This seems like a fine place for some excerpts and covers, so here's a snippet from Pig, along with the cover. Pig is one of the 53 titles I have out to date. I've left off producing new ebooks for a little bit, but I have a reason. I'm taking a crack at selling first rights for new stories to various magazines/ezines/journals/etc. first. Right now, I have 23 completed stories circulating. It takes time, it's competitive out there. The plan is to release short stories as ebooks again as exclusivity periods expire, or when I run out of patience trying to sell a particular story for whatever reason. In the meantime, this is a nice place to present some of what I've already done. So here's an excerpt from Pig, which appears on its own and also as part of my Hunger collection. --------- ...She set down the papaya, green and blushing yellow, on the stark black of the plate and steadied it with her left hand. She brought the knife to its skin with her right. Dessert first. She always ate dessert first. The spotless bright steel touched the smooth green skin. “Please, no,” the papaya whimpered, the pathetic appeal shockingly loud in the silent space. With a hard clack she replaced the silverware on the dark wood of the simple table she had inherited from her grandmother, shoved her chair away with the backs of her knees and stalked at full speed directly to her hotel-firm bed. She could not shut the door fast enough to avoid hearing the papaya’s sigh of relief. In the morning, as usual, she woke before the alarm clock sounded. The aroma from the single-cup coffeemaker built into it woke her instead. She lifted the cup out (it was shaped to fit in an automotive beverage holder and was her unofficial eighth dish), turned the alarm function to ‘off’, and sipped slowly until half the cup was drained. Then she reached for the phone. When fruit begins talking to you, it’s time to call the therapist, she thought. Despite that, her hand paused, unwilling to touch the device. Was it really worth disrupting the orderly march of her schedule for? She had already dispensed with last night’s plans. She was behind schedule. There was research for next week’s presentation, calls to make, emails to email that should have been done, but instead she had slept. A talking papaya was probably the result of overwork. Overwork was remedied by rest. Therefore she was undoubtedly just fine now, having slept nine hours, four more than usual. And there was work to be done, she thought automatically, the notion overriding all other concerns. She finished the cup and got out of bed. Despite the ferocious growling of her stomach—she had skipped dinner, after all—she followed procedure: wash with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint liquid soap, wash and condition with Brocato, dry self and hair thoroughly with a heavy Turkish bath sheet and blow dryer set on ‘low’, apply understated but extensive and slightly varied from day to day (to avoid looking the same, boring, to those who observed her) makeup from a wide selection of products all neatly organized in two cases with folding trays. Select and don chemise, blouse, nylons, skirt and other accoutrements as circumstances warrant. Shoes. Door. She hesitated again at the door as she had at the phone. The papaya was on the other side. Hand on knob she waited a beat, then shrugged., her lips firming into a determined line. She would eat it for breakfast, and it would most definitely not talk. It talked. Seated, knife in hand again against green skin, it said in a respectful, trembling voice, “Please. I don’t want to die.” She gritted her teeth, jaw muscles bulging, and then stopped self-consciously. One thing she did not want to do was build bulging jaw muscles. The papaya repeated itself more urgently, and impulsively she plunged the blade through it, impaling it. It wailed. She gasped and hacked at the screaming fruit, halving it. Black seeds and pale peach-colored fluid (juice? blood?) spilled onto the plate. Still it wailed. Hands trembling, she sliced it first neatly, then quickly and raggedly. With vegetable vitality, still it screamed. If it had vocal cords surely such screams would have destroyed them. They pealed from the walls and rang in her ears. Renewing her grip, holding the silver serrated butter knife absurdly in both hands like a sword she flailed at it. The plate leapt under her efforts and flipped. Tormented howling shards of papaya toppled over the edge of the table into luxurious tawny pile. With a wild arm she swept the rest of the nectar-slick fruit along with the plate onto the floor in a spray and stomped and ground at it with her feet. Finally, the mashed remains of the tropical delicacy, imprinted deeply into twenty thousand dollars of rug, subsided to broken and tormented sobbing. Ravenous, desperate, she plucked the spoon from the sweet carnage of the table and looked at the still sealed, warm, stale cup of hummus there. “Please don’t,” it said in shocked tones...
Tier Benefits
Recent Posts