Daybreak over the Valley

First chapter from the novel

No Absolution

“The cat,” says a familiar voice.
What cat?
In the darkness, you are flying. You feel motion, yet you’re are sitting at a table, opposite a dirty, unshaven guy pointing a burning cigarette at you.
I know this person.
When an angry Bruce Harvey says, “Where’s my cat, fucker?” you conclude it’s a dream. The has-been movie star is interrogating you in a grimy, run-down room surrounded by four cracked, windowless walls, but the only question running through your head is…
Why this actor?
Harvey karate chops you across the back of your neck. It’s not the pain that wakes you, it’s the warm light bleeding in through your eyelids. The nightmare fades, fizzling away, back into your brain’s nether regions, dying alongside discarded aspirations and forgotten memories. Drool runs down the side of your mouth, but you are unable to move. Your face feels numb, due to your cheek pressed against the cold glass. The tinnitus in your ears stops, replaced by the hum of ute’s engine, the friction between tyre, road and air, enters your awareness. You open your eyes, just wide enough to squint, focusing on the golden countryside sweeping past outside.
For a moment, reality is a blur.
You attempt to shift your head and are relieved it moves with little pain. Your arm is cramped, and your neck feels broken, but you know this is temporary. The breaking dawn illuminates the narrow, unmarked road, winding around a chain of hills. A clump of trees obscures the misty valley beyond, sending intermittent shafts of copper light to warm your face. Once the trees go by, you marvel at the spectacle, at the amber clouds cruising along the horizon, at the auburn fields, smothered with whispers of mist, rolling up and down between chestnut coloured forests.

Continue reading “Daybreak over the Valley”

Origin: A Hostile Takeover

The genesis of this project began way back in 2004. Working as a corporate audio visual technician, sitting through endless conferences and business meetings, I posed the question; what if some of these corporate cats around me, who behaved almost like scheming gangsters and money pirates, were indeed genuine gangsters and pirates. How would they fare in this corporate environment? What economic conditions would spawn such a corporate breed?

I wrote a draft script for a short film. Then made the mistake of fleshing it out into feature film. I don’t know how but somehow the story took a life of its own. Soon, I realised a screenplay was not going to be enough. It could never be made and would therefore never find an audience. So I decided to unshackle the story from the constraints of a screenplay and found myself on a long odyssey trying to complete a novel.

This book was written on notepads, scraps of paper, on the back of receipts, on desktops, laptops, numerous smartphones, Nokia phones, iPhones, stored on hard drives, miniSD cards, in clouds. Entire technological inventions and innovations would come and go. I worked on it on trains going to work, during work, underneath the bed covers, in dreams within dreams.

In the end, after finding exciting answers to my inciting questions, and raising new questions and attempting to answer these, I believe this is a story that delves into a near future that is loathsomely familiar, unwelcome, divisive, and yet one we all know is coming.

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