The following is an excerpt from one of my early attempts at short fiction.
After High School But Before Death Excerpt
How could he do this? I was so nice too him. All he had to do was write the story… I hate him. I hate him so much for leaving me. How could he move on? The idea was so good—so right! He betrayed me. Betrayed my trust and disrespected me. He owes me, yes, that’s right. He will work for me again! I will find him. I will hunt him down if need be and make him finish what he started with me so long ago. Yes, Endless Land will finally be the success it was always meant to be…
Matthew Singleton was a success. At least that’s what everyone told him. And who was he to argue? He had by all accounts made it. His new novel, The Alien from Space was a breakout success and had spent 3 months on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Sure he wasn’t the absolute best in the world but Matt could be comfortable with what fate sent his way.
“Excuse me sir can you sign it to my brother Sam?” A young boy asked who stood in line in front of Matthew’s table.
“Sure, kid.” Matt replied. Matt wrote fantasy and science fiction novels for young adults as was evidenced by the young 14 year old boy that stood before him. Matt sat at a long grey table in a local bookstore in Colorado. Matt had amassed a rather small following in this state. There were a good number of young people and quite a few parents here to get a signed copy of his book. Matt did his best to keep the line moving along while still making each person feel appreciated.
Matt still wasn’t quite used to the fanfare of these types of events. Matt simply started writing as a hobby one day and found that he liked it enough to do it no matter what else was going on in life. Matt wrote because he loved to do it. The fanfare was a necessary by product of the activity and a sign of Matt’s success at the medium. Matt loved the fanfare too just in small doses. He didn’t think he ever wanted to get much bigger than this but with the success of his first novel and stories that keep coming into development Matt saw a long future involving this activity. Matt knew someday he would get used to it.
“Here you go.” Matt handed back the signed copy of his book to the 14 year old.
“Thanks mister!” The boy squeaked as he ran off to be with his father who had brought him to the event. The boy’s dad smiled back at the author thanking him. Matt didn’t know exactly why. There could be a lot of reasons. Sometimes Matt liked to think that he inspired children to read and that helped them in school or something noble, like that. But Matt knew it was just to read the good story and didn’t really need to be more than that.
Matt noticed that the line was getting a bit longer as he continued to sign and keep things moving along. Most of the people in the line were still children but Matthew noticed that now there was one man. He had glasses and blonde curly hair. He was also significantly overweight. He dressed modestly blue pants and a white shirt with some kind of strange Japanese cartoon printed on it. Matthew found himself hoping he wasn’t some kind of sex offender. And also strangely Matt thought he recognized the man but he couldn’t be sure.
Come on, think about what your wearing buddy, he thought. Matt dressed modestly as well but he wore black slacks, casual dress shoes and a collared blue shirt. He needed to be somewhat formal for occasions such as this but not overly so. But this guy didn’t even think. He didn’t seem to have even shaved recently and Matt thought he was detecting some kind of smell as the man got closer. He didn’t even have a copy of Matt’s book.
“Hello, Matt.” The strange blonde said when he finally reached Matthew.
“Uh, hello, do I know you?” Matt found himself asking involuntarily.
“Why, yes, we do know each other.” The strange blond man answered with something that Matt could only interpret as glee. “Are you ready to do the right thing?” He continued.
“Excuse me?” Matt asked.
“To do the right thing… Are you ready?” The blond man pressed.
“I don’t think I understand your meaning…” Matt said.
“You only have one chance at this. Don’t blow it Singleton.” The blonde man continued.
“Was that a threat? Look, dude, there are kids here. I don’t think you want to walk down this road.” Matt said.
“No, I think it’s you who doesn’t want to walk down this road—” then the blonde man pulled the gun. He had hidden it well in his jeans underneath his extra extra-large t-shirt.
Children and parents screamed in unison. One of them shouted “He’s got a gun! Everyone get down!”
Then he grabbed Matthew Singleton knocking over the table, which was stacked high with novels, clean over.
“Matthew Singleton. You’re coming with me!” He said and that was the beginning.