Today I’m going to do something a little bit different. As regular readers may know I am currently working on a couple different books. So as a bit of an experiment I’m going to post a sample of one of them, tentatively titled “The Brother hood of the Iron” These are the two most recent chapters, and have not been edited in any way, so expect to see some typos.

A Rude Awakening

I don’t remember much after the feast of the magic pig. There are scattered memories of table manners that would have made granny marj die of shame, and brief flashes of the blonde bastard half dragging half helping me up the stairs set to a soundtrack of childrens laughter offset by the base rumble of Bobby’s chuckles. After that I vaguely recall falling onto a cloud and floating away into a stygian darkness of elysium dreams.

I do however remember when the white devil burst into my room screaming “Wakey wakey hands off snakey”

“huwhadefucggg”

I am extremely eloquent upon awakening.

“It’s time for a hike sev, get your ass up, epty it out, wash it off, and scrape that nasty ass grill!”

“Fucginarsfuckrkllu” I screamed trying to take a swipe at him and managing to fall off the bed and on to my face in the process.

“Now thats the fucking spirit. And here I thought Amanda had what was left of your balls in her purse. Now move, move, move!”

I know you’ll think I’m lying. I know you think Im taking dramatric license. But I shit you not that son of a fucking bitch pulled a fucking marching drum out from behind him and began to chant “move, move, move” while beating that hateful piece of wood and skin in time with his chants and goddamned dancing. I managed to leverage myself up on the night stand and launcehd myself off of it in an attempt to punch him in the face.

If you guessed that I missed him completely and fell chin first while he danced around me chanting “move, move, move” and beating that accursed drum then congratulations. Your smarter than I am. And I hope you go straight to hell.

Needless to say Bobby Glib thought this was the funniest damn thing he had ever seen. He laughed so hard he damned near lost the beat. But then he decided to call in youtube support.

“Brush your teeth, brush your teeth brush your muthafucking teeth” began to boom out from speakers I hadnt even realised had been in the room. I scrambled ass first into the bathroom and slammed the door. Despite being able to hear the muffled thuimp of the base and an ocansional high note the sound was no longer overwhemliing and as I laid my back against the toilet I could feel how weak my body had become. My limbs were shaking from the brief exertion I ahd put them through and my heart fellt like it wanted to jump out of my chest and take my ribcage with it.

Almost as if the bastard knew what I was thinking, the moment I came face to fce with my own weakness, the music stopped and silence reigned.

“Shower up, Ive left you some clothes on the bed. Its time to rebuild you”

I couldnt help it, I watched too many reruns as a kid. “Do you have the technology?”

“We have the capability. Better,Stronger, Faster”

I stood up. I walked into the shower. I made a choice to wash away my weakness. To wash away my excuses. I knew Bobby wouldn’t accept them, and that I couldn’t. I walked out a new man.

The Walking Man

Feshly showered, dressed in a pair of shorts and and old T-shirt that was three sizes to big big for my now emaciated body I carefully made my way down the stairs to the kitchen where Bobby was waiting for me at the table. I looked across the kitchen to the doors of “The church” with my heart full of fear. Bobby saw where I was looking and began to laugh.

“Relax bro, you aint ready for that yet. Before you can lift, you gotta walk”

“Huh? Don’t you mean before I can run I gotta walk?”

“Running is for weak ass bitch boys and chicks who wanna kill their curves. Real men lift. But at the moment your body is too weak for that. So well start your rehab by walking”. He broke out into a sly grin as a thought crossed his mind “We can call it hiking if that makes you feel better about being such a fucking nancy though”

I couldn’t remember if this was the fifth or fiftieth time I had wanted to kill him in the last couple days, but as he’d shown me upstairs I was in no position to do anything about it, so I just gritted my teeth and stood up a bit straighter. “Lead on oh fearless leader”

He chuckled that annoying fucking chuckle, stood up as smoothly as a god damned cat and started walking out through the living room torwards the front door. As I struggled to keep up with him I thought about calling out to ask him to slow down, but I’d have rather fallen on my face than given him the satisfaction of doing so, so I just pushed myself a little harder.

As we emerged out of his air conditioned home into the front yeard I couldn’t tell what was worse, the heat of the midday sun glaring down at me like the eye of an angry cyclopean god or the thick muggy atmosphere that made sweating an exercise in uttillity. Either way the heat and humidity hit me like a truck and I staggered for a few steps before finally standing up straight again. The brightness seared into my eyes and my head swam, I started to get a bit woozy and damn near went down but the thought of Bobby chuckling while picking me up gave me the strength to wobble upright and take a deep breath. I stood there for a few breathes, the rich scent of moist vegetation mingling with the aroma of the nearby sea nearly overwhelming me as much as the heat had, but after a few moments my head began to clear and I could feel the sweat pouring off my body. As my knees steadyied and my visions became clear I saw bobby standing nearby staring at me intently, as if determining whether or not to intervene. Then he smiled broadly and the mockery crept back into his voice.

