[Excerpt] Adam’s Name

Adam contemplates tripping over a girl who wasn’t there…

Of all of his foggy memories, running into and tripping over Susan was the most clear. It was like he’d been completely sober for just a couple of seconds, and then the drunk had come back. She had been thinking about her friend, and about some kind of life-changing decision. He remembered her dark brown eyes, as clearly as if he were looking at them. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that these details were all that he remembered. He had no idea what her hair was like, her skin, her clothes, or anything about this friend of hers.

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[Excerpt] Adam’s Name

Most of us have seen someone out of the corner of our eye that’s not really there. Not many of us have been knocked on our butt by said shadowy being.

Seth shrugged and slipped the notebook into a pocket of his hooded sweatshirt. “Ready?” Susan nodded and left the tip on the table. He cast one last glance at the clubbers that had started the whole conversation, and then they were out the door and into the brisk Autumn air. You could feel the heat and the smells radiate off of you into the breeze, and it was one of the reasons that Seth stayed in Michigan. Nothing like a good Autumn.

He was startled out of his enjoyment as Susan fell bodily into him, nearly knocking him over. He caught the brick wall of the Coney with one hand, and Susan with the other. Pain sliced into his palm, and he tumbled to the sidewalk with her.

She was up again in an instant. “Hey, fucker! Why don’t you watch… where…” She turned around slowly, searching the empty sidewalks. “Where did he go?”

“Who?” Seth used his left hand to pull himself up by the brick wall. His right palm was scraped, bleeding, and full of sidewalk grime. Great. He had iodine and bandages back at his place, but this was going to hurt for a while.

“The guy that ran into me! He was drunk; I could smell it on his breath.” She had that same look in her eyes, as if she was waking up from a dream. “He had the strangest eyes. Brown with little flecks of green in them.”

Seth felt a chill in his bones again, and thought that maybe they really had jumped off of some kind of cliff. “You saw his eyes that close when he knocked you down?” He limped over to her, and started them walking to her building.

“No. I didn’t even get a look at them. You know what else? I know what his name is. It’s Adam.”

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[Excerpt] Adam’s Name

Have you ever wondered what a contrived hurry-up-and-let’s-get-this-started plot shift feels like to characters? I have. Click below to watch Seth and Susan go through it.

Maybe a little of both. Most likely I’m leaning towards suggesting you actually do it. I don’t feel like I’m signing your death certificate doing it. That, alone, means you should do it.

Seth reached for his coffee; his mouth was very dry. She was seriously suggesting that he start this. She knew better than anyone, and thought that he could pull it off. Something snapped inside of Seth, and all around him. The impossible felt possible, the unlikely felt likely. He felt dizzy, and clutched the edge of the table for support. In a panic, he looked across the table at Susan, and met her wild eyes. It only lasted a moment, and then Seth felt completely normal. He saw his arm and hand move to lift the pen, and then he began writing.

Huh. Well, I know when I should gather opinions and information. There are obviously the leftovers of past organized crime still here. I mean, we see it every day when we come in here. That means that there’s an established territory system. To do this right, we’d have to start in a place largely ignored by those in power, otherwise we’d be squashed before we could hold our own. How would you go about finding free territory?

Seth closed the book and slid it to the middle of the table. They both just stared at it for a moment. Susan reached for it, opened it, and began to read. What he had just written made him sound like he was excited to get this going. It made him sound like he had been utterly convinced by Susan’s calling him out about fear. That wasn’t right, was it? That couldn’t be the reality of the situation. He glanced quickly at the waiter and the clubbers. They seemed normal. Everyone in the diner looked normal. Maybe he was freaking out about nothing. Maybe he really was curious about what this would be like. Susan slid the book back over to him. She looked as if she was waking up from a dream.

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[Excerpt] Adam’s Name

Oh, man, when this block broke, it was like a shattering dam. The words are just flowing, and it feels DAMN good. (That was a pun! Hee!)

The game/discussion between Seth and Susan has taken a strange turn. Seth isn’t sure if she’s playing head games with him, or really trying to get him to start an organized crime ring. And because I did so well at getting a ton out on paper, you guys get an extra-long excerpt! :)

Why not? Your honesty throws everyone, and makes them love you.

Seth sighed deeply and leaned back in the booth, making the vinyl creak. She was pulling out all of her trump cards for this round. HIs fanatical devotion to honesty had been what had earned him such a strange group of friends, and nearly every one of them would put themselves in harm’s way for him.

Love me as a Caesar would be loved, eh? I’m not denying the possibility. There have always been similar situations that have formed around me. The only reason that it would be crime that we got into is because the thugs would get the thrill from breaking rules. I wouldn’t survive because of the love, though. Either I wouldn’t return it, or someone else would want it.

Seth took a gulp of his terrible, cold coffee. He was sure that he didn’t have the temperament to lead anything like an organized crime ring. Gangs were too vicious and tribal, and ethnic mobs followed familial lines. What they were talking about was artificially creating those ties, with a goal in mind from the beginning. That was deception on a massive scale.

Or someone would return it. You would be brought down by someone else, the Boss always is, but Sol would be there to watch your back. Even while John was calling you stupid to your face. And your anger, and the power, would make you scary. The first time you got truly angry at someone and laid them out, your position would be solidified.

Seth smiled. He was sure that she was just playing the game, now. He was one of the least violent, least angry people that he knew of. Sure, he’d get frustrated every once in a while, but hitting people?

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[Excerpt] Adam’s Name

I wrote this yesterday, after finally getting over a block about the kids involved in the Little City Mafia. I couldn’t get them from Lansing to Detroit properly, and thought it would be really contrived and jarring, as once again, geography ends up playing an important part in the story. So, lo and behold, they’re now the Motor City Mafia.

I always hated geography. :) Everyone, meet Seth and Susan. They’re going to be terrible for each other, I can just tell. To set the scene, Seth and Susan are passing a notebook back and forth to each other across a table.


True. Or maybe they wish they were, and are only a group of guys who think they’re waiting for their day when they’re only waiting for death.

Seth looked up at her, concerned at this morbid turn. She sipped her pop, trying to hide the same smile that had set him off in the first place. Maybe if he could get her mind working, thinking of possibilities, she would let go of whatever it was that was getting under her skin.

Either way, with a middle-man like John, a desire to be who they’re trying to be, and an advisor like Sol, it could be done.

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