Monday, January 17, 2011

Introducing Slade Mortimer: The Roaming Mortician

From my novel, ROOTED:
Washed up and drugged out, punk's poster-boy, Slade Mortimer, is on his last leg.  After years of running, Slade descends on Moonsock in a desperate attempt to claim an inheritance and escapte his dead girlfriend's revenge-seeking father.

While the women looked to each other for a volunteer, the door opened of its own accord. They were instantly assaulted by antagonistic screeching, harsh chords, and crashing drums; still they did not recognize the sound as music. The smell that poured from the car had the familiar trappings of rot and decay.

The women instinctively took a step back, and another. Then, slowly, one unlaced black combat boot was lowered to the ground.

“Bet it’s some deranged military man,” Althea determined loudly over the volatile noise. “One of them disgruntled Vietnam veterans.”

“Hush, Althea,” Eleanor warned as the other boot lowered to the ground. At this point the driver’s body slumped forward into view. He rested his bloody, searing blue spiked head on his hands, placed his elbows uneasily upon his knees, opened his mouth and succumbed to several harsh, dry heaves. He emitted a small amount of watery vomit, which dribbled onto his boots.

The women shuddered with revulsion, and then leaned forward for a better view. “My sweet Jesus,” Miss Josie cried. “Look at that mop.”

The driver managed to pull himself to his feet and stood wobbling for a moment before doubling over and succumbing to a gut-wrenching heave. “Auwaughhhhhh…”

Still bent over, they heard him faintly curse, “Shit…shit…shit…shit.” After a moment or two, he recovered enough to stand upright again. He looked around with dazed eyes and then promptly fell to the ground unconscious; his bloody face inches from Lucy’s bloody cow face.

Eleanor stepped forward and whispered, “Oh my! He’s hurt.”

“He’s hurt all right, but that still doesn’t explain the hair.” Miss Josie pointed at the bloody blue spikes. “Or the earrings.”

“Or all those tattoos,” Sarah Jane whispered, studying the driver’s naked torso, the word SWEET tattooed above his right nipple and SOUR above the left. A scaly red dragon breathing hellfire snaked up the side of his abdomen from his hip to right beneath his armpit.

“Or the way he looks all starved to death,” Althea pointed out.

“Or the way he just looks like death,” Miss Josie added. And that was what they all solemnly agreed; he looked like death. He did not even look like death warmed over, no, he just looked like death. His gaunt, alabaster body was emaciated.

“He’s fishbait all right,” Althea hissed loudly.

Eleanor disagreed. “He looks like a bruised and battered kitten.”

Miss Josie was more skeptical. “A kitten wearing black leather pants and eyeliner? I wouldn’t give my daughter any kitten like that.” She shook her head at the driver’s total inappropriateness. “And what,” she demanded, pointing, “for the love of God, is that?”

They looked away from the nose ring, ashamed for the man.


Click for full excerpt from Rooted.

Click for additional ROOTED blog posts.


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