Friday, April 18, 2014

The Road to Key West Series by Michael Reisig #Excerpt #AmReading #Adventure

After three long hours our little caravan was approaching Bahia Honda Bridge, the huge, mile-long monument to Henry Flagler’s ingenuity—a graceful, tiered hump of concrete and metal rising 150 feet above the swift channel below. The bridge was silhouetted by a distant summer storm tumbling across the horizon, encasing a golden sun, setting the towering cumulus clouds on fire and illuminating brilliant shafts of silver rain as they cascaded into the sea. I realized again that there is no artist to compare with Mother Nature, but she paints only for the moment.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to enjoy the scene as much as I would have liked. The monkey was getting fidgety and making way too much conversation. Ralph, our Vietnam-challenged veteran had finished almost all the beers and apparently most of the pills, reaching a state of agitated catatonia—bloodshot, distant eyes staring straight ahead, a much too solid grip on the wheel, an occasional dry “eckk” from a clenched mouth. I was really glad we only had another five miles to go. God, a war-ravaged vet and his pet monkey. How did we get into this?

We had just reached the peak of the bridge, when we suddenly encountered a semi-truck barreling up from the other direction. The narrow structure, built in a time when smaller vehicles were the order of the day, could barely accommodate the two trucks, let alone their extended mirrors. There was no time to react and nowhere to go. We missed the semi but the mirrors of the two vehicles collided in a loud explosion of showering glass.

“Ecccckkk!” Ralph shrieked, eyes widening. “Ecccckkk!”

“Eccckkk!” The monkey screeched and hammered the seat with its little hands, jumping up and down, throwing himself at the windshield.

“Eccckkk!” cried Ralph again.

I managed to grab No Shit, and for a moment I thought Ralph was going to make it. We were over the high point of the bridge and headed downward. But suddenly, I noticed Ralph’s right cheek had begun to twitch—that same eye was beginning to tic independently, as if it was watching a tennis game by itself. This was soon accompanied by a continuous burbling whisper of. “Eckk, eckk, eckk, eckk…” and a death grip on the wheel.  I knew I was in trouble. Then, quietly, from deep inside him came a low whine, building rapidly into a howling crescendo of “INCOMING! INCOMING!” As if that was his cue, the monkey screeched like he’d just been branded and went totally berserk, bouncing off the seat and the dash then launching himself at Ralph. No Shit wrapped himself around Ralph’s face—humping his master’s head while screeching and yanking out sizable tufts of hair. 

Ralph was shrieking, “Aahhhh! V.C! V.C! Eccckkk! Fubar! Fubar! Aahhhh! Pop smoke!” As we were careening down the sharp incline of the bridge, Ralph had one hand on the wheel while trying to rip the monkey off his head with the other, not the least bit concerned with the unique device on the floor called a brake pedal. The trailer was reaching an acceptable speed for moon rocket launches, and swaying so badly it was grating on the old metal rails—the only thing between us and a hundred-foot fall into the deep, churning water below. Good God, it can’t get any worse than this!  I thought. He died while trying to save fifty bucks on a trailer delivery…

Ralph somehow managed to get a grip on No Shit and ripped him off his face. I realized then that they were both completely mad. He threw the monkey on the floor, but No Shit seized his leg with renewed frenzy and laid his sharp little canines into Mr. Flashback’s calf. Ralph screamed, completely forgot the steering wheel, opened the cab door and lurched out onto the running board. Grabbing the top of the cab with both hands, yelling about “friggin’ V.C. monkeys” and “ungrateful hairy little bastards” he began trying to shake the monkey off his leg. No Shit, who had a remarkably firm grip, was still screeching between bites  (and my guess would be, arguing in return about what it’s like to live with a crazy person). I slid over and grabbed the wheel, thinking, Maybe I have a small chance, but when I looked up, ahead of us, walking in the center of the bridge, was a procession of about a dozen people in white robes. The long-haired guy preceding the congregation by about fifty feet was carrying a large brown urn. Oh God! A cremation—ashes off the bridge ceremony!

It was too late to do anything. I couldn’t just slam on the brakes or the trailer would jackknife and we’d all go over the side. We were coming down the incline but still about thirty feet above the water. The guy with the urn looked up. I couldn’t hear it because the trailer was grating on the bridge, but I could see his mouth frame a healthy scream and his eyes do the Daffy Duck bulge. He threw the urn into the air, jacked up his robes and bolted for the side of the bridge, shooting us a defiant middle finger as he went over the side like some giant, ungainly heron. The others behind him recognized they had a serious problem about the same time the urn hit the front of the truck. There was a white explosion. A huge mushroom cloud enveloped the entire pickup in fine gray ash. Holy crap! They must have been burying Fat Albert. I thought. 

Ralph and No Shit were totally covered in dust—shocked to silence for a moment like a couple of avant-garde statues glued to the cab door. Meanwhile, as we careened downward, the people in front of us were following their leader’s example, robes up, scrambling for the sides of the bridge and leaping off like a flock of suicidal Hare Krishnas. I could barely see at that point, so I hit the windshield wipers, which helped just enough for me to begin braking and eventually guide the truck to a stop at the mouth of the bridge.

Ralph and No Shit were still semi-frozen to the door. The monkey finally let go of Ralph’s leg and hopped down to the ground, shaking himself. Ralph slowly turned to me. He was still completely covered in gray ash with the exception of his wide, shell-shocked eyes. His hat was gone, his ash-white hair spiked, windblown, and disheveled. He swallowed, then blinked. “Eckk?” he whispered.

