An excerpt from Ordinary Handsome
This is my largest excerpt from my novel Ordinary Handsome. Enjoy and let me know what you think. And it is available from Amazon. 🙂
Fifty-seven years ago I killed a boy. Tonight, Euart Monroe walked into my room with a Mossberg 510 and a stained hobo mattress and fired a shot into my belly. It should have killed me right off, but he didn’t want that. He wanted me to know who pulled the trigger.
I could taste the backsplash in my mouth, dripping bile and bowel, and it tasted like bits of wet cabbage.
Calm yourself, Jimmy, she oftentimes said.
Arlene. I can still smell your hair, and it smells like black tea.
The clock says 2:45. One more morning added to the four dozen years since she passed.
Look here, I see the crepe myrtle in the backyard, tinted like cherry Popsicles, and the first blush on the garden tomatoes. I can smell the late-spring mint that grows wild beside the porch. I can hear Arlene humming something sweet in the kitchen, a lullaby for no one. I hold on to these things – smells, colors, sounds — for as long as I can, because none of it is real. Reality is the reek of greasy undershirts, the whorl of colored lights on a police car, the damp black gases seeping from my bowels.
The box fan in the window filters the slushy noises from the street, curling the sounds into voices, rhythms, cockeyed conversation. But there’s no one outside, not now, not in Handsome. It’s only white noise sluicing through the blades. There’s no one out there to hear the echoing rip shot from the 510. Continue reading “Dead Handsome”