Bob McNeil 
Bob McNeil, writer, editor, illustrator, and spoken word artist, is the author of Verses of Realness. Hal Sirowitz, a Queens Poet Laureate, called the book “A fantastic trip through the mind of a poet who doesn’t flinch at the truth.” Among Bob’s recent accomplishments, he found working on Lyrics of Mature Hearts to be a humbling experience because of the anthology’s talented contributors. Copies of that collection are available here:   Find bob online.

We here at Grandma Moses Press are thrilled to present this new short story by Bob McNeil:

Yesterday Sired Tomorrow’s Ire

     Nothing on that autumn night was darker than the hatred of those lynchers in a Southern forest.  Red flames from torches illuminated the white robes of the 15 Klansmen.  Profanity at its bluest spewed from their lips.  
     “String that NAACP-lovin’ n--,” the leader screamed to his minions before being interrupted.
     “Please, I’m just a f-f-farmer with a f-f-family,” a bald middle-aged Black man in overalls cried.
      In compliance with the loud demand, two portly men tied a noose around the terrified male’s neck.  
     “That’ll stop you from thinkin’ that you’re equal to us,” a crowd member interjected.  
      Unexpectedly, for no understandable reason, a thunderous sound shook the ground, and a peculiar orange light appeared.  The glare, which had the vividness of the sun, irritated the eyes of all.  But that initial blare left the area right away, leaving a tenacious ringing sound in everybody’s ears.  
     Out of a tunnel-long fiery rift, a six-wheeled winged missile zoomed into view.  Judging from the silverish craft’s size at first glance, it could only accommodate a single traveler.  The Klansmen and their captor scanned the ship's nose down to its tailpipe in awe.     
     “What in the name of creation is that?” A scared Klansman asked as he walked away.    
     Silently the vehicle’s sole door opened and a muscular being in a Dargen-styled helmet, a lacquer-colored full-body Kevlar suit, and boots emerged. Almost coinciding with that fact, the flaming entrance receded into nothingness.    
      The foreboding invader quickly used its gloved hands to draw two weapons that looked like handgun-sized pulse rifles from a double shoulder holster. Lightning-jagged rays blasted from the pistols and vaporized the rope.  
     Feeling startled and thankful, the formerly bound man fell.
     “Send that spook to the other side,” the leader ordered while pulling out his own Smith and Wesson Model 19.
      Bullets from all the weapons the sheet-clad used did not even mar the being’s armor. Unaffected by the firepower, the foreboding phantom stood as still as a pillar.   
      Aghast, all of the robed terrorists ran like squirrels fleeing a cat.  
     “The name is Dash Morton.  Tell your friends down in Hades you met me,” the mysterious defender yelled.
     Even amid the enraged retreat, certain fearful people recognized the odd being’s moniker.          
     Not concerned with the lives of homicidal racists, Dash discharged his weapons again.  This time, though, he incinerated each supremacist as they screamed.  Where people and torches stood, fuming piles of embers remained. The wind, acting as efficiently as a broom, swept the cinders to unknown areas of the night. 
     The assassin, seconds after holstering his guns, removed his bullet-impervious headgear. Moonlight revealed a brown-skinned 20-something year old donning a high-top fade.            
     Dedicated to assisting some more, Dash walked over and helped an appreciative soul get off the ground. 
     “Oh, my, my blessed goodness, thank you kindly.  I-I-I don’t know what manner of angel you are, but my heart sure is grateful f-f-for your help,” the mature man said as he cried.
      Suddenly, Dash hugged the bewildered fellow.  Upon doing so, that ice-hard killer melted into an emotional tributary.  Right between weeping, a voice with all the warmth of freshly baked pie said, “Believe me, sir, I, too, am truly grateful.” 
     A couple of feelings vied for dominance in the older male’s mind.  All at the same moment, he felt gratitude for the person who saved his life.  But in stark contrast, revulsion made him remember how his new-found companion used anachronistic armament.   
     “It’s awful f-f-funny how your name is Dash.  Th-th-that’s my baby boy's nickname. I’m Leroy, Leroy Morton.”
     “I know, Dad, I know. Relax if you can.  I must explain that both time travel and that boy of yours at home have something in common.  They’re both infants.  Some smart individuals were not sure whether this trip would kill or correct the world and me.  On getting a chance to choose a past moment, I chose this night.  Now, this alternate universe will give us the loving relationship that another denied us.  This era won’t be the same for either of us from here on out.”     
     Leroy, on hearing those words had the expression of a fish on land.  Fear almost robbed him of air.  Had Dash spoke Bantu backwards it would have made the same amount of sense to the confused individual.  
      Cognizant of his father’s discomfort, Dash returned to his bizarre vehicle and said, “Go back to the house.  Mom and I are there.  A loving existence awaits us.” 
     And then that phantom from another era drove into a void of inferno-intense light.  Both the portal and the interdimensional liberator disappeared.  Standing there alone, Leroy realized that despite the strangeness of his life, the unexpected guest blessed him with more of it.


