I love to read books, edit books for authors, and participate in the wonderful blog tours for smaller authors who are still working on getting into the mainstream! I also tutor S Korean students online while being a single mom to my 12 year old daughter with Williams syndrome :) Perfect life!
Gone by S.H. Love Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Richards is self-absorbed and suicidal.
the last year, he has lost his job, has attempted suicide multiple
times, and has gotten his relationship to the point where it is
heading for divorce. Fed up with everything, Rory has accepted his
he wakes up from a failed suicide attempt, he learns that his wife,
Maggie, has disappeared without a trace. Her car is found abandoned
on the highway, miles away from home. Her purse and her cell phone
are discovered in the trunk. There is no sign of Maggie.
Rory can remember about the previous night is that the two had the
fight of a lifetime. The dispute causes him to storm out of the house
and steal prescription pills from his neighbors in an attempt to
that, everything is a blur.
sudden disappearance becomes a mystery.
she kidnapped? Did she disappear on purpose?
avoid coming across as insensitive, Rory plays the part of loving
husband and attempts to find his wife. He gives an emotional plea on
television, reaches out to the Missing Persons Network, and even
hires a private investigator to gather information.
of these actions are to show police that he is actively searching.
Deep down, though, he just doesn’t care anymore. But, does Rory’s
lack of affection mean that he is responsible for Maggie’s
disappearance? Or will he serve as the unlikely hero who finds her?
taste of charcoal briquettes lined the inside of my mouth. It was
chalky, almost sweet, but not in a good way. The charcoal’s texture
was thick, pebbly tasting, and difficult to swallow. The sensation
remained in my mouth and almost made me puke.
had just woken up after what seemed like days. Months, really, the
time just flew by. Just like that, it was gone. My brain was resting
after a lifetime of activity, dreams creeping in, only to disappear
collapsed, exhaustion forcing me to nearly drift into another
blackout, I inhaled quickly in order to stay conscious. Inhaling made
my throat sore, the roughness scratching like sandpaper.
and out, my mind went black, only to resolve to faint lights with
warped images. Nothing really resonated inside, the time lapse
unknown in my current state.
day is it?
eyes opened wide. Dried and strained, they focused on the ceiling.
The drop ceiling tiles multiplied in front of me, expanding outward,
adding four times the amount. Growing larger and then shrinking in a
fast instant, the tiles kept going in and out of focus until they
became clear. The mineral fibers absorbed all the ambient noise that
surrounded me. Not that it mattered in my case. I was as laid up as
one could get.
a rush of constant blinking, my vision came into focus. The ceiling
was again normal. Water stains shaped like countries struck out
against the plain white tiles. Italy was to my left. Thailand was to
the right. The United States’ forty-eight, it was as if the South
had actually won the Civil War and had relocated to Africa. Stretched
across one of the corners in the room was a thin spider web. Part of
it was unattached and blowing from the air conditioner vent. The cold
air pushing out of the vent kissed my face, tickling my cheeks and
making them numb.
around my environment, my body depressed in a slow, dragged out sigh.
tongue worked around my lips, licking the spots where my skin and
lips met. The heavy, smoky flavor was all I needed to know to
describe what happened the night before. My face began to crease from
the burnt charcoal taste within. Caving in, it was a crushed aluminum
can bending inward. It was as if someone punched me super hard, my
face staying locked in its current position.
medical staff used the charcoal to absorb the toxins from the pills I
had swallowed. All one hundred thirteen of them. In a single sitting,
swallowing the enteric-coated pills until my vision faded. One by one
by one, I had attempted to take my own life. It was a smorgasbord of
poison with various colored pills. Some I had recognized. Others I
was a bottle for sleeping disorders. There were various prescriptions
for pain. One container was filled with Ativan. Another, filled with
God knows what. I had no idea.
was the perfect cure for anxiety, pain, and seizures, for one low
would have thought that that many pills could be found inside your
neighbors’ medicine cabinets? Then again, who would have thought
that amount of pills could be pumped out of a human body? Gastric
lavage and activated charcoal, these were two procedures that I
you ever need an emergency antidote to combat the dangers of
prescription drugs, consider the two-step process of gutting and then
grilling your face. The stomach pump was to remove the pills. The
charcoal was used as a poisoning antidote, to interrupt the
circulation of drugs from the liver to the bile, back into the small
intestine, and ending back into the liver. The process was called
to, I was greeted by a small, empty hospital room. A single bed
surrounded by varying degrees of medical equipment. There was a heart
monitor near my bed. An overbed table pushed off to the side. A
cabinet filled with supplies. All the ingredients were present to
revive the damaged soul of a person.
