It was quiet in the boys room, the time of night when Mister Sand had brushed away the daily fear and pain of life in the orphanage and replaced it with the hopes and joy of youthful dreams. The only sounds were the deep breaths of the slumbering, peppered with a few light snores and the nose whistle of Shep, who always seemed to be stopped up.
Unfortunately the fresh welts on Justyn’s back prevented him from joining the others in blissful sleep. He lay on his stomach, covers down to his waist and his shirt pulled up to keep the rough cloth from inflaming the wounds further. Even the night air couldn’t seem to cool the painful, throbbing reminders of the lash. It had been the worst beating Justyn had ever experienced, and he had mercifully passed out before Cold Crone had finished. Continue reading
“You are lowborn and will never amount to anything!”
The words stung worse than the lash that sometimes crossed Justyn’s back, a demoralizing combination of truth and fear. Truth that, yes, he was born the lowest of the low, the son of a barmaid so wedded to her cups she couldn’t keep a job for more than a few days at a time. And the fear that, yes, his dreams of escaping this hellhole were no more real than the nightmares that plagued his sleep.
The bitch who tormented him was beautifully christened Guinevie Goode, but in the orphanage she was called Cold Crone behind her back. Pretty is as pretty does, they say, and there was nothing pretty about Cold Crone’s visage or disposition. While she was hard on all the children in her tender care, she always saved an extra helping of harsh for Justyn. Likely because she’d been forced to take him in by Sheriff Uric despite the fact that he still had his mother around, as wretched as she was. And quite likely had a father around, though none of the many who’d been in and out of his mother’s bed over the years had ever stepped up to claim him. Continue reading
Buford Ellington Warrick had been an electric man for thirty years and never, never, in all his days with the power company, had he ever met a customer whom he disliked more than Mr. Jacobson on the 1400 block ofYancey Park Road.
The man was a basket case. Elderly and frail, he had moved to town five years ago and looked so bad that everyone was surprised when another year would go by and he was still alive and kicking. Mr. Jacobson claimed he was retiring in his old hometown, but none of the old-timers could recall every hearing of him, and the two Jacobson households wouldn’t claim any relation. Everyone figured he had the wrong town. You see, Mr. Jacobson’s memory was rather poor.
Mr. Jacobson was known to forget to take in his mail for days. He forgot to take in his cat. Sometimes he forgot to get dressed in the morning and could be seen driving around town in his pajamas, a stocking cap on his head flapping in the breeze. He forgot to pay his bills.
Like the electric bill. And that’s where Mr. Jacobson’s and Warrick’s worlds collided.
Every two or three or four months, Warrick would get a call from the branch office to disconnect Jacobson’s power. Warrick would do so. Usually within the next few days he’d get a call to hook it back up again. And so it went.
A year of this went on. Jacobson was the joke of the company, and Warrick was the man they always called out to do the dirty work.
Then one day Warrick nearly got his head blow off.
Hm… thanks to a recommended link on Facebook (which I almost never click on) I ran across an author named Audrey Auden, who used a site called Kickstarter to raise funds for printing of a color illustrated version of her novel Realms Unreel. One of my goals in life has always been to make a living off my writing, and the fascinating thing about looking seriously into possibilities nowadays is just how many different options there are now for getting your work read and pushed out there to people who want to read you with self-publishing.
Audrey did a Reddit thread discussing here her experiences using Kickstarter, which seems like a pretty awesome site, and talked about self-publishing. I wanted to put this link up for future reference…
Quick question– do you find the page layout (white font on black) readable, or should I think about a different color scheme? I like the spooky feel of this page, but it’s more important to me that people find it easy to read 🙂