About that short story…
I started writing the idea back in December 2016 while I was passing through Kansai International Airport. I was just starting my winter vacation and was thinking about cracking on with Glade. Unfortunately, those good intentions got lost in transit and ended up somewhere else entirely (apparently, they ended up on an island passing the time playing cards with a Lost and confused manuscript). They have since returned to the wardrobe I tentatively call ‘home’, having stowed away on a passing cargo ship before hitching a ride back up to Osaka and making themselves a cup of tea.
So, while my good intentions and I parted ways, I found myself stumbling upon an idea whilst making my way through the airport. One thing led to another and I ended up with a short story.
The story is called 01134.
Life is sometimes that phone call you wish you had never got. That train you wish you had missed. That person you wish you had never met.
Sometimes we take a wrong turn. We lose our way. We slip through the cracks.
Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we are nudged, other times we pushed, screaming into that empty abyss.
Sometimes we just close our eyes and fall.
For Tatsuya, it may already be too late…
01134 is a psychological horror/drama set in Japan. The blurb doesn’t really give much away, but… well, there is this fella you see… called Tatsuya… and he is in love.
Those that have read advance copies have described it as being ‘sad’ and/or ‘unsettling’. So, if you like feeling sad and/or unsettled then this is just the book for…. umm… yeah… it’s also a ‘cracking good read’, too. Honest.
There will be no separate cover reveal this time around since… well… you can probably see it on the right of your screen or at the end of this post. The woman on the cover is a singer in an up-and-coming Japanese rock band and a part-time model. I searched high and low for the look I wanted. Trust me, it’s not as easy as you would think to try to convince someone to pose for a cover shoot, least of all in Japan! Fortunately, Asuka graciously agreed to let me take some shots and, well… all I can say is that the cover looks beautiful in print.
01134 will be available in digital and print from August 31st, 2017, at all major online stores near and far (well, quite far). Of course, if you want to avoid the mass hysteria and panic that will unfold at its release, you can always pre-order now… don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In the meantime, here is the opening…
It’s 12:12 am. The white numbers on the screen are crisp and clear in the dark. I should be asleep.
Tiredness drapes her arms around me in an attempt to draw me back beneath the covers. I try to shrug her off.
The screen on my phone dims as I wait. Time no longer ticks. It is digital now. Clinical and perfect. A constant reminder of the emptiness that flows through our quiet lives.
I blink. The screen now reads 12:13 am. I let the screen darken and set the phone down on the floor by my bed. Tiredness whispers sweetly in my ear and I don’t think that I can resist her for much longer. I’m not sure I want to.
I reach out for my phone again. The screen springs to life and I type in my four-digit passcode. The screen shifts and I check my messages, hoping that perhaps I missed one. I didn’t.
I drop the phone back on the floor, lie back and close my eyes. Sleep eludes me.
I don’t sleep well. Not anymore.
Not since I killed her.