Boring, Boring

Hurt him, strike him, hate him

Drama

He’s cool with it all

But the mundane is a curse

An unconquerable foe

That slowly destroys like a wrecking ball.

 

Waiting, hoping, for something to go wrong

Crimes of passion, deaths and break-ups

Frightening, broken, messy life

Adrenaline-junky

He passes on the gossip

He dines for dinner on strife

 

So many nights he wishes

That something juicy and delicious

Would shake up his boring, boring world

Would send a tingle up his spine

Make him gasp in horror

Make his toes curl

 

But everything serene, peaceful, and calm

Sends his stomach boiling in apathy

And curse ennui, curse tedious

Curse comforts and tradition

Curse happy Disney songs

Curse tethering oneself to be studious

 

After realizing it’s never enough

A tornado here, a car accident there

Facebook feeds of conflict-laden fights

Political turmoil, undercover conspiracies

The psychopath begins to create the things he wishes

On boring, boring, easy nights.

 

 

 

The Bloody Rag – RJ’s Flash Fiction – Posted Exclusively Here!

996 words, posted exclusively at BlondeRJ, for your reading pleasure.  Thanks, Heather Fitzgerald, for the idea!

 

 

How long have I been driving?

The freeway seems to yawn forever in front of me. Stop and go. Stop and go. LA traffic is hell on wheels.

I am waiting for exit 6, but I can’t even remember what time I left home. My mind is fuzzy and blurry and I’m exhausted.

The license plate in front of me reads “IMAH8TR.” Not clever or cute. Just stupid.

Fantastic. I’m stuck behind the “Hater” and the eye-piercing sunlight makes my head ache. I recall that this is normal for me. Headaches are part of life here in the smog of LA.

Hater slams on his brakes in front of me. I slam on mine as well, cursing loudly. Who gives losers like this driver’s licenses?

To add to Hater’s incompetence, he has something sticking out of the trunk of his Toyota Camry. I squint, my eyes tired. It looks like part of a blue flannel shirt. So Hater has a trunk full of clothes? What is he – an illegal immigrant? For some reason, this irritates me further. I can feel the road rage escalating inside of me. Pedal, brake, pedal brake. I’m going crazy.

Wait. Wasn’t the shirt blue? Now I can see that part of it is actually red. What kind of flannel combines blue plaid and bright solid red? So Hater has poor taste in clothes as well.

I am sitting so closely behind the Camry that I can see the red more clearly now. It’s not even in any sort of a pattern. It’s like a big bad stain. And it’s spreading. With a gasp, my brain comes into focus in an instant.

The red is spreading.

The bright color boldly creeps into every corner, overwhelming the blue and conquering the fabric for its own. Soon the scrap hanging out of the trunk is completely crimson.

What is this: sunlight-changing fabric? If only the hue didn’t remind me so much of…

Blood.

Drip.

Time freezes as the first drop falls. I watch it, stopped dangerously close to the Hater car in front of me. My stomach clenches as I drive over it a second later. For crying out loud, it’s got to be blood.

I’ve got to call the police.

Ignoring the hands-free driving rule, I fumble for my cell phone, my fingers trembling and shaking. I accidentally drop the phone at my feet and swear, stretching sweaty palms to find it, my eyes glued to the dripping of scarlet that hits the asphalt every other second.

“I’m on the 5, between exits 7 and 8!” I scream after dialing 911. My temples throb. “There’s a car with something hanging out of the trunk. It looked like a shirt, and now it’s covered in blood. It’s dripping.” Admitting this makes it true, and I shudder at the words.

“Can you stay behind the car and keep us on the line, sir?” The woman’s voice responds to me calmly.

“I’ll help! They’re getting off the freeway!” I cry, not knowing what I’m saying. I find a gap and pull into it, heading for the right hand side. They’re leaving at number 6: my exit.

