Murderers Anonymous Chapter 1

Sample of a very intense and graphic novel I wrote. Made the rounds with Big 5 Publishers but has yet to find a home. Let me know your thoughts. Warning: for fans of dark works only.

                                                                1

You don’t want to read about me.

Seriously, I’m not worth your time.

You’re still reading? Are you one of those types who has to leave a handprint on the wall because you don’t trust the wet paint sign? Or is it just a rebellious streak? Have you been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder?

Approximately 26% of Americans over the age of eighteen suffer from at least one diagnosable cognitive disorder. Spend some time researching your personality quirks on the internet and you’ll come up with a myriad of disastrous issues. Are you obsessive compulsive? Bulimic? Maybe you have ADHD? Social anxiety issues? Ergophobia? List some things about yourself – don’t worry you won’t be alone! We can give you a nice little label, some pills, and most importantly an excuse for all of your shortcomings.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not discounting disorders entirely. We are all legitimately fucked up. Maybe I’m just saying the titles, categories, and treatments are misnomers. Maybe I’m saying narrowing the scope of what’s wrong down to one “condition” only serves to give us the illusion of control.

Or maybe I’m not.

Are you seriously still reading?

I knew a guy once; let’s call him Billy, who went off to Iraq fresh out of high school. Billy was pretty fucked up before he went to Iraq, a borderline alcoholic with penchant for fighting anyone who looked at him the wrong way. Billy had issues, but these combined with his miserably low high school GPA made him a perfect candidate to become one of Uncle Sam’s boys.

Three weeks into deployment an RPG struck Billy’s Humvee. He probably would have become meat pudding if it hadn’t been for his best friend in the unit, a poor son of a bitch named Joe Murphy, who happened to be standing between Billy and the Humvee when the grenade struck.

“So she lifts up the burka and she’s packing a dong!” Kind of sad, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you wish your last words were more flattering, and not the punch line to a joke about a goat-herder’s unfortunate run in with a transsexual Sunni?

I don’t know; who am I to judge?

What was left of Joe coated Billy. I’m talking searing hot flesh melting into his skin, gore forcing its way into his mouth, and eviscerated organs clinging to his body like parts of some grotesque ensemble.

I remember the party his family threw for him when he returned. I attended not because I was particularly fond of Billy; I just wanted to feel a sense of belonging. You know, the type of feeling that you get when tell someone you donated to charity, or ran a 5k to support cancer research.

You just do it so everyone thinks you’re a good person.

Everyone includes you.

Halfway through the evening, someone popped a balloon and Billy shit himself, put his hands over his ears, screamed at the top of his lungs, and ran until he tripped and fell face first into his welcome back cake, destroying it as he fell to the floor, face coated in vanilla frosting and pants soaked through with feces.

Approximately 7.7 million Americans over the age of eighteen suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, typically resulting from an injury or severe psychological shock. Symptoms include loss of sleep, constant vivid recall of the traumatic experience, inappropriate emotional outbursts, psychological regression, and a dulled response to the outside world.

The last I heard, Billy was addicted to pain killers, had a constant twitch, was unemployed and blowing dudes for pills in an alley in Tacoma, Washington. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not.

Does it matter? He’s fucked up, you’re fucked up, I’m fucked up.

And you’re still reading.

I knew a kid once, an imaginative, bright little boy who had the misfortune of being born into a low income family. Maybe his creativity came from his mother, a failed artist turned pot dealer who was more concerned with completing high school level pieces of art than she ever was with taking care of a son. Or maybe it was from his father, who so inventively named the belt he beat his son with “Mr. Slack” for reasons unknown.

“You’ve been a bad, bad boy!” Mr. Slack would say in a voice eerily similar to that of Mickey Mouse. “Mr. Slack is comin’ for ya!”

But honestly, the boy probably got his creative and unique perspective from watching his parents fuck. His first memories of this were from when he was four or five, but he thought that the experiences went further back than that. His parents had the odd habit of stripping down and boning right in front of him, literally dropping whatever they were doing to go at it.

“Oh let him watch! He’ll learn early!” his obese father cackled as he thrust his stubby cock into the eagerly awaiting mouth of his wife. The boy was startled by how his mother stared directly into his eyes the entire time, as if she was taunting him.

Or enticing him.

Maybe his parents caused his social anxiety and sexual dysfunction issues, but these were exacerbated by wasting four years of his life dating a stuck-up, cold-blooded cunt who left him during his most trying time.  

I fucking hate you, Kelly.

I love you, Kelly.

