Books Donny’s written: Fallen Song, (Ways of the Stygia,) The Bitter Ends (Releases October 25th)–available through Amazon
The Bitter Ends, a preview.
I selected this story as a sample for several reasons. It is short, it does not revel too much, it exposes the manner in which characters play the central role in The Bitter Ends, not zombies, and because it is both fun and bizarre.
The Bitter Ends is set to release on several e-book platforms on October 25, 2013
So without further ado, here’s
Scotty the worm sat fraught with peril. The preceding days had all been a blur, one deviant act arriving at the heels of the other, barking like dogs. His desire to wreck his sober mind was fuelled by more than simple regret. Were it not for regret, or for quiet desperation, Scotty would have had no fear. That is not to say he was at all upstanding. He had been, once upon a time. His moniker suited him justly, a badge to identify his true nature to others.
The events of last few days only came in segments, no matter how he pressed his mind. Rushes of voices, songs, and wine. Buckets full of chardonnay, chilled on ice. The smell of perfume lingered in his memory, a bouquet of flowers mocked through chemical design. He saw Darren dancing, glimpses of Sheila, who loved to be naughty by night, her ivory corset exposing the pink rounds of her nipples, laughing gaily. There came a swatch here, a smidgeon there, but none of his recollections proved useful.
Frowning over his nickname, Scotty the worm peered over his knees, to his lowly feet, always so willing to lead him astray. He often stared at them for hours, for they were closest the ground… where worms dwelt, lowly, grimy from wallowing in the dirt and wastes of not only nature, but civilization as well. But long after he was gone, the worms would still be there, disposing of the wastes and death that entered their earthy domain. It was terrible and awesome to imagine, the tunnels, an array of carven paths, not so mindless after all, guiding the unseeing to sustenance and renewal.
Nicked, scuffed, and braised his feet sat restfully on the padded floor before him- on stretched out legs, bent at the knees. They were unwilling to tell where they’d been, teasing him they sat coldly… there would be no answer there.
There really was no way to pin things down, but in studying his enclosure, the worm knew that whatever he had done there were hoops to jump through, lies to tell and half believe before his freedom would be obtained. He wrestled with the conflict, half dreaming that he could join the worms, find a chink in the padding and bore his way to safety. Away from the white coats, with their hypodermic sedations, the endless doses of Thorazine. It was such a deeply planted seed, the desire to shed his skin and go underground that he found difficulty facing reality. He was no worm, aside from his lowly deeds. He was no quester of the underworld, though he prayed to it, calling on the powers there.
Not a pinprick was heard. The padded cell gleamed in its phosphorescence, making his eyes water. “What did I do?” His whisper fell flat, dulled by the thick padding throughout. He began to press his mind, having no other avenue to pursue, with his feet so unwilling to tell. So ungrateful, but it was the rest of his body that troubled him. It fought him for his every dream, each transgression against it came with protest, grumbling bones, stiff joints, illness, wracking coughs and swollen lesions full of volcanic, festering pus.
Each time it was the same, a fruitless endeavor.
Flesh was a liar, especially his own. It resisted its calling, carving out falsities to support its claims, but no matter the species, feathered or ground based, they all returned to the ground. There the worms found them, dissolving their essence in communion with flesh and earth. Their powers so hidden, so undervalued, but the worms went on, turning the hideous outcome of death into nourishment to sustain true life.
Scotty had many doubters, and less followers still. But some had been able to see his mind, and took what he told them as absolute truths. He would not be returning, not this time. The decadence was over, his experiments had proved themselves flawed. There was only one way to understand the worms, he must join them. Transformation had proved fruitless, but perhaps he could transmute himself prior to the end, encasing and spellbinding his now reeking medicinal body, so his soul might find a vessel for him to enter. The nurses had scrubbed his crust away, his shell against the impurities of the chemical world. It was too much to bear, the cloying aroma of disinfectant and institutional soaps and cleaners… the cell was a deathtrap, a sure ticket to cancer, a violation.
Above ground there was a disturbance, Scotty barely heard the commotion. There would have been little he could have done. He was unaware of anything other than his internal mountains, which he could no longer scale, the only way was down. Dreamily, he scrutinized his veiny arms, taking in the web like spread of veins below the skin. He spoke softly in gibberish, his mouth foaming.
A siren wailed. Upon hearing it, he remembered. He remembered it all, the orgy… the drugs… the communion. Obsessively, he replayed his recollections, while in the street, near Gateway General, Clay and Anna addressed their circumstances in frantic shock. There was no way to mark the passing of time, so there Scotty was- locked away, and soon to be released from the mediocre life he had lived above ground.