“And he’s pulling into the gas station at the corner of 9th and Steton,” I whisper now, the buzz of the freeway replaced by quieter road sounds. I feel so obvious, trailing the car. I park as inconspicuously as possible in the nearest parking spot, facing the car with the bloody shirt.

A burly man gets out, tattoos marking his shoulder. He begins to pump gas, lighting a cigarette dangerously close. He looks right at me through my windshield.

I’m dead now.

But he simply nods at me. My breath exhales all at once, and I feel like throwing up.

The officers appear out of nowhere from around the corner of the convenience store. Engaging the burly gas-pumper in conversation, three policemen suddenly attack him, throwing the man’s chest against his door. While two officers slips handcuffs onto the man’s brawny wrists, one hefts open the trunk.

He lifts out a much smaller man. His shirt and pants are caked in crimson, and he collapses against the officer who saved him.

I throw up my hands with a shout of glee, dropping my phone against the seat.

A tap at my window startles me. Two of the officers have made their way to my driver’s side door, dragging the criminal with him.

What are you doing? I mouth. Just let me be the good citizen! I don’t want this nasty fiend knowing who I am or that I ratted him out! I’m frozen in fear behind the wheel.

“Please step out of the car, sir,” they say firmly.

What the heck?

I do. And find myself also thrown up against my own door, my hands twisted back uncomfortably behind me. “You have the wrong guy! I’m not with them! I reported this to you!” I shout, wrestling against them in sheer terror.

They lead me, handcuffed, to the back of my own car. The bloody man is pointing, finger shaking, at me. Using my keys, they pop my trunk, and out jumps a woman! With an animal yell, she races, tripping and stumbling, over to the bloody man, throwing her arms around him.

My head stabs.

“Mick!” growls the burly, tattooed man. “Mick, you sold us out, you son of a dog! You called the police, didn’t you?” He curses and spits. “Your head hurts, doesn’t it, man? I knew you were a liability, you piece of puke!”

With a crash in my skull that feels like I have been electrocuted, it all comes back to me. My name is Mick. I beat up and kidnapped a wealthy couple. The tattooed hunk is my right-hand man. I suffered a brain injury in a robbery last year. I black out some times and forget who I am and what I’ve done.

And I just called the cops on myself.

 

Copyright RJ Conte 2015

 

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My Hate-Love Relationship With Some Death-Obsessed Teens

 

 

It’s me, BlondeRJ, back from an enjoyable vacation to visit family in the Country of Texas!  

 

I’ve been asked, by a number of friends, to share my inspiration for Angel-Lover.  In celebration of keeping Angel-Lover at $0.99 on Amazon Kindle (Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Lover-RJ-Conte-ebook/dp/B00MD5VH0W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407126343&sr=8-1&keywords=Angel-Lover+RJ+Conte) – I prayed about that one and thought it through for a while, and I decided that I’d rather just spread the word and save lives instead of make a few more bucks – I thought I’d answer the questions as to what inspired me.

 

First, frequently asked questions:

NO.  The picture of Angelique on the cover is NOT ME.  Haha!  I promise you that the free photo I took her from looks nothing like me!  Her shirt was actually too tight and she was probably too old, so I gave her a “chest reduction” to make her actually look sixteen (Haha!), photoshopped her famous pink jumper on to her, and “grainied” the picture to make it look like something Chad could’ve shot with his disposable camera.  But she is not me!  And she was not meant to be like me or resemble me in any way!

NO.  My life – or my husband’s life – was not, in any way, like Chad’s.  Chad was not supposed to be a secretive autobiography.  I just wrote about people or things that I studied or observed.  My husband and I did not face any of the temptations Chad did personally, nor are we anything like him.  However, I have known people like him, on the inside, quite well.

YES.  This is yet another trigger warning that Angel-Lover discusses cutting, depression, overdosing, and pornography, although briefly and in, what I hope is, a tasteful and minimalistic way.

