Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preview: Charlie

As of today, Inaugural Games has been for sale on for one week, and in that time it's garnered some very positive responses.  I'd like to thank everyone for all the kind things they've had to say about the stories.  If you've read it and liked it, please do me a favor and post a review on Amazon, link to it on Facebook, and tell your friends.

If you haven't checked it out yet, here's a preview of my story Charlie:

            Four years ago I enrolled in Jefferson University, and for the last four years Charlie has been trying to kill me.

            I don’t know what he has against me.  He’s never bothered to say what it is about me that pisses him off so badly.  In fact we’ve never actually had a conversation.  Perhaps if we just sat down over coffee one day, like adults, he could explain his beef and we could work something out.  But he won’t talk to me.  We’ve never exchanged a single word.  All I know is he hates my guts and he’s had it in for me since day one.

            I remember the first day I met him.  It was early morning on the first day of my Freshman year, and I was walking across campus trying to find the Sciences building.  I’d been all over campus half a dozen times for tours, interviews, and orientations, and could have sworn I knew the grounds like the back of my hand.  However, when I left the dorm that morning and walked out onto the green, I may as well have been on an alien planet.  I didn’t recognize a thing.  The Colonial-style exposed brick buildings and the rows of cherry blossoms (supposedly planted by Jefferson himself) looked familiar, but I couldn’t locate a single point of reference.  It was like a mirror maze—everything looked the same, and each turn made me feel more lost.

            I repeatedly glanced at my watch.  Panic began to sink in.  I’d been told by my student mentor that the first week of Freshmen year set the tone for your entire college career.  What if I walked into my first class fifteen minutes late?  I’d open the door and the entire lecture hall, including the professor, would stop talking and look over at me.  I’d be pegged forever as the lazy goof-off, the stupid shmuck who couldn’t even get to the most important meeting of the year on time.

            There was a rustling in the tree above, then a thud as something heavy landed behind me.  I turned, and there he was.  He was about my height, red haired, wearing black jeans and a white-t-shirt.  Clutched in his right hand was a hatchet.  Sunshine glistened on the tip of the blade.  He stared at me, and I stared back.  Then a grin touched the corners of his mouth.  He threw back the hatchet, let out a blood-curdling scream, and came at me.

            I ran, not knowing where I was going.  I jumped hedges, ran across benches, and sprinted across the parking lot.  He was never more than two heartbeats behind, swinging his weapon and wailing that savage battle cry.  I didn’t have time to wonder what the hell was going on, or think about how I was a few heavy breaths short of passing out.

            We came to a long brick wall, and I was cornered.  He closed in on me, step by step, still wearing the same wicked grin.  With no time to think, I faked left, faked right, then made a break for it.  There was a door at the end of the wall, blessedly open.  I leapt through the entrance and slammed the door behind me, then held it shut with all my might.  When two minutes had passed without any resistance from the other side, I let go.

            I looked around the hallway and realized that, incredibly, it was precisely the building I’d been trying to find.

Pick up the book for $.99 and read the rest here.

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