Teaser Intro 3: Remember Me
You may be wondering where 'teaser 2' is but my second publication "No Lights" was so short, a teaser seemed inappropriate. You can read it in its entirety here.
Writing is more or less a straight forward process. As an author I have an idea that is about 3-4 sentences in my head. I spend however much time it takes turning those few sentences into a coherent and (hopefully) entertaining story. Getting a story published, on the other hand, is not always such a linear process.
Back in 2010 I came across a call for submissions about a holiday themed horror anthology that was focusing on the lesser known holidays. I really liked the idea for this antho, and when I discovered that my friend Marc Sorondo was already accepted into the book, I was extra motivated to make it in. I decided that instead of just one smaller holiday, I would write about two, and it just so happened that in 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day fell on the same day as Benjamin Franklin's birthday. While not exactly a holiday it worked for the story.
Unfortunately, the story was rejected from that anthology, and it would take several months later for Marc and I to be published in the same book.
However, what that meant was the story was available for a different anthology, this one had the simple theme of obsession, which also happened to be the title of the book. With that acceptance and subsequent publication, the journey of "Remember Me" came to a happy conclusion.
All those words, and none of them really hint at what the story may be about. That's because this is one of those cases where it's better to go in blindly and enjoy the reading as is. All I can say is that this is one of the more out there stories I've had published. Read the intro, and enjoy life.
Monday January 3rd 2011, 3:03 AM
Martin Jackson Jr., the star wide receiver for the Philadelphia Bald Eagles, is used to running these streets of his hometown, but when he was a youth and not so late at night. Now he’s running for his life as he’s chased by a bald madman wearing glasses, who is steering a horse drawn stagecoach. The chase started after Martin’s car was forced off the B.F. Turnpike by the wagon. Something apparently no other drivers seemed to notice.
After slipping on some fresh snow, the chase has ended for Martin and his pursuer. The metal rimmed wheel of the stagecoach runs over Martin’s lower back, cutting all synaptic communication to his legs. After running the football player over the horse circles around only to trample his neck, sending agonizing pain throughout his body before all feeling leaves his body.
Standing over Martin’s limp body the bald man raises his walking stick and shouts, “Remember me!” before beating in Martin’s head; the hit smashes his nose, and sends bone shards into his brain. The second blow ruptures his right eye socket, bursting his eye with it. The third, and ultimately final, strike caves in Martin’s skull, ending the pain he was unable to emote.
The bald man rides away on his stagecoach after placing a bouquet of small purple flowers. The wagon disappears into the night leaving behind no tracks.
“It’s a damn shame.” Detective Colyn Whyte proclaims as he watches the football star bagged and loaded in the coroner’s van.
Shocked at his partner’s uncharacteristic emotional display, no matter how minor, Detective Kevin Shepps agrees, “Yea, the kid was young, he had a great career in front of him. When I was still a beat cop he was a kid growing up in these parts. He kept his nose clean, but always hung with some regular juvies; he could have gone down a bad path.”
“Huh? Yea that and I had five hundred on Sunday’s game. They’re sure to lose without him, and that’s if they even play.”
Disgruntled at Whyte’s amoral response, “You always have a knack for making things about you.”
“Blow me cupcake. Round up all traffic surveillance footage in a mile radius from here and also where his car was located. Good night, and give Jeff a kiss for me.”
That Friday Detectives Whyte and Shepps are on the defensive from the verbal attack of their lieutenant. “I’m telling you this murder makes no sense. It was a cold case before the snow covered up his blood. We’ve got no footage from the area Jackson’s body was found, and street surveillance by his car shows him erratically driving off the shoulder, and then him inexplicably running away.”
“Listen Whyte, we need to wrap this yesterday. We’ve got a star athlete who grew up on these streets, went to college here and played pro-ball here, perceived as a role model the whole while. Philly doesn’t get these kinds of legacy celebrities, and now the media is up my ass to get this in the books.”
Detective Shepps decides to chime in, not so much to support his partner, but so the lieutenant would remember he’s in the room also, “But lieutenant Colyn’s right. Even the tox report came back clean.”
Shepps’ plan back fires as the lieutenant does turn his attention to him, and scolds “Shut up Shepps. I don’t know why you’re still with this guy, but don’t drown in his shit.”
Most of the weekend passes with little communication between the partners. Kevin spent the majority of it with his life partner trying to figure out his next move professionally. What the lieutenant said made him reevaluate his career and current rank of gay stereotype underappreciated sidekick to Colyn, the precinct wash up.
“Honey, if you’re career is at a standstill, you need to request a transfer. From what the lieutenant said, it seems like he’d understand and grant it.”
Resting his head in Jeff’s lap Kevin looks up and with concern replies, “But if I can’t close this Jackson murder, I’ll never get assigned a real case again.” The half hour conversation continues cyclically for another fifteen minutes before the two go to bed. Unfortunately, sleep doesn’t easily come to Kevin’s worried mind.
The same can’t be said for Colyn, who was aided to a dreamless slumber by a fifth of Jack, a routine of his that’s repeated most nights of the week.
Monday January 10th 2011, 4:12 PM
John Luther Briggs Jr., the youngest African American senator ever has taken the day to spend with his daughters, who are currently flying kites in Franklin Park on this record breaking warm day. A day made more special following so soon after the recent snow storm. “Girls careful your lines are going to get tangled.” Sure enough moments later the kites form a single entwined braid. The wind picks up tugging the strings out of Sue and Linda’s hands. Quickly grabbing hold, John Luther prevents the kites from flying away. Trying to untangle the airborne toys he doesn’t realize the twin twine lines have begun to wrap around him.
If you want to read about what happens to John Luther Briggs Jr., and what caused Martin Jackson Jr's untimely demise, or why one story has three Juniors in it (yes there's a third) buy the anthology Obsession from Static Movement Press pick it up at Amazon.com.