You don’t want to read about that boy. It will only make you a worse person. The baggage he’s carrying, well it’s just too much. Why don’t you go buy one of those commercial novels? You know, one of those feel good stories with the predictable arc where, despite the central conflict and the tension that arises with the love interest, the main character learns a valuable lesson, all misunderstandings are cleared up, the conflict is resolved, and everyone lives happily ever after.

This is your final warning.

No?

Maybe you’re just as fucked up as I am.

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Terminal Prologue

Sample of a work in progress. Will be posting updates to this and other works shortly. Hope you enjoy.

Prologue

There’s something about holding a gun to your head that puts life into perspective. Call it a moment of clarity. You don’t hear all the noise when there’s only immediacy. There’s a weird zen type of calmness that comes with a binary situation.

Two options, nothing else.

Live or die.

I know, it’s supposed to terrify me, but it has the opposite effect. I feel relaxed.

I feel in control.

I’ve hedged my bet. I suppose that makes this slightly inauthentic. I’m going to pull the trigger, make no mistake, and if the .357 magnum fires the stain left on the wall will put even Pollock’s most frenzied works to shame. Despite this, the odds of me dying are fairly low.

16.6% to be exact.

Well not exact, the 6 repeats, but you get the idea.

I’d put one bullet in the six shooter’s chamber, spun it, clicked it into place, and pressed the cool barrel of the gun against the side of my temple.

Like I said, it’s calming.

The reassuring touch of a dear friend.

Supportive. Caring. Nonjudgemental.

And what’s there to fear, really? If the gun goes off and I’m erased, it’s just a proactive measure, isn’t it?

An expedited process.

Express shipping at no extra cost.

I’m at a crossroads. If I live through this there is something more. Something that will make my life meaningful. It’s the grand plan I dedicated myself to. It’s my only chance, really. The only way to make my life into something more than the wasted twenty four years it’s been.

If your life was a book, would anyone read it?

I find myself asking this often.

Okay, that’s enough stalling. You know, the type of self-distracting talk you do in order to avoid going through with something you know you have to? I’m wasting the precious little time I might have.

Spoiler Alert: I’m going to die.

More specifically, I’m going to be dead by the end of this book. So if you’re not into that sort of thing, the whole “brooding anti-hero with an assortment of complexes bringing on his own demise,” you should probably pick up something else. Something more worthwhile or uplifting, you know? One of those harrowing tales where the main character overcomes adversity, meets his potential, and ends up with the love of his life. These type of books give you the payoff you’ve been waiting for all along.

Spoiler Alert: This isn’t one of those.

Oh shit, I’m stalling again.

I sigh, pulling myself from my thoughts, and look out my bedroom window. It’s cold outside. Not the bone chilling type of cold, but the soothing type that makes your skin tingle and reminds you that you’re alive. The slight gust of wind through my window is almost what does it. Not the memories of family or friends, no, a random breeze is what almost halts my finger from doing what it knows it must.

What does that say about me?

I stare at the moon, looking back with an apathetic glow, and I wonder if there’s more.

I pull the trigger.

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The Road to Becoming a Published Author

 

When I tell people I’m a published author I get a lot of questions. Some are the most common are about how to pursue publishing a novel. What is the best way? How is it done? What do you do? And while I can’t give the exact best answer for everyone, I can share my experiences. I’ve taken the road of attempting to be published through the large traditional publishers. As you will see, it can be a long arduous journey. For what it’s worth here’s my timeline. I hope it’s helpful to some of you, whether it is to affirm the value of your perseverance or convince you to get the hell out of writing (just kidding, life’s too short not to chase your dreams).

June 2011: At the age of 21 I started Harbinger, my first serious endeavor into novel writing. Inspired by the writing and style of Stephen King, it emanated some of his themes.

October 31st 2011: Finished the first draft of Harbinger, began querying agents.

December 2011: After countless rejections (100 or so), I receive a phone call from Adrienne Lombardo of Trident Media Group. We discuss possible representation and I nearly have a heart attack.

January 17th 2012: I agree to be represented by Adrienne Lombardo and Trident Media Group, one of the largest and most successful agencies in the world. I think my dream of writing stardom is about to come true.

January 2012 – July 2012: I’m in purgatory. After receiving a positive blurb from New York Times Best Seller Jonathan Maberry, Adrienne shops my novel to no avail, each editor having a different issue. I was considered by Penguin, Random House, and a few other big companies. Each time my hopes were dashed and it stung a little more. Perhaps none more so than the rejection from 47North, where the editor went back and forth for three weeks (and even authorized an advance for me) before ultimately rejecting it. So close but yet so far.

