The Mbuji Juju
by Gary Towner
American Johnny Walker, an apparent African barfly, has an irreverent, caustic way about him. When he meets the naïve, sometimes comical Harlow, it is not under the best of circumstances. Harlow has narrowly escaped the clutches of the local police who have taken offence to the prospect of a feature exposé on them she plans to write for her daddy's newspaper. The corrupt and immoral cops have plans to throw her in a jail that makes bug infested Mexican hoosgows seem tame in comparison. Understandably, Harlow needs to leave town post-haste. She is drawn to Walker who has the only airplane that hasn't been overbooked. Walker finds Harlow's plight comical and he initially tells her to get lost. But when he is falsely accused of murder, he leaps out a second story window taking a very reluctant Harlow with him. He later consoles Harlow by telling her he will be flying south and she is welcome to accompany him. Though Harlow agrees, the two bicker continually. Walker makes her pay dearly for her decision by his unrelenting sexual innuendos. In the harrowing, life-threatening adventures to follow the two strike a shaky truce. But Harlow is mortified when Walker cons her into abetting him as he chases after an incredible illegal diamond stash in an old abandoned mine. Once inside, evidence of World War II Nazi delves into the occult, and modern day Nazi conspiracies, lead the two to believe the authoritarian historical accounts of how and when Hitler was killed will have to be re-written. Suddenly the whole mountain exploded. The problem now was, as the stalactites began to fall and the lava of an emerging volcano crept ever closer, how the dickens were they going to live long enough for Harlow to write about their findings, and maybe get a Pulitzer prize for the effort?