Sunday, June 15, 2014

Short Excerpt from In the Depths of the Valley

I'm finishing up editing my horror novella In the Depths of the Valley to enter it into a literary contest, and I thought I'd share one of my favorite passages. These lines are spoken by the main character, William Jameson, a high school teacher obsessed with one of his peers.

"No," I respond, still looking into her eyes. I don't flinch; she doesn't blink. Can you make someone understand an obsession? Can a stare communicate more than my bumbling words, more than my feeble gestures, more than any book of poetry? In my pockets I have pages of my manuscript, folded twice, freshly printed, waiting to be read. Are they doomed to lie forever in my desk drawer? She can't understand how much she means to me; she can't understand that she is my last hope of salvation, my last hope for happiness, my last hope for a life resembling normalcy. She professes to love a suspected murderer, a deranged animal, and I think that she cannot know what love is, she must have some schoolgirl notion of devotion, because love is an obsession, love is lust, love is drinking and wanting and masturbating to no one else; love is spying through windows and crawling through graveyards; it is that sick feeling in your stomach when you realize a beautiful thing does not belong to you, that you are not worthy of it, that no man is really worthy of it; love is spilt blood and unholy words; love is talking to the dead; love is the prostration of the self before an idol; love is the creation of monsters, it is a rambling, incoherent beast, it is all you can hope for in this world; it is worth more than anything.

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