First chapter of my recently finished novel
Hi. I finished the first draft of a novel back in October and I'm trying to market it now. Any output I can get on it would be most helpful. I'm not going to tell you the premise outright, since I'm hoping the story unfolds itself without the back of a jacket.
Here you go.
Murderland: First of the Murderland Follies
Chapter 1: A Walk in the Park
The greyhaired man looks down at his watch yet again and yet again starts to fidget a little. He knows that the woman starts jogging at 8 pm every night. 5’2, blonde, 24, it could be said nubile as all fuck. The mundanes are over there chatting away about what Ashley said to Chris and then how Chris was out with Julie at the Johnny Rockets at the mall when he told Ashley he had to stay home and watch his little cousin. What scandal. I hope they set that bastard straight. Chatting away with a mechanical whir. Fucking robots. Cut them open and see all the wires for myself. See the electric guts and polymer skin. See the silicon brains. But I get back to ignoring them because I don’t like the noises they make. Every night without fail when she goes jogging, the greyhaired man is there. I have not checked every night, but on my way home from work, I have checked frequently enough to know that every night without fail he is there. He’s not fat, but the media has dubbed him Kris Kringle. This is because he is known to leave brightly wrapped packages full of their organs on the doorsteps of their families like a proud kitty cat. Or like Santa Claus, as they think of it.
Kris is the grownup equivalent of the precocious child who takes apart daddy’s watch to see how it works. He deconstructs things. Returns them to where they came from when he’s done. Primitive. Absurd. I don’t know his story, but I know his work. I have, as I mentioned been watching him. I’ve sat in the park at 8 o’clock too watching the young blond the filthy yellow cunt filthy filthy filthy yellow cunt little mommy fills it up dumps it out, full then dropped off, full then empty, squeezes me out and doesn’t think my little eyes might have looked and seen and remembered the bright gold sheen like all the other blondes not about that. Not about grudges. Fast, anonymous, above such things. Calm down and do it. Get home and document it, write it down, write it down, keep it near your head always keep it near your head. This is not for anyone to see. This is for me. This is not exhibit B or the documentary, this is for me. I am fast, I am anonymous it is a matter of principle.
But I wonder what this guy’s doing tonight, what card does he want to play. What the fuck is his angle? Bag of groceries. Fuck you, Kringle. It’s not that I doubt it will work, I know it’s about 95% likely to, but it’s sad and banal. It shows no respect for her intelligence. Simple trap. Animalistic. Primitive like him. Bag of groceries, my ass. I would like to think that she’d be smarter, but no. And I’d like to think that I could leave her to him. She’d be dead anyway, no real chance of bearing the child, but no, I can’t let it happen. I have to do this. If he does it, she’s just another thing to be taken apart, if I do it, then she dies for a reason, which is I think the least a woman dead at 24 could ask for. I’ll just walk up, turn on my winning smile, lure her somewhere and open up the briefcase. She deserves better than this loser. I will smile, flash my big brown eyes, give her what she does deserve and GET THE FUCK HOME.
I hate this part of it, I honestly do. I just want to kill the little yellow sluts before the Dark Ones start to fill them up with their seeds and then they make more like me. Like what I should have been. They thought they had created the perfect little general for their legions. Charming, handsome, nice eyes, toned body, IQ 236. Gacy and Berkowitz combined. And most likely an average human being ahead of mr. Kringle. And unlike the previously mentioned two, I am not gay, I am not stupid and I DON’T want to get caught. I am a righteous avenger of the wrongs done by my creators. I am retribution turned against monsters who make me do this. Who build the robots and the robots just walk around with their slow computer brains and wire guts and every once in awhile it seems there is a glitch in the program and the robots start to tear and dismantle each other. Mostly, there are robots, mostly. But I look at the jogger, and I know that that little yellow cunt is made of skin and organs and juices and is ready, more than ready, ready and willing to be filled up with corruption by the Dark Ones in order to make another devil, another one of me, to come and to undo all my good works and all of my crusading and everything that makes me me and carry my head on a prideful pike and I can’t FUCKING STAND IT . They will not duplicate me. I will destroy the devil factories the clone machines DEEP BREATH don’t fuck up I won’t fuck up I won’t I won’t I won’t. Stand up, be casual. Look like a robot, look like a person. Don’t look like anything special. Subtle, discreet, nondescript, mr. Casual, mr. Suave.