television hanging from above was turned off, an old tube unit
sitting on a shelf that was bolted to the wall. The screen was dirty;
it was covered in dust particles from not being turned on.
thick curtains were closed. Peeking in underneath and on the sides of
the curtains’ fabric was a parking lot streetlight. The light from
the tall post cast dark shadows into the room; the shadows creeped me
out. They were monsters ready to attack, ready and willing to conquer
under their master’s order. Whoever their master was, I wasn’t
was difficult. There was a tightening in my throat each time I’d
attempted. Harder and harder to bring the saliva up my esophagus, I
could feel it start in the pit of my stomach.
was not my first attempt at suicide. No matter how hard I had tried,
I could never fully succeed. Three fucking times was definitely not
first attempt at offing myself happened about a year ago. My wife and
I had begun to feel the effects of money shortfalls.
had lost my job when the economy crashed and had never really gotten
back on track. Sure, there were a few part-time positions here and
there. And one full-time job that was so out of my field I had to
quit. But there was nothing that had brought in near the same salary,
near the same satisfaction, of what I had been living with for years
wife, Maggie, had said that she understood. That working in a job
that did not complement your skillset was difficult. Deep down, I
knew my not being employed (or as Maggie had put it, sitting around)
had still bothered her. She would often throw in sentences such as,
“But every little bit helps,” and, “Maybe just stick it out for
a while,” ending in, “Well, it’s your decision and I will
support you nonetheless.”
was just going through the motions at that point. This marked the
beginning of the end for us. We were heading for a divorce.
truth was jobs were not that available in our hometown of Rock
Island, Illinois. A stagnant population of just under forty thousand,
with only a handful of big employers that could provide a decent
living. The cost of living was low, but you would have to be in a
position that paid well enough. Most of the residents in the area
worked at John Deere and the Rock Island Arsenal. Neither of which
seemed to ever be hiring. It was almost as if you had to know or be
related to someone in order to get your foot in the door. Of course,
generations upon generations handed these jobs down like relay
runners passing the batons behind them. With so much history between
the two organizations, getting a job at either of these places was
equivalent to being born into the royal family.
I used to be the operations manager of a manufacturing company.
Relative to the size of Deere and Arsenal, our company was small, a
blip on their financial scope, a mere footnote in the conversation.
But it was big for me, and it was what worked. That was, until I was
specialized in packaging, various types of packaging and shipping
methods. One of our contracts was with John Deere, so you could say
that I was a bastard stepson of the prestigious royal family. I was
more of a second cousin that hardly came around, one that never saw
the photo ops or royal invites.
oversaw the plant workers at different locations around the area, who
spent most of the days boxing items and getting them ready for
shipment to wherever it was they were headed. Much of my time was
dedicated to streamlining the process in order to cut costs. It took
me several months to scheme up the process, paying particular
attention to its destinations and what trucks needed to be loaded and
at what times. Logistics wasn’t difficult; rather, you had to be on
your game to know the shortest routes possible. You could say I was
so good at my job that I cut my own salary out of the company.
Shipped it out in a nicely packed container. Really, there wasn’t a
need for me anymore. A win/lose situation.
job, my life, my marriage, they were all packaged and ready to be
shipped out. And to be honest, I didn’t care anymore. To be frank,
getting divorced was the only true thing I had looked forward to.
on the bed, my head facing the ceiling, I moved my eyes left to
right, and screamed, “NO!” Clenching my teeth until my jaws hurt,
bringing my voice down to a hush, I whisper-screamed, “FUCK YOU!”
I had convinced myself that I had wanted to die this time. Deep down
to the depths of my soul, I wished that I was dead.
the while, the chair shadow creature was lurking in silence, staring
in my direction.
angled door monster sat mocking me. A malicious grin on its face, it
could turn on me at any moment.
body tightened until I turned bright red. Holding my breath in a weak
attempt to suffocate, hopes of passing out to prevent my brain from
picking back up again, my mind started racing. Through the
half-closed blinds leading into an illuminated part of the hospital,
two detectives were talking to a doctor. They were in mid-discussion
ever since I had come to. The doctor was, on occasion, looking into
my room while he continued to speak.
on the bed, kicking my legs under the sheets, the jerking of my body
like a possessed demon, I was vying for their attention. Whipping my
head side to side, the air from the vent reminding me that I was
alive and well, I screamed inside, my mouth wide open, stretching
until my cheeks became sore.
officers looked serious, their bodies stiff and alert. Staring with
intent into the doctor’s eyes, one of the policemen leaned in
closer. A concerned look on his face, the detective nodded in
agreement to whatever it was the doctor was discussing.
window made it difficult to make out what they were saying. The
light, reflecting off from the other side, made the men appear
translucent. Squinting with a brave optimism that I could read their
lips, I saw the policeman with the crew cut on the right side crane
his neck toward me and then slowly return to the doctor.
in closer to the door, my head pulling forward, a sharp pain ran up
my spine and into the nape of my neck. My body tightened into a
crunch, my abs flexing for the first time in years. The balls of my
feet were blistering for some reason, as if I had been on them for
days. The soreness caused me to straighten, and before I could
readjust my body, the door opened.
the light switch, the doctor, wearing multi-colored scrubs and a
white smock, entered with the officers in tow. The shadow demons,
they disappeared into tangible objects. One became the sink faucet.
