Continuing on with the first chapter of Excluded, check out the fourth and final installment of this sneak-peek, as I figure out what's going on with the cover work. Also, feel free to let me know what you think I should do with the new paperback and eBook designs after the story.
I'm finally back at it. In the next blog entry, I'll explain a little bit more about my recent hiatus, but for now all I want to talk about is what's to come. Since I've had a bit of time to myself, I reviewed No-Injury Policy and decided I had to follow the short story collection up somehow, or at least the end-tale.
With that in mind, I'm working on a novel in stories called Ashland's Asylum, which takes place almost twenty years after the end of "No-Injury Policy."
Find out about my new book and more in the newest entry in The Forbidden Blog. Also make sure to check around the site periodically, as things are getting better.
At some point in our lives, most of us have spent time with another human being, who at first seemed quite lovely and breath-taking, but later wanted to take our breaths away literally. While there might be some sort of attraction to said person or a deep case of sympathy, someone who is genuinely frightened or concerned by their significant other would make the hard choice of walking away. However, for those of us who were not the "psychopaths", we might've made the worst decision ever. Why? Well, you'll have to continue reading. You might just be surprised by what follows.
When expectations are high, money is tight, love is tainted and stress is ubiquitous, the citizens of Chase County will do anything to make sure they survive. From the deconstruction of a town to frivolous intercourse with strangers, No-Injury Policy explores the dark depths of human nature when social pressures peak.
No sooner than the meek taste retribution, however, they encounter the demons that have aided authority figures to the top - demons that refuse to lose control no matter what it takes.
No-Injury Policy is the 1st short story collection by C.M. Humphries, showcasing seven of the eeriest tales from every town in Chase County: Raven's Crook, Lovington, Lakeside, and Long Brooke.
Following along as I provide a snippet of each story in the collection. If there's a picture to the left of the premise, that means I blogged on a topic from the story. Be sure to check them all out.
I wrote this awhile back during my time at Ball State University. Professor Jared Yates Sexton asked his students to write a redeeming moment for a villain from one of our stories, and I chose to write about Adam Coy. It's just a little adventure, but I hope you enjoy. You can read Adam Coy in all of his horrific glory in Excluded.
Grub, or Adam Coy's Redeeming Moment
In an alley between two tall, antiquated buildings, Adam Coy hunched over the meal he had stolen from Raven Crook’s finest restaurant, The Mayberry Café. He found nothing humorous about the name or the show that it referenced. However, he was quite fond of the steak, cooked carrots, and Budweiser before him.
Masked by the buildings that overshadowed the pastel moonlight, Coy sat alone, cutting his rare steak with a switchblade. Before the blood from the steak could run off of the knife, Coy ran his tongue along the smooth side of the blade, savoring the fantastic, salty taste.
Two, three pieces at a time, Coy devoured his meal as if he had not eaten in weeks. Just as he finished the steak, he heard ruffling from the dumpster at the end of the alley. Coy was positive no one else was with him. When he’d entered the alley, he’d gazed around and noticed the overstuffed dumpster before a weathered wooden fence.
A few rats, some cockroaches, and maybe at cat resided in the alley. No one else. Nevertheless, the sound continued. Coy could distinguish it. It was the sound of someone digging through trash, a sound which he remembered from many years before, when he was just an ex-con running around the desolate streets of Raven’s Crook. Finding food out of trashcans and dumpsters was the only way he could eat.
“Glad I’m past that,” Coy muttered as he stabbed a carrot with his knife. He heard the sound again. This is why I began robbing people after I burned them to death, he thought.
Having enough of the disturbance, Coy left his plate for a moment and meandered towards the back of the alley. In his hand was the switchblade, ready for use. His blood boiled and his adrenaline pumped like oil out of a drilling site as he drew closer to the dumpster.
There was a silhouette of a frail man, leaning over the trash unit, searching for gold. Coy’s body began to shake, but out of excitement rather than fear. Just as he was ready to strike, the shadow turned around. Underneath the few beams of moonlight that sprinkled the alley, Coy could see whom he was about to kill. A little boy, dirty and thin.
The young boy looked at the blade without worry. He walked up to Coy and muttered, “I think maybe you should. I’m alone and hungry. I think I’d like to die.” Each word spoken by the boy seem forced, as though he choked on air.
Coy flipped the blade closed and shoved it into his pocket before he grabbed for the boy’s shirt collar. He pulled the kid up and dragged him to the middle of the alley. Coy’s dinner lied on a paper plate on the ground. He looked at it and then the boy.
He allowed the boy to slip from his grip and fall to the ground. While the boy was helping himself up, Coy headed out of the alleyway. Before he traveled the barren streets of Raven’s Crook, Coy said, “Take what’s left. I’m having way better luck than you, kid.”
At the very end of his sentence, Coy vanished into the jungle that was Raven’s Crook, Chase County. The boy watched him go. Once Coy was gone, the boy looked up. Somehow, through the concrete wasteland of ominous skyscrapers, light pollution, and toxic sky, moonlight managed to peek into the alley, directly around the boy.
Introduction to Adam Coy, one arrogant murderer with pyrotechnic tastes.
I'm not sure what this says about me, but I have a taste for arrogant characters who cannot be broken down into "antagonists" or "heroes".
During my child hood, I became obsessed with comic-book characters such as Wolverine and Batman. Arguably, they're antiheroes. It doesn't matter. Patrick Bateman, the chick from Invisible Monsters, the kind of guys Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis would play in a movie.
And if the said characters are intellectually curious and well-spoken, it's bonus points. This is what led to Adam Coy in Excluded.
First off: Yes, his name is a play on words. Secondly: He'll kill you if you snicker.
Adam Coy is this dark-minded 30-some year-old, who after losing his mother and watching his father lose his faith, grew into many bottoms of bottles. He also fell in love with gasoline and fire.