Chapter 25: The Tragic Case of Albert Hobson

As promised. An excerpt from Chapter 25. Now you can never say I’m not a man of my word. (Well you could but I’ll just deny it

Albert Hobson was an accountant. A humble accountant from Seattle where the majority of his life had been rather, uneventful. He was born. Spent some time as a child, then as a teenager and eventually became a young adult. He met a girl or two, but nothing ever really became of it on either occasion. Albert went off to college, studied accounting, because it seemed the sensible thing to do, and soon became an accountant. More years passed, and Albert Hobson became Mr. Albert Hobson and then just Mr. Hobson. Before long Mr. Hobson was a man approaching midlife and his only regret was that he did not have any particularly interesting stories to tell at cocktail parties. That is until roughly two years ago when he met, at a cocktail party, a particularly interesting man.

This man of interest was named Phillip and spoke mostly in low grumbled growls. Albert remembered distinctly having 2 drinks with Phillip in the hopes that the mumbling and growling would lead him to some type of interesting story to tell at the next tell cocktail party. After the second drink however Mr. Hobson’s memory of that particular night became somewhat fuzzy. As a matter of fact the remainder of the night was a complete blank, which was peculiar because that had never happened to Albert before, not even in college. And even more peculiar was after that particular incident, Albert Hobson had begun to experience, on multiple occasions, losing large chunks of time, during the likes of which, Mr. Hobson could not account for his actions or whereabouts, nor could he explain why after these blackouts, he would awaken, often times nude and almost always covered in dried blood. Dried blood and yet no open, or even recently closed wounds from which the blood could have escaped to cover him and then dry. This specific detail seemed to bother Mr. Hobson above all others, as through his expertly honed powers of deductive reasoning, skills attained through his rather electrifying career as an accountant, he had quickly come to the conclusion that the dried blood that covered his hands and face, particularly his mouth and chin, did not, in fact, belong to him.

Now ordinarily Mr. Hobson would have been delighted to be so knowledgeable about a man who suddenly begin to experience random ad unpredictable black out spells where at the conclusion of which the poor sap would awake stark naked, covered in some unknown person or animal’s dried blood and have absolutely no recollection of the past 24 to 48 hours. Such knowledge of a possibly murderous and blood-obsessed narcoleptic psychopath would have made for excellent storytelling at any cocktail party Mr. Hobson had the social status to attend, as well as for the ones he did not. Mr. Hobson, however, told no such stories. He never said anything to anyone about these occurrences. On the contrary, he went through great lengths to convince himself that these isolated incidents were no more than a reoccurring dream, a very odd dream that he hoped to soon wake from, forever.

“Hobson wake up.” said a foreign voice in a harsh and raspy tone.

Albert Hobson stirred but dare not open his eyes, the dream hadn’t ended yet.

“Hobson! I said snap out of it!”

Mr. Hobson felt a hard, heavy handed slap across the face.  He opened his eyes immediately.

“Wha? What’s going on?” Mr. Hobson asked from his back, his voice trembling as he spoke. He felt dazed, but couldn’t tell if it was because he was still half-asleep or if it was due to the slap across the face. Mr. Hobson put a hand to his stinging left cheek. “Whooo are you?”

Albert was staring into the face of a very intimidating man, his face and head covered in thick silver hair. An expertly trimmed beard and mustache created a framework for a ruggedly square shaped face. Mr. Hobson couldn’t help but think of how the silver mane looked almost more like fur than facial hair.

“I’m Greyman.” The silver haired man growled.

Well of course, thought Mr. Hobson that seems sensible. Hobson sat up. “Is this a dream?” He asked.

“What? No you idiot. Pull it together, it’s almost time.”

“Time? Time for what? Where am I?”

“You’re home.”

“Home?” Mr. Hobson became even more confused. “This isn’t my – What’s going on here? Have I been kidnapped?”

