Dan is a con man and a drifter just looking for a ride east. A strange woman in a business suit picks him up on the highway, and soon they’re going 70-miles-an-hour and she’s got a gun pointed at his head. Instead of shooting him, she hits him with a proposition to make some fast money. Against his better judgment, Dan sneaks into her office and steals the key to a safe deposit box. He thinks he’s made a clean getaway until he’s stopped on the way out by Kate, a sultry accountant who knows something is up and is looking for a way in on the score.
Kate offers Dan a better deal, and the two figure out a way into the box. But there’s no money inside. What they do find is enough to track down a shady photographer who holds the promise of even more treasure. But deception, misdirection, and murder keep Dan on the run, as he begins to realize that Kate the office drone is not what she seems, and the lady on the highway who he double-crossed may be the most dangerous criminal he’s ever met.
Everyone knows that cigarettes will kill you…
Mark works the overnight in a grimy deli in the Bronx, selling gray-market smokes and bad meat. His hot-headed manager Janet pushes him to help her con their boss into paying cash for a truck full of tax-free cigarettes. Soon he finds that Janet is willing to do nearly anything to grab the money, and what they’re up to is a lot more dangerous than three packs a day.
It's a bad idea for a drug courier on the job to pick up a woman in a roadside bar. Cyril learns this lesson the hard way when the sultry-voiced girl he brings back to his motel room holds him up at gunpoint.
In the meantime Danny, a fast talking sex-offender, has Cyril's car remotely tracked. He enlists the help of his over-sized neighbor Derek to hunt down Cyril and grab the cash, but they run into problems of their own on the unfamiliar highways of the Midwest.
Soon Cyril's sinister brother Duane and his mysterious partner Inez also join the chase, but no one seems to understand that Cyril hasn't even made his pickup yet.
Willow and Cyril form an uneasy alliance based on necessity, lust, and the desire for a quick payday. But with so many dangerous players giving chase, will they nab their package?
Deadlines is a tribute anthology dedicated to the memory of writer and crime fiction enthusiast, William E. Wallace. A career journalist, Wallace got a first-hand look at the darker side of humanity working at various papers in California before settling at the San Francisco Chronicle. Upon retiring, Wallace engaged fully into the crime fiction community connecting with writers and readers not only to promote his own writing, but to promote other writers he enjoyed.
It is through William E. Wallace’s career and his stories that the contributors to this anthology take inspiration. These stories are presented with appreciation to his unselfish contribution to our community and our publications.
All proceeds of this publication will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in the name of William E. Wallace.
Learn more about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at cbldf.org.
And read William E. Wallace’s blog at PulpHackConfessions.com.
Thank you to those who contributed their time and stories: Preston Lang, Jen Conley, Joe Clifford, Will Viharo, Paul D. Brazill, Patricia Abbott, Rob Pierce, Sean Craven, Eric Beetner, Sarah M. Chen, Nick Kolakowski, S.W. Lauden, Scott Adlerberg, Gary Phillips, Renee Asher Pickup, Eryk Pruitt, Todd Morr, Travis Richardson, Anonymous-9, Sean Lynch, Alec Cizak, Greg Barth, C. Mack Lewis.
A joint publication of Shotgun Honey and All Due Respect.