Posts Tagged ‘ short story ’

My attempt at erotic fiction

A few years ago, I was reading Peter Temple’s crime thriller The Broken Shore and found it so inspiring, I decided to write some fan fiction. It was good, very good, but I got sidetracked by other projects and forgot to ring back the many many publishing houses who had asked me to turn it into a novel, or any of the Hollywood studios who had enquired as to whether I would give them the film options.

Only since the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book that began as erotic Twilight fan fiction and became an international best seller, have I revisited my work. I discovered  that what I had – its working title was Cold Comfort –  was undoubtedly first-class prose, but it was single-genre prose.

I’m a trendsetter by nature, but I’m also a brilliant entrepreneur and I know when to start from scratch and when to take a proven idea and make it even better. So Cold Comfort became Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic crime thriller no longer based on Peter Temple characters.

Here’s an excerpt for your delectation.

(If you like it, I might post some more again soon.

Let’s be honest, I’m going to be posting some more again soon.)

(From Chapter 3, titled ‘Big Time’)

Boyd looked out his window. The city was cold. Cold like Boyd’s heart. Cold like the iceblock in the tumbler of whiskey that sat on his desk. A triple –  Boyd didn’t do half measures. Like Jensen used to say, if you wanted to do half measures, you should join the rodeo as a clown at the rodeo.

He’d never understood that advice, as taking half measures at a rodeo could lead to serious internal organ and brain injuries, but Jensen was a multi-layered character and probably hadn’t meant it strictly literally.

“Boyd!”

“Fuck!”

“Sorry, boss.”

It was Davis.

“Davis. You scared the shit out of me. I was thinking about Jensen.”

“Multi-layered man, Jensen,” said Davis.

“Yes he was. Now he’s dead.”

Davis nodded slowly, quietly, thoughtfully. He nodded like a man in deep thought. Hell – he was.

“What do you want? Make it quick. I’m busy.”

Davis could tell this was a lie. Boyd had been looking out the window. Again. Possibly for up to eighty consecutive minutes. But he let it slide.

“It’s King.”

“What about him?”

“He’s dead.”

“How?”

“He drank thirty-eight alcopops, got slightly tipsy and fell into a pool.”

“Drowned?”

“No, someone had put three blue ringed octopuses into the pool and, well… one found the mark.”

“His balls?”

“Yeah, boss.”

“Jensen always said King would be bitten on the genitals by an octopus and die from the poison of the octopus.”

“We can’t think about Jensen now. He’s long dead. King, on the other hand, is still warm.”

“You are right, Davis. As usual. How warm?”

“Pathology thinks it happened between eight and nine minutes ago.” Davis was talking  in between deep breaths. He had obviously run to the office. He had some sweat on his face. It glistened like salt water on a statue. In many ways, that’s exactly what it was.

“Any suspects at this stage?”

“Thirty-six.”

“Who’s your prime?” asked Boyd, using the terse, cold idiomatic language of the Homicide Squad. It was just his way. The only way he’d ever known, since being kicked out of a state school in Form 4 and being told by a teacher he’d never amount to anything. (Ha! Where was Ms Cuthbertson now? Almost certainly dead, as she had been in her mid sixties at the time she had made the comment, which meant she would be nearly one hundred and ten now and very few people lived that long.)

“A guy called Hank. Hank Brunden.”

“Talk to him. And do it now, goddamn it, before he leaves the country!”

Davis turned to leave the office.

Boyd picked up his whiskey, went to sip, then said “Davis.”

Davis was at the door. He turned to face the rugged head of the Homicide Squad, who hadn’t shaved for a few days. “Yes boss?”

“The King is dead. Long live the king.”

Davis didn’t need to respond. But he did. He said “Mm.”

***

Hank Brunden had a broad mind, a broad chest and a broad share portfolio. He loved women, but more than that he loved accountancy. And accountancy was what he was doing right now, at 10.45 in the evening, in bed. He was doing some work for a very special client. The client was himself. You see, Hank had a passion for accountancy that transcended work hours. He “did the math”, as he called it, like someone else might do a soduko puzzle (or “sudaki” as his dim-witted brother would say).

Hank’s bed had satin sheets.

Hank completed a difficult equation and yelled with satisfaction, as he sometimes did while exercising his gift for arithmetic. It must have been loud, because he could hear Dierdre, the thirty-four year old divorcee who lived in the apartment next door wake up and ask herself groggily, “Wh-what’s going on?”

Then suddenly it was on.

Big time.

Dierdre was at the door with all her clothes on and a duffel coat and a prim early 19th century replica bonnet, then she was about halfway between the door and the bed without her duffel coat and only some of her clothes on, but the bonnet still on in a coquettish manner. Then she was straddling Hank Brunden completely naked, her gulf throbbing like a frightened mouse’s heart. It had been like watching a very early, very amateurish attempt at stop motion cinema.