Another transformed into the tissue paper box. In an instant, the
monsters assumed their positions in the real world. Their master, so
it seemed, signaled them to be calm. It only took a second for my
eyes to adjust to the bright light. My brain was still disordered. My
recollection, it was groggy to say the least. The three men came into
focus as they approached me.
Richards,” the doctor said, his eyes scanning the paperwork on his
clipboard, never making eye contact. Nodding his head, his lips
curled downward. Skimming the chart before speaking again, he mouthed
some words to himself. He then looked up, rejoining the conversation,
and said, “I’m Doctor Wynn.”
Wynn was a skinny Asian man, his hospital garb baggy off his legs. He
was a middle-aged gentleman, mostly wrinkle-free with not much grey.
He had a full head of hair. Crow’s feet branched out from his
half-opened eyes when he spoke. I could tell that he laughed a lot.
Other than that tiny flaw, he was well put together.
pegged him for having a trophy wife, brunette and much younger, and
driving a convertible Mercedes-Benz. Aside from announcing that he
was a doctor, his pickup line could have been, “If you go out with
me, it would be a Wynn/Win.” And then a sparkling smile filled with
whites. Who wouldn’t fall for this? Hell, I was beginning to fall
in love with him. But that could just be the medication.
through my charts more in-depth, his lips moving slightly, he scanned
the file and then re-addressed me.
his head, he smiled, flashing his medical school teeth. “And how’re
you feeling today?” His cadence was quick and with crisp
enunciation. He displayed a charming politeness to his audience when
I could answer, the doctor said, “You’re very lucky, Mr.
I? Tracing the words with his index finger, he said, “You swallowed
a lot of pills.” He was lecturing me like a third grade teacher
would do to one of her students—“Do
you know what happens when you don’t finish your assignment?” I
was waiting for him to put me in the corner, but I guess this was
officers stood stoic, hearing the diagnosis from the medical expert.
Each was attentive for the most part, often looking down at the floor
or around the room to inspect the potential sleeping monsters.
demeanor, reading the shorthand notes scribbled on the paper, Dr.
Wynn gave an inappropriate smile. He said, “Over one hundred.”
hundred thirteen to be exact.
looked me in the eyes and said, “How do you feel?” The doctor was
full of questions. For someone who was a supposed expert, he was
definitely curious. “Does your throat hurt?” he said.
large thirty-six gastrostomy tube that was jammed into my esophagus
was, to be very thankful, lubricated. Just because I had tried to
kill myself did not warrant a dry throat fuck. Leaning in toward me,
he said, “You were administered two hundred milliliters of warm tap
water on a repeated basis in order to be fully drained.” His crow’s
feet, they branched out as he emphasized certain syllables. He said
this as if this was an everyday occurrence, as if he saw attempted
suicides all the time.
cop, the one with shaggier hair of the two, glanced at the doctor’s
clipboard, squinting at the small lettering. The other, staring
through me, stood statue still with his eyebrows lowered. He was
thinking, or waiting his turn to speak, one of the two, or both.
Dropping the clipboard down toward his waist, cupping it in his hand,
Dr. Wynn said, “I recommend getting some rest. Your body blah!
blah! blah! gone through some blah! blah! blah! and you’ll need
some time to recover. And then we’ll have—”
toll on my body caused me to almost crash out. My attention drifted
with quick ambition with every other word the doctor said. I could
hear the voices in the room, consulting each other, but the dialogue
was incomprehensible. It was as if I was sitting next to Charlie
Brown in school. At this stage, I wasn’t even sure it was
my head fell backward, my mind going blank.
I went under, the room spun out of focus. The countries on the
ceiling tiles began to swirl, spinning around in a clockwise motion
until they transformed into something else. Slowly, the shadow
creatures came out of hiding, taking their positions as the hand
sanitizer and drawer handle. My eyes wandered, attempting to escape
voice of Dr. Wynn dissolving, I fell into a deep sleep.
H. Love writes mysteries and thrillers. S. H. Love is the psuedonym
of a critically acclaimed author.
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