Archive for the ‘short fiction’ Category

The Mirrors.jpg

 

The Mirrors

It has been a while since she left, but when I lie down to sleep I can still feel her next to me.

 I can smell her.

 I can hear her.

 But when I turn over,

to put a hand on her back,

 there is nothing,

 but the sheets and the air.

Sometimes I roll over to the spot she once occupied and sniff hungrily; in the secret hope that she would be there one day and the air would smell sweet and inviting.

The way that she once did.

I say sometimes, but it could more accurately be described as often, maybe even nightly. It’s fine though, because the ghost of her keeps me company, the life we shared, the kids we had, and the lives we were honored to be a part of. I can still hear the laughter in the hallways and see the hints of dancing shadows on the walls.

One night I awoke to find her next to me.

The image was something that I had been longing for, but it felt so wrong in the moment that it happened. My first instinct was to:

 Engulf her in my embrace.

To hold her close.

To never let her go again.

 But instead, I chose to watch her for a short while and try to remember what it used to feel like to have someone that I could call my own. I didn’t want to fall asleep, because I knew that it would only mean that the dream would come to an end.

A glimmer of light flashed in the corner of my eye. I ignored it and looked back at the woman sleeping next to me.

The light flashed once again, and I knew that it was useless to resist, I stood up from my bed and walked to the source of the light. I looked back at my sleeping partner and saw her form consumed by shadows.

 I smiled when I thought of her return.

 I frowned when I saw her leave yet again,

The mirrors were something different altogether, I walked into the bathroom area of my master bedroom and was taken aback when the doorway sealed behind me. Nothing but mirrors surrounded me and in them I saw not my own reflection, but images of people.

People that I knew.

People that I loved.

And some that I had never seen before.

I watched them doing things and saw that the people that I had known were all different somehow, some were thinner, others more muscular, while others had put on some weight. As I watched them I saw that they were all happy.

I felt mischievous.

Like a Peeping Tom.

Like someone that didn’t have a right to be watching.

And then it came.

I saw my wife.

The woman I had yearned to have by my side with another man.

He looked like me.

He was me.

But, on the other side of the mirror.

I saw her laughing.

I saw her loving him.

And realized that it was me that had left.

Me that had disconnected and gone away.

I watched the other people in the mirrors and saw the reflections of people that I knew as living souls.

They were the same but, better.

Happier.

I turned to go back to my wife and saw that the doorway was blocked by another mirror. I saw all the images behind me and realized that my desire for their happiness was stronger than the desire for my own.

I took one last glance over my shoulder at the images of all the lives that I might change.

I thought of how I could help them when I returned.

And then I smashed through the glass and crawled back into bed

With her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coverfinal2.jpg

 

This day has been a long time coming!
Nothing Comics has officially released its first illustrated book!
El Frio is listed as a graphic novel on amazon, but is really something of a hybrid.
As co-founder of the Nothing Comics label and Co-Author and Co-Creator of the company’s first book, I really wanted to bring my visceral and lean story telling style to a platform that could also showcase some great art! My partner, Michael Perez, and I were determined to create a story that wasn’t just for die-hard comic book fans, but for anybody that enjoys riveting stories.
Like anyone in the middle of a new project, it was difficult at times to keep the details under wraps, so I found myself reciting vague elevator pitches to give people an idea of what to expect and to this day, I still feel like it does the job.
“Imagine Netflix’s Daredevil meets Narcos and Breaking Bad”
I mean, how could you go wrong with that?!
As always, I am extremely grateful for all of the support given to me by my faithful readers over the years and I hope that all of you will take the time to enjoy El Frio, now available in print at the following url:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720464537

nothing logo.jpg

PLEASE REMEMBER TO LEAVE A REVIEW TO HELP US RANK HIGHER IN THE AMAZON STORE!

Image result for coming soon

It has been a very exciting and eventful 2018!

My novel, The Artist and the Carpenter, is finally in the editing stages. For those of you that have been following my blog, you know that this day has been a long time coming! The project came from a very personal place for me and as I mentioned in one of my last posts, I did hit a bit of resistance, which seemed to grow stronger and stronger as I got closer to wrapping up the project.