As Dierdre reached for Hank’s burgeoning groin trunk – his poppet head purpling with the same uncontrolled urgency as his doltish brother the time he’d been on the inane 1980s game show that challenged you to run around a faux supermarket putting as many consumer items into a trolley as you could in thirty seconds – Detective Inspector Gary Davis kicked the door down and charged into the room, gun drawn. He had the look in his eye of a man on a mission, a mission that didn’t come with very many protocols or instructions. Or exit strategies.

Davis had size 9 shoes.

“No knock, Detective Inspector?” asked Hank, smiling broadly, as his embarrassed neighbour covered his still-engorged jabberwocky (and she did see it as a mythical creature) with her prim bonnet.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Brunden!” Davis growled. He fired two rounds into the roof. “Finish off here, get dressed, brush your teeth, eat some toast and meet me downstairs. We’re goin’ downtown.”

Davis and Brunden had form.

Big time.

Image

I’m thinking of releasing an audio version with me as the narrator.

Haught fact of the day:

When Boyd asks Davis who his “prime” is, he means prime suspect.

Lavatory humour with a serious edge

My alter ego wrote a short story and is trying to flog it on Amazon.

It contains the lavatory references you’ve come to love from Haught Feelings, but it’s all wrapped up in a serious story about workplace boredom and that whole “an idle mind is the devil’s playground” thing.

It’s called ‘Waiting‘ and it takes the form of a Kindle Single, which is a short piece of writing that you can download straight to your Kindle, or to any device that you can get the Kindle app on.

Here’s an excerpt:

I waited.

Waiting was becoming a bad habit for me. I’d discussed it with Penny Trentham from Social Media and she’d assured me I was “waiting for inspiration.” She was wrong for a change,  although only by six letters – I was waiting for motivation.

“What’s my motivation here, David?” If only I were an actor and could reasonably ask such a question of my ‘director’.

How I wished I could put an end to these hours of inaction by standing up, striding to my manager’s office, entering without knocking, and simply rejecting the ‘role’:

“David, I’m just not feeling it. This isn’t working for me at all.”

Sometimes it was these preposterous little fantasies that got me through the day.

It wasn’t that I was lazy. Certainly not if you compared me to some of the pulses and legumes in Finance (Penny’s splendid description, not mine). One of them, whose name I think was Gregory, might well have been the most indolent person I’d ever met.

Truth be told, I had never formally met him, but I bumped into him so often that I was beginning to think of him as a sort of quasi-acquaintance. One who irritated me more and more with every absurdly frequent meeting.

I had never spoken a word to him and yet I felt I knew so much about him. He was a non-work addict, but most people on Level 3 knew that. So often was he observed wandering or loitering in places nowhere near his desk that he was beginning to gain a whispered reputation. When colleagues gossiped about “that fellow who’s always getting a cup of tea” and “the one from Finance who looks at the notice board a lot”, you knew they were talking about Gregory.

He was also a nervous man, a flincher. But, that was just another trait that anybody who’d glanced at him once or twice could easily discern.

Something about him I suspect few colleagues knew was that he had an appalling habit, while in the men’s lavatory, of breaking wind with a trumpeting ferocity that belied his thin-haired, hunch-shouldered feebleness. It annoyed me not only because it was viscerally offensive, but because he did it so shamelessly. I knew fairly certainly that this man spent much of his life avoiding even mildly difficult challenges and weaselling out of all but the most essential face-to-face interaction. But as soon as he got into the gents’ he suddenly found the audacity to force gas out his backside with the inhibition of some inebriated oaf at a motorsport event.

Perhaps he considered the Level 3 toilet to be some sort of sanctuary from the rest of the world, a place where he could relax emotionally and physically. He certainly seemed to spend a great deal of time there. (Either that or, by some implausible coincidence, every time I had to use the bathroom, he too was answering the call of nature.)

The toilet-as-haven concept incensed me perhaps more than anything else about him. Here was a man who got paid handsomely to work in the relaxed environment of a public service institution, and who spent large portions of his day hiding – and sometimes indiscriminately emitting flatus – in the restrooms.

Could he not, at the very least, have feigned industry like his straight-backed, stiff-faced colleagues in Finance?

Could he not have sat at his desk and stared at the screen? Like me.

I waited.

I looked at the screen without seeing anything. I asked my eyes to focus, but they would not. Perhaps, after all, I was not waiting for motivation, so much as intervention. I needed the fire alarm to go off, or an email from Penny, or my manager to come into our cluster and ask me how the task was coming along.

I waited, but nobody stepped into my barren world.

Toilet-as-haven. Perhaps there was something in that. Perhaps Gregory From Finance had the makings of a decent idea there. Not that I would ever retreat to the lavatories and cower there like some sort of wounded animal. But what I desperately needed was a strategy for breaking these drawn-out periods of wasted time, and a quick visit to the men’s toilet was an idea worth considering. I’d go in, splash water on my face and look at myself in the mirror like they did in the movies. Maybe, if nobody was around, I’d make a pithy, witty comment about getting a hold of myself. It wouldn’t be toilet-as-haven so much as toilet-as-film-noir-fantasy.

I stopped waiting.

He was there. Of course.

Buy it here.