July 2012 – October 2012: With the outlook on Harbinger fading, Adrienne and I focus on my other works and attempting to land them with a publisher. Two of my novels, Harrow House and Sheep’s Clothing, are in good enough shape to throw out there. She sends them out to a couple of editors but the results are the same.

October 16th 2012: Adrienne convinces me to release Harbinger through Trident Media Group’s E-Publishing Service. It is an exciting time and I finally get to share Harbinger with the world. The sales are moderate, but without adequate marketing it is difficult to spread the word. The reviews that pore in are largely positive.

November 2012: Adrienne informs me she is leaving Trident Media Group to become an acquisitions editor for an audio book company. I am left high and dry with no other agents at Trident interested in me or my work.

November 2012- January 2013: While focusing on my other works I am bounced around Trident Media Group, with John Silbersack handling Harbinger. He ultimately isn’t interested in my other works however.

March 2013: I contact my friends at Hobbes End Publishing, a passionate and dedicated independent press, and find out they are interested in publishing Harbinger. With Silbersack unwilling to represent any of my other works I decide to end my relationship with Trident Media Group and have Harbinger re-released as a paperback and e-book with Hobbes End.

April 2014: Harbinger is released with an updated cover and is available in paperback form.

November 2014: After two years of trying with various different projects and receiving a couple of hundred rejections, I earn representation from an agent yet again, this time Adrienne Rosado of Nancy Yost Literary for my project, Murderers Anonyous, a transgressive thriller about a self-help support group for serial Killers.

January-March 2015: Adrienne sends Murderers Anonymous out to about 20 editors. It is praised for being unique, edgy, and having a powerful twist at the end. However, all editors end up passing on the project.

March 2015-Present: A year and a half of writing and editing other projects. We are prepping another novel for submission and hope to have it out soon.

November 2015- Adrienne switches agency to Leibo Literary. I go along with her for the ride.

Summary: 5 years, nine completed novels, over 700 email queries sent, two agents, 40 submissions, countless emails and phone calls, and I have one novel out there from an independent press. Yeah, it’s a waiting game, and a long one at that, but I’m not giving up. All I can do is improve my craft and keep trying to make it. It’s tough being so close without really breaking through, but if there’s one thing this journey has taught me it’s that perseverance is key.

If you have a second check out my novel. Let me know what you think. I’d appreciate it my friends!

https://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-David-J-Bright-ebook/dp/B00JXC0O2K

Peace,
David

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Harbinger – What do you think?

Good or bad I’m always fascinated to hear what readers think of my work. It inspires me to know that I’ve shared a vision with them, and even when I hear criticism, it inspires me to continuing working and honing my craft. If you’re interested in a Stephen King style horror read, check out Harbinger, and let me know what you think 🙂 

http://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-David-J-Bright-ebook/dp/B00JXC0O2K

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Harbinger

The reviews so far have been overwhelming! I’m happy to say my work has entertained so many people. If you’re interested in Stephen King styled horror fiction, considering giving my debut novel a shot 🙂 

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June 11, 2014 · 5:18 pm

A simple act

A simple act

I know it’s a small gesture, but from experience I know even a simple act of kindness can really make someone’s day. I encourage you all to do something similar and spread the love 🙂

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June 9, 2014 · 8:25 pm

On Grief

Here is something I decided to share with my friends on Facebook. I think it has value for others as well. 

Goodbye car insurance, it’s been real. Phone and internet, pack your bags, you’re next. I may be going dark for awhile, friends. I wanted to take this moment to get some things off of my chest. This is the most candid I’ll ever be on social media, and I’m already suspecting I shouldn’t even be sharing this many personal details on Facebook. But, at this point, I really have nothing to lose.

I don’t think I ever let myself grieve over my father’s death. I’m grieving now, both over the loss of him and the feeling that I’ve failed him. I realize this feeling is self imposed, and that my father wouldn’t see me as failing him, but the feeling still lingers. I suppose the feeling is because I took it upon myself to help the family and hold things together when he past.

 

And now I’ve failed.

 

I made a very pivotal decision last summer. I was offered a job as an insurance/real estate agent. This was not something I saw myself doing in the long run, however, it would help pay the bills and stabilize my family’s financial situation. I was accepted into my masters program, and this employer did not want me doing it – he wanted my focus solely on the insurance business. I wanted to follow my passion and in my eyes, make a difference in the world, so I chose to go with grad school. Although I’ve learned so much and enriched my life, meeting wonderful people along the way, that decision has proven to have repercussions.

