Nic's published works are now available for e-reader at Smashwords and Amazon. They include "Homeless," "Banksters," "The Necromancer's Gambit", "Nexus", and"Dag," along with "Whores: Not Intended To Be a Factual Account of the Gender War" and the short story collections "Ghost Dust," "Cinderella Shoes," "New Corpse Smell," "Cockfight," "Save As," "Cry Wolf," and "Analog Memory"
This blog showcases the ongoing and in-process work of Nicolas Wilson, full of wierd, fuzzy, wriggly things to tickle your brain. There tend to be several different projects ongoing at once, with their own posting schedules. Nic's publishing schedule briefly broke Nic's brain, but we replaced it with a melted Kit Kat bar we found under his toilet, and that seems to have him back online- better, even. Every November, check back daily to watch a novel birth itself in a month. Expect posting to return to its regular, if slightly assymetrical schedule outside of July and November novel writing marathons. 2014's project will be Next of Kin, a cyberpunk dystopia following a man chasing his brother's murderer.
A quick little flash fiction starring Detective Campbell from Whores. Dedicated to Kennedy, Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito, for doing their best to make Whores come true.
Counting On It
“Glad you could make it, Campbell.” He gets one alligator of ogling me before I tell him to knock it off; I'm just getting to the second when he notices my glare and averts his eyes.
“Detective, Sargeant. Why am I here?” It's raining, and it's clear from where his squad car is that it's going to be an outdoor crime scene. That already has me pissed off. It's Sargeant Roberts, and that's strike fucking two.
“Because I hear you like your steak bloody.” He shines a flashlight down the alley. There's a woman propped against a wall with several gashes in her torso, with a hell of a lot of blood soaking the cardboard she was left on.
“You got yourself a corpse. Congratulations. So why am I here?”
“Look again, past your own smug sense of self-satisfaction,” he says. But then he looks, and realizes there's more blood and rain in the gaping torso wound than when he arrived.
He puts his boot on the body. It's a shit thing to do to a corpse, but it creates enough of a valley that the blood and water flow out of the wound, enough that I can see the internals. I put on a pair of rubber gloves, because while Roberts is willing to leave his foot and fingerprints all over this dead woman, I'm not. “Outside, guy really went to town, thing you'd expect of a sick fuck.”
“But internally he was very precise. See this indentation- he clamped this flap of tissue back, so it wasn't in his way when he went for the ovary. He remembered, here, that he was pretending to be a psychopath, and slashed the crap out of her fallopian tube. But here, there's a section missing. Not dangling by a thin piece of sinew, but gone, surgically removed. But made to look like an attack.”
“And she was raped,” he says.
“And you know because...”
“Gut wound wasn't the only bleeding she was doing. And I've been around enough to know the nasty side of a sexual assault.”
“Hmm. So they were thorough, then.”
“They?” he asks.
“Have you found the husband?”
“I never said she was married.”
“Married, or longtime boyfriend. Somebody committed.”
“Married. And we've been looking. He's not home. But we found his car. Edge of town.”
“That was fast.”
“It stalled out in a place with no parking. Looks like he pushed it as far as he could, but ended up abandoning it in the middle of the road. We found it before the body.”
“Have you got an address?”
“Sure,” he says, “but he's not there. We checked already.” I hand him my phone and he taps the address in. The database pulls up a license, with a current address. “So what should I do, then?” he asks.
“Wait for crime scene. They'll be here eventually.”
“And in the fucking meantime?”
“Try not to catch pneumonia?” He flips me off as I turn away. I don't blame him, and I return the gesture.
In this rain, there aren't a lot of people on the street. Really, only those who can't afford not to be. I roll slowly past a few, but they're too put together, or have umbrellas and rain gear. It's not until I find a man shivering, and thoroughly slicked from head to toe that I stop, before I even get a good look at his face. “Car troubles?” I ask him.
“Something like that.”
“Want a ride?” I ask. He's certainly heard all manner of stories about not accepting rides from strangers. But he's not a girl, so he's not concerned about getting raped, or having to carry a rape baby to term, so he figures it's safer than the rain.