“Nearly lost you there sev, you aint going weak sister on me are you?”

“Bitch, please. Now are we going for a walk or are we gonna sit here smiling at each other like a bunch of faggots all fucking day” Needless to say I was talking one whole hell of lot bigger than I felt, but bobby just laughed, turned towards the side of his house and walked into the trees. I scrambled to follow behind cursing my own bravado, and silently praying I didnt have a heart attack.

As we walked into what felt like a tropical forest I realised bobby was, in his own twisted way, trying to make things a bit easier on me. Once we got under the canopy the temperature dropped noticably, though the air was still so thich with moisture it was hard to breath. The undergrowth didnt help either as every damned bush and vine seemed to be actively trying to trip me, but outside of the kiln like heat of the direct sunlight I found I could keep moving forward even if I did stumble quite a bit. Even then there was always a handy tree trunk I could grab to catch my balance. Bobby was walking ahead a few yards, his hands in his pockets, strolling along in a rolling gait that seemed to propel him forward effortlessly. The son of a bitch was even whistling tuneless as if this epic hike into the heart of darkness wasn’t any effort at all. Truth be told it probably wasn’t.

Bobby wasnt some ripped bodybuilder type by any means. But his muscles rippled under his clothes with an easy purpose that let you know that they were used to working together, and despite the heat he was barely sweating. I couldn’t really articulate what I felt for him in that moment, it was a jumbled ball of envy, hate, admiration, pride and pure brotherly love mixed with the regret of knowing that my weakness was my own damn fault. Looking at himI saw the man I could have been if I hadn’t let complaceny choose my actions for 20 years, or at least had the sense to not to allow my dick to lead me down a rabbit hole of hedonism and self destruction for the last few months. I guess the best I can describe it is that I saw in Bobby the man I could have been, and the shame I felt at being the man I was instead.

As we walked through the trees the ground began to incline slightly. Well I say slightly but in my weakened condition it felt like climbing mount everest. I had to grab on to nearby tree branches and use the combined strengnth of my entire body to push myself forward. The vines got better at catching my legs and the ground got better at slipping beneath my feet, and I fell onto my face more than a few times. Each time I did Bobby would turn around and stare at me with the ghost of a smirk on his lips, still whistling tunelessly with his hands in his pockets as if tou ask “Is that all you got?” and each time something inside me screamed “Hell no” and I managed to pull myself back up and put one foot in front of the other. Im not sure how long this went on, it felt like forever but in reality it couldn’t have been more than 20 mintues, when we finally came to the top of a small rise where the trees thinned out and and an old fallen tree trunk lay across the path we’d been walking.

“I don’t know about you sev, but I feel the need to rest my dogs for a minute or so” bobby said plopping down on one end of the fallen tree.

“Fucking pussy, I could walk for another 50 miles” I said, panting pathetically and falling on to the log, my legs shaking.

“I just bet you could” he said smiling like a man who a knew a secret.

Bobby pointed across the field of grass beyond the last of the trees. “you see that old house over yonder?”

“I aint blind Glib”

“Well that is the house that was originally on this land when the wife and I bought it. Its where we lived when were in the early stages of building our current home. It aint much, basically just a one room shack with a good view, but the roof’ll keep the rain off, and the walls’ll keep most of the bugs out. It’s got power for the lights and a gas stove, though we never did get around to getting air-con installed. Its also where you’re gonna be living from now on.”

“Wait what?” Bobby was kicking me out?

“You gotta understand Sev, Ill be back on the oil rig by the end of the week, and knowing my wife she’ll spoil you rotten while I’m gone which aint exactly what you need right now. You’ve put your body through hell lately and you need to start putting it to use instead. Plus I reckon you’ve got a lot to think about and a house full of workmen, screaming children, and and ______ family aint exactly conducive to introspection. Up here you’ll have the quiet you need to figure out what you want for yourself going forward. In the meantime you’ll be welcome at dinner every night while I’m gone, and ______ will help you with the shopping for your breakfast and lunch if you need it. Ive taken a short shift this time around so Ill only be gone for a month. But I think what you need more than anything else right now is get back in touch with you.”

Bobby laughed, and this time I could tell he was laughing at himself. “That sounds like a bunch of new age faggotry dont it?”

“Shit” I said drawing out the sylablles, mocking Bobby’s southern drawl like I had back in our college days “I thought you were about to ask me if I wanted a blowjob, and truth be told as pretty as that mouth is I was thinking of saying yes”

Bobby laughed from his belly up in the same totally unselfconscious way he always had, and despite the lines on his face and the grey hairs I could see the young alpha he had once been, and in that moment I knew things were gonna be O.K. Like hed said, Id been through hell, but id gotten through. I may not have been unscathed, but in that moment I knew I had gotten through unbowed. I looked at the shack off in the distance and I felt as if I could see my future in it.

“Well I guess its time you introduce me to my new home”

This excerpt takes place in about the middle of the book, but hopefully it was written well enough that you can get some sense of whats going on. Anyway leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

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