More “Patches”–a father’s decline into desperation

It was the night before my daughter’s funeral and thunder rolled off in the distance. I was trying to pick out Patty’s burial dress, an event no father should ever have to do. With tears welling up in my eyes, I took from the closet what had been Patches’ favorite dress for anythin’ resemblin’ a formal occasion. The top was red cotton covered in black lace and the actual skirt portion of the dress was black lace on top of black cotton and came to just above her knees. Even though it was going to be a closed casket, I wanted my baby to be buried in something beautiful.

A caught the flash of lightning reflecting off the window to my right out of the corner of my eye and I fell to my knees, heart-broken at the fact my daughter would never see light again. She was gonna be buried in the cold dark ground and the thought of it sent chills down my spine. Patches had been ‘fraid of the dark for as long as I could remember, and now I was sendin’ her to the very thing she feared the most. God damn it. It just wasn’t right.

I laid the black and red dress on the bed carefully. I would be taking it to the funeral director early in the morning. I kissed my fingers and pressed them against the dress’ neckline, imagining my sweet daughter could feel my caress. Oh how I would have given anything to hold her just one more time.

I staggered to my room like a drunkard after a bender. Personally, I never touched the stuff, but after the last few days a trip up to Peffer’s moonshine still was startin’ to sound mighty temptin’. I needed somethin’ to take the weight of this burden off of my shoulders. I had lost my wife two years ago and now this. There’s only so much a man can bare and I was bein’ pressed far beyond my limits.

I opened the drawer on my nightstand lookin’ for a match and that’s when I saw my old Bible. I truthfully hadn’t picked the thing up in years. I still attended church, mind you, but actually picking the book up and reading it I hadn’t done in ages. Perhaps out of desperation, or simply the necessity to think of something other than my daughter’s funeral, I picked the book up and flipped through the pages. When I stopped flipping, I discovered I was at the passage where Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. I had an idea, and I know it was foolish, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I got down on my knees at the side of my bed and began praying, “Dear heavenly Father, whose son Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins, I know that it says if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed that you can move mountains. Well, here is my mountain to move: it says all things are possible through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I ask you, no, I beg you, father, bring my baby back to life. Breathe the life back into her and let her get up out of that coffin tomorrow and come running up to me so I can wrap my arms around her one more time. Please, God, she is all I have, and my soul will slowly rot and fester without her. I know you can make this happen and I believe you will. I turn over all my heart and all my faith to you. I will serve you until my dying die, just please, give my daughter back to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

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Excerpt from “Patches”

Everyone crept along at a snail’s pace with about five feet in between one another. I was prayin’ with every step that the good Lord would have me find my baby girl alive. She was all I had left. She was my whole reason for livin’ and I couldn’t imagine a God cruel enough to take that away from me. As I stepped over some briers, I heard the sentence that forever changed my life. “Sheriff, I found somethin’ over here!”

I can’t even tell ya who said it. My mind overloaded upon hearin’ it and most everythin’ after that was a blur. I took off runnin’ towards the voice, knockin’ people out of the way and tearin’ down small tree limbs that blocked that path. I saw a group of my neighbors, gathered in a circle, some knelt down and by the look on their faces, I already knew. I wouldn’t admit it, but I already knew.

Mickey tried to stop me. He grabbed me and yelled, “Don’t go ever there, Jimmy!” but I wasn’t haven’t it. I pushed right by our chubby little Sheriff and forced the men in the circle to let me in. As soon as I saw a pair of dirty bare feet and a floral print dress, I knew it was her.

Someone had covered her up with tree limbs and all I could think was that my baby was underneath all that mess. I started slingin’ broken pieces of pine trees to the left and the right. I had to get her out from under there.

When the last piece of debris was removed, I saw my baby’s face and I couldn’t even recognize her. Someone had beaten her so bad her face was just a giant purple and red swollen mess. I picked her up in my arms and I screamed. I screamed until my voice turned hoarse and tears flowed like a river down my face. I wouldn’t let anyone touch either of us. My daughter was dead and my heart was shattered like broken glass. I was in Hell, the star attraction of an exhibit made just for the Devil’s amusement, and I wept, for nothin’ could take this pain away.

