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Petit MOrts #5: SPANISH FLY GUY

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Spanish Fly Guy by Jordan Castillo Price

Series: Petit Morts #5
Length: Novella - 18,150 words - 59 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price - see larger cover
ISBN: 978-1-935540-04-5


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Buy the Bundle and Save • Petit Morts Dozen

Hue Tint & Shade, Moolah and Moonshine, Spanish Fly Guy, Pretty Ugly, One Less Stiff at the Funeral, Wishink Well, Happily Neverafter, London Eye, Spirits and Second Chances, Loose Change, Media Naranja, Immortal Coil

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Summary

JP McMahon cruises into the small, oceanside town of Brightside hoping to score a bed for the night and a few dollars to fill the Miata’s gas tank. He discovers that cell phones and Internet are non-existent, and that without access to matchmaker sites and Craigslist, the local newspaper's personal ads are booming.

He cooks up an unlikely scam, a foul novelty concoction called Spanish Fly. He also finds an unlikely accomplice in Ryan, the quiet local kid at the copy shop with a flair for designing irresistible labels.

Spanish Fly proves popular—almost too popular—and JP suspects his luck is about to turn. But that “little voice” inside tells him to stick around Brightside just a tiny bit longer….

 

Excerpt

JP McMahon was sick and tired of being Googled.

It was getting harder and harder to find a place where people weren't always on the Internet. Especially now with smartphones, it seemed like no sooner did you meet somebody then they were trying to look you up on Facebook. And so JP was pleased as punch to kick back along the boardwalk of a scenic little town, a safe hamlet with an oceanfront view. A town not far from Wilmington where the salt air continually corroded any attempts by the local cable company to provide Internet for its inhabitants, and the 3G network was down more than it was up. Thus, in a world where the economy was normally based on bandwidth and pixels, tourism and fishing kept the darling little seaside town named Brightside afloat.

The most intriguing thing about the village was that this lack of Internet, this dearth of cell phones, meant that the local newspaper industry was positively thriving. Most local, small-town rags featured stories about who was celebrating a silver anniversary, which church was hosting a spaghetti dinner, who had died, of course, and a police blotter filled with break-ins, speeding violations, and the occasional tavern brawl. Not so with the Brightside Chronicle. That little gem featured actual stories that went beyond news about the girls’ high school volleyball team making the finals at State. And the classified section was a work of art. Without Craigslist to provide an outlet for everyone's steamiest and most lurid anonymous desires, the folks of Brightside had resurrected—or perhaps had never actually lost—the art of advertisement writing.

JP folded his paper into quarters so he could settle into the boardwalk bench and cradle it in his lap like a beloved paperback. Men seeking women. Women seeking men. Alternative lifestyles—that section was sorely underpopulated; undoubtedly there were plenty of “alternative” people in Brightside—but airing their laundry with wood pulp and ink was probably a lot more daunting than sneaking a quick text to Craigslist.

Too bad. JP was an alternative kind of guy, and he would've been interested to see what sort of pitch an alternative pleasure seeker might come up with in Brightside.

He scanned the various ads. The writing quality was pretty good. A bit stilted, but definitely better then the typical drivel he usually saw on the dating sites. Life without Internet access might have made it harder to find free porn, but it certainly had preserved the literary ability of Brightside's population. He unfolded the paper and turned the page. Another full page of ads? He turned back to see if it might be a duplicate. It wasn't. He turned the paper over. Another page. How was that possible? The sign on Main Street said that Brightside had a population just over twelve hundred. JP counted the number of ads in a column, then multiplied that by the number of rows on the page. Then he multiplied that by the number of pages. Was it possible that almost twenty percent of the population of Brightside was looking for love? One in five? That had to be some kind of record.

And...that had to be something that JP could work to his advantage.

If JP had been a kindly older lady, he would have hung out a shingle and advertised his services as a reputable and discreet matchmaker. But, since JP was young and sleek and predatory, he somehow doubted that the fine folks of Brightside would take him into their confidence, not until he lived there for another twenty years or so. And by then, no doubt even Brightside would have the Internet.

Since JP would meet with little success in any business venture that required his new customers to place their immediate and unquestioning trust in him, he decided instead to do what came naturally to him.

Brightside, with its lack of cell phones and nonexistent Internet, struck JP as an old-fashioned kind of town. And so he indulged himself in an old-fashioned kind of idea. All he needed were a few simple supplies.

He shielded his eyes from the sun and scanned the boardwalk. The bathhouse? Closed. The canoe rental stands? Closed. The souvenir stands full of postcards, tanning oil and cheap sunglasses? Closed. Even the ice cream shop. Closed. JP wondered what the deal was. Maybe Brightside had some kind of ordinance that said all the shops had to shut down at six for a siesta. He was debating whether or not to tilt back the passenger seat in his Miata and take one himself when a tiny bell jingled. He whirled around. On the whole boardwalk, a single shop was still open. A candy store.

Ideas arranged and rearranged themselves within the well-oiled machine of JP's mind. A candy store? He could work with that.

 

#1: Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price
Yellow is as yellow does.

#2: Slings and Arrows by Josh Lanyon
It's a fine line between "secret admirer" and "stalker".

#3: Moolah and Moonshine by Jordan Castillo Price
If you ever go to France, watch out for those ticklers.

#4: Other People's Weddings by Josh Lanyon
Pulling off the perfect wedding can be murder.

#5: Spanish Fly Guy by Jordan Castillo Price
A new twist on liquid courage.

#6: Pretty Ugly by Jordan Castillo Price
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...usually.

#7: Sort of Stranger Than Fiction by Josh Lanyon
They always say to write what you know.

#8: One Less Stiff at the Funeral by Sean Kennedy
Chocolate makes everything better. Even a eulogy.

#9: Critic's Choice by Josh Lanyon
It was a dark and stormy night. No, really, it was.

#10: Wishink Well by Jordan Castillo Price
You can't get something for nothing.

#11: Happily Neverafterby Jordan Castillo Price
All's well that ends well.

#12: London Eye by Clare London
Give credit where credit is due.

#13: Spirits and Second Chances by Sean Kennedy
The past can come back to haunt you.

#14: Just Desserts by Josh Lanyon
Pick your poison.

#15: Loose Change by Sean Kennedy
If there's one thing you can always count on, it's change.

#16: Media Naranja (Other Half) by Clare London and Jordan Castillo Price
There's someone for everyone.

#17: Immortal Coil by Jordan Castillo Price
Love is more than skin deep.

 

Reviews

Obsidian Bookshelf - "Is [Chance] an agent of fate or a random influence or what? Finding out more about him is only one of the rewards that we readers can look forward to in future installments of the Petit Morts series."

Two Lips - "Arrogant and occasionally obnoxious, JP shows the occasional flashes of unexpected sensitivity that Castillo Price so often layers into her characters."

Well Read - "I completely fell in love with [Ryan's] awkward mannerisms and gentle personality."

Reviews by Jessewave - "Jordan struck a perfect balance in [JP's] characterization by showing his sleazy underbelly while at the same time making me care about him as a person despite the fact that he was a crook."

Joyfully Reviewed - "Ryan is a genuinely sweet guy who’s stuck in a dead end job, living a life he doesn’t want, until JP swaggers in the door and turns him upside down."

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Hue Tint and ShadeHUE, TINT & SHADE
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