“Calm down pup! Bleeding Sensors, always claiming the victim. If you bastards had known what you’d done to get here, well you’d be singing a different song.”

“Oh God did I black out again. Jesus why does this keep happening to me?”

“Ahhh enough of that, those times are over now. Things’ve changed.”

“What? What’s changed? What’s going on? What do you know?” Albert jumped up and grabbed a hold to Greyman’s jacket lapels, partly in panic, partly in an attempt to shake the information out of him.

“Git yer paws off of me.” A brisk back hand caught Hobson across the face and sent him flying back to the ground. He rubbed the right side of his face that now stung just as much as the left.

“Listen here pup, I’m going to explain everything to you but if ye ever touch me again I’m going to rip you’re bloody throat out myself.”

“I’m – I’m sorry, I’m just so confused.” Hobson dropped his head into his heads. His heart trembled, he felt himself on the verge of tears.

“Calm down boy, I’ll explain everything, but you have to understand, we don’t have much time. So no questions eh?”

Hobson nodded in agreement his face still buried in his hands.

“First off you need to know what ye are and that’s a class A Sensor, top of your class actually, which is odd considering what a whelp you are.”

Hobson looked up from his wallowing only for Greyman to read the confusion written across his face.

“You’re a scout, like a mole, a sleeper agent.”

Nothing…

“You’re a monster mate, a predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, both literally and figuratively.”

“What are you talking about? I’m not a monster.” Hobson almost laughed. “I’m an accountant!”

“You’re a BEASTMAN boy! A bloody werewolf! A cross between a man and an animal. You ain’t a man no more, Haven’t been for quite some time.

The Lost and Found

I found my notebook!

You know the one that I told you about losing a couple of post ago. I found it and I didn’t even have to burn the city down, which is good because arson can carry a pretty heavy prison sentence. (although that would give me ample time to focus on writing)

So my notebook has been found and in the process about 3 chapters recovered. That was close, because having to rewrite those chapters would have been a massive set back but now that is no longer a concern. Aside from that I have dived headlong into chapter 25 and I have to tell you things are getting pretty hairy. So much so that you know what, I’m going to let you read it. Well i’m going to let you read some of it.

I know, I know in  the last post I went on and on about how I couldn’t let you read anything until I was done. Well guess what, I lie. It’s a large part of the job description of a fiction writer, besides rules are made to be contorted to fit your own selfish needs and desires right? Right?

And now I know what you’re thinking “What about the ‘Honesty in Writing’ post you put up a few weeks ago?” And to that I have a two-part response.

1. Stop using my past blog post against me.

2. You’re taking that post out of context.

Besides we’re not talking about what I said we’re talking about what I’m saying, and I’m trying to tell you I’m posting an excerpt of Chapter 25 once the chapter is done. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers or anything. Just a perfect point in the story to introduce you to my writing style and give you an idea of what type of book I’m actually working on. Now with that being said, let me get out of here. I’ve set a goal to write a chapter a week and my deadline is fast approaching.

Until next time,

Lefty

The Completion of Chapter 24

It’s time for a book update. Which is good because I have an update for you. It would have been awkward if it had been time for an update and I didn’t have one. Then I’d have to make up excuses as to why I didn’t have what I was supposed to have. Then you’d be looking at me with that look that you have when I show up without something when I’m suppose to show up with something. Like that time I showed up without my pants.  Haha do you remember that? You should have seen your face, that was a crazy night, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here however, is the book update.

So I finished chapter 24. Yep, finished it. And just to fill you in, during the last book update I informed you that I had completed chapter 16. Apparently I’d written 8 additional chapters between now and then but life got crazy so I didn’t get to blog about it then. But I’m blogging about it now. Quit complaining.

