Not Sure SubStack Is Doing Much for Me but WTF
I'll just do what I do
So I’m not getting much action or reaction here at SubStack so far. So what? I guess I’ll just write whatever and whenever I want. With that said, I’ve been practicing my fictional skills lately. I thought I’d share a couple of potential starts of books. I’m not sure either of these examples will become the actually start of a book but they might lead something. Note the minimalist style with less punctuation.
Man in a Hole
Snow covers the rocky terrain as far as one can see. Wind howls through the ridges and cliffs and then down the mountainside. Temperatures are dropping into the negatives. Sampson is stuck, fallen into a hole in the snowfield small enough to survive the impact but too deep to escape. His left ankle is twisted. His right hand is crusty with blood beneath a torn glove after scraping the rock face as he slid down into the hole. He drifts in and out of consciousness. All he can do is wait.
Screaming does no good. There is not a soul around for miles. The wild animals don’t even go up to the area where Sampson has hiked during the extreme winter weather. Screaming for help is vanity, just shouting at the sky. His pack contains some basic survival gear including a small camp stove. He burns it sparingly. With only enough fuel for mere hours Sampson knows he must conserve. He was dressed for extreme cold but not for spending days of waiting and hoping for rescue. Looking up and out to the stars through blurred vision he questions. Why? Why me? Why now?
It’s your time.
No. You’re not real. You don’t say when it’s my time.
Why would you say that?
You’ve never been there. You weren’t there when I was born too early and almost died in that glass box. You weren’t there when I lost her. You didn’t show up. You didn’t care. You don’t exist.
Didn’t I save you from dying when you fell from the boat on the Gulf?
If you were there I would never have fallen. It was your fault.
Believe what you will.
I will. And I won’t believe in you.
The wind whistles softly above him. He’s thankful his little pocket under the rock in the snow protects him from the gusts on the surface. He digs into his backpack to find the radio among a cache of other items. He turns it on and works up and down the frequencies. He listens for something, anything. There’s nothing but static. He flips the radio off. His energy fades. Sleep is both his friend and enemy. He tries to keep his eyes open.
He talks to himself, pinches his leg. Don’t go to sleep Sam. Don’t go to sleep.
Open Your Eyes
A never ceasing sun is blaring down on the Yakima Valley as Carden takes the exit onto First Street. He was hired as a counselor for North Valley High School and is excited about the opportunities that await him. As he drives into town the first thing he sees is several homeless people gathered by the local mission. There are a couple of skinny and sickly looking hookers wearing cheap clothes strutting up the street. Carden slams on his brakes as a man who seems stoned out of his head wanders right into oncoming traffic.
Holy shit! What is this place?
As he slows down for the traffic light by the Jack in the Box restaurant he can’t believe what he’s seeing. There’s a man defecating in the parking lot. His pants are down to his knees and he’s squatting to relieve himself. Carden stares through his passenger window in disbelief.
What the fuck you looking at motherfucker? Ain’t you ever had to take a dump?
The light turns green and Carden is happy to move forward but he continues to sense an overwhelming desperation about the place he’ll be calling home for the next year. People are slumped up against fences and buildings in disheveled clothing looking half asleep or half dead. A woman is staring up into the sky for no apparent reason and turning her head in slow methodic circles. Young hispanic boys are hanging around the minimart wearing dark hoodies. He sees one pass something to a twenty something year old woman as she hands him some cash.
Was that a drug deal? What have I gotten myself into?
He sees grown men riding beat up BMX bikes and poor homeless women pushing stolen shopping carts filled with random worthless crap. The place is overflowing with poverty. Graffiti in bright reds and blues litters the walls and fences. As he turns the corner onto Yakima Avenue he’s almost hit by a car that just ran a red light. The car’s exhaust has been modified and the windows are tinted so dark that he can’t see the driver. The car races off. On the Ave another car drives by with windows down and rap music playing so loud that Carden feels the vibration in his own steering wheel. The driver is wearing sunglasses and slightly moving his head to the music. He thinks he’s the epitome of cool.
He pulls into a small bright yellow coffee stand. As he orders his drink four police cars rush by with their sirens blaring. The barista hands him his drink and smiles.
Must have been another shooting.
Does that happen often around here?
Once or twice a week.
There’s always something.
Carden thanks the barista and drives to the neighborhood where he’ll be living. Well, this isn’t so bad he thinks to himself. He was told to get a place on the west side of town. So he rented a place near 56th and Summitview. He stops at the local Safeway grocery to buy some food for his new apartment. There’s a scruffy looking man loitering outside the door. He smells bad and his clothes look like they haven’t been washed in two weeks
Hey man, you got five bucks?
Practice Practice Practice
So WTF if nobody reads what I’m writing here. I’m practicing writing and that’s what matters. If you happen to read this, feel free to leave a comment.
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Wow. I sure hope that camp stove is lucky! Stay off Yakima Ave my friend.