Samuel O’Neil has a life most people would commit horrendous crimes to achieve. He is an international playboy, acclaimed businessman, and esteemed academic … it seems he can do no wrong. Yet on the eve of what should be the zenith of his career, something doesn’t feel right. Certain somebody is messing with him he turns all his attention to finding out who and why.
But as he begins to unravel the mystery, he realizes he is in danger of also unraveling himself.
Ye Gods! It has finally happened. After many many years of writing and honing, toiling away in obscurity and waiting for the great artistic myth of being discovered to be thrust upon me, it actually has been! Through a series of accidents involving chatting to complete strangers online my work is now available for purchase!
Through the good grace of one J.M. Synder, and her lovely small press J.M.S Books my short story “The Vertigo is available for digital download. Shit, it’s even on amazon and a bunch of other places! ( US link / UK link )
Right now I am working in a prawn factory. From 5pm till 2am I arrange prawns on a conveyor belt to be mooshed and deshelled, or i pick through prawn meat removing bits of shell that have escaped the process. It is, if i’m honest, back breaking and somewhat disgusting work. It does (or will) though pay the bills. It’s not good for my mental state though, oh no, not good at all. Some of the people I work with are… well, they’re assholes. Worse still, they’re stupid assholes. Also, I’m not exactly awesome at the job. In fact, I suck at most of the jobs I’ve ever had.
The only thing I even begin to approach not sucking at is writing. The only thing that actually stops me from going on a murderous killing spree which inevitably ends with me taking my own life is the knowledge that, some day, I will make a living from writing. Self delusion is a powerful thing.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be self-delusion. Maybe I can make a living from writing. Hell, maybe you can even help me achieve this dream!
Please, have an excerpt:
Last night, all he’d felt was a lonely vertigo. A vertigo he’d been compelled to throw himself into. Samuel did not like this feeling, this giddy desire for oblivion, had never felt it before in his life. This morning it felt like all he’d ever known.
He rose from the large, luxurious bed and padded across the faux-marble floor to the dumbwaiter that served the privacy of whoever could afford the $1,000-a-night price-tag. Sensing his proximity and its current load, the hatch slid silently open to reveal a silver cart which held a breakfast of coffee and croissants, both kept at optimum temperature by the dumbwaiter’s heating element. The morning’s Times lay beside the meal, sealed in a milky material shot through with veins of what looked like copper, designed to keep it cool. Samuel rolled the cart out of its enclosure.
Sitting in the lounge area of the open-plan penthouse, Samuel poured himself a coffee and, taking a bite from one of the croissants, turned his attention to the newspaper. Unwrapping it from its hermetic cocoon, he was struck by the anachronism of the ritual. He could get more up-to-date and varied information from feeds online, but he enjoyed his morning ceremony far too much to be bothered by its antiquity. In fact, the idea that his actions had been repeated by hundreds of thousands of people all throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries gave him a sense of peace, of being connected to something larger than himself. He imagined the feeling was similar to believing in God and, at the moment, it was a feeling he so desperately needed.
On the bed the woman began to stir, possibly roused by the aroma of food that had begun to diffuse through the room. He paused in his routine and tried to recall her name. He could not. Pangs of sadness flooded his system, but he quickly dispelled them as he pulled the paper free of its wrapper, unfolded it with a flick of the wrist, and took in the lead headline.
“Your life is not your own.”
The vertigo enveloped him, filled every part of him. His head spun, sank, swimming in treacle he felt himself plummet. Images and moments he’d never seen or experienced tripped and stuttered through his mind’s eye like an over-cranked newsreel.
He dug his nails hard into the plush leather of the sofa and fell back into it. He craved warmth, comfort, the sanctuary of his mother’s womb. He felt himself regressing through his life, through every stage, every person he’d ever been. His thoughts began to collect in pools, silently vocalising a question that had been struggling to break free from the murk of his unconscious since yesterday.
It was never really a question he’d ever asked himself, always being so secure in its answer that it didn’t even warrant a second thought. The question was this:
“Who am I?”
You want more, don’t you? I can see it in your eyes… Unless i’m mistaking that glint for absolute boredom. Go on, buy it anyway. It’s only $2.99 – for those in the UK that’s not even £2. As we used to say at another job I sucked at that wouldn’t even buy you a coffee at starbucks. 50% of all net profits goes to yours truly. If you buy it at amazon they’ll take some of that money and put it into their giant evil money hole but I cannot compete with the convenience of it being sent straight to your kindle, so I forgive you. If i sell enough copies maybe I can buy that artificial heart I so desperately need (family history of heart disease, don’t you know).
I wish i could spend more time on this post, I really do, but those prawns won’t arrange themselves on that conveyor belt. 😉
POST SCRIPT: The myth of being discovered will actually destroy your soul. My advice to you is to submit as often as possible in as many ways as possible. I had my own reasons for waiting this long to get published and only some of them have to do with self-esteem issues. 🙂