I published another book!
I’m now the author of two books!
I’m excited to have another one of my stories out for the world to see. I’ve been editing it off and on for like a year now and finally got the push to finish it. I originally wrote it as a horror novel that a kid could read and enjoy, but it ended up growing into something a lot more disturbing, so now it’s maybe PG13.
If you’re interested, the entire first chapter is below along with a link to the Amazon page. I don’t usually ask this, but, if you could share it around or post it to your social media, I’d really appreciate it.
READING AWAY THE HOURS
By Brandon Scott
Lazarus Thoth looked out at the mansion that he knew would be his home for the summer. Off in the distance, it imposed itself on the village of Charlatan with its long front face. It sat at the top of a hill that elevated it just enough that the windows stared into the souls of whoever bothered to look in its direction.
Lazarus did not enjoy the sensation of anyone examining him, much less a house, and looked down at his lap. Nothing was in his lap, mind you, but it beat out the view a hundred to one.
It didn’t take long for boredom to do to him what it did to all thirteen-year-old boys. He laid his arm on the side of the window—which refused to open no matter how stuffy it was—and stared at the village as it snail-crawled by him.
The foot traffic was even worse. Though slow for another reason. Everywhere he looked, the inhabitants were old to the point of confusion. Thin bones jutting out from paper skin. A gauntness only shared by victims of starvation.
Lazarus did not like that line of thought though, as he also had grandparents. He tried to focus on some aspects of these people beyond their oldness. One woman exited a store with simply a spool of thread, un-bagged, clutched in her hands. She waddled to her car and stuck the vehicle in the clog of traffic.
“This is ridiculous,” said Vern, the car driver. The window, like in a limo, framed him as a living picture. Lazarus had not bothered to speak to him since he’d taken all his bags and placed them in the too-small trunk.
A honk made Lazarus’s car sickness even worse.
“Why is it so backed up?” again complained Vern, and Lazarus debated on yelling at the man. It might have made him feel better.
Lazarus sunk into the seat.
“So, boy, is this your first time visiting your uncle?”
Lazarus grimaced. “Yes. I didn’t know my father had a brother up until now.”
“Strange. If you’d met the old man, you’d not leave him out of the pictures. Assuming you could get him into one.”
And then he laughed.
Vern had a death-keel of a laugh. Wheezing and nasally. More like a man choking on a bone than expressing mirth.
Lazarus’s eye twitched. “Why…is that?”
“Oh, did they not tell you what he does?”
“No, they didn’t.”
“Huh,” was all the man said for a long time. The car climbed a few feet up the hill. A path snaked ahead of them through a patchy forest. A single squirrel chattered nearby, and two birds sang a duet.
“I suppose he can tell you himself,” Vern said. “He likes to tell things.”
“My uncle does?”
“Yes. You could say he’s fond of telling things to people,” Vern said and went silent again. The car grew hotter.
“So, what do you do, boy?” Vern asked suddenly. “Got a job?”
“Um, dude. I’m like thirteen. No. I am thirteen.”
The laugh again. Lazarus sank further into the car’s cushion.
“I meant a summer job,” Vern explained. “But, then again, who’s to say?”
Lazarus was quick to respond. “Child labor laws have plenty to say on the subject.”
Vern, blissfully, only gave out a single amused snort. “Ah, yes. Unfortunate that. But my family got around it well enough. Old Father Maximillian taught me everything that I know about the art of driving for the Thoth household. All the quirks. Passed it down the generation. I think it did me a world of good.”
“I’m sure,” was Lazarus’s curt answer.
“It is the truth; work does the soul good.”
“I’m sure,” Lazarus repeated. He looked back out the side window, finding nothing but the trees. It was different when he leaned forward to look out the front.
Rising, almost as if sprouting at extreme speed from the dirt itself, was a tall silver gate. It had a portcullis top and stood taller than anyone could hope to climb. It was a gate that made a statement to anyone and everyone who looked at it, and that same statement was in massive capital letters on a white laminated board about twenty feet off the ground:
Lazarus jolted when the metal pillars groaned and swung open to the car. There wasn’t any noticeable sensor for it. As they drove inside, Lazarus saw the line of the gate curve off to encircle the entire estate. An unbroken line of bars.
The mansion grew closer and leered over the car, and, by extension, Lazarus Thoth himself.
Special thanks to: Melissa Potter
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Want to read something longer by me? How about a whole novel!