ISBN 1894953096 (ebook)
1894953118 (chapbook, June 2006) 2nd ed., 2010
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Chapbook - Re-released (2010)!
Back in East Texas for the summer break, college student Kevin Harvey gets more excitement than he counted on when he signs on with a logging crew to escape his dull summer job bagging groceries. As he and the other 'flatheads' (so called on the off chance they don't get out of the way of falling trees) soon discover, the Texas piney woods hold many secrets -- some better left undiscovered.
"In Flatheads, Byron Starr has evoked the feel of the East Texas woods in its forbidding and eery aspects. His people, who are as real and gritty as sawdust, are caught in a most unusual trap, and his ending is really disturbing. This writer seems to be a potential heir to the uniquely East Texas horror crown presently worn by Joe R. Lansdale. I enjoyed reading this book a lot."
-Ardath Mayhar, author of the Mesa series
"How did we get screwed into starting this job on a Friday?" Derek asked from his seat by the passenger's door.
"The owner of the tract couldn't go out and meet me until yesterday." Mack grumbled, "I told him that we'd rather start next Monday, but he's in some kind of hurry to get his money for those trees."
"What's wrong with starting the job on a Friday?" Kevin asked, thankful to have the subject changed to something that didn't pertain to him.
"Bad luck," Roy offered from the back seat.
"Yeah," Mack seconded, "You start a job on a Friday, and it never fails; shit breaks down left and right, and about half the time someone ends up getting hurt. I never start a job on Friday when I can get around it."
"I wouldn't have placed you as the superstitious type." Kevin said to Mack.
"Son, let me tell you," Mack said, wagging a thick finger for emphasis, "You work around chainsaws and falling trees long enough, you'll develop a little superstition. I'm tellin' you, loggers are strange folk. I know one contractor who would turn down a job if there was a cemetery neighboring the tract."
"Jerrod Haskins," Roy injected.
"That's him," Mack acknowledged; then he jabbed a thumb toward the back seat and said, "Hell, ol' Roy has one of the weirdest rituals of them all."
"What's that?" Kevin asked.
"From the time we start a job until the job is done, he never brushes his teeth."
"Never?" Kevin asked in a somewhat subdued voice.
Behind him, Roy had taken out his false teeth and was creeping them over Kevin's shoulder. Suddenly, he thrust them into Kevin's face and said, "Yep, just soak 'em."
The sudden appearance of Roy's teeth made Kevin almost jump into Derek's lap.
Laughter roared through the pickup to the point that Mack almost had to pull over to keep from having an accident.