wish I had known – and that others wish they remembered more clearly. Kansas and Will are back in “Back on the Road to Key West,” with their trademark penchant for sultry sarcasm and sun-drenched excitement. Once again Reisig captures the character of the Keys in a way that proves he’s been here – and perhaps done that. No one wraps us in humidity and surrounds us with saltwater like this guy, whose tales of the tropics draw us constantly back to their welcoming, yet provocative shores. — Mandy Miles, The Key West Citizen
Having lived in Key West in the late ’70′s and early ’80′s, at a time when Mel Fisher still hunted the Atocha, shrimp boats filled the harbors, and ‘square grouper’ were still an abundant species, Michael Reisig’s Back on the Road to Key West, transports me back in time. Will Bell and Kansas Stamps face an assortment of ruthless antagonists and chase adventure with the abandon of the era, and whether you lived it or not, don’t miss the chance to now. Vivid imagery, strong prose and an exciting plot make this trip with the boys worth taking. Enjoy the ride!”
– John H. Cunningham, author of the Buck Reilly Adventure Series
Stumbling their way in and out of trouble and fortune, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell continue to be the idols of what every true Parrot Head imagines real life in The Keys would be — full of spontaneous adventure. What a great read!
– Bryan Crews, former president, Tampa Parrot Head Club
Buy @ Amazon

Fast-paced humor-adventure with wacky pilots, quirky con men, bold women, mad villains, and a gadget to die for…
In the third book of Michael Reisig’s captivating series, Florida Keys adventurers Kansas Stamps and
Will Bell find their lives turned upside down when they discover a truth device hidden in the temple of an ancient civilization. Enthralled by the virtue (and entertainment value) of personally dispensing truth and justice with this unique tool, they take it all a step too far and discover that everyone wants what they have.
Seasoned with outrageous humor and sultry romances, Along The Road To Key West carries you through one wild adventure after another. This time, Kansas and Will are forced to wrest veracity and lies from con artists, divine hustlers, and political power brokers while trying to stay one step ahead of a persistent assembly of very bad guys with guns.

In the process, from Key West, into the Caribbean, and back to America’s heartland, our inadvertent heroes gather a bizarre collage of friends and enemies – from a whacked-out, one-eyed pilot, and a mystical Rastaman, to a ruthless problem-solver for a prominent religious sect, a zany flimflamming sociopath, and a Cuban intelligence agent. In the end, it all comes down to a frantic gamble – to save far more than the truth. So pour yourself a margarita and settle back. You’re in for a high intensity Caribbean carnival ride!
NOTE: Much of this book was originally published as a novel of mine called, “The Truthmaker.” But with the growing popularity of my “Road To Key West” series, I decided to rewrite it and publish it as “Along The Road To Key West.” – Michael Reisig
Buy @ Amazon

Genre - Caribbean Humor, Adventure
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Michael Reisig through Facebook


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