Home Main Category Clubhouse

Sam's new short story, want to read it?

samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
I've just finished a new short story, "Perspective". This is a "mainstream" story, not a mystery or horror or other type of thriller, instead it's a modern tale of a man whose former love, a beautiful woman, has suddenly died and he's going to see her grave. Here's a small excerpt so you can get the sense of the writing, which is fairly "literary" in tone:

It was Wednesday evening, nearly nine. I got home and the desk phone was ringing as I let myself in. I dumped groceries on the kitchen counter and picked up. “Hello?”
“Is this the Hardesty residence?” A male voice, unfamiliar. “I’m calling for Mark Hardesty.”
“This is he.”
“Mark…” hesitant, he began once more. “Mark, this is Charles Wharton. You know, Sandra’s husband.”
Of course I knew. Five years ago he’d taken Sandy Calloway from me, married her, moved away. Sandra he always called her, never Sandy, the only person besides her mother who did.
“Yes,” my response cold. “I remember. Charles Wharton, Detroit.”
“I’m afraid I’ve got bad news,” his voice was tentative, halting. Again I waited, then heard what I absolutely knew would be next. “Sandra’s gone. She died, passed away last month.”
Locked within a fugue, my consciousness was blinded by flashes of remembrance that not only illuminated my present lonely condition but lit up whole galleries of the past, bright and sharply focused, precious moments of when I had been with Sandy. An instant gestalt of memory flooded into my dry heart, washed over me. Then it was gone and I was once more standing in my bachelor kitchen in my bachelor apartment and in my bachelor life, holding the phone and starting to cry.


A wide montage swept beneath the wing of the plane as it bore its way north into the central expanse of the American heart. We were above the rolling clouds and I could see how they shadowed portions of the land beneath, casting alternating dapples of bright and dark onto those living there. From my point of view it seemed trivial, a bit of shade here, sunlight there, but in fact great sections of countryside were wrought with constant evolution, change affecting life and perceptions of that life by all who were fixed upon the earth. Toward the horizon a squall line, rainclouds welcomed by farmer and cursed by those who vainly hoped for a sunlit Saturday picnic. Yet I could cover the storm with my palm. It was in the perspective, and perspective brings wisdom, they say. Perhaps, but what perspective, what process led me here?
Of course I knew precisely what it was. Time’s arrow, its relentless and inexorable needle piercing us always, despite our futile efforts to turn the blade aside.
That, and Hamlet’s fell sergeant, Death.

Anyone want to read it, just for fun, PM me and give me your email, and let me know if you want it in MS-Word or Adobe PDF. Tanks


  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    You weren't kidding. It was short!

    Us old farts tend to think more about mortality than the young bucks who will never die. Saw a picture of an old girl friend I had in college. Damn, but she's really gotten old! I on the other hand, have aged like a fine wine....except for the tummy and the flesh around the eyes - and the grey hair.

    Received a notice about my 40th Class reunion. The list of fellow students who have passed on is growing. Faster than our chronological age suggests it should. But I can picture in my mind's eye their faces at 18 and I'm reminded that life is a gift. I'm also reminded that those who spend part of their life time enriching ours, even if it's only for a short while; even if it ends less happily than we'd hoped, are owed a whispered "Thanks."


    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Er, the excerpts are short, the story's 5500 words, typical short story length. Lemme know if you want me to send it, pdf or ms-word.

    I know the aging thing. Went to dentist this week, apparently they've found a single tooth that is worth saving, so they'll just buzzsaw in, take out the whole jaw, and do the Richard Kiel thing. At least that's how it sounded, my sitting there in the chair. Sigh.

    Oh, well, my 72nd is coming up soon.

    On the other hand, I'm working on my 3rd novel, the aforementioned short story (looking for a magazine to publish), and a new concept I've got for a TV series.

    For those who don't know, pitching a TV series, you've got to have 3 complete episode scripts "in the can" for perusal by agent or whomever. I've finished the first one plus the "concept" storyline to pitch, and a "hook" (every show has a "hook" that makes it different, mine is a doozy), and will be working on the other 2 scripts now. An hour TV script "reads" at about 45-48 minutes. For any TV or movie script, you use a specific format, actually a blocking type of font and margins, etc, that is specifically designed to "read" at about 1 minute per page. A typical TV show has 5 scenes, a "teaser", 3 "acts", and the "closer". You have to adhere to a very rigid formula for TV scripts as to the 5 scene lengths unless of course you're a well known hotshot already, like JJ Abrams and then it's carte blanche.

    My new show concept would be known as a "dramedy" (that awful term) where you have some serious scenes and some ironic or sardonic scenes, not a full comedy like Seinfeld, a bit like Fraser or Cheers. So I'm gonna have the pilot episode where you meet the cast and get the show premise, about 50-50 humor / serious, the 2nd episode a full sarcastic comedy, the 3rd episode mostly serious. So the sequence is important too, with a dramatic close to the 3rd ep which should make the investors / agent / producers be interested. And the "hook" of course, which is part of the pitch to them right away.
  • samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Thanks to TV racin fan for reading the story, telling me how he and his better half liked it. Much appreciated!

    Anybody else, just PM and I'll email you the PDF or Word version.

    I could also send you the uncut, R-rated (adult language) 2 new chapters from my new mystery novel.

    As said, I'm always looking for feedback -- I want to know how realistic the dialogue sounds, for example, whether the plot "makes sense" or seems just goofy instead, as I'm trying to write realistic mysteries, not "TV smash" types.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.