Sheep of God
In a sleepy Arizona town, Talbot Ward has found an opportunity to take advantage of the good, God-fearing people who live there.
After convincing the members of a Baptist congregation that he can bring the dead back to life–and that he is not a messenger of God, but God himself–Talbot soon assembles a throng of avid devotees who, in true cult fashion, relinquish their material possessions and give themselves over to the glory of their new messiah.
The situation worsens over time, as Talbot’s “sermons” grow increasingly violent. Some of the sheep in his flock wonder if they’ve been had, and begin to worry for their lives.
She had met Talbot a decade ago while visiting her grandmother at Sunset Cemetery. Setting a bouquet of flowers in front of the deceased’s tombstone, her attention had been arrested by a strange man who was down on all fours, his body centered directly over a neighboring plot. At first she considered that he had fallen, that perhaps he was having a heart attack, but then she heard him muttering something, and noticed him rocking back and forth purposefully; he suddenly lifted his head erectly, staring straight ahead at the grave marker in front of him, and Tessa was assured of his physical health, if not his mental well-being.
She was hesitant to approach him, first because he seemed intently devoted to whatever it was he was doing, and she did not wish to interrupt, and second because there were no other souls—no living ones, anyway—in the immediate vicinity, and should he happen to be significantly insane, she could be inviting trouble. But at last intrigue won her over, and she engaged him.
“Do you mind if I ask what you’re doing?”
“Summoning spirits. Connecting with the dead.”
“I see. And is that something you can do? I mean, you’ve done that?”
Talbot smiled. “No. I haven’t. Doesn’t stop me from trying.”
Tessa smiled as well, as she always did at the truly bizarre. She then glanced up at the name on the headstone. Charles Winmore, b. 1927 d. 1988.
“Who was he?” She felt moderately guilty at prying so brazenly, but figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound.’
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know him?”
“No. I was hoping to.”
And so had begun their friendship. He had captivated her immediately, and had held her interest raptly ever since. He would eventually open up to her about his belief in his ability to perform miracles, and while the rational portion of her brain advised her not to, she believed him. Maybe he couldn’t perform them in quite the way he felt sure he could, but there was some mystique about this gentleman. Something she could never put her finger on and which differentiated him from every other human being she had encountered. And so she kept him in her life, employing him in her shop whenever and as often as he wished to exert himself. He was stealthily added to her collection—the only human curiosity of his kind.
(a satire on the American education system.)
Leiden Shepherd, who finds himself wracked with doubt as early as kindergarten, makes it his mission to investigate and unearth all of the problems inherent in the system, and endeavors to arrive at an appropriate course of action. He embarks on a personal quest to validate his belief that even the tiniest, seemingly insignificant event can dramatically alter the course of a young person’s life…
If this sounds like something you’d like to read, YOU CAN!!! Go here to purchase your very own copy! I’ll even sign it for you!*
*Must come to my house and bring your own pen.
Notwithstanding Mr. Gahagan’s firm recommendation, Michael will not stop liking guns. After firing one last shot into the back of Mr. Gahagan’s head on his way back into the Wild West Room, Michael will spend the remainder of his time at the Frederick Sherman Museum of World History fantasizing about getting his hands on an actual gun. His father’s .50 Caliber Desert Eagle was kept in the top drawer of his parents’ nightstand and was therefore easily accessible, but was never loaded, and consequently will not interest him much. He will eagerly anticipate the day when he might be the rightful owner of a whole array of firearms, meanwhile attenuating his overwhelming desire to possess the real thing by gaining a wealth of experience practicing with a plethora of tolerable substitutes. He will mercilessly shoot down all four family pets with the narrow end of his father’s Meerschaum pipe, ruthlessly execute the dork across the street with his double-barreled, bolt-action assault broom, and will continue to put holes in Mr. Gahagan with his Bowlus ball-bearing drawing compass. Mr. Laughlin, the Apple Hills Elementary P.E. teacher, will fail to notice when, during the class’ archery unit, Michael will accompany each release of an arrow with a soft but distinct utterance of the word “bang”. Bright and early on the morning of his seventeenth birthday, Michael will rush right out to the Apple Hills Gun Club with his brand spanking new fake I.D. and brand spanking new actual moustache to buy himself a brand spanking new Smith and Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with a +P 158-grain lead semiwadcutter hollow-point load. On the way home, Michael will let the revolver sit next to him on the passenger side seat. He will have no interest in taking lives – no human lives, anyway. He will instead make sport of any imprudently sociable varmint who chances to wander onto