Tuesday, April 10, 2018
WHAT ARE HEROES MADE OF by Jessica R. Ferguson
When I learned my story, The Little Girl in the Bayou, had been accepted for publication in the IWSG Anthology, I was sitting in a hospital bed awaiting heart surgery. For an instant, it seemed like a cruel joke—after all, how would I do the edits or meet any other publishing or marketing requirements? As you can see, all worked out. I’m alive, doing well, and to the best of my ability I’m meeting my obligations. I’m thrilled to be a part of this collection.
About my hero:Construction worker Joe Mack Crawford (known as Mack in this story) came into my life in the mid-eighties. He’s a composite of all the heroes I’ve ever known: my quiet introspective dad along with his own hero Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke; the neighbor across the street who lifted me high over his head, muscles bulging; the pastor who baptized me in our little country church, and my grandpa who always knelt beside the pew to pray. No way can I forget my handsome 6th grade Texas history teacher—even if he did accuse me of tracing that buffalo! And of course, my husband who introduced me to Joe Mack, and did a lot of brainstorming and plotting.
Joe Mack Crawford is the type of guy who will right wrongs or die trying. So when he found a picture of a child wrapped in fish net, looking fearful, no way would he ignore it.
He wouldn’t be able to sleep or focus on his job until he found her. The terror in her eyes screamed at him to do something. She couldn't be more than nine or ten. He wondered if she would ever smile again or if they’d already pushed her too far. He wondered if she was still alive.
Life has a way of teaching hard lessons, and Mack knew if the kid was still alive she’d already learned the hardest at a very young age. She might never get over it.
EXCERPT:He got up, paced the floor, and watched the bayou meander behind his apartment. He couldn’t get the little girl’s face out of his mind. Was she asleep now? Having a nightmare? Crying for her mama and daddy? He didn’t know whether to pray for her to be alive or pray that God had saved her by taking her home.
Mack lives in three manuscripts: two short stories and an incomplete novel, but to me he’s out there somewhere—alive and well—much more than a fictional character. He’s all the good men in my life—men who were (and are) heroes.
Where do your heroes come from? A memory? A dream? Pure fiction?
I’m anxious for you to read The Little Girl in the Bayou and meet Joe Mack Crawford. And I hope you'll like him as much as I do.
You can purchase Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime from