Thursday, December 29, 2011

Listening In Preview

Yesterday, my short story collection Listening In and Other Stories published for Kindle. These are stories I have been writing, editing, and tweaking for the better part of 10 years, and I am happy to call them done and put them out there for the world.

Thus, I thought over the next couple of days I would share some excerpts with you in case you should be interested in reading more! This first excerpt is from a story called "The Soul Mouth." The entire collection can be viewed on Amazon here, along with Max and Menna, my novel which is currently on SALE for Kindle as well :)

The Soul Mouth

I imagined that death would be different. I expected to feel sadness as I left, perhaps nostalgia. I expected to find myself reliving happy moments from my childhood in my last seconds, imagined a single tear sliding down my cheek as my lungs filled and my heart beat for the last time. Not a white light, necessarily, but perhaps my soul being torn from my body to rest for a moment just above me, look longingly one last time at the Earth before finding its way beyond.

All I had right was the soul, and even that I was arrogant enough to believe carried on because it was too saturated by the beauty of the world, by our own human goodness, to be blinked out so easily. In truth, there are two kinds of souls, those driven by inertia, or those imprisoned by their own existence. Either way, we all carry on for the same inane reason—we don’t know what else to do. We are so lucky to come to this place, where there is no need to do anything, and yet no boredom either.

But no, there was no painful tearing from my body. One second I was staring into Katrina’s beautiful grey eyes. The splatter of my blood on her cheek spoils the otherwise perfectness of her face. The next second I was here.

The first thing I did was laugh, overwhelmed by the irony and futility of the world. While alive, we are silly creatures with silly rituals. Like funerals, everyone standing around, making arrangements while they whisper “she would have wanted it that way.” Even the ones here that were the most fastidious, the most over-bearing, the most impossible in life ceased to care about their own the second they came here.

Because here, despite the futility of our being here, despite our very ordinariness, it is brilliant white, and always warm and everyone smiles. I don’t know it if I am in heaven or hell. I can’t imagine why I would care.

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