“MY NAME IS DEATH. I HAVE A PROPOSITION FOR YOU”—the story-line of the new novel now underway. Interesting enough to keep a reader reading, do you suppose? If I can pull this off, should have the finished manuscript in hand by early November and be in print shortly after the first of the year. The opening scene follows. Comments and/or suggestions are most welcome.
Jordan Aimes is dying.
He’s not angry about it. Or feeling sorry for himself. Or frightened.
At least he has convinced himself so.
He’s floating in the mellow embrace of the most accommodating opioids big pharm can provide. He is in his familiar bed in the safety of his own bedroom and not perturbed at the prospect of his eminent demise.
The lyrics of an old song slip into his mind.
“All I want is a lavender coffin and white gardenias all around. A swing band playing a funeral march as they lower me into the cold, cold ground.”
He remembers the tune. Catchy. Hums it in his mind. O death, where is thy sting?First Corinthians 15:55. He smiles. Preacher would be proud of him. And smiles again.
The voice startles him.
Jordan doesn’t remember anyone being in the room.
He’s aware, but woozy. He starts to look up, but the buzz is still there, so he chooses to ignore the voice and snuggle back down into that cozy blanket of euphoria.
The voice again. Polite, but insistent.
Damn, can’t a man die peace?
Jordan decides to deal with it, shrugs himself into a reclining position on the pillows against the headboard, makes out a figure at the foot of the bed, slowly brings it into focus through his haze.
A young man.
Neatly dressed. Jacket and tie. Clean shaven. Not one of those scruffy, scraggly bearded specimens that seem to be everywhere these days, thank god.
The figure nods pleasantly.
Jordan pushes through the narcotic fog, struggles to place the young man but can’t recall having seen him before.
Where’s Mary Jane?
Jordan looks around, searching. The light from the late afternoon sun is soft. The little drug bottles with their magic nostrums are reassuringly there on the bed-side table. His reading chair is in place in reach of the bookshelves. The little straight-back chair that sits beside the bed is there but Mary Jane isn’t in it. All is quiet and serene.
There is only himself.
And the young man standing at the foot of the bed.
Jordan stares at him.
The young man, seeing that Jordan is awake, smiles and, in a pleasant and encouraging voice, announces:
“Mr. Aimes, my name is Death. I have a proposition for you.”
more to come