• Sage Webb

The Kitten’s Scared, Isn’t She?

In his posthumously published True at First Light, Ernest Hemingway presents some of the African adventures he had with his fourth wife Mary. Released in 1999, the book’s publication, unsurprisingly, met with a bit of controversy and mixed reviews. But I don’t mention the book here tonight to talk controversy. I mention it because it gave me a nickname.


In the book, the wife Mary character sometimes refers to herself as “kitten,” even asking something like whether she’s “been a good kitten.” When talking to the Bosun once about the book, this diminutive came up, and since then, I have, on occasion, been referred to as “kitten.”

Like tonight. . . .



Tonight, we decided to visit the boardwalk down the channel from our marina. The place has a remarkably cheerful air, even for a naturally cheerful thing like a boardwalk, and since I moved down here to Texas, to this Gulf Coast, about five and a half years ago, I’ve enjoyed strolling around this touristy stretch of fried-food smells on evenings with pretty half moons hung behind worn-through clouds. But in all that time, I’ve never ridden the Boardwalk Bullet—the landmark wooden roller coaster that towers over the acres of parking lots, the cake-pop-serving Starbucks, and the kiosks selling flip flops and cheap necklaces. I’ve written about the thing, about its forty-two track crossovers, more than any other wooden roller coaster ever designed . . . .

But I’d never ridden it.

Until tonight.



Tonight, the Bosun just looked up at the thing and said we needed to ride it. That I needed to ride it (he’s ridden it several times). So we did. And it was worth the price of admission.


I lost my International Thriller Writers ballcap. And after the ride, we had to skirt around the results of an upset stomach the coaster had caused someone.


But it was all quite worth it.


An autumn Thursday night with lightning flickering behind those raggedy clouds, with the stray cats hoping for table scraps on the restaurant patios, with prehistoric seabirds and laughing kids . . . and a stomach-dropping roller coaster over a salty, disorganized, stirred-up bay.




An autumn night when I got to sit atop the world, knowing it was about to drop from beneath me, knowing I would scream. And hear the Bosun’s kind, laughing, “the kitten’s scared, isn’t she?”

Read Local, L.L.C., is a small (we hope to grow!) community of book lovers. We review books published by independent/university/small presses and post our reviews and thoughts in an effort to raise awareness of independent-press books. The Read Local, L.L.C., entity is owned by the parent company of Stoneman House Press, L.L.C., and that publisher's work appears on this website (we make money when Stoneman House sells books), but not everyone who writes content for us or participates in our community works for Stoneman House. Aside from Stoneman House, we also have relationships (personal and/or professional) with some of the authors whose books appear here. Some (like Sage Webb) write reviews for us and help lead us (and they make money when their books sell). We note when we have a relationship with a book, publisher, or author. Otherwise, we do not have relationships with the authors and publishers listed here. They appear here only because we liked their books and we like reviewing books. (We will be as transparent as possible when we post here about things in which we have a financial stake. Not just because of regulations like those in Part 255 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, but because we really are here just to have some literary fun.) If you are an author or publisher of a book that appears here, feel free to reach out to us! We'd love to hear from you. We are at readlocalbooks@hotmail.com. And if you are an author or publisher and you would like us to remove your book from our site, just let us know. We are here to serve the literary community. If you have questions, reach out.

(We also love innovative art and photography. Just sayin'.)

© 2018, 2019 , 2020 Read Local, L.L.C.

(All content on this site belongs exclusively to Read Local, L.L.C. No one may copy any portion of this site or its content without express written permission.)

Read Local is a registered service mark with the USPTO.

Read Local, L.L.C., reserves all rights in and to its marks.

Read

Local

®