Book Cover Desperado

March 2001
by Howard Goldstein

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“By dose id code,” I stuttered, nasally.


“What?” the home invader screamed. “What did you say?”


You try speaking clearly with the barrel of a gun pressed hard against the end of your nose, with your crossed eyes transfixed upon a nervously twitching trigger finger. See how far you get. I said, “By dose id code.”
In response, waggling the pistol forcefully against my proboscis, he pushed me backward into a chair. Knees buckling from fear and impact, I graciously agreed to sit.


This had begun as a quiet, average day working in the studio at my computer and drawing board on a book jacket illustration. My studio is in the front of the house. Our home is at the end of a T-intersection in what was once referred to as a “quiet bedroom community.” It’s a place where nothing but an occasional earthquake tremor ever disturbs the tranquillity. Our street is in one of those many dead-end pockets created by the original building contractors to trap prospective buyers, which today makes it impossible to drive across the valley except on main streets. Locating an address requires detailed instructions, careful study of a Thomas Guide, and a lot of getting lost. So when I looked out of the window to see an apparition out of yesteryear galloping hell-for-leather down the black macadam street which ends at our front door, my jaw dropped. Jesse James, in wind-blown duster and full western gear, was apparently intent upon dropping in for a visit. Like it or n…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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