His thin, scraggly head bent forward, as he heard panicked shouting from some place outside his cell. His mind drew an obvious assumption, at least for him. So caught in the web of lunacy as he was. They were reading his thoughts, he did not know how… but they planned to stop him! “No!” He pleaded, “What chance do I have? Let me go you- let me…” Something inhuman bellowed outside, and lunging at the door it banged furiously. There was a square patch of glass, thickly cut and shatter proof on the thick door. The would-be assailant repeatedly threw his shoulder to the door, but it shook not at all, the percussive nature of the assaults stayed muffled by the padding.
A lunatic does not view a matter, or anything, as a more normal person might. Scotty was convinced that he was being thwarted, that the individual on the other side of the door was a part of a larger conspiracy, a global one most likely- to suppress the truth, worm-kind ruled the world, not humanity. For no matter the achievements of any man, they returned to the soil where they were forgotten, until their bleached bones fell to dust, and their decomposition found its communion with the soil.
This was his time. It wasn’t theirs- no- he would end their lusting, their insolent interference. There were more now, bashing the door that could not be broken. “The fools have forgotten their keys!” The news was compelling, so eager were they to stop him that they had subjected their plan to failure. Without the keys the door would not open soon enough for them to stop him, they could not best him now.
He was winning the race.
Donny said that he likes writing in the horror genre. He said, “I write in both the sword and sorcery genres and horror, but I plan on branching out into other areas when there is something to create. I love sword and sorcery books, and horror. I feel I am a stronger writer If I am writing something I can get into.”
I talked to him about how he gets from start to finish with his work. Donny said, “For me the entire story lies with the characters. I really ask myself, “If this character had to go through this set of experiences what would happen? This gives me a good sense of the outline, which is recorded for referencing. But I never let an outline dictate the course of the book, I am free to change things if I see a better route. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Regarding research, Donny told me this: “For Fallen Song little research was required, If I need to know something I look it up on the internet, or go to the library. There is some basic medical terminology in some of my books, I learned this in college. I am writing a book at the moment that uses real history intertwined with the experiences of a fictional cast. This story is based in Carthage, Rome, Iberia, and Egypt in 200 BC, I have done a lot of research for that one.”
When I asked him about a character in his book, Donny said, “It’s hard to answer with just one, but as for the “Ways of the Stygia” series, which includes Fallen Song, I’d say the most integral and important character is Thomas Van Pelt. He has led a very long life, in Fallen Song he is thousands of years old. It takes him time to recall who he is, he has suffered. Thomas is a survivor, but it is the Cosmos itself that suffers when he is not fulfilling his destiny. I care deeply about Thomas as his creator, he has my fire. He is deeply motivated and while facing the impossible, he overcomes.”
Donny is inspired by several authors: Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Robert E. Howard, and Stephen King.
Also discussed, was Donny’s publishing experience. He said, “The feedback I receive from Fallen Song is always positive. It is hard to spread the word, but as for the words I am writing, the response has been pretty awesome. I feel proud of Fallen Song, it was a real learning experience. Sales could be better, I hope I can quit my day job someday.”
Projects he’s currently working on? ”
I have two books written, edited, and ready to release, these are called The Cult of Morgod, (Ways of the Stygia) I can’t even express how excited I am about this book! It is an epic, with some of most amazing characters. It is about a world-eater who arrives on Earth near the dawn of man. The Bitter Ends, is set to release on October 25th, it is 12 short stories set in a zombie apocalypse, and lives intersect, as do the stories. Through these stories, the fate of the fictional town I created, called Gateway, is revealed.
I am writing the sequel to Fallen Song, called The Last Son, the final story from the Ways of the Stygia, for now. I am also working on a second book… I like to do this, as I usually write and write until at one point I slow down while I’m considering my next move. This way I can keep creating, and I find it more interesting. The second book I’m working on is called The Vampire Faus- Dragon Stone, it takes place in 219 BC.”
When I asked him about his writing experiences and how long he has been a writer. He told me, “I am 46. I have been writing short stories, poems, and song lyrics since I was 11. I wrote a detective novel in 1988, a scornful ex burned my only copies… since that day I always wanted to write another one, so when I got divorced I did. I love writing, I will never stop.”
His one wish: “For it to be read on a wider scale.”
Charities he supports: United Way and St Mary’s Food Bank.
The hardest thing about being an author: “Selling your work.”
The best thing about being an author: “Writing! It is the greatest experience! I am entertained more by the act of writing than other things, movies, TV, etc. The great reactions are nice too.”
The thing Donny wants people to know about his work and about him: “That they will be entertained. I know how much I hate to be bored, or how I feel when I think an author is just going through the motions. Whatever I am working on, I want it to be something remembered, liked, and respected by the reader.”
Thanks so much Donny!