An introduction to Steve Grogan’s brutal novella written by the author himself.
I hope you have been enjoying the stories that I have posted here. A week from now, I hope that won’t change. In anticipation of shock, I am posting this pre-emptive “warning” about my novella, “Maybe the Dream Knows What’s Real.”
It was written in a very dark, sad, angry time of my life. I had been dating a young woman who I thought was “the one.” (Back then, I was corny enough to throw around terms like “soul mate” and what have you. My, how times have changed.) Little did I know, she did not feel the same. In fact, I will tell you just how contrary her feelings were: one time we went to hang out with a bunch of friends, and she snuck off to cheat on me. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I was the one who drove her to the house where the infidelity occurred.
Oh, but I don’t want to get started on that. I brought it up only to let you know the event that started the whole gory ball rolling.
I was furious over many aspects of the situation. Furious that I had poured so much energy into her. Furious over the infidelity. Furious over being so naïve and trusting. Furious over the fact that I had brought her to the place where it happened, and I didn’t even get any gas money for it! Last but not least, I was furious over the fact that there was nothing I could do.
Or was there?
In middle school and high school, I wrote many stories where things turned out the way I wanted them to go in real life. Many of my protagonists were losers who had been wronged by the “in crowd,” and in my stories I could get revenge on them by creating fictional counterparts. Then I would strike them down with my mighty pen.
Why change the formula now?
I started writing. And writing. And writing. The story stretched beyond normal short story length, but it didn’t quite make it to the word count needed for it to qualify as a novel. Over the years I tried to sell it, but I found no one wanted to touch a novella. Recently I considered expanding it to novel length. Then I stumbled upon Writer to Writers, and I ran this idea past our fearless leader: “Would you mind if I serialized the novella on your site?” To my joy, he was thrilled at the thought of it. I set about splitting the story into 10 parts, which will be coming your way shortly.
Here is a little bit of trivia for you: this is actually the SECOND story I’ve written that was inspired by a break-up. The first one was called THE HUMANITARIAN MURDERS, and it was a novel I wrote in my freshman year of college. In that story, the ex-girlfriend was shown in a more sympathetic light. Her fictional counterpart committed suicide, so that story had a very sad, brooding tone to it.
That is NOT the case in the story at hand. The anger on the page is so plain that it burns like acid. At certain points it gets so brutal that it rivals the likes of HOSTEL and other “torture porn” movies.
However, I don’t want you to be confused by these statements. From what I am writing here, you might think the bulk of the story is sex, violence, and sexual violence. Not so. In fact, I would say the violence adds up to maybe 10-15% of the story tops. Sex scenes are probably 5%, and scenes that involve both…maybe another 5%. The rest of the story is the Narrator telling us his life leading up to the event that sends him off the deep end.
Some of you may wonder, “Why is he writing this, like he is prepping us for this story? Well, because that is EXACTLY what I am doing. It is so unlike any other story I’ve published here so far that I wanted to give you a chance to brace yourselves. We are definitely entering NC-17 territory here. And if this story had been released in the 1970’s, then it would have landed itself an X, like George Romero’s original vision of DAWN OF THE DEAD.
The other reason I’m doing this is because the story is written in the first person. So it doesn’t say, “He shot her in the face.” No, it says, “I shot her in the face.” Some members of the reading audience have a tendency to get the author and narrator confused when the first person narrative is employed. They think the Narrator is committing all the violent, heinous acts that the Author does not have the guts to go out and do themselves.
Rest assured, this is not true. I mean, I’ve been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu for over 25 years now. Do you know how many fist fights I have been in? None! Point being, I am not a violent person. Then again, stating that is probably an exercise in futility. People will believe whatever they want about me regardless of what I say here. However, I still felt like taking a breather, giving you folks a chance to experience the calm before the storm.
In closing, I just want to reassure you: no ex-girlfriends or their family members or friends were harmed in the making of this novella. I hope you enjoy, and I am glad this cathartic piece of work now has the chance to be read.
Also, for those of you who enjoy it enough, it will be available for sale. You can order it directly through my PayPal account, which I will include once I start posting the story.
Author: Redemption Comics
Steve Grogan was born in the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He has written in a variety of formats (novels, short stories, poems, screen and stage plays, blogs/articles) and genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, drama).
Steve is also a father, a boyfriend, a musician, a fitness fanatic, and a martial artist. He has been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1995, and he maintains a blog/YouTube channel that describe his training habits, epiphanies, and advancement. It also candidly discusses his stumbling blocks, such as his struggle with nutrition and mental health issues.
He is no relation to the New England Patriots quarterback from the 1980’s.