People always ask me, "what inspires you." In a single word: Life. I can be driving down the road, walking in a store, watching the news, dreaming or on FB. I'm always scheming, plotting, twisting reality. What inspired WRONG was no different. There is a saying; ------>
Well for me, sometimes death is too good for those who piss me off. Instead, I write stuff like WRONG. Yes, yes, I've been accused of being evil and you know what? I'm okay with this :)
Wrong was a challenge, probably the most challenging thing I've written to date. Normally my stories run the full scope of emotions. Highs and lows, laughter and tears. There is only one emotion in WRONG - anger. Imagine writing 17,000 words in a constant pissed off state. It was draining as hell, not to mention tough trying to not sound repetitive. I mean let's face it, how many ways can we describe anger? The other trial, was to write about two characters that I, nor would anyone else, like. Even while writing it, I knew that very few people would want to read it, even less would like it, but I had to write it. There is nothing happy in this story, no redeeming qualities can be found in Lee or Judas. No hope. It was for me. It was challenging, freeing. The result was WRONG. This story was originally published in Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open, an anthology put together by Eric Arvin of unconventional stories. The antho is no longer available and I had to decide what to do with WRONG. I figured, what the hell, I'll self pub it and BAM - My new cover for WRONG
Blurb: Lee thought he had a solid plan. His game stretched across an imaginary board, manipulating each object, location and person with no more thought than moving each piece into place to achieve his goal. He thought he was in control of his world…
He was wrong.
Authors Note: This story came about when a nasty internet troll made his presence known. That’s what you call inspiration. There is a saying, “Don’t piss off an author or you’ll end up in their next novel and they’ll kill you.” This is that type of story only death was too good for him. It’s dark, ugly, contains dubious-consent, a karmic bitch slap and in a word is just WRONG.
How can there be no hope?
There is always hope, right?
At least that's what I kept telling myself when I was writing this story. In the end I made the decision to end it where I did, at the beginning so to speak.
For those of you who have not read WRONG and plan to do so, please don't read any further. *MAJOR SPOILER* This scene is included in the current publication of WRONG. For those of you who have read it.... Here is a small bonus scene.... How I originally planned to end it.
I'm swimming in the smoke
of bridges I have burned
So don't apologize
I'm losing what I don't deserve
Money is power. Money is respect. I had both by the age of sixteen. By twenty-five I had lost it all. Three months. That was all it took to go from working the streets for kicks to working them out of necessity. Only ninety days to go from hundred dollar glasses of wine to half-eaten burgers, stale and rotting in a dumpster. A rapid two thousand one hundred and sixty-two hour descent to rock bottom.
It was raining. Had been raining for days since Judas dumped me in this alley. Raining so much it kept much of the city trapped inside and with it my prospects to make a buck. I hadn’t eaten nor showered in days and I was getting desperate. I’d give my ass away for a warm bed and a hot meal. So the sound of footsteps echoing off the walls of the alley had me pushing up from my crouched position and feeling the first stirrings of hope in days. I did my best to smooth my wrinkled and damp clothes and slick back my tangled hair as the stranger approached.
“Looking for a date?” I drawled. My voice cracked. My throat was so raw. So dry despite all the rain.
The aging, potbellied man slowed and studied me with contempt.
Before Judas, I wouldn’t have let this ugly fucker so much as sniff my sac. I’d have been the one shoving his face into a brick wall and taking out my aggression on his flabby ass before sending him home with a limp. Instead I resorted to the one thing I had left. I shoved down my baggy jeans and let the bastard check out my impressive dick. It had been my experience that even half-starved and stinking to high heaven, most tricks wanted a go at experiencing my meat. In fact, a lot of these sick fucks liked to gobble on a thick pole that had just been up another trick’s ass. If they were looking for vanilla, they sure as hell wouldn’t be slumming in alleyways. They were looking for dirty and raw. I fit both requirements to a T.
The stranger wrinkled his nose in apparent disgust and kept walking.
“C’mon man, I’ll give you a go at my ass.”
He didn’t look back or slow his steps.
“Five bucks and I’ll even let you do me bare,” I pleaded.
I hated begging, it was useless. I had begged my father not to take my home and my job. Had begged Jeremy not to freeze my bank accounts, begged Kris to let me crash in his spare room and begged Carrie not to leave me. Look where that had gotten me. Still I begged as the stranger disappeared ‘round the corner because, fuck, I was cold, wet, hungry and so goddamn tried.
I pulled up my pants and slid down the wall, landing on my ass. I drew my knees to my chest, wrapped my arms around them and hung my head. I didn’t cry. It was the one thing I hadn’t done. The only weakness I hadn’t shown. It wasn’t that I was too proud. I’m sure if I thought it would get me a slice of bread I would have turned on those fucking water works. It was just that I’d never cried. Didn’t know if I could.
The rain began to fall harder and I pulled my jacket over my head and closed my eyes, exhaustion and hunger pushing me into a fitful sleep.
When I opened my eyes, it was sunrise. The rays of sunshine streaming in from the end of the alley caused the wet concrete to glisten. I blinked at the harsh light or maybe I only thought I did and I was still sitting hovering beneath my coat asleep.
Because I had to be dreaming.
I didn’t reach out to him, because it couldn’t be real. And yet there he was. My brother. Kris offered his hand to me, a kindness to his features that I didn’t deserve. A sadness there that I recognized all too well.
“C’mon, Lee. Let’s go home.”