I have a short story in the upcoming Indian Country Noir, part of the Akashic Books Noir series. Of the book (and moi) La Bloga’s Manuel Ramos wrote: “Plenty of good surprises: R. Narvaez in Juracán tells a story set in Puerto Rico among the legends of the Tainos, stolen artifacts, double- and triple-crosses, uneasy justice.” Gracias, Manuel! Author Bill Crider also gave me some dandy props. Thanks, Bill! Here’s an excerpt of the start of the story:
by R. Narvaez
I’d never seen so many dead dogs on the side of a road as in Puerto Rico. The strays must go out of their way to kill themselves. Or maybe Puerto Ricans just don’t like dogs. I was in a cramped rental car, driving my three aunts to my cousin’s wedding in Ponce. It was a ten-minute ride, and I’d already seen four dog carcasses. Tongues hanging out. Guts. Blood. It took some of the buzz off.
“Qué pasó con los jodio peros en la highway?” I said.
“Se dice perrrrros,” my Titi Juana said.
“Perrrrrros,” I tried.
“Perros,” Titi Gloria said.
Then Tíia Nidia said, “No sé, mi amor. Toda la gente manejan como loco aquí.”
I could see how the roads in PR could drive you crazy. There wasn’t always a traffic light where you needed it. A lot of the blacktop hugged the sides of mountains and were crazy-narrow so that your side-view mirror hung over a thousand-foot drop into nothing but jungle.