24 chapters complete and on the books. (ignore that pun) And I tell you, the second half of chapter 24 was an experience. It was deep. It is deep. I want you to read it. Now. Like right now. I want you to read the second half of chapter 24 right now. But you can’t. And I can’t let you. But I want you to, if that counts for anything. It probably doesn’t but I wanted it noted that I put it out there just in case. Anyway chapter 24 is done and I’m making my way to Chapter 25 immediately. I’m going to finish it and then I’m going to finish the rest of the chapters and then I’m going to edit them and then I’m going to get someone else to edit them and then you can read them all. I can’t wait. You shouldn’t be able to wait either. You have to wait but you shouldn’t be able too and if you are then there is something horribly wrong with you. But alas, if you’re normal and I suspect you are (except for that night with the whole missing pants thing, with the police and the riot squad and the guy from Best Buy [that night was legendary you were pretty awesome] ) then the wait shall soon be over… eventually.

 

Till next time,

 

Lefty

 

P.S. Don’t forget your pants.

Blood, Paper and Ink

I have an odd obsession with paper. Paper and Ink. As weird as it sounds, when I’m writing, I have to actually physically write and in a technological age such as ours, with all of our smartphones and tablets and laptops and desktops that makes me a bit of a dinosaur(a Tyrannosaurus Rex to be exact). Nonetheless, I can’t write by typing my ideas directly into a computer, well I can but I don’t like too, I like to write. There’s just something about a blank page that I find inspiring, intimidating and alluring all at the same time. As a result of this infatuation I have piles and piles of notebooks lying around the house. Some filled to the brim, others still empty, eagerly awaiting to be filled with new ideas and new stories. And I love that, I guess filling up another notebook gives me a certain sense of accomplishment that makes me want to just write more. I’m even obsessed with the buying of new notebooks, its like a guilty pleasure. And I don’t mean composition notebooks or spiral college rule notebooks. I mean the good stuff, the moleskin type notebooks, just a smidgen-of-quality shy of those leather-bound journals. When I see them I gobble them up, I need them, have to have them, as I said, it’s an obsession, (I’m not even gonna go into my thing with pens and other writing utensils).  Keep in mind, once I’m done writing I still have to type out the handwritten text into my laptop, but I don’t mind the extra step, it gives me an additional opportunity to proofread if nothing else. Now this little writing quirk would be fine in of itself, only now disaster has struck…

I’ve lost one of my notebooks! My son was born in April, I put my notebooks aside, we moved out of our condo, I put some stuff in storage, I put some stuff in my dad’s attic, put some stuff in my father-in-law’s attic, moved into a house, I hadn’t written a words in months, I figured I’d get back to work once things got settled, I got settled, I was ready to work, and I looked up, AND I’M ONE NOTEBOOK SHORT! Dear God why did this have to happen to me, I’ve tore my house apart looking for it. I’ve tore my dad’s house apart looking for it. Now I’m going to have to tear my father-in-law’s house apart looking for it! (Which is going to make the next family gathering a little awkward) But I must find it, it’s got like three or four chapters that I have to transcribe outta that bad boy!

Ah well, it’ll turn up, or I’ll burn down this city to find it!

Till next time,

Lefty

Storytellers and the Stories they Tell…

I’ve come to find out, writing in itself, is nothing more than storytelling. A fairly straightforward concept I know, but that’s the reality of it. So the first prerequisite to be a writer is to simply be a storyteller. And at least that part I have down. I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, and not just the lying type of story telling. That doesn’t count.