The Road to Key West is an adventurous/humorous sojourn that cavorts its way through the 1970s Caribbean, from Key West and the Bahamas, to Cuba and Central America.

In August of 1971, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell set out to become nothing more than commercial divers in the Florida Keys, but adventure, or misadventure, seems to dog them at every turn. They encounter a parade of bizarre characters, from part-time pirates and heartless larcenists, to Voodoo bokors, a wacky Jamaican soothsayer, and a handful of drug smugglers. Adding even more flavor to this Caribbean brew is a complicated romance, a lost Spanish treasure, and a pre antediluvian artifact created by a distant congregation who truly understood the term, “pyramid power.”

Pour yourself a margarita, sit back, and slide into the ‘70s for a while as you follow Kansas and Will through this cocktail of madcap adventures – on The Road To Key West.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS NOVEL BE SURE TO READ THE SEQUEL, "BACK ON THE ROAD TO KEY WEST" (To be released in late August or early September, 2013)

"Jimmy Buffett should set this tropical tale to music! The best Key West stories can only be written by those who have lived here, and Reisig expertly captures the steamy, seedy, beautiful allure of the islands. “The Road to Key West” takes readers on a hysterical journey through the humidity and humanity that only exists in the lower latitudes. And much like the Keys in the 1970s, it’s a hell of a trip.
—Mandy Bolen, The Key West Citizen

"The Road to Key West" combines the dry cleverness of Lewis Grizzard, the wit of Dave Barry, and Reisig's impeccable sense of timing. It's an action-packed, romantic, charming, hilarious take on the ‘70s and its generation. A must-read!
—John Archibald, Ouachita Life Magazine

Buy Now @ Amazon


From the best-selling author of “The Road To Key West” comes a sequel guaranteed to take the reader even higher – another rollicking, hilarious Caribbean adventure that will have you ripping at the pages and laughing out loud.

“Back On The Road To Key West” reintroduces the somewhat reluctant adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell, casting them into one bizarre situation after another while capturing the true flavor and feel of Key West and the Caribbean in the early 1980s.

An ancient map and a lost pirate treasure, a larcenous Bahamian scoundrel and his gang of cutthroats, a wild and crazy journey into South America in search of a magical antediluvian device, and perilous/hilarious encounters with outlandish villains and zany friends will keep you locked to your seat and giggling maniacally. (Not to mention headhunters, smugglers, and beautiful women with poisonous pet spiders.) You’ll also welcome back Rufus, the wacky, mystical Jamaican Rastaman, and be captivated by another “complicated romance” as Kansas and Will struggle with finding and keeping “the girls of their dreams.”

So pour yourself a margarita, and get comfortable. You’re in for another rousing medley of madcap adventures in paradise, with “Back On The Road To Key West.”



Michael Reisig takes us back once again to the Key West I wish I had known – and that others wish they remembered more clearly. Kansas and Will are back in “Back on the Road to Key West,” with their trademark penchant for sultry sarcasm and sun-drenched excitement. Once again Reisig captures the character of the Keys in a way that proves he’s been here – and perhaps done that. No one wraps us in humidity and surrounds us with saltwater like this guy, whose tales of the tropics draw us constantly back to their welcoming, yet provocative shores. -- Mandy Miles, The Key West Citizen

Having lived in Key West in the late '70's and early '80's, at a time when Mel Fisher still hunted the Atocha, shrimp boats filled the harbors, and ‘square grouper’ were still an abundant species, Michael Reisig's Back on the Road to Key West, transports me back in time. Will Bell and Kansas Stamps face an assortment of ruthless antagonists and chase adventure with the abandon of the era, and whether you lived it or not, don't miss the chance to now. Vivid imagery, strong prose and an exciting plot make this trip with the boys worth taking. Enjoy the ride!"
-- John H. Cunningham, author of the Buck Reilly Adventure Series

Stumbling their way in and out of trouble and fortune, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell continue to be the idols of what every true Parrot Head imagines real life in The Keys would be -- full of spontaneous adventure. What a great read!
– Bryan Crews, former president, Tampa Parrot Head Club

Buy @ Amazon


Fast-paced humor-adventure with wacky pilots, quirky con men, bold women, mad villains, and a gadget to die for…

In the third book of Michael Reisig’s captivating series, Florida Keys adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell find their lives turned upside down when they discover a truth device hidden in the temple of an ancient civilization. Enthralled by the virtue (and entertainment value) of personally dispensing truth and justice with this unique tool, they take it all a step too far and discover that everyone wants what they have.

Seasoned with outrageous humor and sultry romances, Along The Road To Key West carries you through one wild adventure after another. This time, Kansas and Will are forced to wrest veracity and lies from con artists, divine hustlers, and political power brokers while trying to stay one step ahead of a persistent assembly of very bad guys with guns.

In the process, from Key West, into the Caribbean, and back to America’s heartland, our inadvertent heroes gather a bizarre collage of friends and enemies – from a whacked-out, one-eyed pilot, and a mystical Rastaman, to a ruthless problem-solver for a prominent religious sect, a zany flimflamming sociopath, and a Cuban intelligence agent. 

In the end, it all comes down to a frantic gamble – to save far more than the truth. So pour yourself a margarita and settle back. You’re in for a high intensity Caribbean carnival ride!

NOTE: Much of this book was originally published as a novel of mine called, “The Truthmaker.” But with the growing popularity of my “Road To Key West” series, I decided to rewrite it and publish it as “Along The Road To Key West.” – Michael Reisig

Buy @ Amazon
Genre - Caribbean Humor, Adventure
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Michael Reisig through Facebook


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