20180416_210328.jpg

I am a firm believer in writing a first draft as fast as possible to get the bones of the story down and then working to flesh out whatever is missing in later drafts. Like giving birth to a baby who crawls at first, learns to walk, gets nurtured, and eventually grows into a healthy adult.

This project, on the other hand, was more like assembling a fully functional adult, who came complete with their own history, memories, and plenty of emotional baggage. With that being said, I think that the editing process will go much faster than with any of my past projects because many of the chapters are ready to go, with the exception of maybe minor wordsmithing and double checking for flow and continuity.

A summer 2018 release is eminent!

I will keep everyone updated here and on social media with any developments.

In addition to the book release, I will be releasing the first in a series of collaborative projects published by Nothing Comics! My business partner/collaborator and I will be reviewing proof copies of our first graphically enhanced novelette within the next month.

This project also took some time to nurture from its infancy stages to finished draft, but has been a labor of love. The prose is clean, the story is captivatingly gritty, and the illustrations are amazing!

This project is also slated for a Summer 2018 release.

 More to come and as always, thank you for reading!

 

 

 

For those of you that loved “Not only the Dead“, a new tale of emotional terror is coming to you very soon care of your friendly neighborhood ‘serial thriller’.

As a writer, I enjoy delving into the realms of the human condition that people can relate to. In my lighter works, such as the first installment of my coming of age  ‘things taken’ series, Whispers of the Wakinyan, our heroes are pitted against monsters.

In Not only the Dead and its upcoming predecessor, The Artist and the Carpenter, our protagonists would beg to fight a monster or be given any opportunity to gain closure, because their battles originate from places unseen.

The dark.

The unimaginable.

The deeply personal.

Enjoy this “flash teaser”.

                                  Not a chapter, not a paragraph, but only a glimpse…

My mind apparently brushes over something unsettling, because about half way into the drive, the hair on my arms begins to stand on end and coldness begins to spread from somewhere deep inside my gut. Like many emotions that I hadn’t understood at the time:

I push the feelings away.

                    Knowing that one day,

                                        I will have to face them all,

                                                    Like a collection of unwanted children,

                                                                   Who as broken adults,

                                                                               Demand to know

                                                                                            Why they were not embraced.

 

COMING IN DECEMBER 2017

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing

I was fortunate enough to be part of an author meet and greet/book signing on Sunday, March 5th in my home town of Menifee, California. The turn-out was great and the level of support from the community was fantastic!

This is one of many photos provided by my good friend Michael Perez, a top-notch inland empire photographer behind fotohaus studios.

Check out fotohaus at http://www.fotohausco.com

He took some great photos of the event, which I will be sharing with you all as soon as they become available.

I would also like to offer a very special thanks to the handful of attendees that signed up to be beta-readers for the sequel to Whispers of the Wakinyan, the work is untitled as of now, but will be the second installment of the ‘The Things that Follow’ series.

jim1

Things have been pretty crazy at the desk of Jim Gammill!

First off, my poem-novella, Not only the Dead is now offered both in print and as a kindle edition on amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/author/jimgammill).

Second, my novel, Whispers of the Wakinyan is in the final stages of editing and should be released in print and ebook formats this month! More announcements will be coming soon, and as a thank you for my loyal followers, I will be posting portions of the first couple of chapters here as a sneak peak of what’s to come.

The journey to see both of these books in print has been an interesting one to say the least and will certainly be the subject of upcoming blog posts.

For now, I would like to share an unfinished portion of the front cover and the back cover synopsis of Whispers of the Wakinyan with the subscribers of jimtgammill.com; I hope that you all like it and as always, thank you for reading!

20170304_095550

  Whispers of the Wakinyan

The Gordons are an ordinary family from Riverside, California. Hank, the family patriarch, is a level-headed accountant that has realized the American dream by marrying his high school sweet heart, Theresa, and happily raising their two children, Joey and Addie. Their lives were soon to be forever changed after witnessing a freak accident during a tour of The Grand Canyon. Upon return from their ill-fated vacation, the family finds itself the target of a malicious Native American spirit.

