Lamont

For longer than I’d care to admit, I have been working on a project that has consumed me less than it should have. That is to say, I have been working on my first novel for far too long.

But today, I’d at least like to talk about it.

Lamont is a story that, at its core, is about the existence of the human soul and exactly how much that soul (or lack thereof) is worth. Okay, that’s a little too abstract and pretentious-sounding. Let’s try again.

Lamont is the story of a small town gripped by the spectre of unexplained disappearances. Of course, like any small town in such circumstances, it comes with a less than squeaky clean past, full of covered-up murders and a history of taking aggressive stances (read: violent) against those suspected of practicing witchcraft.

Everything comes to a head when the son of a wealthy local dairy farmer turns up missing and another boy lands mysteriously in the county hospital ER with several deep lacerations across his back. No longer able to sweep the growing crisis in the town of Lamont, the local pastor seeks out to the only expert hunter he knows capable of dealing with such a paranormal phenomenon.

Unfortunately, she has since passed away.

However, her more than capable daughter is indeed alive and, despite going through some stuff, is willing to take on the case.

And so, the story of Lamont unfolds, a tale of black magic, shapeshifters, and a powerful demonic entity.

Thus far in this blog, I have included a few early drafts of chapters that may or may not appear in the final manuscript. If anyone would be interested, I would enjoy sharing future drafts of Lamont with this blog.

Have I mentioned that I am absolutely horrible with creating a synopsis, blurbs, or actually writing a novel in general. Yeah.

Damp Soil

There’s a place
At the edge of a clearing
Where the ground is never dry
And you still exist
For me

When the moon would begin to wax
We would sit on silver-capped grass
Conspiring through the night
Of great aspirations
Of us

Here the soil resonates
With echoes
Spoken incantations unfurling that which
We have hidden from ourselves
Here we will be together

Descent

There is solace in gripping with claws outstretched at the smooth slippery walls of the pit

Bottom will not slow up will not approach any slower

But the act of defiance in the face of that inevitable god

Is sometimes enough

Only there is no victory in combating what has been declared

No honor in exertion put forth in the name of shapeless ego

If the fall is all there is

If the constants of the universe at large will remain entirely unscathed regardless

Then the downward pitch is all that there is

And the diver alone can give it form, can give it beauty

After Party

A forever tunnel stretched bending and swirling, a gateway to the infinite tilt of galaxies exponentially expanding further and further. I moved at light-speed. The cold of space smacking against my face, my wide open eyeballs, freezing everything solid and stiff. And then, propulsion failing, the universe began a slow collapse. It was a thing of beauty, the few visible lights stretching into ribbons curling and forming ethereal figures. Hard uneven ground met me fast, copper and spit pooling behind my teeth.

The fall sobered me somewhat, enough that I could stand with a passable percentage of unsteadiness. Without thought, I ran without any reasonable conscious command from memory. At some point, time travel had been activated. Point A had been Terry Messer’s living room, Point B had been the bottle of ten-year-old scotch Terry had busted out. Dale and Brent were there too, distant faces beneath ripples now, only open laughing mouths and loud voices. Points C, D, and E had all been lost to the ebb and flow of amber liquor.

There had been a reason for this flight into the cold December night. There was a reason for the heavy cutting stitch in my side – tender to the touch. Batman T-shirt torn at the collar, torn at the back, sub-zero atmosphere clutching at my bare skin. A dog barked, echoing far enough to engulf the near pitch-black street. The nearest streetlight might as well have been the closest star.

It may have been the echo of my own footsteps, may have been the throbbing within my head tinged with rapid loss of body heat and general paranoia, but it seemed that someone was behind me in perfect lockstep clomping against the frozen street. I couldn’t slow though, couldn’t turn around, it was struggle enough to keep my eyes open and forward against the cold. It was enough of a struggle to simply keep the world steady upon a horizontal axis.

I thought, stupidly perhaps, that if I could only reach that distant streetlight, if I could reach it’s safety, everything would be alright. I thought I would wake up. I thought that something would emerge from the shadows to usher me away from all that was evil.

I begin to enter into phases of microsleep while still running upright, sight and mind blinking in and out of the real world. I can see the fear in Terry’s eyes as he lay panting on the living room carpet, hear incessant howls of pain from the closed-off bathroom, feel broken glass and liquid scattered across the otherwise clean beige tile of the kitchen floor. Need to stay awake, I fight the gripping blackness against the edges of my vision, biting through my own tongue, fresh pain, fresh metal. But even with my eyes open wide, there still remains something slithering and dark hanging about my peripherals. No matter how hard I bite down, no matter if I bite it clean off, the lingering shadow darker than the night does not dissipate.

A wail rises through the cold, whether it is human or mechanical I can’t tell. Blue and red lights flash against the faces of the houses as I realize that my legs will no longer work beneath me. I stand swaying, drained, numb.

It’s then that I recall the shape of something tall standing at the end of Terry’s hallway, only a shade darker than the lightless room at the hall’s end. I remember coming out of the bathroom, flesh warm with drink, and feeling an overwhelming sensation of weight upon my entire being, a magnetic force reaching out to grab my gaze. I stood there staring into that glorious abyss of a hallway for a long time, several minutes or maybe an hour. So long enough that eventually Dale yelled for me, asking if I fell in. After that…

“Get on the ground!”

There’s a bright light in my face. A man shouts as I hold my hands up to shield against the too bright light. In the glare, I can see my skin covered with the stains of human spillage. More shouting, empty threats. The light is too bright, the blues and reds swirling too fast. The shape is there to lend me comfort though. It is invisible to those who do not love it as I do. It grants me the power to move, beckons me to walk forward. It fills me with the knowledge that there is nothing to fear from the lights, nothing to fear from men.

Year Zero

Hello, my name is Diego Green and I am NOT a writer.

But I’d like to be.

For a very long time, probably the entirety of my adult life, I’ve lived under the assumption that I am a writer. I learned early in life that I had some natural talent for storytelling and wordplay and simply leaned upon that, heavily. So heavy that I’ve gone through life with the belief that if I simply putter about with this craft – a few pages here, a paragraph or two there – that I would eventually, naturally, create The Great American Novel without, you know, pouring my whole entire everlasting soul into it.

But that’s unimportant. That’s all in the past.

What IS important is that I begin to be honest with myself. I am not a writer not because I have no apptitude for it but because I’ve refused to put in the work. And it’s time for that to change.

So here’s the deal for 2019…

This year, I pledge to myself to approach the art of the written word as a novice hungry to learn. I will open myself to new forms of literature and, by extension, actually making headway on a reading list that has been sitting more of less undisturbed for a good half-decade.

I WILL set aside dedicated time on my days off to sit down, with a pen in hand, and write, simply write.

I WILL NOT attempt to make the first draft perfect.

I WILL NOT continue to be so close-minded in regards to modern literature and genre works

I WILL (try very hard) to read something every goddamn day.

I WILL NOT approach the craft as a smug, experienced know-it-all. (I am a babe in the woods…)

I WILL open myself up to criticism and failure and rejection and stop hiding behind a mountain of deleted works.

I WILL perform proper research on subjects I know little about even if I find it extremely tedious at times.

I WILL become a writer.

I don’t know when or how long it will take, but in this year of our lord, 2019, I will begin my journey.

This is my Year Zero.