If only he knew. “Thank you,” he tells me in jittery speech. He's exhausted, and sopping. He collapses, all but asleep. So he doesn't notice where I'm driving him.
We stop at his house, and that's when he starts to worry. “I never told you where I lived.”
“You didn't have to,” I tell him, and show him my phone, which is displaying my police credentials. He pulls his phone out of his pocket, and scans mine, to verify I am who I say. “Care to talk inside?”
He lets me in, though he does it in this strange way, like I'm a vampire he could perhaps banish if only he doesn't invite me in. “What's your name?” I ask him.
“You don't know?” he asks, bewildered.
“I didn't ask your driver's license; I asked you.”
“Antonin. Everybody calls me Toni.”
“I work homicide, a specific branch. Your wife was murdered.”
“God...” he says, and he very nearly sells it. But he can't quit break apart, because he's broken already- he broke hours ago, and there's just nowhere worse for him to get.
“Your wife was raped. Violently.” He swallows. “Because my coworker's a moron, he didn't check into her medical history. I'm not, so I did.
“I'm going to tell you a story. And when I'm done, you can tell me what you think of it. A man and his wife, we'll call her Alita, were poor. In part, this was because she had a specialized medical condition. See, her connective tissues were fucked, so she couldn't survive carrying a child to term. Because of that, they fought for, and eventually won, an exemption to get her an IUD.
“But then the husband lost his job. Without his job, he lost his health insurance. When he lost his insurance, they lost their exemption, and they don't give those out like Halloween candy anymore.
“They waited. They were patient. They tried to find some doctor in town who would sign off on the medication. Then the decision was taken out of their hands. Alita got pregnant. Their new insurance provided for natal care. Their doctor told them it was ectopic, a baby growing outside the womb. This could be life-threatening for damned near anyone, but Alita in particular would not survive such a pregnancy- probably not even a surgery to transplant the ovum into her uterus- which has its own risks.
“They got desperate. Made phone calls, because time was short enough they couldn't waste the time to go to doctor appointments they increasingly couldn't afford.
“So they hatched a plan. They got into his beat up old piecer, and tried to leave the city. Maybe to go to one of the underground clinics in the burbs, maybe all the way to Canada. It doesn't honestly matter, for the story to ring true.
“But the gods weren't smiling on the pair tonight, and their car broke down. Alita was bad off, but they had a plan b. Her husband had tools. He used them to make it look like Alita was held down in an alley, raped, then mutilated at knife point. He felt like he could do it, remove the embryo from his wife, even in an alley, even in the rain, even still burning from the excruciatingly rough sex. She was never supposed to be in any real danger. He'd been careful. Checked out books from the library, read papers on his phone.” His face turns red at that.
“But she bleeds out. Maybe it's the anesthesia, maybe he nicks something vital. He tries to save her. He even calls in an anonymous tip, but she's dead long before an ambulance can show up- long enough he knows her brain's dead, even if they somehow manage to get her heart started again.
“So he runs. Or walks, as the case may be, meandering his way back towards their home. He's avoiding it, he's moving so slowly, because he knows it's going to be nothing but an empty husk when he gets there. What do you think?”
“I think it's an ugly story,” he says bitterly.
“It's an ugly world. Which is why you're going to have to show me your penis.” He looks at me like I'm an insane person. “That kind of friction burns both ways. You can show me your penis, or I can call in a male officer, if that would make you feel less like a scumbag.” He frowns.
“There's no point,” he whimpers. “You already know everything that I did. And she's gone, so nothing the fuck else matters.” He's wrong, so I ask him the only thing that does.
“Where's the baby?” I ask him.
“Baby?” he frowns, then he gets my meaning, and his voice gets larger, filling the room. “It's a zygote, in this case little more than a tumor that was killing my wife, slowly. Transplantation would have been the same kind of death, only a few months removed. I didn't kill my wife. I was the one- the only one in this insane world, that lifted a finger to try to help her. You're the monster, here- people like you are the reason she's gone.” I toss a pair of cuffs onto his coffee table.
“I'd be wearing those, when the Sargeant comes in. Trust me, they won't go on so gentle if he puts them on you.” I hear one side snap before I clear his front door.
Roberts is there, like I figured he would be. “You got our man?”
