Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sample 60 Saturday: A Face Without a Heart

Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's go chronologically and start with my 2000 take on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, A Face Without a Heart.

Amidst a gritty background of millennial urban nihilism, a young man bargains his soul away, while his painfully beautiful holographic portrait mirrors his each and every sin, each nightmarish step deeper into depravity... even cold blooded murder.  
A Face Without A Heart takes you on a thought provoking tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction and violence. 

Page 60:

...minutes more and you’ll understand completely why I love her.”
    Liam sips his drink and doesn’t move his hand. In fact, his finger gently strokes the side of my hand. I smile at him, pat his hand and lift mine away. “She’s been trained in ballet, you know. And it shows.”
    Finally, the house lights dim and the last dance tune ends. The people on the dance floor make their way to their seats as a single spotlight shines down on the stage. Warmth fills me. I am so proud of her! I can’t wait for Liam and Henrietta to see.
    “Ladies and gentlemen,” a voice booms from off stage. “Please welcome Ms. Zoe D’Angelo!”
    The crowd erupts with cheers and I sit back, almost gloating. Once the applause dies down, the music begins: Peggy Lee singing “Fever”. The stage goes black for an instant as the clapping and cheering dies down to silence. Then, the spot comes back up and there she is: almost glowing in a black bodysuit with a tattered skirt of white nylon illusion. Her long black hair is loose and her tiny feet are encased in a pair of ballet slippers.
    Liam leans over to me and whispers. “She’s beautiful, Gary. I can’t argue with your taste. Simply stunning. Bring her around...we’ll do a session.”
    I beam. “Oh, I will. I will. Once we’re married, I want to take her away from here. She needs to do something legitimate...a real dance company. Your photographs could be her calling card.”
    “Of course.” Liam whispers and sits back, watching.
    I look to Henrietta, who sips her martini, her golden-eyed gaze never leaving the stage. She doesn’t have to say anything. If anyone appreciates beauty in the female form, it’s a drag queen. Hell, they’ve made their whole lives a kind of homage to feminine beauty.
    And Zoe begins to move. She starts with a graceful leap, only it’s not so graceful. She comes down with an audible thud on the stage. Although she didn’t quite stumble, her landing was awkward and heavy.
    “Ouch.” Henrietta giggles and I assure her that it was only a momentary lapse. Henrietta pats my hand. “Don’t worry about it, honey. She’s probably a little nervous. She knows you brought your friends tonight, doesn’t she?”
    I nod and continue to watch. The movements, though, do not...
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  1. Rick,

    This one's on my to read wish list, along with a number of your older titles. I am oh so slowly inching my way through your back list and thoroughly enjoying myself.


  2. Just don't enjoy yourself too know what they say: you could go blind.

  3. Oscar's book is free. Yours is not. I suppose the dead don't need so much. Nonetheless, both downloaded just moments ago. W00T!

  4. The dead can't say thank you, but I can. Thanks, Jim!