This fast paced, amusing story takes place entirely in the confines of a small convenience store in Little Lump, Texas. As the title implies, however, the characters in this tale range far beyond the shop’s run of the mill occupants:There is a fisherman behaving very oddly, there are flying saucers, invisible alien ambassadors, and before all is said and done the US Army gets involved.
At the center of all this commotion, Aunt Gerdie, owner of the Gas n’ Sip, exudes southern twang. Her narrative voice is peppered with unique expressions: “Well, I’ll be buggered by a bear.” Gerdie’s worldview makes large allowances for the absurd and the ridiculous. This is why the craziness of extraterrestrial visitation leaves her unphased: “Everybody gets a chance for a little crazy dance,” she says. “And I guess it was my turn to cha-cha.” She responds in kind to whatever the world throws at her. Gerdie is the matron of a small family in a small town.
Many of the townsfolk are not what she would think of as “mental giants.” She puts up with them with a unique combination of cruelty and kindness. “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind,” is her oft-repeated motto. She is compassionate, yet she heavily dispenses cutting remarks to those around her. Her attitude borders on the toxic and the mean, yet she redeems herself in moments of tenderness and love for her family, especially her dead husband.
TALES FROM LITTLE LUMP: ALIEN SEASON is a highly readable, even witty story perfect for a camp side get-together.
Reviewed by Ben Streeter for IndieReader