My earliest memory of story telling goes back to maybe the third or fourth grade. For some reason the teacher gave me free time to do as I chose (only God knows what she was thinking) and I, being the studious young man that I was, decided that to write a story. A comic book actually. And I did. I wrote a captivating tale about a villain with a skull for a head and buzz saws for hands. (Yes, two buzz saw hands!)
I even animated it, I drew the characters inside little story boards within the margins of the yellow sheets of notebook paper than stapled them together along the edges. It was amazing, even if I do say so myself, but it wasn’t only me who said so. I showed my teacher and she was so… so… I don’t know what she was, I guess “impressed” is the best word to describe it. But she was so, whatever she was that she had me read my story to the entire class. I got to sit up in the front of the class, you know like it was story time and the class sat around me and I read my little story to them all.  I would look up between horribly formed sentences and terribly drawn doodles and see eyes wide with excitement and intrigue, waiting in eager anticipation to hear what happened next.
I remember distinctly at the end of the story the Villain or Anti-Hero being violently kicked out of a window and falling to his death, or perhaps not actual death, I can’t remember if I was already planning a sequel or not but you get the point. Skull Head-BuzzSaw Hands goes out the window and my story ends. And afterwards the little handmade comic book goes into the unknown void that was my little desk and was lost for the remainder of the school year. That is until, nearly the last week of school, when everyone is cleaning out there desk and cubbies in preparation for summer vacation, I pulled out this crumpled little yellow comic book, and in retrospect quite foolishly, announced to the class that it was up for grabs before I flung it carelessly into the center of the room. I suppose I was half expecting that no one would be interested in a homemade book and it would go into the trash with a thousand other un-submitted homework assignments, failed spelling test and everything else we would stuff into our desk in hopes of never seeing again. However much to my surprise, my classmates jumped on the crumpled little comic with so much fervor and enthusiasm that it was ripped into a prime number of little pieces and taken by multiple kids as a souvenir for them to remember the school year. Which means they probably forgot it even existed the moment the last bell rang or perhaps they didn’t but I know for a brief moment in the fourth grade I was a storyteller in its purest form. So I guess that’s the feeling I chase now every time I write, to simply tell a story I love and hope that someone else will love it too.
Sometimes I wish I would have kept that little handmade comic book, but I’ve come to realize that’s what stories are for. Not necessarily for the storyteller, but for the tell-ee or the audience, or the reader or whatever the case may be. Once you tell your story, once you get your story out, it’s no longer solely yours alone, but it then belongs to everyone who loves it, and I think I like that.
Anyway.
Till next time,
Lefty

The Boy Who Cried…

I’m still working on Chapter 24 but I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the book. This is from early in the book and is the first appearance of the main protagonist. Comments are always welcome.

