Monday, April 27, 2020

New Beginning 1089


I turned Hellfire over in my hands. It’s not easy to get a gun in India, especially when you’re nineteen, but I managed. Don't ask me how. When Castor Castlevere puts his mind to something, it happens.

I put the semi-automatic to my head. The hard part was over. Now all I had to do was pull the trigger.

My fingers refused to cooperate. What was stopping me? I knew I wanted to do this.

With a jolt, I realized I couldn’t tarnish the memory of this house for my family.

Yes, that was it. I wasn’t afraid; the very idea was ludicrous. Castor Castlevere is the bravest, boldest person you’ll ever meet.

I’m also caring and compassionate. Not on the level of a Mother Teresa, but way above the average person. Everything about me is miles above average. That was one reason I wanted to quit this life. How would I ever cope with being something less than other people? Castor
Castlevere, until now always the most brilliant, most handsome guy in class, could never accept being considered a monstrosity, an object of pity or ridicule.

I stood, but somehow I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other to walk out of my bedroom, let alone the house. What was going on?

Light bulb moment! I couldn’t exit this life without letting my family know where to find my body. I wasn’t so selfish as to leave them wondering.

I stepped into the parlor, where my family was having tea and discussing politics. "Castor Castlevere will be found on a bench at the south end of the park," I announced.

"It is rude to interrupt," my father said. "We were discussing important matters."

"Castor Castlevere does not care," I replied boldly. How could any matters be more important than me, anyway? Did I mention I was miles above average?

"Who is that person?" my mother asked. My sister burst out laughing.

"Do not laugh at Castor Castlevere!" I shouted. In addition to being more caring and compassionate than anyone else in the world, I could also become more angry. Everything about me was just … more.

"I am not laughing at Castle Creepyvere," my sister said. "I am laughing at you!"

"Your name is Pradeep," my father said. My mother nodded in agreement.

Lightbulb moment! I didn't want to kill myself after all. The world needed me in it. But something had to be done about this family. I pulled Hellfire from my pocket and pointed it at my father's head, and pulled the trigger. Then the same for my mother. Aiming at my sister, the worst of them all, I pulled the trigger over and over again.

"Where did you get that?" my father asked. My mother looked both shocked and angry. My sister laughed louder than ever. If I am the best of everything, she is exactly the opposite.

It's not easy to get bullets in India, but one day I am going to get some. Don't ask me how. Castor Castlevere's mind is made up about this.

Opening: Crossword.....Continuation: JRMosher


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:

Castor Castlevere is rich and smooth, the main dish, the spice of life. I must leave them with a lasting impression, a continuing memory of my potency, a hot explosion of the senses. As I was in life, so shall I be in death: I shall instruct the staff what to do...

* * *

"Well, I must say, this curry was exceptionally delicious. Your dad will love it, if he ever decides to show up. Kind of spicy, though -- going to be a real ring stinger in the morning."


Evil Editor said...

When he decides not to shoot himself because it will tarnish the memory of that house for his family, I assume he's in his family's house. But if he's in his family's house, why would he think he can't kill himself because his family wouldn't know where to find his body? It's in his bedroom.

He can't cope with being something less than other people, yet he claims to be miles above average. Assuming this refers to his neurofibromatosis (see previous post), you might mention that he just got his diagnosis. My research says NF is genetic and usually appears by the age of 10. Is Castor just now seeing symptoms at 19?

This sounds like the opening to a book about the popular kid suddenly becoming a pariah because he develops unsightly tumors. Which could be a good YA book in itself, but we know Castor's about to be whisked off to another universe, so I'm wondering why you've chosen to give him this disease. Are you adding persecution because of facial tumors to colonialism and religious persecution? Maybe the neurofibromatosis and the dimension hopping should be in separate books? Just asking, because this sounds like a good opening for the neuro-book, and the opening in the query (see previous post) sounds like a good opening for a fantasy book.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I'd like this voice for more than a short story. As it is, re-telling me his name every few paragraphs is getting old fast. I would probably read at least a few more pages to see where the story was going.

At the moment, I'm starting to wonder if some alien or something has taken over his body (or he's trapped in someone else's) and he hasn't realized it yet. It feels very disconnected between what he's doing and what he's telling himself. There's both too much life and not enough deep emotion for me to believe he's seriously contemplating suicide. I may be missing something cultural.

I'm not sure this is the best place to start for a dimension hopping fantasy, or one about suddenly being a pariah. Maybe start closer to the rescue?

The character sounds younger than nineteen, but that may just be me.

Best of Luck

Anonymous said...

Wow, that continuation was a work of sheer genius! Laugh out loud moment.