Comment from Stephen Geez
Greetings! Please join me in thanking our host, and be sure to follow. Today is Day 1 of my 4 Wills Publishing blog tour to tout Fantasy Patch, my media thriller. I’m offering a short sample of the Prologue today. Then I hope you’ll like snippets from the book this week, followed by a short story with these characters on Day 7. I’ll add a paragraph or two answering questions I’ve been asked about this book: Why first-person present tense? Why is one character recycled? Why call this a media thriller? How did a non-fiction project turn into this novel? How much is the narrating character based on me?
A media thriller by Stephen Geez
Excerpt from Prologue
“This is the image you want?” Kristen asks, wrinkling her nose.
We gaze at the squalor that is Maywood Gardens mobile-home park: dilapidated trailers, littered weed-patch yards, broken-down cars, ratty brats . . . .
“M Slovak’s out to prove it can save the world,” I tell her, “and this looks like a good place to start.”
Kristen waves down the production van. She’s my freelance producer on this job, a pretty but rather imposing woman with a sharp, creative eye and steel-trap mind for details. Cameraman Byron joins us while the sound man unpacks gear.
“This is the image you want?” Byron asks.
“Wait till we get in,” Kristen says, “―nobody’s home yet.” Sure, the secret entrance to Shangri-La is right inside that rusty double-wide over there.
He frowns and adjusts his glasses. Byron’s a rather droopy-drawered video-head whose trademark butt crack has a tendency to peek out and smile, but he’s one of Chicago’s best, a man who knows how to frame the perfect shot. “Isn’t this supposed to be a new-product testimonial?”
“Go ahead,” I urge Kristen, nudging her several times. “Give him the spiel.”
She rolls her eyes, then assumes the pose of some game-show prize-pointer holding up an invisible capsule. “It’s Parzilac!―the new wonder-drug from M Slovak. Do you suffer from chronic fatigue?
Obsessive compulsions? Anxiety attacks? If life’s getting you down, let Parzilac pick you up!”
“Been testing the products ourselves, have we?” Byron asks, backing up a step.
(. . . Barely one page later—yikes!)
And Byron’s still shooting, steady as a rock, every second worth thirty more frames. I’ve seen even the best shooters break down and cry, sometimes staggering off to vomit―but not till after they get the shot.
Her other hand is bleeding, too. It looks like after slashing her neck, she tried one wrist before switching hands and hacking at the other, ripping right through tendons and―
She shudders again.
I’m holding the best I can, but a lifetime of unrealized dreams is seeping around my fingers.
A siren in the distance.
Another breath, a gurgle, lying still . . . then a spasm.
“Oh God,” the mother sobs, “she was doing so good.”
Kristen gathers her in, holding firmly, both crying together now. Byron’s face is screwed up tight.
The girl tries to squirm again, but there’s nothing left, no breath, no more time . . .
Just blood, too much blood.
And her death grip on that shard of broken mirror loosens, exposing but a fragment of the truth, one final reflection daring us all to look.
Byron’s watching over the top of his monitor now, zoomed in on the hand. It’s not the image I wanted, but it sure makes this story real.
Finally the camera drifts away, a demon’s eye surveying the scene, and it finds what we’ve all come to see.
Close-up: subject’s bedroom, top of the nightstand, pill bottle tipped and spilled . . .
Like the stain of blood on my hands, an elegant spray of pink capsules.
~ ~ ~
Stephen Geez is a retired businessman, television producer, and music composer/producer who writes novels, essay collections, all manner of shorts, and industrial scripts. With University of Michigan bachelors and masters degrees including English Language & Literature, he’s a maven of language mechanics and literary styles who argues that any message is more compelling if told like a story.
Fantasy Patch Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO_BBFVKrgU
Website & readers’ blog: StephenGeez.com
Website & authors’ blog: GeezWriter.com
“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”