Cast of Characters (So far)
- John Kyser: White kid. Over all pretty together, has a crush on Kinsey Salazar but is too shy to do anything about it. He lives in an old Victorian house on the Little Cypress River, south of Rice Creek, with his family (Mother, Father and little brother Bobby) and his gay uncle Tony Gallo. It is actually Tony’s house. His lover Lance died a few years before the stories take place.
- Josh Kang: Korean-American and very out. Star QB of the football team. Total golden boy of the high school. Best friends with Tom. They mess around some. A bad thing happened to him that he only told Scott about, that has changed him a bit. It has strained his relationship with Tom.
- Tom Dalton: tall skinny and scruffy gay hipster dude. BBF with Josh, really has a crush on Josh, but Josh “doesn’t do boyfriends” and Josh has been acting like an ass ever since Memorial Day Weekend.
- Ross Dalton: Tom’s older brother. Kind of a straight-laced guy. Plays the clueless hetero guy in the group. Is on the school’s basketball team. Is going out with Jaida. He gets a lot of shit for dating a black girl and hanging out with the queer kids. His best quality is fierce loyalty.
- Jaida Dunlap: Afro-Cuban girl. Very smart and the head cheerleader for RCHS. She likes Ross because he’s a jock that has no problem with a girlfriend that is smarter than him. Her best friend is Kinsey Salazar
- Stacy Fata: Italian-American girl. Don’t know much about her yet.
- Kinsey Salazar: Puerto Rican. One the cheerleading squad with Jaida. Still getting to know her. I see her as a little cold toward boys, mainly because she’s tired of being harassed by them. One reason she liked hanging out with the GSA crowd. I think, she might think that John is gay and that’s why she doesn’t really take his very awkward flirting very seriously.
- Scott Woods: White guy. Also on the football team. Like almost everyone at RCHS he has a bit of a crush on Josh. He’s gay but not overtly out. He assumed everyone knows but he’s never actually said it. Patrick was his “lover” when they were thirteen. They had a lot of fun on a canoe trip.
- Patrick O’Tool: Very flamboyant, gender-queer, Pagan kid. Had bright red hair that he dyed jet black. He liked to paint his nails bright lavender or purple. He was bullied a lot and killed himself.
John Kyser, along with his family, is in the novel Steamboat Days. It takes place during the Memorial Day festivities in the town of Blackwater. I needed a group of kids from his school for him to hang with so the Rice Creek Crew was born. I hadn’t explored the environs of the Little Cypress River yet, so that was fun.
Rice Creek is the area where the Swan/Cisneros family had their rice plantation, pre-Civil War. It eventually grew into a village and then a town. It’s at the point furthest upstream that the riverboats could travel all year long. In the summer (the rainy season) the larger boats could make it all the way to Harvey’s Landing. The historic paddlewheel boat Magnolia Blossom, nick named the Maggie B, still takes tourist on trips from the Spanish Quarter in Bennett Bay to the quaint riverfront of Rice Creek. An all day trip that includes an excellent lunch served on the Hurricane deck. Tickets sell out fast so it’s suggested you book your trip online.
Storm Crow is a novella that tells of the passing of Patrick. It falls into my paranormal sub-world I have going on in the larger Bennett Bay collection, see the Live Oak Tales. Innes and Elisha, the crow, show up. This story takes place after Steamboat Days, so it’s on hold until I finish that story. I took a break to get to know the RC Crew a bit better.
For years, I’ve had the idea for a story about a boy taking a trip with the ashes of his dear friend that died tragically, and his conversations with the dead boy. I had actually started on a draft for a short film I wanted to shoot when I live up in the Twin Cities, but life happened. That idea came back and I found Scott canoeing along the Little Cypress with Patty’s remains. Stay tuned to this site, or sign-up for my newsletter, to find out when this story is published.