Immortal Slumber by S.L Perrine

My friends do some awesome work.  Here’s another one for you!

Elyse Crawford finds out the truth of who she is on her 18th birthday, the truth about her birth parents, and the truth about her friends. Will she be able to come to terms with being a High Priestess, the real circumstances around her parent’s disappearance, and the fact that there are witches that want her dead?

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Slumber-Crawford-Witch-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01HF322NW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467247881&sr=8-1&keywords=immortal+slumber

 

excerpt from “Patches”–a horror novel

“Mickey, you think poorly of me! I wouldn’t come stirrin’ no trouble. I promise ya. I’ll be on my best behavior.”

Seeming relieved, he turned to head to the Tucker’s front door, but before he could take a step, I hollered, “Frances Tucker! Get your sorry ass out here ‘fore I bust down that door and drag you out here by your britches and tan your hide somethin’ proper!” Sheriff Myers and turned and looked at me in horror. I calmly shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well, that was my best behavior, at least when it concerns this sorry sack of horseshit!”

Frances came struttin’ out his house like the biggest rooster in the yard. He was wearin’ his fancy pinstriped pants, a pair of bright red suspenders, and a matching bow tie. He had his black hair slicked back and looked more like a carpetbagger than a proper Southern gentleman. As soon as I laid eyes on that varmint my blood boiled. It took all I had not to run up on that porch and ring that bastard’s neck. If he wanted to strut like a rooster, I’d treat him like one.

Frances took one look at me and snarled his lip up like bulldog thinkin’ about takin’ a bite out of somebody’s leg. “Mickey!” he exclaimed. “What are you doin’ bringin’ the likes of him onto my property?”

Now Mickey weren’t no fool, he knew if I had my chance I’d pounce on Frances Tucker like a rabid dog, so he kept one hand on my shoulder as he explained why we was there. “We’re actually here to see your boys, Frances. Seems Patches didn’t make it home last night and Alice Miller said she saw your boys with her down at Turkey Creek yesterday afternoon.”

Frances pursed his lips and played with his suspenders as he rocked back and forth on his porch. He looked over is shoulder and shouted, “Tommy! Timmy! Git your asses out here, boys! Sheriff wants to ask you some questions.”

The Tucker boys came out on the porch one at a time. Tommy, the oldest, appeared first. He was seventeen, almost eighteen, tall and slender with hair the color of fire. Timmy was next. Timmy was only fourteen but he was already as tall as his big brother and if one didn’t know better, one would swear the boys were twins.

Frances smiled down at me and then said, “Well, Sheriff, go ‘head. Ask my boys what you came to ask.”

Mickey removed his hat and slowly approached the porch, like he was dog beggin’ for table scraps. He nervously cleared his throat and said, “Patty Whisenhunt didn’t come home last night, boys. Some say they saw you with her down at the swimmin’ hole. You have any clue what might’ve become of her?”

Timmy gave Tommy a nervous look and let his older brother do the speaking. Tommy grinned as innocently as a six-year-old who had gotten caught with their hand in the cookie jar. “No, sheriff.” Tommy said, still grinnin’ that guilty grin. “Timmy and me never seen her.” Tommy elbowed Timmy in the side and said, “Did we Timmy?”

Timmy shook his head emphatically. His voice was crackin’ and scratchy as he lied through his teeth. “No, sir. We ain’t seen hide nor hair of Patches.”

“Well, a’ight, boys. Thank ya.” Mickey said and then started back towards his car. He may have been done with the twins, but I sure as Hell wasn’t.

“They’re lyin’, Mickey! Alice Miller done told us she saw them with Patches so why are you just turnin’ tail to leave like this? Are you that afraid of Frances Tucker that you won’t even do your God damned job?”

Mickey pushed me towards the car. He whispered, “Come on, Jimmy. We’ll get to the bottom of this.”