A haunting chain of events calls in a cast of unlikely allies for the family, all of whom must be ready if anyone is to survive the dark forces that stand against them.

But, as in all things: where there is darkness, there is light.

 

Hey there horror fans,

Another short excerpt from “The Poet” this week. I feel obligated that to let you all know that this section has some foul language and a nasty rape scene, so make sure the eyes of all tiny horror fans are re-directed to something awesome like Gremlins, Ghostbusters, or one of my boyhood favorites Monster Squad!

I hope you all enjoy. I wrote this piece a while back and have always remembered it fondly. It is not perfect, but I feel that due to its content it does have some thread of relevance here at HOTHB.

Best,

Jim

When the smoke stopped rising John took a moment to savor the clean air. Curiosity got the best of him and against his better judgment he dared to peek over the thick branch. His visitors, whom he had identified as a man and a woman based on their occasional coughing were oblivious to his presence. After peering over the ledge he saw a man that he did not recognize. The man stood bundled in a heavy black overcoat that appeared to have a liner made from a plastic trash bag his face was hardened and sculpted by the elements but his deep set eyes shown with the vulnerability and constant fear of a captive animal. The woman was someone he had seen before in the park, John was pretty sure her name was Charlotte. What he was sure of was that she was one of the few unfortunate women indigenous to this park and that because of the terrible ratio of men to women she always had to be on guard, ready to fend off unwanted sexual advances.

“Can you light me up?” she said to her companion as she put a crumpled cigarette in her mouth.

The man dug in his jacket pocket. Emerged with a lighter and lit Charlotte’s cigarette.

“Give me some of that?” He asked.

“Fair enough,” Charlotte smiled, took one last drag, and offered it to the man. “Thanks again for the buzz. I had fun.”

The man shoved his hand in his pocket and leaned against the tree. He sucked a few greedy hits off of the cigarette then thrust his hand out, offering it back to Charlotte.

“Here ya’ go,” the man said as heavy tentacles of smoke crept from his mouth and framed his face.

John watched from his branch as Charlotte smiled and leaned in to take the cigarette with her mouth. The man placed it gently between her lips. As she took it the man grabbed a fistful of wispy hair, and pulled her down. She screamed instinctively and the half smoked cigarette fell to the grass. The man pulled a folding knife from his pocket and opened it with a flick of his wrist.

The man held the blade to Charlotte’s face. She was crying now. He traced her jawline with the point, dropped it to her neck, and then to the swell of her breast.

“Give me some of that too,” he said through a grin like acid.

Charlotte looked up and desperately searched for the night sky through the dense tree canopy, she remembered how she used to look up at it as a promise of openness, a promise of freedom. She looked up at the stars that used to re-confirm to her that God was watching her from above. She focused on one, solitary star and prayed that God couldn’t see her as she was now. Charlotte the defiled one. The dirty one.

The animal sound of rape wrapped around John twice as heavy as the crack smoke ever had. A tiny part of John wanted to explode. To intervene. To save. John pushed this tiny part back, he knew that it would just bring him pain or death. He gripped his belt tight as if to hold this courageous spark inside. Closed his eyes and took deep calming breaths in time with Charlotte’s sobs. As his consciousness began to break under the immense weight of his exhaustion his hand fell near the edge of the branch.

Charlotte focused on the branch above as her rapist thrust into her over and over and over again. Movement caught her eye as John’s hand fell limply over the branch.

“Hel–“, she choked as her rapist’s dirty hand fell over her mouth. He pulled her roughly to face him.

“You do just what the Sergeant tells you, and I just might make you my bitch,” the Sergeant pulled her hair as thick globs of spit escaped between his rasped words and flung across her face. “You do want to live, don’t you?”

She nodded after a bit of hesitation, and felt disgusted that she didn’t have the guts to tell the truth. She had hoped for death for some time now. After all that has happened to her, Charlotte lowered her head, and prayed that somehow, someway, her wish would come true.