A key hung from a shoestring, and the shoestring hung loosely from the neck of a small boy. He fiddled with it, struggling to pull it from underneath his shirt and place it into the front door. He was sniveling; remnants of tears could be seen along either side of his face, along with a large welt stained across his right cheek, it would turn dark purple by tomorrow. A school yard fight, with a school yard bully was the source behind his unusually frantic disposition. He was usually a happy and joyful child, but this had been his first fight, ever. He was eight.
            He knew his mother would be upset that he had been fighting, but truthfully it wasn’t his fault. Nick Abernathy had followed him half-way home from school, teasing him about his father. He was dead. But Nick said he was probably just a “dead beat” who ran out on him and his mother, and she probably just made up the story about him being dead because it was better than admitting he and abandoned them. He tried explaining to Nick – along with the small group that had gathered to watch his persecution – that his father was a hero who had died bravely as a U.S. soldier. A hero who had died protecting everyone and everything that he loved. A hero like in his comic books, a hero like Powerman, or the Olympian. Nick and the other kids laughed at this explanation, then Nick pushed him… so he punched Nick, and our small boy fought for the first time, and he lost.
            The key served its purpose, there was a catch and a loud click as the door unlocked, and the sobbing young fighter made his way inside.
            “Mom!” he called out, but received no response. The house was dark, the curtains drawn over the windows, blocking out the afternoon sun. He darted to the bathroom, making a futile attempt to clean himself up. He splashed water on his face, ran a cold towel across his eyes and took a deep breath, all in the hopes the he could wipe away the smell, look and shaky nerves of a fresh fight. None of it worked, not even in the slightest.
            He crept slowly into his mother’s room, opting to get a jump on explaining himself first, before she found out what happened by some other ‘unscrupulous’ means. Her room was just as dark as the rest of the house, perhaps even more so.
            “Mom?” he called out again, his voice already prepped for pity. She still didn’t answer. She lay in her bed, her back to him, apparently sound asleep. It was odd, she never slept during the middle of the day, and her room – which usually carried the delicately sweet scent of roses and wildflowers – filled his small nose with the strong and pungent odor of what he thought to be rotten eggs, in actuality it was sulfur; specifically it was brimstone. He stepped forward, and at that moment a bright yellow butterfly fluttered from his mother’s bed, landed on his open, awaiting hand then floated silently out of the room. His heart sank and immediately he knew something was wrong. He ran to his mother’s side.
            “Mom? Mom wake up!” she didn’t respond.
            “Mom!” he shook her shoulder. “Mom wake up please!”
            Nothing.
            “Mom you have to wake up now! Please mom, wake up!” Hot, wet tears began to streak down his face once again. “Mom please wake up! Don’t – please I’m sorry, don’t leave me!” by now he was screaming his face wet with tears, his nose runny and red; he struggled to catch his breath between pleas of desperation.
            “Mom please, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m… so, so sorry.” He buried his face into her chest and neck, she was still warm, she stilled smelled of roses and wildflowers. He inhaled the sweet aroma, taking in long lungfuls, desperate to breathe in as much of her as he could before the rotten stench of sulfur and pain pushed her out of his memories.
            “Mom?” he called out again, this time more gently, less hysterically as if his overactive emotions were what kept her quite. But still she didn’t reply, she simply lay motionless, lifeless, her beautiful brown face frozen in the last expression she would ever wear, a peaceful and serene smile, now stained with his tears and phlegm.
            Nate,” whispered a hushed little voice from out of the darkness of the room. It sounded slightly like a small child, probably no older than the boy himself.Nate can you hear me?
            “Wh-Who is that, who’s there?” he sobbed.
           It’s ok, I’m a friend.”The voice replied.
            “Why can’t I see you?! Where are you?”
           There’s no need for you to see me, at least not right now, but I’m here, I’m with you now, that’s all that matter.
            “Well if you’re a friend then help me, my mom is hurt, o-o-or she’s sick, she needs to go to the hospital.”
           No Nate… she doesn’t, I’m sorry but it’s too late. She’s gone.
            “NO! You’re lying! She’s not gone, she’s not! She wouldn’t leave me here, she wouldn’t leave alone like this, she wouldn’t  I know she wouldn’t ..” Nate clenched tightly to his mother, crying frantically into her shoulder.
            Nate I’m sorry, it’s true. But you don’t have to be afraid, you’re not alone, you’ll never be alone. I’m here –
            “Shut up! Get away from me! Leave me alone! I don’t need you! I don’t need anybody… WE don’t need anybody, get away… get away.” Nate held on, sobbing and panting, determined not to let anyone pull him away.
            Nate… you have to leave… it’s time – it’s time for us to go.
            “No!” he sobbed.
           It’s too late, I’m sorry… we’re already gone… its already over… besides, you have a job interview in 3 hours.
            “What?!”
            Nate awoke covered in a cold damp sweat. Sunlight peered in through his bedroom window. He checked his alarm clock. 6:58 a.m. It was scheduled to go off in 2 minutes. He had his first job interview since graduating college at 10 a.m.
            “It’s going to be a long f***ing day.” He mumbled to himself, no one replied.
***

Back from The Land of No Return.

I’M ALIIIIIIIIIIVE!
And i’m a horrible blogger! Yes, I have been missing for forever and no I haven’t did anything I said I would do up to this point. Thank you for reminding me.

But do you know what? I’m not going to make excuses, but I will apologize.

I’m sorry.

There. You happy? Well good. Now wipe that smug look off of your face and let’s get back to work. We have a book to finish.

Chapter 23 is done, we’re moving on to chapter 24!

Let’s do it,

Lefty