WILLIAM J. COBB
In this lithely told and atmospheric story, a fishing village on the Gulf Coast loses its bearings as its shrimping industry begins to fail. The town of Goodnight by the Sea lies on a peninsula between two bays, Red Moon and Humosa, and for years its people, many of them immigrants drawn to this ragged edge of America, have struggled to get by. When Gabriel Perez, a local shrimper, gets laid off, he also manages to lose his girlfriend, Una Vu, a beautiful Vietnamese-Hispanic waitress who is unhappy with both the smallness of her life and Gabriel’s petty anger. Gabriel blames Falk Powell, a teenage co-worker of Una’s, for stealing her heart and begins plotting a revenge that will take an unexpected turn. Gusef, their unlikely Russian entrepreneur employer, takes young Falk under his wing. All the while, an impending hurricane gathers ominously in the Gulf.
Goodnight, Texas is a poignant, powerful, comic, surprisingly hopeful story about a love affair within the beauty of a decaying bayside village, about wanting what you cannot have, and about what happens when a coastal Texas town is swamped by a killer hurricane. Cobb has written a timely vision of resilience and personal survival amidst the collapse of small town American life.
$18.00 US | Ficton Paperback | 6x9 | 304 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932961-44-7 | Carton Quantity: 36
As the wind shrieked and shook the Sea Horse, Falk and Una curled against each other on the bed, barefoot. Una was still cold. They hugged each other and tried to warm themselves by lying close beneath the motel’s bedspread and sheets.
Una closed her eyes and curled against Falk. Warm me up, she said. Please please please. I’m so cold. Feel me. I can’t quit shaking.
Shhhhh. It’ll be alright. Don’t worry. He smelled her hair and squeezed her so close their bones crumpled against each other.
The light in the room was the deep blue color of shadows in closets in which something important, perhaps life shattering, is hidden in a shoebox. The battened-down motel room smelled of must and mildew and the tang and musk of the storm itself, of salt water whipped into a fine mist by the wind, blasted through the cracks in doors and windows.
The wind shook the building and squealed as it whistled through these cracks and gaps. Falk and Una shivered and trembled, hunkering under the thin tropical motel bedspread. Outside came the sounds of things breaking, cracking, splintering, dull concussions and watery thuds.
We should pretend this isn’t happening, whispered Una. We should pretend that everything will be okay.
Falk closed his eyes and listened. He kissed the hollow of her slim and salty neck. Their body heat suffused the pocket of sheets and blankets after some time so that they felt enclosed in a delirious, blood-warm cocoon. Una unzipped the side of her dress and guided Falk’s hand to her center so hot it felt as if he were blindly touching the lips of a torch. Falk was swollen and feverish and Una brought his lips to her nipple, kissing his eyelids, telling him, Warmer. You are so warm.
They grew entangled in her loosened dress. Una broke away from a kiss and tried to calm Falk’s squirming body. Maybe I should take this thing off.
Falk gulped for breath and nodded. He had lost the ability to speak.
Beside the bed, she squirmed out of the rumpled square dance outfit, her figure standing there suffused with the room’s blue velvet light. She made a face he could faintly see, a comical frown. I hate that thing. Wriggling out of its puffy sleeves and frilly-necked bodice, she let it fall to the carpeted floor, kicked it away.
Streaks of watery light coated the curves of her hips, the softness of her belly, the half-moons of her small breasts. She stood for a half instant, her long black hair over one shoulder and hanging forward, like a ceramic sea nymph in an aquarium’s blue glow. Behind her crisscrossed the patterns of the taped windows, the curtains pulled open, the wood trembling in the blasts of wind, the rough tan hide of nailed plywood buckling and heaving.