Mookie keeps the freezer turned off—it’s where he hangs meat: pigs, mostly. Good breeds, too, not those garbage eaters you find in the grocery store. Duroc, Hampshire, and his favorite, the Berkshire. He’s even got a Mangalitsa and an Iberian Black back there, each growing green-gray fuzz right now, each an animal closer to the boar than the modern pig—each a snarling brute, dark and bristled, meaner than a bee-stung rattlesnake. In that way, those animals are just like Mookie.
Mookie appears in the story “Charcuterie” by Chuck Wendig, published in The New Hero Volume 1.
Big, battle-scarred Mookie would rather be curing meat than breaking arms. But in a world of neon, concrete and dark, hidden magic, gravity can pull a man back toward his lesser aims. His boss, Werth, needs a lesson taught to an encroaching gobbo gang. But it’s not till his estranged daughter comes calling that matters get truly hairy.
In “Charcuterie”, Chuck Wendig brings to pulsing life an ambiguous world of supernatural noir. Underneath the hard-hitting grotesquerie gleams a rich vein of mordant wit. With his reluctant, haunted hero, Mookie, Chuck brilliantly shows that an iconic character can be as shaded and contradictory as any other. He cooks up a goblin restaurant scene to sear your imagination.
“I’m used to playing with characters who are changed by the world,” says Wendig. “A leaf in the stream, you might say. So it was a fascinating challenge to create a character who was a rock in the stream — not moved by the waters but able to divert them, instead.”
Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and freelance penmonkey. Chuck is the author of the novels Double Dead, Blackbirds, and Mockingbird. He, with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter’s Lab. Their short, Pandemic, showed at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and their feature HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope. He has contributed over two million words to the RPG industry, and served as developer of Hunter: The Vigil. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, dog, and newborn heir to the Wendig throne. You can find him dispensing dubious writing wisdom at his website: www.terribleminds.com.
All New Hero artwork by Gene Ha.
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