I looked up at the porch and Frances was grinnin’ at me like a cat who’d found a saucer of milk. “That’s right, Sheriff. Get him on out of here! I don’t care much for blasphemers!”

As Mickey forced me into the car, I pointed up at Frances and screamed, “And I don’t care much for liars!”

The Rise of UMBRA short novel has been sold!

36 hours after turning it into a publisher I got an offer for a contract on it!  I am really amazed right now because this piece of work was WAY outside my comfort zone.

Firstly, I am mainly a first person POV writer.  It was always my “go to” POV and where I was most comfortable.  “The Rise of UMBRA” is a 3rd person POV.  I’ve sold 3rd person POV shorts but never a 3rd person novel.  It makes me proud to say I managed to conquer both of the major POVs that you see in writing.

Secondly, “The Rise of UMBRA” is a Sci Fi piece.  To be honest, dark fantasy and horror has always been my bread and butter.  This is the first piece of literature that I’ve written that hasn’t belonged to one of those two genres.  It’s actually rather sentimental to me, because my father, Jay Wright, worked for NASA as a space rocket engineer.  I thought dad would be proud (if he were still living) to see I touched on a genre very close to his heart.

“The Rise of UMBRA” was picked up by The Dragon’s Rocketship Publishing and has a tentative release date for early 2017.  I suppose next I need to do a high fantasy piece to complete the nerd Trifecta of genres. 🙂  Thanks everyone for the support.

JMW2

Multi-Writing/Tasking: Good or Bad?

A question I’ve stumbled across in the last few weeks as I wait on the editor’s to send me their revisions to my anthology pieces and my novel.  My first instinct was to work on my novel’s sequel, which I did hardcore for about a month.  Before I realized it, I had 40k on my sequel done, but I was burning out on it a bit.

So I decided to switch to an old project.  It was a short story (novelette really) that was a Sci Fi piece which you’ve seen me posting excerpts from on this page.  I stayed on that project and carried the story to its full end (which included some mild genre changes towards the end) but overall, I was very happy with what I created and am currently waiting to hear back from two different publishers I sent the piece off to (the final work ended up being just under 50k, making it a short novel).

Now that I have a potential second novel in the wings, I feel refreshed to get back into my sequel.  I will probably work on it until I get burned out again and then will fall back to one of my other projects.  I still have a super hero novel in the works (which I re-read last night and was VERY happy with what I had, including the extensive notes I made for it), a novella or short novel about a Dhampir that is part of my Talon universe, and a horror story called “Patches” that I think could turn into my first actual horror novel.

The point, while you should never overextend and never finish something, it’s good to have ‘other projects’ to get your mind off of a major task.  I say write whatever you feel and bounce around if you need to until you get all of them finished.  Plus, if you finish them all close together, you can flood the market with your work.  Gotta get that name out there and if you don’t write, you’ll never finish anything.

Excerpt from “The Rise of UMBRA”

The hologram said, “My dearest Sophy, if you are listening to this, I am no longer with you. I want to tell you the truth about how you came to be and why I was the father I was to you. You, my darling, are a clone of my real life daughter. I never knew the first Sophy until she was nearly twelve years old and her body was riddled with disease. I did everything I could for her, spent millions in credits trying to cure her, but it was all for naught. I missed and loved her so much, that I paid a man to clone her and to give me you.

“I had them bio-engineer into your DNA all the things you would ever need to excel at what we do. You were made faster, stronger, more agile, you are in every way superior to a normal human being. In hindsight, I may have been selfish in doing this to you. I didn’t know how to be a father to a ‘normal girl.’ All I knew was crime and bounty-hunting and all the worst parts of life, so I made you into my image, and for that I am sorry. I should have given you the choice to be whatever you wanted to be, so I give you that choice now. I set you free, my darling daughter. Do not follow in my footsteps anymore if your heart doesn’t desire it. Go, have a normal life, raise children, be a normal part of society. Go and be happy for both of us. Clone or not, you were, and always will be, my daughter. I love you, Sophy. I release you from the ties that bound us. Your life is now your own.”