Cal Sharp author and steel guitar player

From The Beast From the Back of the Bus, a musician procedural.

Wilson Packard, the murderous ex-con, falls in with some White Supremecists.

The gun men were members of a Christian survivalist group called the CSA - the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord - founded in the 70's 'because 'God spoke to me' by a preacher from San Antonio who had converted from ordinary Protestantism to Identity Christian. They ran their operations from a compound called Zarephath-Horeb, after the Biblical places where Moses received the Ark of the Covenant, Mount Horeb, and the Phoenician city, Zarephath. It was located on a couple hundred acres of wilderness in the Ozark mountains near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

Packard had been knocking around alone for some time, sleeping in homeless shelters or in the woods, and he was glad to meet some kindred spirits who shared some of his political and religious ideas. He was also broke, and when they invited him to come to the compound and visit for a while he was glad of a free place to stay. Packard had heard about Zarephath-Horeb back in Idaho, and he was eager to see what it was all about. He rode back with them that night and the next day they put him to work in the gun shop.

The CSA were Christian survivalists preparing for the collapse of the American government and the coming race war by training in the use of weapons in a mock village called Silhouette City, similar to the FBI's training ground at Quantico. The CSA also operated the Endtime Overcomer Survival Training School offering to members and to selected non-members courses in urban warfare, riflery and pistolcraft, military tactics, Christian martial arts and wilderness survival.

The CSA had their own water supply, electricity, dormitories, and factories where they made hand grenades and paraphernalia for firearms, using the most sophisticated equipment. They also conducted seminars on the gun show circuit throughout the Midwest and South at which they demonstrated weapons available for self-protection and offered for sale riot guns and gun accessories along with quantities of hate literature.

Polygamy was encouraged at Zarepath-Horeb. The founder, himself, had four wives and Packard fell right in with that program. Understandably, there was a big turnover in the female population of Zarephath-Horeb and the members were always on the lookout for new women. One day after Packard had been there for a month he was invited to go out on a recruitment drive.

"We need some new meat", he was told by Young and Landau, the two he had met at the gun show, and they piled into a Cadillac and went cruising, looking for new recruits. It was a warm, sunny summer day and they were hoping to find hitchhikers.

They scouted the secondary roads for a couple of hours until they came upon a blonde-haired girl with a backpack on the ground beside her and her thumb out. The men looked up and down the road, no traffic was in sight.

"Pull over," Young said, and Packard, who was driving, eased the big Caddy over to the edge of the road.

"Need a ride, Miss?" Young asked.

The girl was dressed in faded jeans and a tie-dyed T-shirt. Her hair was in braids and her fresh face was freckled and sun tanned. She was probably eighteen.

"Umm, well…" the girl mumbled, nervously eyeing the bearded, camouflage-clad men in the muddy Cadillac.

Landau opened the back door, smiled at her and motioned her inside. When she started to back away he sprang from the car and dragged her and her backpack inside.

"No," she hollered, struggling uselessly against the powerful Landau, who weighed 210 and who was a martial arts expert.

"Yes!" he sneered in her face, clamping her arms behind her back and pushing her to the floorboard.

A week later the girl escaped from Zarephath-Horeb on a moonless night and Packard and Young went after her, trailing her across the mountains and catching up with her at dawn, miles from anywhere. The girl had no idea where she was going, and had gotten farther and farther away from any hope of succor.

She was tired and wet and bedraggled and offered no resistance when they stripped her and repeatedly raped her. When they were done with her she looked so pathetic and cowed lying on the wet ground sniffling, smeared with mud and the men's sweat, that Packard felt an unaccountable hatred for her well up inside him and he slashed her throat with his hunting knife. They buried her in a shallow grave where she lay and went back home to the compound.

Not too long after that it was rumored that FBI men were staking out Zarephath-Horeb, planning some sort of a raid. Packard saw for himself the unmarked cars with long antennas cruising the area and he figured it was about time to be on his way, so one night he slipped away, taking a 17-shot 9mm Glock semiautomatic with him, and headed south.

The Beast From the Back of the Bus is available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Ebooks can also be read on a computer with the free Kindle reader app.

ebook cover design at caligraphics