Crime Fiction Friday: “The Shadows, Kith and Kin” by Joe R. Lansdale

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  • Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

We had a great time two weeks ago with Joe Lansdale when he attended our Noir At The Bar and we couldn’t be happier with his recent successes, both with his books and with the new Hap and Leonard TV show on Sundance Channel. If you haven’t gotten enough Lansdale (and how can you?), he puts up a new story each week on his website, free to all his fans. This week’s story is a chilling blend of crime and horror, based on an incident us Austinites will always remember.


“Shadows, Kith and Kin” by Joe R. Lansdale

“There are no leaves left on the trees, and the limbs are weighted with ice and bending low. Many of them have broken and fallen across the drive. Beyond the drive, down where it and the road meet, where the bar ditch is, there is a brown, savage run of water.

It is early afternoon, but already it is growing dark, and the fifth week of the storm raves on. I have never seen such a storm of wind and ice and rain, not here in the South, and only once before have I been in a cold storm bad enough to force me to lock myself tight in my home.

So many things were different then, during that first storm.

No better, but different.

On this day, while I sit by my window looking out at what the great, white, wet storm has done to my world, I feel at first confused, and finally elated.

The storm. The ice. The rain. All of it. It’s the sign I was waiting for…

Read the rest of the story.

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