Thursday, June 4, 2009


The following is a draft of Chapter 7 of my post-oil novel AMERICAN CRUDE. Comments have been disabled. If you wish to comment, please go to TheKunstlerCast at and join the discussion.


--Innocent Byproduct


We both sat in the break room, chatting over cookies and orange juice. But then after a while she gave off a loud sigh to preface her next statement:

“Well, Mr. Walczak,” she suddenly had a very quiet yet pointed tone, indicating she was about to say something weightier than mere small talk. “I’d like to thank you for refraining from asking unwanted questions, and simply doing what I paid you to do. I explained earlier that it was better that you not ask questions, regardless of how bizarre my home proved to be. And you have complied with my request. Meanwhile, do you think you might like to consider coming back again to perform future plumbing work here at my house? And again, I’ll pay you top dollar for your skill and your discretion.”

“I don’t see why not,” I smiled, delighted at the prospect of more easy money.

“Very good,” she nodded. “All I ask is that you maintain the status quo of no questions, no cell phones, keep up the world-class workmanship, and never deviate from absolute confidentiality.”

“Sounds fair,” I shrugged. “However, I do have one question: Why did you even pick me? And how did you get my home phone number?”

She paused to formulate her answer, and the longer it took for her to reply, the more I realized it would not be the complete truth: “You came highly recommended.”

“By whom?”

“Someone who highly recommended you,” and she wouldn’t say more than that.

I merely smiled and shut up.

-------------------End of Chapter 7--------------------