Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
The Worst Days Ch. 01This is all I have.
I don't exaggerate or withhold—the old USB from whence this came contained this, and only this, chapter among college essays and drafts of résumés. Maybe some old timer on the Lit forums has a copy of the rest, but I don't. I'm just letting you know, is all, that there is no more after this.
Not every bad day starts out with a sign. What turned out to be the ruination of life as I knew it started beautifully. I was getting married. Unlike other grooms who are about to take the leap into married life, I had no second thoughts about the woman with whom I shared a soul. I could feel her heart beating when I breathed, and she anticipated my every thought. Our love was a blessed one, and no one doubted it. Juniper was the loveliest woman I had ever known, and had a wit that could cut a man to ribbons if she chose (which she never did), and was smarter than I'll ever be. She was also sweet, and though she liked to pretend she was just another violent, angry soldier, her natural kindness gave her away. She was good for me, and she knew it. Juniper gave me the freedom to feel.
She and I had decided to get married before she was sent to war; I think we were both so eager to finally taste the marital pleasures we'd been teased about since we started dating that we simply couldn't wait. Who wants to abstain until the war is won? Nobody. Juniper teased me constantly that as an athlete I had to have picked up some sort of disease from my groupies even if I was still a virgin in every sense of the word. Hah. Groupies can't compare to Juniper. And when this day was over I would be a virgin no longer. Finally. The wait was worth it, but by His Majesty's back hair it was hard.
We had decided on an outdoor wedding, to enjoy the last of our sweet green turf before it turned brown with autumn. It was also a subtle thumbing of our noses to the Nitkani forces who happened to be in the process of invading our country. Juniper's idea, of course. Who cares if you could annihilate our city within minutes, Nitkistan? We're gonna get married in style.
The day was perfect for our wedding. My whole raucous family was there, even those from the East Coast, and Juniper's clan (she called them her tribe. There were a lot of them) had managed to match all their clothing to the red and violet flowers Juniper had picked out to decorate the benches and altar. The sky was bluer than a jay and the clouds were far away and white. To my love-drunk mind even the forest that surrounded the clearing of my back yard looked benevolent in its green finery. Juniper was resplendent, radiant, beautiful beyond my capability to describe. Her mahogany hair fell loose around her face, her deep brown eyes sparkled at me, telling me how excited her was to see me on the way up to the alter. Her smile, pearlescent in the bright daylight, was turned up slightly higher on one side, teasing me; I think she knew I almost teared up at the site of her. My bride. My wife.
My foot was on the step onto the wedding platform when the first of the gunfire was heard. We all hit the ground, and I pulled Juniper underneath me with little regard for the silk dress that clung so gracefully to her. The sound of helicopters was a low drone in the distance, growing ever louder.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
If you haven't read part 20, do so here. Or you can start from the beginning.What helps is the knowledge that there is someone else who will be affected by my moroseness is myself. Not since before Mr. Hale has anything I've felt had impact on those around me. It brings a great sense of responsibility that spurs me to, as Brandon puts it, "get out of the funk." The first week away from Mr. Hale is retrospectively humiliating. I shudder to remember how I moped and lay around, wondering what on earth had made me think I was capable of autonomy.
"The dumbbells are working," Brandon announces as he walks through the door.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
If you haven't read part 19, do so here. Or you can start from the beginning.It's Sunday. The library is closed. I'm clearing tables at the coffee shop when then hair on the back of my neck rises. My hands pause before I think—the lunch rush demands that I collect dishes and wipe tables in haste—and I look out the window. I tell myself that not every black limousine in the city belongs to Mr. Hale. Despite this, my fingers fumble the cups and saucers and my heart rate increases.
It might not be him. It isn't him.It can't be him.
I push my cart full of dirty dishes to the kitchen and start loading the dishwasher. My hands are shaking so badly that I drop three plates in a row. The third shatters on the floor, pieces skittering across the tile. It's quite metaphoric, I think.
Carrie's concerned face appears in my peripheral vision. I turn my head.
"Y'alright?" she asks.
"Fine, sorry," I say, swallowing the bile that rises with the word. "I'll clean it up."
I volunteer for dishwasher duty during lunch rush. I'm considered an odd bird for wanting to be up to my elbows in dirty dishes, but no one complains.
Friday, March 8, 2013
I'm working on editing and formatting the My Neighbor series as an ebook entitled Strange Bedfellows. Included will be the four chapters (currently available on sites that you can't reach from behind a firewall), updated and edited, plus two stories that fell by the wayside back when that damn Bunny character started hogging my writing time. The first new part is set between the third and fourth chapters, when Andrew makes his first major blunder in the relationship. He's not the type to apologize with any semblance of sincerity, so that's going to be fun to write. In the second new installment Andrew is finally bullied into introducing his neighbor to his parents, which may prove to be the final straw for them both. There’s also fucking because that’s what you like.
The finished product will be somewhere around novella length, and will be available sometime in April. In the meantime, I put MMM: Man, Man, Motherfucker up on Smashwords just to test how the whole thing works. While I’m no artist, I do have a DIY spirit and so tried my hand at a couple of book covers.