We are here with Alicia Lutterl who is one of the stars in the short story, by Jacci DeVera entitled “Heavy Handed.”
Alicia, I’ve seen you, the hero, and the author here and there on the internet recently. But it seemed that your hero, Jake Merritt, was getting the lion’s share of attention, and that is why I’ve asked you to speak with me here today. To get your take on “Heavy Handed” matters as well.
Yes. Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Welcome. Let’s start with Lutterl. I wondered if that was a typo, but when I contacted you, that was the name you indeed replied with.
Yes, I’ve gotten that a lot over the years. We’ve decided it is most likely a derivative spelling of the English name Luttrell, possibly from a place in ancient Normandy that was called Lutterell. It all gets very fuzzy from a thousand years ago on.
I can imagine! All right, then, let’s start with an over view of your story, for those who may not have heard, yet.
All right! And the truth of it is, I think it is really more of Jake’s story, as the hero, than mine. Mine and Jake’s story start after that. It begins with Jake looking over some property he bought in Tennessee.
So the property is in Tennessee? That was never really given out in the story.
Yes, yes, near Etowah, Tennessee, in fact. It’s gorgeous. Not built up; and still with a lot of places many people would consider wild. Jake is from a well-to-do family that lived in Kentucky, just outside of Lexington. He had just broken up with his girlfriend, and was ready to start again.
From the sounds of the story, it was a little more than just an average break-up, wasn’t it?
Well, yes. The truth of it is that Josie, that was her name, really just wanted a little nest egg and Jake was the target. She managed to persuade him to give her power of attorney just before their wedding — convincing him that she didn’t want to be left in the cold if anything ever happened to him — and she pretty much took his savings account, maxed out his credit cards, and even deeded over some of the land he had inherited already to her cousins. It was all very underhanded, very messy, and Jake’s father is still tied up in court cases over it, so there’s not much more I can say, really.
I see. So Jake felt like he had to just get away.
I think so. This was a huge blow to his family, he felt he was to blame, and not to mention wanting to get as far away from Josie and that hurt and betrayal as possible.
So he was essentially running from his problems?
Yes. And he wanted to start fresh.
And you were a part of that, right?
Not at first. At first, I had problems of my own. I can’t recall a lot of what went on during that time —
And we don’t want to give away too much to any new readers out there, either!
And that’s true, too, I suppose! But Jake was there on this property he had just bought. He was thinking about how nice it could be to begin again, to not have any ties to anything, and just spend the rest of his days alone out here, and I just felt … drawn to him. There was something about him that I couldn’t just let waste away there. Like I was.
Caught as I was, unable to really exist in the reality that Jake was in, I could only really see him and be seen by him at twilight. It was very frustrating. But at least I was right about one thing. He needed me, as much as I needed him. He didn’t deserve what Josie had done to him. But he didn’t deserve to be imprisoned, self-exiled from a life that he could be useful, and was needed in, either. I wanted to bring that out of him.
That he had so much to live for. Even if he couldn’t see it, yet. He was strong, and good, with a good heart and a staunch sense of justice and such a bright aura of integrity. To let that go to waste would’ve been such a sin.
And indeed you were right.
Yes. I’m so very proud of him, of what he’s come to see in himself. He is my hero, for certain, and always will be. He saved me from a fate worse than death, I’m sure. But he is a hero for many others, now, as well, in law enforcement, in the national guard, and our volunteer work.
The way I see it, Jake is just an ordinary man, with an extraordinary heroic streak, put into extraordinary circumstances.
I’ve changed, I think, since the situation I was put in. But it has certainly opened our eyes, mine and Jake’s, to the evil and to the gray areas in our world that so many don’t know about, or don’t want to see. It’s something that Jake and I both intend to delve more into, to research curses and how they obtain their power and how that power is manifested and ultimately broken. All of that is nothing either of us would’ve considered as a life’s mission before this story unfolded. And now, it has opened up all kinds of questions, some needing answers, and others needing light shed on them.
But all in all, the short story, our story, “Heavy Handed” is ultimately about love that crosses the borders of realities, stretches the the hero, Jake’s, limited mindset, and proves once again that love, integrity, holding onto what you believe in, can conquer just about anything.