Live Novel

Welcome to the Live Novel page.

This unique site provides a chapter-by-chapter posting of the current novel as it is being written.

Visitors can post comments on the BLOG page to make comments on the novel which may influence the plot development as writing progresses.

The first chapter of the current Live Novel, 'Desperate' is available for viewing below:

Sunday the 13th 6:00 PM


     He sat on the hard wooden pew with head bowed and hands clasped between his knees. He could only shake his head as he looked at the worn pants covering his legs and hanging just over the almost destroyed tennis shoes. How in the hell did I get here? God, he needed a drink. Well, this was the right place to contemplate the Deity. And he shook his head again at the thought.

      He looked up and watched as the eager young priest began extolling the virtues and reasons for staying sober. Ted looked around the room at what he could only call the dregs of American humanity. There were about twenty-five lost souls besides himself. The faces were all lined and seriously weatherworn. He was certain his was the cleanest and closest to being shaved and he now had two days growth scratching at the worn collar of the plaid shirt. The shirt was so thin you could see through it. But, it was all they had that had fit at the mission and it didn’t cost him anything. Desperate times call for desperate measures, he thought, and apparently desperate wardrobes.

      He barely heard the priest as the man rambled on about all the programs the church offered for substance abuse. Ted could tell that everyone in the room was paying even less attention than he. These guys were here for a meal and this was the price. It was still possible to save yourself—no matter what you had done in the past—because God forgives. Ted could only wonder how God had let him come to this let alone forgive. Or was it made?  Ted sighed heavily, and sank bank into the wood.

     Three days. Three measly days.

     How can anyone’s life be so utterly changed in three days?

     Because you had to go to that new bar you idiot. To prove a point or make a statement or whatever. And look where it got you.

     Ted shook his head once more and slid slowly down in the pew until his neck cradled against its top. He looked up and idly followed the cracks in the paint across the ceiling. The randomness of the lines reminded him of the trouble he was in. He wasn’t sure which way he was going to go and the cracks didn’t seem to be pointing him anywhere in particular. He sighed again. All he knew for sure was that he was hungry and this place would feed him. That was at least a start.

     The guy next to him buried an elbow in his ribs, “Sit up and pay attention,” he whispered in a growl, “Show the man some respect.”

     Ted sat upright and nodded. He pulled the overcoat a little tighter over his shoulders and the thin shirt. He was right. If anything, Ted still had his dignity. At this point, it was about the only thing he had left. He looked at the priest just as the man said, “Let us pray!” and he held both hands with his palms facing slightly upward. Ted let his chin fall to his chest. The priest began asking for the forgiveness of these men that had lost their way. Ted prayed in his own way. He already knew he was lost—possibly forever.

     God, I know I haven’t talked to you in a while but I would certainly appreciate it if you could get me out of this. We both know if you do I am not going to become a fervent believer, but I will be eternally grateful. I know that isn’t much of a return for you but, it’s all I can offer. You get my gratitude and me. Ted almost laughed at the absurdness. A loud crash from the back interrupted everyone’s amen. Ted shot a fearful glance over his left shoulder.

     A very large and serious looking individual stood in front of the door. He was totally out of place. He was wearing a very dark and very expensive suit. The starched whiteness of his shirt made him stand out like a beacon. The width of his shoulders and the sharp red tie made him look like a flashing sign. He didn’t seem to mind that he had broken the silence of the room. He was looking around, taking in each individual head turned towards him.

     Ted felt himself shrinking into the pew. He allowed his hand to slide slowly into the right pocket of the coat. He felt the weight and coolness of the gun and he felt a little hint of calm surge through him. God, how far had he fallen—he hated guns. Ted knew the guy was looking for him. He looked down and tried to hide behind the bum next to him. He watched the large man discreetly through his pew partner’s scraggly hair. The priest was asking the man if he needed some help.

     The large man completely ignored the priest’s interrogation and continued to scan the crowd. His eyes were very dark and slowly working towards Ted’s spot in the rear and on the right. Ted had to do something. He felt his heart pounding through the overcoat. The blood pulsing through Ted’s ears had to be loud enough for everyone to hear. He took a deep breath and slinked lower a bit more. He glanced down and saw his partner’s hand shaking slightly. That’s when it came to him. Ted smiled to himself. He stood as erect as his grandfather had always told him and turned to his left just as the large man’s eyes landed on him, Ted jumped up on the wooden pew and pointed at him.

     The large man froze; surprised anyone could be that stupid. Without hesitation his right hand began to slip under the Gucci suit coat reaching for the .38 sewn seamlessly under his left armpit.

     As the man’s hand was just touching the butt of the gun, Ted yelled at the top of his lungs the only thing he could think of.



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