I think I’m developing a serious case of writing ADD. I know lots of authors with this syndrome, dozens of unfinished projects, and a complete inability to finalize them. I have 2 chapters left of WZF #5, and try as I might the words won’t come. I’m at a crossroads with The Colcoa Tailings, and my Victor Tookes Adventure short story is like 2000 words from completed. And lately I find myself completely obsessed with Mr. A. Mason Campbell. Mason is an antebellum gentleman, living in Dodge City at the start of Wyatt Earp’s illustrious career there. That world is so enticing to me, and I can’t seem to tear myself away from it.
I wrote a brief intro to the character, penned by a childhood friend as a forward to Mason’s diary. Read it after the jump and let me know what you think.
by John Turner Esquire
I was raised just miles away from the Campbell estate, the childhood home of Mr. Jason Brown. Of course, I knew him as A. Mason Campbell, but so much has changed in the years since we were children, bedeviling our tutors and running freely through the fields of our adjacent South Georgia plantations. My parents were fairly new to the area, having made the voyage to the United States as a young newlywed couple. I mention this only to highlight the fact that Mason’s family had been in Georgia since before the colony was founded, the patent on their plantation hung proudly in the living room of their mansion, dated 1748, a full four years before it officially became a colony. Mason sounds just like his father; their family all has the aristocratic southern dialect prevalent among upper class South Georgians.
If I am completely honest, Mason was always the good one of the pair of us. We were both born in the Campbell’s house, and only hours apart and we have been inseparable ever since. One time, when we were just four or five, I was playing with matches under Mrs. Campbell’s bed. Mason and I crawled under the bed where it was dark and repeatedly struck matches, watching the fire flare. One particular match caught the ticking on the underside of the mattress on fire. We quickly scooted out from under the bed and while I ran screaming for help, Mason calmly filled his father’s shaving mug from the wash basin and splashed the fire out. Their bed was ruined, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell had to sleep on the floor for a month while a new bed was shipped from Virginia, but no one was hurt and the house itself didn’t burn, thanks to Mason’s quick thinking. That story has been told around the dinner table of both of our families for the last twenty years. Four year old Mason was the genius firefighter, while his friend John ran screaming down the halls.
I tell that story as one example of a long history of our relationship; I don’t mean to describe Mason as a complete saint, we both initiated our share of childhood adventures but Mason has always been the one I relied on to get us out of trouble. When the unfortunate events surrounding his departure as the leader of the 1st Georgia Militia were made known to me, it was my honor and duty to repay him for all the times his quick thinking and charm got me out of trouble. His wrote to me from several locations, heading west, his despair was most prevalent. Together through that correspondence, we worked out his alter ego and made plans to get him established in that new life. His inventions are legendary around Brunswick, the thought of one failing so catastrophically was unfathomable to those of us who know him. It had to be sabotage. If anyone can find the saboteur and bring him to justice, Mason will.
The last letter I received from Mr. Brown was from Dodge City, Kansas. He’s met up with an old trusted friend and a group of seven people out there who are in the trail of something big. He spoke highly of each of them, and while each of them has their own reason for being in the group, their separate paths all seem to coincide, at least for the time being.