WELCOME AUTHOR ALAN OAKES
Alan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts degree from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about the author, feel free to go to his website.
My Favorite Scene to Write: Between Micah and Amos
by Alan Oakes
Ashleigh and her mother, Jo Lynn, go at it a lot in Between Micah and Amos. Their complex relationship drives the story.
There is a point in the book, where Ashleigh stays out late with her boyfriend Billy and doesn’t tell her mother. When she returns home, her mother is waiting for her on the half-finished porch next to her boyfriend Casey’s filthy trailer. It’s late at night and there Jo Lynn is -- sitting on the sun-faded plastic chair, knocking back a bottle of Jack and smoking a cigarette, anxious as hell.
Right away Jo Lynn tears into Ashleigh for not calling. She tells Ashleigh that a social worker from Child Protective Services came by that afternoon. Jo Lynn is panicked: She’s worried about getting tossed into jail. She’s worried that her boyfriend Casey will kick them out and they have nowhere to go.
You see these two sides to Jo Lynn – on the one hand she is this imperious mother ready to throttle her daughter and then almost in the next breath she is completely vulnerable and frightened, like a child.
At the end of the scene, Jo Lynn is so overcome -- it is Ashleigh who takes over the role of mother, putting Jo Lynn to bed.
“I work hard you know, tryin’ to keep this family to-
gether. To put a roof over your head and food on the table
and you don’t even pay me the common decency to call me
and tell me where you’re at!”
“You broke my phone,” Ashleigh said.
“You whore!” Jo Lynn stood up and started to swing her
hand, which contained the glass of Jack, at her daughter’s
face, only to stop herself. She wildly looked into her daugh-
“That’s what you want me to do! Take a swing at you so
that I can go to jail. That’s what you want!”
“No, Momma,” Ashleigh feebly protested.
“I bet it was Darrel who called Child Protective Services.
That’s what Casey thinks. He’s pissed that Casey beat the crap
out of him,” Jo Lynn said, continuing to cry.
Ashleigh liked this train of thought—anything to deflect
her mother’s rage away from her.
“I bet that’s what happened, Momma,” Ashleigh encour-
aged. Instinctively, Ashleigh reached her arms out and hugged
“This whole world is against me,” Jo Lynn said as she
clung to her daughter. “You try to do right an’ they just kick
you in the face.”
“Calm down, Momma,” Ashleigh said gently. “Calm
“God as my witness, I won’t let them beat me,” Jo Lynn
said as she clung to Ashleigh. “Not now, not ever… I won’t
let them beat me…”
Ashleigh held her mother tightly and looked out onto the
piles of junk that surrounded the lot. The Oldsmobile was
“Where’s Casey?” Ashleigh asked.
“Who the hell knows? He was so pissed off when he left.”
Jo Lynn began to sob again. “What if he comes back and
says we have to go? What am I gonna do?”
Jo Lynn started to cry deeply.
“Let’s get you inside, Momma. Let’s get you to bed.”
Ashleigh guided her mother to the back bedroom of the
trailer and put her on the bed. Ashleigh did the best she could
un-wadding the sheets and putting them over her mother,
tucking her in. Suddenly, Jo Lynn grabbed her daughter’s
arm. Her eyes opened. “You can’t leave me, Ashleigh. Prom-
ise me, you’ll never leave me.”
Ashleigh looked at her mother’s desperate eyes. “No,
Mama, I’ll never leave you; close your eyes. I’ll never leave
Soon Jo Lynn was asleep, snoring heavily. Ashleigh left
the tiny bedroom, closed its accordion door and headed past
the kitchenette to the living room section of the trailer.
By Alan Oakes
Like a flash, the discharge from the gun lit up the inside of the dimly lit, filthy trailer Ashleigh called home. Ashleigh sat curled up on the stained pink carpet next to the pull-out bed in the living area where she slept. The victim lay dead, slumped against the wall of the trailer. Ashleigh looked at the motionless body. She was petrified.
Meet Ashleigh Mae, a seventeen year old high school senior living in the small town of Micah, Texas. Her boyfriend Billy calls her a wild child. Her momma is always telling her she makes bad choices. No matter what, no one really understands her.
Ashleigh dreams of a life with Billy. Their love is true, she thinks. When her mother forces them to leave Micah in the middle of the night and move in with her momma’s old boyfriend Casey, on the outskirts of a town called Amos, Ashleigh’s life is torn apart.
This is her fight to get it back….
“So you’re rich?” Ashleigh asked.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Manuel answered.
“I would!” Ashleigh laughed.
“Lean forward,” she said to him impulsively.
“What?” Manuel asked, surprised.
“Just do it,” Ashleigh said.
Manuel leaned forward and Ashleigh came behind him and began to massage his neck and back.
“That feels good...” he said soothingly with his eyes closed.
“You are such a hottie!” Ashleigh remarked as she kneaded the muscles of his back.
Manuel turned toward Ashleigh, looked into her eyes, and kissed her softly. She felt tingly as he caressed her body. She could feel his excitement as he continued to kiss her. But just as soon as they started, Manuel turned and stood up. He then dove into the cold water. He swam up next to the rock where they both were lying. Ashleigh looked at him, surprised.
“I’m sorry,” Manuel said, trying to catch his breath. “I made a promise that I wouldn’t make love until I was married.”
Ashleigh stared at Manuel with her eyebrows raised.
“Holy crap! You’re serious?” Ashleigh asked.
“Yeah,” Manuel said and laughed.
“So you’re still a virgin?”
“Yeah…” Manuel said. He looked at Ashleigh’s astonished face. “It’s not like I’m a vampire or something.”