Excerpt from Lena

Conjure Woman's Cat


Random Musings

This page is my "and so forth" page, possibly trivial, unlikely to be earth-shaking, and in some ways just as chaotic in subject matter as an author's thoughts are from day to day. As readers, we're able to handle this chaos easily. For example, yesterday I was reading "The Lost Girls of Paris" about British agents serving in occupied France during WWII and today I'm reading "The Alchemist's Daughter" set in 1725. Tomorrow I might be reading a Tom Clancy style book about modern-day Black Ops.

Authors tend to jump from subject to subject in "real life" as well. I'm well aware that this bothers a lot of people.

From a Lena Review

I have been looking forward to this book. At the end of “Eulalie and Washerwoman” Eulalie was leaving to fetch Willie back home. They’ve had a long-standing relationship and Eulalie was ready to take it to the next level. Being a romantic at heart I was ready for this relationship to move forward. So, what does Mr. Campbell do? He puts Eulalie in peril! Which in turn kept me reading late into the night.

- Big Al's Books and Pals

1950s Flyer from Florida.

In Wearing black military robes and hoods, the Klan’s thirteen Klavalier soldiers approached the fire station concealed, cowards all, by their ladies’ auxiliary’s sewing handiwork and the clouded over moon, in response to Blackhawk’s “Herein fail ye not” fiery summons whereupon they will in Jesus’ name show the nigger lover the error of his ways.  

My spirit self’s eyes saw them plainly: Mayor Marcus Paulson “Little Poison” Ivy; Ronald Englebert “English” Ivy; Arvin Anderson from Anderson’s funeral home; Stan Osteen from Osteen’s car wash, Hank Norton, recent sidekick of the evil root worker Washerwoman, Klavern Blackhawk and former Torreya chief of police Robert Snodgrass; Torreya police captains Mike Henderson and Stan Lawson; volunteer fireman Stan Aikens; Mark Duvall from the IGA grocery store; and three other peckerwoods I didn’t know.

They arrived in their mud-spattered fishing cars, Jeeps, and pickup trucks and found the well-lighted firehouse 
target. The fire engines had been moved to the service facility behind the station, the volunteers had left for the day, and Hoskins was asleep in the upstairs room.

I stuck my spirit paws inside the alarm box; angry sparks—small lightning bolts—snapped, popped, and pierced my feet until the white-heat holler of the bell shattered the deadly silence and flung me down. I was flung down through the black souls of white men dressed in black, flung down into the smack and rattle of boots—I heard those sounds, too, and the men’s staccato whispers.

“What set off the alarm?”


“Cut the phone line. Post somebody at the back door.”

“Hoskins has a radio.”

“Communications are down tonight.”

“Praise the Lord.”

“Bring the gasoline from the pickup.”

“Compliments of Gravely & Sons, I bet.”

“Damn straight. Douse everything.”

They fetched their five-gallon cans, drenched the desk first, then the base of the metal stairs.


“Get back.”

The Blackhawk twisted up old copies of “Southern Outlook,” lit the ends, and flung them inside, creating a gasping whoosh of orange, white, tan, grey and black flames and smoke that tangled together and called out to each other like wounded animals. The office burnt first. Then the stairs were enveloped in flames, like so many snakes.

The Little Winds came when I called them, though I knew it wouldn’t be enough. They swept the station free of flames, driving the fire back into the men. Three black robes went down, sent by fire to the Klan’s Empire Invisible—or hell, has others call it. Lightning struck the remaining Gravely & Sons fuel cans in the back of the Ford pickup and it went down into hell. The Jeep’s canvas top burnt in seconds. Simultaneously, I heard gunfire near the back door, the pop of a .22 caliber rifle, the rolling boom of a large shotgun, the crack of hunting rifles.

“Back door’s heavy and reinforced, Blackhawk.”

“Keep shooting. Remind him you’re there.”

Hoskins opened the door at the top of the interior stairs and scowled at the damage done to the house before a round from a .22 rifle hit him in the left shoulder. 


Copyright ©2018 by Malcolm R. Campbell