“Yep. Arrest and book him.”
“What's the charge?” Roberts asks.
“Do him for murder. Two counts.”
There's an ongoing blog hop highlighting speculative fiction writers and their processes. I've jotted a little getting-to-know-you interview below,
What are you working on?
Several things. At the moment, I'm prepping the second book in my space opera trilogy, the second book in my urban fantasy series, and a biopunk dystopian collaboration with Michelle Browne, as well as participating in a short story anthology due in the fall, and various other bits and sundries. I have approximately ten novels in varying stages of revision, and every spare minute not drafting a new project goes to rereading and tweaking those. So the next few years will give readers a lot of fun new stuff, but right now it's all a blur. The moment I finish a draft of one thing, I pick up another draft of something else.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
Mostly due to my personality, I'd say.
I write across so many genres, that it's hard to pick out one idea or theme that always stands out in each work. I like quirky, minimalist fiction that has the sort of punchy humor and sensuality you might see on TV. I'm a sucker for off-color banter and surreality, and most of my work reflects that very particular tone. I write like I talk- with, at best, a very thin filter. I'm very heavily influenced by writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahnuik, Garth Ennis, and Warren Ellis, who weren't afraid to let their own particular brands of crazy filter through their work; true impartiality is a dream, so the themes and ideas in my work very closely reflect how I see the world or my life at any particular time. I love entertaining people, but I love relating to people more.
Why do you write what you do?
That depends on the project. There have been some projects that I felt compelled to write, because I felt I had a framework to provide some general insight on something that bothered me. There's others that I wrote because it seemed like a fun story, or because I pitched the idea to my wife/plot-doctor/ballbuster, and she said "I'd read that." I'm a huge sucker for schlocky film and surreal visuals, so a lot of times, it can be something as simple as "Werewolves..... IN SPACE!" that captures my imagination. Perhaps the best answer would be that I'm afflicted with literary ADHD. Although most of my work loosely qualifies as "speculative fiction," I tend to have a more difficult time focusing on the usual writers' trajectory, of exploring one setting or idea through a series, through its completion, before picking up another. I like my series ideas, but at the same time, it's hard not to resent the characters I've already spent time with for pulling me away from the characters I could be flirting with.
How does your writing process work?
At this point, I've been steadily writing for more than a decade, so I'm not especially finicky about where/when/how, although I prefer to not have other people present, and I keep other distractions like music and TV to a minimum.
I have far more ideas than I can use, and I keep a little gladiator pit of fragments jostling for attention at any given time. When I think that a plucky little fighter is beefy enough for a go at the big time, I fill in the plot, outline it further, and then begin writing. I'm lucky to be a fast writer, and the generic "write a novel in a month" November challenge for me has been gradually been becoming tougher and tougher. Last year I wrote two novels in approximately 5-6 weeks. They're in varying stages of revision now; I usually like to sit on projects a while between drafts, to be sure that I am approaching them with as much clarity as I can.
On the note of that November thing, I do it as a public spectacle every year, and those who are inclined can tag along this year to see daily updates as I complete Next of Kin, a cyberpunk dystopia. I generally post a chapter a day, so posts may run after the end of the month if the book has more than 30 chapters. It's a fun little way of flaunting my process, and giving readers a taste of what'll be coming to their kindles soon. Both of last year's projects are in revision, though the first draft for one of them, Twist, is still elsewhere on the blog.
Next week visit Marilyn Peake's Blog to get a look at her writing. Marilyn Peake is the author of both novels and short stories. Her publications have received excellent reviews. Marilyn’s one of the contributing authors in
BOOK: THE SEQUEL, published by The Perseus Books Group, with one of her entries included in serialization at THE DAILY BEAST. In addition, Marilyn has served as Editor of a number of anthologies. Her short stories have been published in seven anthologies and on the literary blog, GLASS CASES. Awards: Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, Winner of the Dream Realm Awards, and eight Top Ten Finisher Awards in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.
Marilyn Peake’s website: http://www.marilynpeake.com
Thanks for dropping by, and stay tuned for news regarding Sins Of The Past (The Sontem Trilogy 2), and Kindred Spirits (The Gambit 2).