Are you wanting more Bob McNeil—find one of his books here.

Do you want some more Bob McNeil? Cacti Fur published some of his poems recently here.


  1. Hank Staley · · Reply

    Riveting, moving, transformative. All thumbs up!

  2. Kevin Juhl · · Reply

    Bob McNeil is an intelligent and creative writer. His stories are able to remind me of a friend from my past, with whom I have perched on a hilltop. Keep em coming.

  3. Bob McNeil explores the horror of a racism in this powerful short story and shows the victory of creativity and imagination over bigotry through his characters. Bob McNeil’s story is a timely reminder to fight for justice.

  4. Will Mayo · · Reply

    This is the work of Bob McNeil, a rare intellectual among us. He knows the sheer grit of the classics as well. Read his words with care for this is for sure, He will leave his mark.

  5. Mary Langer Thompson · · Reply

    Whoo hoo! Bob McNeil is the best! Yes, I am wanting more Bob McNeil stories!

  6. Jeff Lewis · · Reply

    Once again Bob McNeil dazzles with his literary might paired with an underlying moral beauty. Thank you, Grandma Moses for sharing him with us!

  7. Avery Jones · · Reply

    This man is amazing! Absolute FIRE!!!

  8. We know that when our country doesn’t talk about slavery, and racism and white supremacy we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot. How many more stories like this will it take for this country to have a come to Jesus moment? As the publisher of the story I’m happy to put this out there. I put a call out for Black Lives Matter writing and got very very very little response–such a small response which made me extremely sad because I learned that most the writers associated with my operations (Grandma Moses Press & Cacti Fur) just don’t write about this stuff…or simply don’t want to give it to us for display. It is part of the mission of my press to put stuff out there in support of the movement and to honor great writers like Bob McNeil.

  9. Great work, Bob! Thank you for sharing your powerful work with the world!

  10. This vivid and compelling story gripped me from beginning to end. Great piece my dear friend.

  11. Jeanette Traylor · · Reply

    I read more than once, each time absorbing more than the previous read. This loving son stepped back in time, or did he step forward in time? I felt a real satisfaction in the acts of this “stranger” who felt such a connection to his father through the universe, that he was able to eradicate his would-be murderers and save his Father’s life. What did I miss.
    I would love to see this on film.

  12. Chad Lowther · · Reply

    Bob McNeil is a vibrant creative force, a diligent beacon who, since I’ve come to know him, I’ve seen constantly pushing up that mountain, driving poetic expression up toward the peak he envisions, where truth and beauty crack a big sky wide open. His energy and earnest passion are truly inspiring. He puts in the work consistently, and his talent is our reward.

  13. gordthepoet · · Reply

    It’s always a treat to read anything, and I mean anything by the talented, Mr. Bob McNeil. Be it his poems, short stories and artworks, each of which is vivid, riveting and keeps one always wanting for more. Thanks once again for sharing this great piece with us Bob. Always a pleasure!

  14. Wow! The levels this short tale took, were mesmerizing.

    Painting the stark view of racism, combined with a futuristic twist. Well done!

  15. Tara Rhiannon Bartley · · Reply

    Once again, Bob is making beauty from pain. Love it!

  16. John M · · Reply

    As read this story it reminded me of how many times I’ve daydreamed about going back with modern weapons to defend my African ancestors. It’s really amazing any of them survived long enough to have children. Amazing, beautiful, timeless piece.

  17. edenicedna · · Reply

    Love your story.

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