or within 100 yards of the Timberland estate, under the watchful eye of his proud father, who will brag endlessly to his buddies at the country club about what a fantastic fucking shot his little boy had turned out to be. When he is 19 years old, he will tire of hunting easy game and will cultivate a thirst for more challenging targets. This development will lead Michael to allow a United States Marine Corps recruiter to talk him into enlisting without so much as a word of worry or contention. To his indescribable disappointment, however, Michael’s timing will prove to be poor – he will enlist at an uncommon time of virtual peace, and will be assigned MOS 1100, Basic Utilities Marine; after a period of formal schooling, he will go on to pass the majority of his time in the service helping to install, operate and maintain electrical distribution systems. After nearly two years in the Corps without having occasion to fire a weapon at anything that moves, Michael will go temporarily mad with an uncontainable frustration, and during a training evolution at the Papa 3 Training Area at Camp Pendleton, under the unwatchful eye of his platoon sergeant, he will spontaneously fire six rounds of ammunition from his standard-issue M16A2 service rifle into the neck and back of his rackmate, who will have the untoward impudence to move. After a number of years of psychiatric treatment and observation at the USDB, a maximum-security detention facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Michael will eventually be released back into the wild. As soon as he is able, he will, in a moment of pure sentimentalism, purchase the very newest model of his very first gun, and will keep this weapon quite literally under his pillow for the purpose of self-defense, just in case some nut-job should happen to come crawling through his window one night.
Gateway to Agartha
A recently completed Young Adult fantasy novel. Payton Thomas, a ten-year-old prodigy, has always felt a little special. He is not altogether surprised when he’s diagnosed with ‘sponge syndrome,’ a condition that allows him to glean information from others simply by being in their presence. However, when Dr. Friske of the National Earth Studies Board tracks him down and asks him to help save the world, Payton wonders whether his special ability might instead be a curse.
The U.S. government has uncovered the entrance to an enormous underground world called Agartha, home to many creatures that had previously been thought to exist only in myth. One of those creatures–a maniacal beast intent on enslaving the whole of the human race–happens to share a unique connection with his surface-dwelling counterpart. For this reason, Payton may be mankind’s last hope for salvation.
Colonel Gibbs was shouting out orders to his men, and Dr. Friske was screaming for everyone without a weapon to climb aboard an auto as quickly as possible. Already some were filing into the vehicles, but many were still in peril.
The yeti, being relentlessly fired upon, paused a moment to examine his wounds. He wiped a paw across his chest and gazed in confusion at the thin streaks of red that had appeared in his fur. For a moment, there was a look in his eyes that resembled sadness. But that look turned to anger.
He roared again. Payton could have sworn he saw the distant mountains shaking from the noise. The yeti pounded his fist downward, landing it squarely in the middle of one of the carts. He sent fruits and vegetables soaring through the air, and the man who had been pushing the cart–goodness knows why he hadn’t already abandoned the team’s groceries–was catapulted forward, his body landing with a thud on the hood of one of the autos. He quickly got back up to his feet, and hurled his battered body inside it.
The yeti continued to swing its arms and pound the rock around him; because of the slowness of his movements, he was unable to land a direct hit, but several members of the team had gotten a hand or foot crushed beneath the weight of the monster’s fist. Many were assisting the injured parties, escorting them to the relative safety of the autos as quickly as they could, while trying at the same time not to become a target of the yeti’s fury.
Head, Body, Heart
This is actually a collection of three love stories. I’ll be honest with you – it’s weird. Don’t get me wrong – I’m proud of it and think it’s well-written, but knowing you, you probably wouldn’t like it. Maybe wait for the movie.
Where is 413 Hope St.?
This one is also weird, but in a totally different way. It was also written during my “weird” period.
The Unfortunate 500
This isn’t a novel, but instead a collection of letters to and from various Fortune 500 companies that pissed me off for one reason or another. I wrote Sara Lee and challenged them to a bake-off with my mother, asked Microsoft for a personal loan, and ordered a pizza from the CEO of Domino’s. This was back when I had a lot of time on my hands.
How Big is My Willy?
A young reader’s guide to determining the relative size of his sexual member. Much in the same way that Once Upon a Potty taught children the importance of proper toilet training, How Big is My Willy? informs inquisitive little boys as to whether they might qualify as small, medium or large, and prepares them for the tough (or easy) road ahead.
Note: This book does not actually exist. However, if you’re offering me a book deal, give me a call and we can crunch some numbers.