Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween Is Over...

Halloween has come and gone and it's soooo sad...

All year I look forward to this day, and before I know it, it's over in 24 hours! What a ripoff! I move that we change this 'single day holiday' into a week long affair... 

Who's with me?

Anywhooooo, we posted our #100WordHorror stories during the first part of October, and I was floored by the badassery of my writing homies. I know a lot of really talented people. That's so crazy for me to say, because, before I met most of my writer friends, I never had anyone to talk to about any of my creative endeavors.

You guys know that talking about writing to non-writers is like asking them to help you watch paint dry: they're just not into it.😩 But, such as life... Even though the normies don't write stories, we still love them, well,,,, most of them😜.

Anyway, because I didn't get to post on Halloween (I was too tired from work, and I'm not gonna lie, I was binge watching Chuck🙄), I'd like to share the first chapter of my new book with y'all.

Here's some stats on the project so far:

Title: "The Seed"
MC: Grayson/ Greyson Nowak
(In the prologue, Professor Daughtery is my main character)
Genre: Really? You have to ask? All the lols...
Page count (So far): 89

Okay, without further ado, here's the first chapter of... 


Chapter 0. (Prologue)

A graying man in a tweed suit, Professor Hugh Daugherty, steps off the train and onto a busy platform. It’s overcast, much like the Professor’s mood, and cold. Despite watching his own breath float in the air after every exhale, droplets of sweat slide down his forehead and neck, only to be dabbed away by the silken handkerchief in his free hand.

Daugherty watches as people greet their loved ones. He observes hugs and kisses that brush against rosy cheeks. Passionate embraces, tears. He hears laughing and crying; kids squeal and the murmur of a million voices blend into one by the time they reach his ears.

In Daugherty’s other hand, he clutches a small shopping bag that says: “Süß Und Lecker”. The bag is pink. It flaunts mouthwatering illustrations of pastries on its back and front.  The Süß Und Lecker bag has been re-purposed to carry Daugherty’s extreme burden this day, and sports wrinkles from being shoved in his kitchen cabinet for God knows how long. Its light weight is a direct contrast to the evil contained just behind thin walls of pink paper.

Daugherty forces his feet forward. His well-shined dress shoes click against concrete. He weaves his way around people, hoping to become invisible. He bumps shoulders with a soldier embracing his wife and child. Daugherty can’t bring himself to nod apologetically at the man who’d fought for his country; or offer his young daughter a polite smile as he passes.

In truth, the Professor wants to run, but he doesn’t. He also doesn’t bother regretting his rudeness. If he only knew the truth, Daugherty thinks to himself as he squeezes past commuters and loiterers with overnight bags, leaving the soldier and his family far behind.

Daugherty knows the truth, and it irks him.

The Professor pushes forward at a brisk pace until the station is at his back. He hails a cab.

He barks an address at the driver and as he does, he realizes that he doesn’t even recognize his own voice anymore.

His unfamiliar voice matches his current view on the world he lives in: he finds it unrecognizable. The things he’d learned taught him only that he knew nothing.

Less than nothing, really.

Daugherty is lost in thought when the cab comes to a stop in front of a pawn shop on a curb. The shop’s name is forgettable, along with its appearance. “City Pawn”, is all a weathering sign offers passersby on the street. Drab, brown letters made of peeling paint hang above the entrance.

Can’t burn it, he thinks to himself as he exits the cab, dabbing his neck with his kerchief and offering the cabby a terse nod. Can’t bury it.

The door dings as the Professor enters and he sees no one at the counter.

Good, the thinks, the more forgettable, the better.

He waits a few minutes before sauntering up to the counter, which is covered in a thin layer of dust, and taps a rusting bell. The sound echoes against half empty shelves full of dusty objects and books with yellowing pages.

As Daugherty looks around, he spots electronics that were out of date 20 years ago. VHS tapes so old, their slip on cases are disintegrating. He sucks in a long, deep breath and reassures himself that everything will be fine in just a few minutes.

“Hello?” he calls out, happy that the service here sucks.

A voice in an unseen part of the shop, grumbles something indecipherable, then Daugherty hears boxes drop, followed by a string of angry curses.

“No need to rush,” Daugherty lies. “Take your time.” His accent is crisp and British. It doesn’t let on that his world is crumbling around him, or that he fears for his life. It doesn’t nuance that this sale is his last chance for survival in a world that no longer makes sense to him.

A woman, much older than he, with an armful of books emerges from a dark doorway he neglected to notice when he entered.

She smiles, but it’s fake. “Yes, can I help you?”

“I’ve an item I'd like to sell.” He says before clearing his throat. His croaked out words settle between the two strangers as Daugherty sets the pastry bag on the yellowing countertop. He feels strangely dizzy, knowing the end of his suffering is near. Almost, euphoric.

“What've you got, then?”

Daugherty doesn’t answer, he only pushes the bag closer to the old woman. She opens it with a raised eyebrow, then chuckles.

“A Ouija board?” she rolls her eyes and he detects a whiff of silent cruelty from this woman that makes the hairs on the back of his neck sit up. He doubts his careful plans for a moment, then reminds himself that he doesn't care. “Thank you, but no thanks.” She says without even taking the board out of the pastry bag to inspect it.

“It’s worth quite a lot, I imagine.” The Professor speaks up.

“How so?”

He forces himself to take the board, box and all, out of the bag and lays it on the counter. He removes the lid, revealing the cursed game itself.

“Firstly, it’s carved of ivory.” He picks the board up and out of its box, a soft whirring sound can be heard coming from the board. He looks at the shop owner to see if she hears it, but he bets she doesn’t, because any normal person would've asked why a board game with no pieces would make such a mechanical noise. “The planchette as well.” Daugherty says, taking care to show her exactly what he’s talking about by laying the small game piece with the glass eyelet into the old woman’s outstretched but unamused hand.

“It’s quite old.” She observes.

“It is.”

“Why sell it?”

“My wife wants me to get rid of some of my collectibles, and our anniversary is coming up.” He chokes out the lie, knowing full well that his wife is somewhere unfathomable and almost surely suffering greatly, or long dead. He silently prays that she is dead. A woman as wonderful as Mable didn’t deserve the fate she ended up with. Daugherty pondered that no one deserved such a horrid ending, but then realized he was allowing his mind to wander during the most important event of his lifetime. He forces himself to focus, then dabbs sweat from his neck and cheeks, yet again.

The shop owner inspects the box. “To be so old, the original packaging looks quite new.”

“It’s been well taken care of.”

“How much are you looking to let it go for?” she asks him now. Daugherty forces himself not to drop to his knees and weep with joy.

“$200.00.” He lies. He would've sold it to her for a penny, just so long as it legally exchanged hands from his to hers. Forever.

Her lips perse and her wrinkles become more prevalent.

“I’ll give you forty dollars for it, Mr..?”

“Daugherty.” He says without a thought. In hindsight, he was sure he’d wished he’d lied. If she were to find out what the board was, what she’d really purchased on this fateful day, he was positive she’d try to find him and return it.

She reaches her hand out for his, “Meredith.” She tells him, but he doesn’t care, although he acts like he does.

Before she hands him forty dollars from the ancient cash register, she asks him if he is okay and Daugherty silently curses himself for all the sweating.

Thanks for reading❤! The Seed should be out and available for purchase around Halloween 2040 (if I'm lucky)... 🤣🤣🤣

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