Yesterday, I declared a serious outlook on all things writing, which includes a regular focus on my blogging life and I want to do my best to stand by it. So I set up a timetable for daily activities here, however daily I can make it be. Saturday's needle fell on Book excerpts and Weekly Flash Fiction just as Friday's fell on Being Me. I'll try my best in making weekly updates and also get a couple of my fellow writers' works here. For now, you readers should bear with having just me and I will do my best to not disappoint.
Today's Excerpt: Unexpected Repercussions by Artie Margrave
(This cover is still in the works, as much as the book is)
11th March, 1988
Hurley Rd, PA, Bridges, Portland
How could a place be so hideous, so deadening, so unpicturesque?
Josh’d finally found himself just beside the rusting signboard that read Hurley, with the weird sun peeking through the clouds image etched beneath it. The image was weird because the sun had very little to do with the place. Warmth had very little to do with the place.
The day was sunny and full of life: that much he’d witnessed, that much he knew, but the metamorphosing powers of this street put doubt in context. Whatever sunlight streamed upon here was heavily polluted, so fouled it didn’t hit anywhere near the ground.
Now he was down with a nerve-blistering hesitation concerning placing a foot forward. He couldn’t even place his hands on the signboard for support: that too was cold, really frigorific and right then, he needed to maintain all the internal warmth he had.
With the pushing reluctance, he walked in. It had to be done. Once and finally. At least he prayed. And in, he found out how truly the idiomatic looks could deceive. The street had a wayward darkness. The sunlight wasn’t being polluted, no; it was being rejected, resisted. The nighttime he’d witnessed with Blake was even brighter than the day he was presently experiencing. The houses beside him were sad, sorry-looking. To his senses, they cried: I don’t want to be here! They were, all of them he studied, blandly identical. Thin oak trees were found in parts of the sidewalk. The green here was peculiarly ok.
He stopped. Something was moving in the distance, in front of one of the houses. He resumed walking and as he got closer, he saw it was a woman, bent and tending to her lawn. He hadn’t come any closer before she looked up and spotted him. Her skin was sallow, her hair black and bristling. She paused from what she was doing to watch him walk by, an action Josh wasn’t much at peace with. Even away from her, he knew she was still watching. He’d thought the street unpeopled. Now as he took closer looks at the houses, he saw eyes and faces peering through drawn curtains, some briefly, others more circumspectly. Another person had taken the bold step of standing in the front yard, distantly: a man, gathered by a coat whose pockets socketed his hands. His face was hidden by the shadows of a morning that didn’t look much like but his shape… like someone familiar—
He stopped again, this time firm-footedly. The signpost suddenly loomed into his face he had to stagger back to keep balance, physical and mental. The oval head attracted his sight. Matthews Cemetery. And then his eyes moved to the gate, now dull, lusterless.
This is the place of Skull… and Bones. He saw the fading-red graffiti that he’d noticed that first time. Automatically, his sight crept into the cemetery, a moment when time stopped, a moment when his breath held still and his throat turned dry.
A moment suddenly dispelled by the muffled ringtone of his phone. He dug the phone out of his pocket and checked the id—Jodie. For this one time, he was grateful for the call and picked it the soonest his trembling thumb found the green pick call button.
“Not heard from you. Where’ve you been? Where are you?” Jodie’s voice streamed into his ears with loose allowance.
“With the guys, and still with the guys,” Josh answered. “Having a beer… ok, two and—hey! Drop that Jim.” And he opened the gate and hit it in pretense of having a disruptive fellowship. Which he briefly regretted for the cold sensation the gate injected into him. When Jodie spoke, she sounded thankfully convinced.
“Ok,” she steadied, “but try not to come home knocked out.”
“I won’t, sis,” Josh replied, “and if I do, I’ll come with someone who isn’t.” Then a pretend laugh that rolled into real before he hung up.
He suddenly realized his breath back. Returning the phone into the pocket, his fingers brushed the docile, timid pistol. How he missed that shotgun! It had been impounded and sequestered by the BPD. Little chances of him getting it back.
Fingering the low-class hardware, he got a stab of daring. He pushed the gate open, ignored then endured its consequent creaking and walked in.
The gate closed behind him of a ghostly conformity