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the illusion exotic now available!
Welcome to Day 5 of THE SIX DAYS OF ILLUSION and the official debut of the illusion exotic. My third book and first short story compilation, is now officially published.
The book goes on sale today through the 22nd for only 99 cents. After that, it goes up to its regular price.
Today, I feature the 5th story in the illusion exotic, the Incident at the West Flatte Dairy Queen.
"INCIDENT AT WEST FLATTE DAIRY QUEEN" SYNOPSIS
On a Saturday night, high school nerd Mike faces a tough choice: pursue a chance for romance with a popular cheerleader, or hang with Todd, his best friend and notorious loser. What he doesn’t know is his decision will mean life and death, and forever go down in history as the Incident at the West Flatte Dairy Queen.
This story was specifically written for the DeadPixel Publications (DPP) compendium Terrible Cherubs. That project had a lot of dark themes, written by a bunch of talented writers. This story is about as dark as I get.
The idea came from a conversation I had with several of DPP authors. I was struggling for an original idea for the book, and then one of my fellow DPP'ers, Travis Morhman, offered a suggestion. It was too good to pass up.
This was also one of those stories that developed quickly. After a few months of workshopping and editing with the group, it came to life.
Sadly, DeadPixel Publications broke up recently. I learned a lot from that bunch, and I applied those lessons in this story. Many of the former DDP'ers have started a new writers group called Deviant Dolls. If edgy fiction is your thing, go check them out.
Here's a sample of Incident at West Flatte Dairy Queen, my last effort with DeadPixel Publications.
"INCIDENT AT WEST FLATTE DAIRY QUEEN" sample
The football players rose from around the picnic table. They slowly drew away from their chicken strip baskets and cheeseburgers; a pride of young male lions, interrupted during feeding by an obnoxious hyena. Jimbo, their quarterback and alpha-male, led the way. Thick necked and steady eyed, the Homecoming King slowly advanced on Todd. A chorus of “whoop his ass, Jimbo!” rose from the kids now pouring out of the Dairy Queen to watch the impending fight.
Impending slaughter, Mike thought. “Shit.”
No one cheered for Todd, but no one ever cheered for Todd.
Varsity jacket and clean button-up squared up against torn flannel and dirty Megadeth t-shirt. John Deere hat faced black beaner. Unlaced combat boots went toe-to-toe against cowboy boots.
Testosterone-swollen brawn stood against pasty gangle.
Kaylee blew a giant bubble, and let it pop. “Problem solved, hon, cause Todd’s gunna be dead in about two minutes.”
Todd didn’t stand a chance against the West Arroyo offensive line, but Mike knew Todd didn’t care. Todd never cared. Watching Todd should have irritated him, but instead he felt pity.
Mike began to walk across the parking lot, but Kaylee grasped his hand. “You can’t save him forever.”
Mike walked the line between adolescent hope and grim calculation. Calculation - that terrible, nagging gift that opened doors, forever shut others, and left Mike no place to hide from himself. Before she died, Momma told him Almighty God gifted him with a brilliant mind to shine the light of knowledge on mankind’s darkness. Perhaps, but Mike would have traded a few rays of shining light for a chance to get laid.
In Flatte County, his brilliant mind got him shunned by most except his teachers, nor found him a higher class of friend then Todd Toobin. The cold spotlight of calculation also said Kaylee was using him, just as she had done countless times before. Mike wanted to turn off the spotlight, and welcome the blissful darkness of self-delusion.
“Does Jimbo know you didn’t invite him?” he asked without looking at her.
“I didn’t invite him,” she said, voice rising toward the end, signaling another of her famous half truths.
Across the parking lot, Jimbo lunged. Todd dodged. Jimbo missed. Todd laughed and danced away, middle fingers raised even higher as he taunted the beast again.
“Is Jimbo gunna be there tonight?” Mike pressed.
“You don’t worry yourself about Jimbo.” A tinge of poorly disguised irritation polluted her voice, but she quickly covered it with a tone as sweet as Texas iced tea. “Daddy’s making a bonfire and roasting a pig. He’s even going to buy us beer just as long as no one drives home. The boys are crashing in the ranch house. A sleepover.” He turned in time to see Kaylee flash a woman’s smolder. “It’ll be fun.”
Mike tore his eyes away just as Jimbo swung again. Todd went down hard to the mob’s cheers.
Jimbo’s raging snarl suddenly frightened Mike.
“I’ll let you know about tonight.” Mike yanked away and jogged across the parking lot.
Todd had just begun to pull himself on all fours when Jimbo buried his pointed boot into his stomach, sending Todd sprawling on his back.
“Cut it out, you son of a bitch!” Mike dropped the bag, spilling onion rings onto the asphalt, and broke into a full run. The rest of Flatte County’s offensive line shuffled forward, forming a wall between Mike and the ongoing beating.
If you liked what you read, you can click here to order the illusion exotic for only .99 cents.
For those who have already pre-ordered and ordered, THANK YOU! The book is off to a GREAT start. Remember, after 22 April the price goes up, so buy early and buy often.
Please tell your friends by a like, share and tweet! It would be really appreciated.
Check back to tomorrow for more from the illusion exotic, and Day 6 of SIX DAYS OF ILLUSION.
Oh yeah, one more thing. The next three people who email me a receipt for the pre-order/order of the illusion exotic to brian_l_braden (at) yahoo dot com will receive a gift digital copy of BLACK SEA GODS. Offer expires 22 April 16 at midnight CST.