And then there’s Kringle, suspicious, scary, more than a little off. Nothing avuncular, pleasant or especially trustworthy about him. He stands up, limping a little, plays up his age more than enough. That should have been enough for her to realize something’s up. I have to wonder if she watches the news, if she sees the T-shirts and the DVDs and the television shows and the baseball caps, videogames, and the newspaper. He asks if she can help him with his groceries, help load them in his car, says he’s got a bad back and hunches over to emphasize it. Then how did he carry them three blocks from the grocery store to his car, parked suspiciously in an alley near a public park? Why did he not park outside of the grocery store to begin with instead of a dark alley near a public park. It might be a public park in the safe zone, but still too many questions. I shudder when I once more realize that he’ll still get away with it.
Too many questions. But, she doesn’t ask any of them. Walks with him to the alley. Quick strike with a blunt object, dragged into the back seat. I do have to hand it to him, he’s pretty strong and pretty good at parking discreetly. I take note of the license plate and the next day, call my friend Shauna at the DMV. As Godless Jack Cavanagh wrote in “The Compleat Reaper”, a photographic memory is one of a psychopomp’s handiest tools. I find the car is registered to a Joe Strickland. Strickland. Eww. He’ll never be too famous with a name like that. Nothing sinister. Nothing especially melodic or intense about it.
Joe Strickland, alias Kris Kringle. Alias Karl Edward Pratt. I see the name on the paper on his front lawn. Karl Edward Pratt. There we go. Much better reaper name than Strickland. Definitely. Kill count 14. Nowadays 14 makes it a hobby. Not a star, never. A murder enthusiast. I come to his house with my silenced .22 in my pocket. I hate guns, but I want this to end fast. This will be the first man I have ever killed and I would rather it be the last. I want this C list poseur barbarian out of my way and out of my mind once and for all.
I ring his doorbell and he comes to the door in a bathrobe. Part of me hates the idea of shooting a guy in a bathrobe. It seems like such an embarrassing way for someone to die. But then again, killed by this loser, whose handle has been mentioned on the news a mere three times. He’s 55, 56 maybe. Way too old. He’s in a young man’s game, too. His face is sunken and tired, his teeth tobacco stained. His gnarled, craggy hands light a cigarette out of a three dollar pack.
“Something I can do you for you young man?”
“Kris Kringle? Kill count 14?”
(cont. in first post)
A smile crosses his face. It’s always flattering to these guys when some armchair detective tracks them down for an autograph or a picture together or to answer some questions for his website. He probably hasn’t had any yet. Godless Jack’s address is on his website. There have been 28 published interviews with the I-80 Roadflare stalker I’ve been told, 17 with the Ice Cream Truck strangler. But not much Kris Kringle material, no. Derisive, stupid, primitive. Gimmicky they think. I feel a little sick being mistaken for a fan of a pathetic son of a bitch like Karl Edward Pratt. A fan. I shudder to think how desperate, depraved and stupid his fans must be.
“No,” I answer, my face grim and stony, “a fellow psychopomp.”
He goes through newspaper clippings in his head. Thinks about Oscar coverage. Then moves on to the local Bundys. It’s clear he is doing this because he examines my profile, the contours of my face, tries to get to the bottom of it. He doesn’t recognize me. Of course he doesn’t. I’m not a celebrity. I’m not a rolemodel. I have no merchandise and my killings can’t be rented at the local Blockbuster, so of course he doesn’t know my face. I relish it.
Once more, he searches for the name and struggles idly for my face.
“What’s your handle?”
I huff. “I don’t have one.”
Why does nobody see that I’m up to something more important? No end of annoyance. No fucking end of annoyance. My dissatisfaction registers heavily and he thinks I’m offended for an entirely different reason. Then again, who wouldn’t?
“ Don’t worry, kid. You keep it up and maybe someday…”
“I haven’t been caught.”
He still doesn’t get it. Very slow on the uptake.
“You should do something about that. Try letters. You really oughta read Godless Jack’s books. They done wonders for me.”
I huff once again. “I don’t need advice. The blonde in the park was mine.”
The skinny grey old bag puts out his cigarette. “Look kid, I’m just doin’ my best to get along. I’m trying to get some attention, some coverage. I can’t go round worryin’ who belongs to who. It ain’t my problem if some ‘pomp can’t stack the dusties. My meat’s my meat, your meat’s yours, man. You do your shit and you’re still choked to death, ain’t my problem. When the bait’s nice it’s nice.”
These are the last words he ever hears. I shoot him. He’s nobody.