 

Now, on to where I got my inspiration.  First of all, it was in observing people, but that part I’ll keep confidential.  All of these people, however, are in good places in their lives, I am happy to say.  All of these people have the Lord to thank for that.  He is the healer of hearts, amen?  🙂

I also got my inspiration from the movie adaption of Frank Peretti’s Hangman’s Curse.  Peretti is not my favorite adult fiction writer, but I think he is one of the masters of teen thrillers.  Hangman’s Curse, the novel, was a great mystery with a satisfying ending.  The movie, as most movies-from books-are, left much to be desired, and drastically changed one character, adding a silly love interest that shouldn’t have been there.  However, what sat with me, in the movie version (besides the fact that I had to sleep with the light on afterward and I now have a new respect for one of my husband’s greatest fears… No spoilers, but be warned that this movie is very dark and morbid in parts, and can scare some of you with a certain phobia...), was the portrayal of the “Goth kids.”

Ian Snyhangmanscurse_47der is Peretti’s main antagonist-turned-victim, and his screen time was powerful.  The best actor in the movie, Ian is really a living version of Chad.  Ian has a little bit more gumption and bravery, but he’s also been given a lot more power.  Believing that the ghost he worships has given him the power to curse popular jocks, Ian is a feared icon in his school. 

However, underneath it all, Ian is also a tenderhearted, emotional, and hurting lover.  When his beloved girlfriend is injured (Yes, she’s blond, however, greahangmanscurse_44-1tly unlike Angelique, she’s a Goth too!), Ian is almost pressured to take his life.  Peretti’s protagonists, the undercover teen detectives, end up changing Ian’s life by uncovering the truth, which is a shocking one.  Let’s see if any of you can guess this twist!

I was touched by Ian’s few seconds of tenderness and love, and was disappointed by how no screen time is given to show his change.  Instead, we see him raw and shiny and new, like a baby fresh out of the womb, scrubbed of all of his death apparel, for a brief minute at the end of the film.  It was this image and this personality that I wanted to explore in the character of Chad.  What gets a “Goth kid” to this dark place?  What drives him?  What motivates him?  What could make him change?  How could he find Christ?

So Ian was a character I could get behind and explore in my own little novel, however, there were other death-obsessed teens that frustrated me and drove me to write my own book.

Nancy Werlin was another author I respected and yet who irritated me.  She was clearly coming at psychology from an entirely un-Christian point of view, but she had good thoughts as to what made self-made victims tick.  In both of her novels: Are You Alone on Purpose and The Killer’s Cousin (winner of an Edgar Award), her characters are troubled, devastated, or hurting, and her exploration of their psyche is a fascinating, if not disturbing, one.  I do not recommend these books to just anyone, as the topics Nancy covers are dirty, gritty, and often sexual.  However, the most frustrating aspect was the ending.  After mulling over life and their place in it, she ends with her characters “getting the girl” or “finding themselves,” things that will never satisfy or are actually just an emotional eye of the storm.  They may bring temporary peace, but they bring no heart change.  Both of her protagonists have gone through extreme trials, and their healing will, in the end, be completely stagnant without Christ.

In frustration, I turned an Ian Snyder, someone who really has had nothing but typical teen stuff going against him, but who understands the complete futility of this world better than all of his peers, and who feels like he can’t fit in in any way, and I had him explore love and himself, and find them lacking.  I hope to show, in Angel-Lover, that, in the end, the only logical answer is Christ.  Chad is hopeless to change himself or get the girl without Christ.  And, in the end, getting the girl isn’t really his goal, and he, himself, is nothing worth worshiping.  Chad is whole when he forgets about himself, forgets about his obsessions, and embraces his Savior who made him uniquely, just as he is, and who died for Him.  And Chad gets to choose to be like Jesus Himself.  ❤

 

Check it out and tell me what you think!  Have any of you read Nancy Werlin or Frank Peretti?  Do any of you know characters like this in real life?

Also, check out a book review I did of Nancy Werlin’s new fantasy FAIL, Unthinkable right here: https://blonderj.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/unthinkable/

Bonus, if you read this far: Where we meet Ian Synder.  😀