The quickest turnaround from acceptance to publication I’ve ever had. Got the email Sunday night, and here it is, Tuesday night and the story is up. Many thanks to the wonderful wee magazine Oblong. Read here or click on the image — one more selection from my long, unpublished novel, The Echoes.
It was no different from taking out a pair of pants that have gotten too tight, she didn’t know why Ralph was making such a fuss, it wasn’t like she was shooting junk into her veins, which was all the rage, by the way, not like she hadn’t thought about doing that because let’s be honest, who hasn’t thought about it, and if she wanted to, why shouldn’t she, why shouldn’t anyone, a woman should be able to get it on the NHS, get a prescription, just want a bit of a lift today, doc, feeling down and frowzy if that’s a symptom, why not offer junk, could do the world a lot of good, have you seen the way people walk down the high street, Ralph, with their stone dead faces and children screaming and carrier bags, why not give them heroin, why not give them coke …
For some years, I’ve been at work on an outrageously long novel. It’s had various tentative titles over the years, and most recently it’s called The Echoes. Over at Word Riot, they’ve been good enough to publish a brief selection. Take a look here.
The TV had been blaring when she had darted out in the afternoon’s customary haste, ever late, and it still was now, how many hours later, tubing, as always, the Rev Boone Slaughter of the Church of Our Lord of Higher Necessity on one his 24 hour-plus marathons. “Duane’s dark angel” (Pin). Someday soon, the Rev declared, on what day he could not clearly foresee, but that it was written in the Book of Habakkuk, the eighth among the Prophets, if one employed a certain code developed by Al Kinditoy, that wily blind hermaphrodite sage of 16th century Andalusia, that a plague was coming upon the land and soon all would be crying into their pretty little ceramic espresso cups, the ones he found such darling temptresses in the European films of his misspent youth. She turned the volume down and left the picture on, where Slaughter in white robes and Santa Claus beard elucidated his findings through full-color overhead projections, and showered and changed into jammies. She watched the building of the Pyramids, then their cross-sections, then diagrams of their ratios, then a velvet haloed portrait of Al Kinditoy, who from his looks could well have been Slaughter’s lost cousin, then, as the station identification letters KRUT came on the screen, poured herself a gin and tonic, sliced a lime and dropped it in using a hairpin as stirrer, then recalled: the summer reading Moby Dick while her boyfriend, Serge Yavlinsky, increasingly disengaged himself over what he said was the erotic charge she received when learning of the processes of lamp oil production and wondered: Was that what was happening? Was Duane, at this moment, slipping into the icy void, had he moved from cool to cold so fast, did Slaughter’s mesmerism, his brilliant crazy surface, mean more to Duane than she’d ever done?