 

I’m halfway to my masters but I’m also halfway to losing everything. In a lot of ways I feel like I’ve already lost everything. I had a relationship that spanned five and a half years. Through all of the stress my family situation put on me, this relationship was my rock. This was the one thing going right, the one thing I had absolute faith in, and the reason I got out of bed every morning. This was my future – the romantic in me knew that this love so true was destined to last forever. Our life together would be bliss, and I’d be proud to be able to provide for the love of my life after I earned my masters degree.

 

It was all I wanted. It was why I strived to be a better person daily.

 

Then it was gone. I’ve touched upon how this has felt on Facebook in the past, but I’ve never done it justice. The hollow feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and worthlessness were all encompassing. All of a sudden I was not worthy of being loved or worth fighting for – and I took this upon myself. It destroyed my worldview, and drastically altered what I thought about my future.

 

Then my car broke down. Then I had to take out more school loans to afford another to keep getting to class. Then I sideswiped a telephone pole with that car. Then my mother broke her wrist and lost time at work. Then, after I have dumped over five thousand dollars into paying the mortgage and back bills to keep our home and life situation, everything is still lost.

 

I’ve failed.

I’ve had a great deal of successes. I’m a standout student in my graduate program, which I am incredibly passionate about. I’ve earned a graduate assistantship, which will allow me to get by on my own next semester. I’ve published a novel, I’ve matured and grown as a person more in the last few months than the previous few years. I’m proud that I’ve been able to overcome so much.

 

But some days that just isn’t enough. Some days you remember no one loves you like she did and she’ll never love you like that again. Some days you feel so ruined by what happened that you don’t think you can love again. Some days you’re faced with the fact you’ll have to drive uninsured and risk devastation. Some days you see that your novel really isn’t selling well, and few people actually care you wrote one. Some days you realize that your current living situation is not manageable and it’s highly likely you’ll lose your home and your mom will have nowhere to go. Some days four years of dealing with the loss of your father, the constant financial burdens, the dangerous habits and behaviors of your brother, becomes too much. Some days you’re supposed to care about the multiple fifteen plus page papers and research assignments you have for class when you barely have the emotional strength to drive 40 miles to class.

 

This is one of those days. This is a day where I’m feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and hurt. I have my fair share of responsibility for how things have turned out. I also have the ability to better my life situation and emerge from this a stronger, more capable person. I am not denying myself this opportunity to become wiser, more aware, and better suited for life’s challenges.

 

But this is just one of those days. On a day like this, none of the positive stuff seems to matter. On a day like this I don’t even want to keep going on living. And the sick thing is, it’s not all sad feelings. It’s an overwhelming exhaustion, the feeling that I’ve been kicked so many times I don’t want to get up anymore. It’s the feeling that my views that love can conquer all if you put your heart into it, and that good things will happen if I keep trying my best were naive and misguided, and have left me more broken down than if I never had them at all.

 

This isn’t the stuff people are “supposed” to talk about on Facebook, but you know, I don’t care. I’m a person, I have complex emotions, and so what if a random jackoff I haven’t talked to in seven years sees what I’m going through? We’re all people.

 

After I lost my relationship, I said I’d never be scared of anything again. In my mind the worst had already happened – the woman I loved and devoted myself to simply no longer felt the same. That level of devastation for me, could never be met. And it’s true, I’m not scared of the future, but in a sick way I feel too tired to get there. I’ve been doing very well over the last month or so, being positive, learning life lessons, and becoming stronger. I kept thanking God for these hardships because they were making me a tougher person.

 

But today it feels like I’m carrying too much. Today, after hearing about the bill situation we have, I just want to lay down and never get up again.

 

I don’t want pity, and I’m not asking for sympathy. Everyone has their life struggles. Everyone goes through hardships, and plenty have endured much worse than I have. My life is still within my hands and what has happened to me is no one’s fault or responsibility but my own. I’ve had choices this entire way.

 

I guess I just want to be understood. I want to have a moment where I can express what’s really going on rather than being the typical fun loving, positive Dave Bright so many of you see. Because some days it’s just too much. Somedays I don’t want another tomorrow.

 

I want to take this moment to thank all of my dear friends who have supported me in all my times of need. I have wonderful people in my life who have lent their shoulders and earns, and have opened their hearts. You have been a source of strength and inspiration for me.

 

I also want to take this time to apologize to anyone I’ve hurt in the past. I apologize for any selfish actions, any times i’ve disrespected you, or any harm I’ve brought upon you. Thank you for your understanding.

God Bless,

– The Dave Bright

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