Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prologue: You Are Being Watched

"The absolute worst way you can start a novel is with a line of dialogue."

Jason rolled his eyes so hard he swore he could hear them pop.

Why did I sign up for this class again? he asked himself. Oh, right. The wife's idea.

"You need hobbies, Jason," she'd told him, which was code for you need to get the fuck out of the house before I strangle you.

Community college was cheap for Wake County residents, and Creative Writing looked like it would be interesting.

It was not.

The professor was a young-ish guy, pushing 40, who'd published a couple of lackluster sci-fi novels years back. Those who can't do -- and according to his book sales, he couldn't -- teach. Unfortunately, this motherfucker couldn't even teach. He could pontificate.

This was Jason's third class, and so far, all this guy had done was tell thec class how not to write. No writing assignments. No reading -- well, apart from the first two novels of this guy's terrible magnum opus, which Jason suspected was just a ploy to sell a few more copies.

Maybe I could just go hang out at a coffee shop Thursday instead of coming back here, Jason thought. Or finally go to the gym.

That last thought almost made him chuckle. The gym wasn't likely; the last time he'd been there was six months prior, December 2010. He'd signed up that day and never once gone back... so at least his Adult Education endeavor had lasted a few hours longer.

He knew he'd been driving Ellie nuts puttering around the house, but there had to be a better solution than listening to L. Non Hubbard two nights a week.

Of course, I won't bother to tell Ellie where I do end up going, he thought. No real reason to. She couldn't give a shit where I am or what I'm doing, as long as I'm not anywhere near her.

The blood and the sirens were still a few hours away. Jason had no way of knowing that his dickish, dismissive dig at his wife would be the last thought he had of her while she was alive.

Later, he'd tell himself that he wasn't a horrible person, that he'd just been annoyed and venting some steam with the thought.

He also knew that wasn't true. He was an awful person, and someone was waiting on the periphery of his life to remind him of that fact.

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