Friday, May 10, 2013

Fractured by Tim Ouellette, an excerpt

Yesterday Tim Ouellette talked to us about the benefits of cross genre writing. Today read an excerpt from his collection of horror fiction and poetry, Fractured. If you like the excerpt, why not try out the book.

Demonic children. A husband on the brink of insanity. A woman whose obsession brings her back from the dead . . . night after night. Fractured is a collection of horror fiction & poetry that seeks to delve into the darkest regions of the human mind. 

Tim Ouellette

From “Fractured”, a collection of Dark Fiction
Paul McGowan sat in the passenger seat of his wife’s black Dodge Caravan, his forehead pressed firmly to the cold glass. The sun was setting as he stared, unblinking, out the side window at the houses and trees passing by. The last time he had been on this road was August; he’d been delusional and in the back of an ambulance, strapped to a gurney.
It was October now and most of the leaves had turned color and fallen victim to either gravity or entropy. Those not quite in the grip of the former flipped and turned in sharp bursts of frenetic energy, a stiff wind driving them forward in violent displays of brilliant, bleeding-red and burnt-orange.
An architectural engineer for a large firm in downtown Boston, Paul had spent the better part of his life coloring safely inside the lines. Logic and reason had dictated his existence for as long as he could remember. Paul had a habit of reducing everything in his life down to very specific, precise patterns.
Deviation was not an option.
One could say that, up until now, Paul’s life had been the very antithesis of chaos and disorder.
            Beverly pulled into the driveway of their modest split-level home and turned off the ignition. She dropped the keys into her pocketbook.
 Paul sat up and rubbed his neck.
Beverly turned to her husband and smiled; it was forced, thin. The engine continued to tick for a moment and then was quiet.
            “Are you sure you’re ok?”
Paul nodded without answering. Lowering his eyes he wiped his palms on the clean, crisp blue jeans his wife had brought to the hospital; this left two sweat-stained smear marks running from his upper thighs to his knees.
He checked his shirt pocket for his medication, jiggling the small, cylindrical plastic container. The pills that had stopped his delusions and pulled him from the brink of insanity rattled around like plastic beads in a child’s toy.
He wiped his hands on his jeans again. I’ll have to wash these now, he thought absently. He pressed his left hand to his temple, rubbing counter-clockwise in slow, deliberate circles.
He turned to look at his wife. She was staring out the windshield now, waiting patiently for him to finish. He cleared his throat. “I’m ok.”
She continued staring ahead. “Alright then; let’s go inside. Alyssa’s waiting
Alyssa’s waiting she’s been waiting waiting so long and now you’re here and she’s so hungry
            for you inside.”
            Paul opened the van door and stepped out. The moon was rising, casting their familiar surroundings in shadow.
            Beverly came around the other side of the van, held out her hand, and together they approached the house.
 Trimmed hedges surrounded a well-maintained front yard; a brick walkway ran from the driveway to the front steps. The house, dark-blue with white trim, sat at the end of a cul-de-sac in an affluent suburb of Boston. An autumn wreath hung on the outside of the front door.
            Beverly grasped the doorknob and turned.
            The front door opened into a darkened foyer; there was a light on in the adjoining room but it couldn’t quite penetrate the deepening shadows.     

            Paul peered into the dark. He rubbed his eyes with his free hand.
            He could just make out the shape of someone crouching in the center of the darkened foyer and could hear the sound of rapid breathing.
            Beverly smiled. “There you are honey; come out and say hello to your father.”
            The figure shifted forward slightly and scuttled to its left, cocking its head first to the left, then to the right, like a dog listening to a high-pitched whistle.
            Paul shook his head from side to side. “No…I can’t…this can’t be happening,” he whispered.
            The darkness parted as something slowly separated itself from the shadows.