As some of you may know, i've been struggling recently with getting anything new down on paper. Partly it's because The Follow is being published and i've been working on that, and partly because the episode with LBA left me feeling massively disheartened.
But finally i've managed to pin down one of the half million ideas i've been having and i've come up with a story that works, at least in my head.
I'm going to be a git and not tell you anymore about the story as it's full of surprises and twists and i don't want to spoil it, but i'm posting up the first chapter for you to get a taster.
Do let me know what you think, both good and bad. Even if it's just to say you like it or not. I need to feel the love after recent events, or if not the love then i need to know if i'm on the right track or not. If i've written it right, this chapter should leave you with a raft of questions that only reading more of the book will answer...
It’s the looks that are the hardest to get used to, at least at first. Some people glance at you as they walk by and in that look you can see the contempt, or the naked fear that just by coming near them you might infect them with something.
Others stare at you in loathing as if you’re something they’d scrape off their shoe, a cosmic mistake that isn’t fit to share the same air.
It hurt at first, even though I could justify the reasons for those looks, but after a while I learned to ignore them, to tuck them away in the part of my brain where I kept all the things that cause me pain. They bubble away there, whispering to each other in an ever-present sibilant hissing that sometimes bursts out through the veneer of civility at the slightest provocation.
When that happens it’s like I’m a different person, able to feel the rage but not control it, a small part of my mind watching helplessly as I destroy the few friendships I have left with callous disregard.
Then there are the names. Druggy, skag-head, junkie. They bring a sneer to the lips when spoken, as if the addiction makes us a sub-class to be treated with disdain and disgust.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there who deserve all of this and more, but believing every heroin addict is a knife-wielding, disease-riddled walking crime-wave is like saying that everyone who likes a drink is a raging alcoholic on the verge of liver failure.
What makes it worse is that I can clearly remember the days when I was one of the people with the sneers and the looks and the sense of superiority. One of the people who thought I was a better man, a stronger man than those I would walk past and curl my lip at.
It shames me now, thinking back. People don’t end up on the street or addicted to brown because they’re weak inside, they just get knocked down one too many times, and the last time they don’t have the will left to get back up again to face a world that doesn’t give a shit.