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“Let Go the Light” Teaser

October 18, 2011

This is a teaser for my novella, Let Go the Light, which I am currently editing and hope to have self-published on Amazon by November 1. This is my own original work, so if anyone dares to be so bold and arrogant as to bloody steal any part of it, know that I will HUNT. YOU. DOWN. And if you doubt my sincerity for even ONE SECOND, then you should also doubt everything you have EVER believed in, including Santa Claus and the hope of resurrecting Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty for a reunion episode of The Golden Girls.

“But I digress…” Here is the first page of Let Go the Light (Please leave comments):

It was 102 (temperature, not time). If it wasn’t for the enormous cross fixed to the steeple of the Old Regular Baptist Church you’d think you had taken a wrong turn and wound up in Satan’s stove. Days like today turned your saliva to dust. Days like today made you want to nurse your skin with a bottle of aloe lotion and nurse your soul with a pitcher of sweet tea. Days like today killed people. Days like today kept Neal Seagraves employed.

Three days prior—on another day like today—Attorney Oscar Claiborne expired while mowing his 1.7 acres on a brand spankin’ new Snapper Yard Cruiser. Three days prior it was 104 degrees and Mr. Claiborne had failed to keep himself hydrated. As a well-known (and not-so-reputable) bankruptcy attorney, Oscar Claiborne’s graveside service attracted most of the town of Grayville, which was pronounced as though it took somebody entirely too long to say gravel. The Hannah triplets, Vadie, Sadie and Gladie—each with a different color of hair but all deserving of the middle name Buxom—wore matching pink gingham baby doll dresses, undoubtedly to elicit more than just attention from Mr. Claiborne’s wealthy colleagues; Mr. Jensen Akers, Esquire, a.k.a. Oscar’s biggest competitor for new bankruptcy filings, made his presence known by slipping business cards to Attorney Claiborne’s former clients as he shook their hands and offered his deepest, greediest condolences; and pallbearers served double duty as ushers, handing out paper fans which had originally been printed to advertise the deceased’s law office: “MADE SOME FINANCIAL DECISIONS YOU’D RATHER FORGET? CALL OSCAR CLAIBORNE TO GET OUT OF DEBT!” Now the obnoxious (but effective) promotional freebies were used to cool the skin of mourners and hide the gossiping lips of folks who had noticed that Attorney Claiborne’s paralegal, Missy, had a better seat by the casket than the indifferent Mrs. Claiborne. Neal Seagraves paid no mind to these things.

His world revolved around one thing: the end of the day. Then Neal could pack his tools into the bed of his two-tone 1987 Dodge Dakota, drive home and forget. Never mind that his picks and shovels were his only companions and that the apartment Neal settled into every evening was practically empty save for necessary appliances, a mattress on the floor and a liquor cabinet constructed out of two brown milk crates; those 800 square feet were his. But to an outsider looking in, the notion of calling Neal’s living space a home was laughable and to say that his apartment “isn’t much” was, at best, an understatement.

Once he set foot inside Apartment B, which was centered downtown across from the courthouse and located one floor above the former home of Grayville’s Masonic Lodge No. 217, Neal made a beeline for his shower. Despite the stifling temperature of his apartment—no more than ten or 15 degrees cooler than the inferno outside—Neal couldn’t get the water hot enough. Although the bathroom quickly filled with steam and the reddish-brown tan of his skin deepened from the pounding water that could hard-boil an egg, nothing could make Neal feel clean. Nothing could truly absolve him of a life he loathed and a job he despised even more. Yet, there was no escaping it. Neal Seagraves was his job and his job was him. Even his name was a constant reminder, a painful joke. Neal Seagraves was a gravedigger.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 12:12 AM

    tremendous! i like how you paint a picture rich in detail one moment than go abstract the next. very clever prose. and seeing as how you gave me a hint on Google+ of the piece’s overall theme, it leads into it in a very clever way, i find.

    i’m very interested in seeing where this goes and how it evolves. :)

    • October 19, 2011 12:25 AM

      So, so glad you enjoy the first page. I hope you will find the remaining 30-ish just as “tremendous.” :)

      • October 19, 2011 12:26 AM

        i have no doubt they will be. like the opening to a great song.

  2. October 19, 2011 12:18 AM

    Kim: I love the changes. Luckily I’d just re-read the Facebook/Original (?) version of this page, and was able to spot the differences. Great work, as usual. You ARE making it harder to wait! But, I have the suspicion that you know that already, and are basking in it. Oh, and if you need help hunting down any who dares steal any morsel of this lovely offering, I will be waiting for the call, er, whatever. I love it! I also love the name of the town: Grayville. Don’t know why. it just seems, right. Once again, I love it, and cannot wait to read more!

    • October 19, 2011 12:24 AM

      Thank you, Crystal! And you know how much I value your opinion. Changing the name from Gray to Grayville just seemed right, and getting to add, “…which was pronounced as though it took somebody entirely too long to say gravel,” was something I COULD NOT pass up. lol. Gray-vul. ha.

      • October 19, 2011 5:02 PM

        You are quite welcome, and I am filled with pride that you value my opinion as you do. Kind of makes me think I should be working on my own stuff more! But I do try, and its always on my mind! I cannot wait to read what you’ve done with the ending! And I love the Gray-vul thing! Fantastic! Cannot wait to read more, and read the end. But I’m pretty sure it will be bittersweet! Don’t know if I’m ready to finish it! Wait. Pretty sure I am!

  3. Danielle Franklin permalink
    October 19, 2011 8:06 AM

    Adore it. ADORE IT. Can’t wait for the remainder.

  4. Leslie permalink
    October 19, 2011 8:50 AM

    Love it! Can’t wait to read the whole thing!!! You’re a fantastic writer!

    • October 19, 2011 10:46 AM

      I hope you love the ending as much as I do. IMO, it’s better than all of the other pages combined. I dunno, I just have a special feeling about this one. But at the same time I don’t know if I’ll ever again write something that I love this much. :-/

  5. October 19, 2011 10:31 AM

    I really like! Your style of writing is great. Keeps me reading.

  6. Phil permalink
    October 19, 2011 9:26 PM

    Very nice with a lot goin’ on. I like the southern, gritty, sweaty vibe. You’ve certainly got the “hook” down. Lots of writers don’t get that the best way to get me to read the 2nd page is to write a terrific 1st page. 2nd sentence in 2nd paragraph reminiscent of Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiaasen…quirky…made me laugh out loud. Predict much success for this. Good luck.

    • October 19, 2011 9:29 PM

      Wow, Phil! Thanks so much for reading and enjoying. And by the way, there is no better compliment in the world than when someone says I made him laugh. Sir, you just made my night. And once again, thanks :)

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