SEH cover

Had a great response so far to my story collection Starry-Eyed Hallucinations, including one amazing review from friend, former professor/current friend, and author/screenwriter Stephen Geller:

“David Concepcion is one of the best-kept secrets in dramatic writing. His characters, narratives, compassion and intensity make him one of the most vibrant dramatists and screenwriters of his generation. The fact that his screenplays have not yet been shot speaks loudly about the relentless stupidity of the marketplace. Any director grabbing his work would end up on the cover of TIME as “the most dynamic voice of the year.” Go figure. Let us praise David Concepcion for his work, and Amazon for bringing STARRY-EYED HALLUCINATIONS to the planet. Every good and great piece of writing that hits the internet is a point for nothing less than the good and the great, and a chip in the excrement-splattered marketplace.”
–Stephen D. Geller, Author  JEWS AT THE TABLE (Vols 1&2) and A WARNING OF GOLEMS

I’m still marketing the book, and on my blog I get a chance to return a favor to my friend by linking to his books 🙂  so please check out my short story collection on Amazon.com. Thanks for your support!

To order on Amazon click here.

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SEH cover

My latest ebook collection is now available online. I’ve been working to get this ready for the last month and “Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” is now ready for purchase. A collection of short-short stories, “Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” gives a glimpse at the realities of the modern world, from the back alleys and seedy city diners to out of the way roadside motels. If you like atmospheric literary fiction with an occasional twist, this is for you. The ebook is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo book retailers for $1.99 a copy. If demnd is popular, it will be available at other retailers. Please check it out and buy your copy today.

“Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” at Amazon.com

“Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” at BarnesandNoble.com

“Starry-Eyed Hallucinations” at Kobo.com

This is my most recently completed bit of flash fiction (or a short-short, I forget the word count for both). Wanted to get this on my blog, though I’m looking to put this in a small collection of short-shorts by the end of the year. Enjoy.


 

EXECUTIVE DECISIONS
by
David A. Concepcion

After the first bust of gunfire, Jack discards the rain poncho. It was more effective against the light rain than concealing the rifle and tactical vest. He still feels the vest was a tacky choice. If you want to be a tough guy you need the vest to finish the look. But a look is all it is. This isn’t about being a badass; this is about justice and Kevlar vests don’t stand for justice. He wasn’t going to get killed when security showed up. 80% of them are unarmed and those who were were on the upper wings with a bad response time. He wouldn’t be around when the cops showed up, so why bother he thought. Maybe his vanity got the better of him.

Despite emergency plans, the office is in full panic mode. As stated in memos, people in cubicles are to stay low behind their desks and, if you can, move unnoticed towards the fire exits. If in an office, lock the door and hide under desks until help arrives. Anyone nearest the gunman when he/she is reloading should tackle him/her to the ground and subdue them. The problem is while people know how to remain calm if a fire alarm goes off, very few people know how to react when gunfire rings out. Some freeze, a lot run. Two by the copier stare at Jack, not sure what they’re looking at. Jack takes each one out with a shot apiece. Nothing personal against either of them; they’re in his way and he needs to keep moving. People cower behind their chairs, deke in between cubicles, watching Jack heading for the back hallway. Once out of his sights, those not stone shocked run the opposite direction, memos be damned.

Jack continues down the hall. Abruptly a man from accounting runs straight for Jack and halts. The man didn’t expect the gunman to be so close. Jack’s rifle shot slams the backtracking man to the ground and splays blood against the wall. Jack walks over the bloody rag doll towards the back, focused on the department manager’s office. That’s his target. He’s the one who “let him go.” That term still rings bitter in Jack’s head. Not that hearing “you’re fired” would things better, but there’s something too sterile about “let him go” that lodges in his throat. It ignores your history with the company, the personal sacrifices given up to stay put in rough economic times; to stay with the company because you believe in them and know they can make it through the turbulence, and be eventually noticed for that loyalty; to learn new procedures that will eventually cause your replacement. “Let him go.” It’s a phrase from a high tower view at a bottoming out company that throws out loyalty and faith like encumbering ballast. “Him” might as well be “it.” To those in charge there is no difference; to Jack, there’s all the difference in the world.

Jack checks the chamber before kicking in the manager’s door. The foyer is the secretary’s space, the manager’s office is past the open door-frame on the right. Jack peers in around the empty office. He moves further into the office through the door-frame, squeezing the pistol grip in his palm. Leaning down, Jack spots a patch of khaki under the desk. He swings around the desk to see the manager trembling underneath, hands over his ears almost in disbelief. He lets out a strangled squeak as he sees Jack bearing down on him. Jack glances at the manager’s face—quivering lips, horrified stare, the absence of tears—and squeezes the trigger. The burst slams the manager’s head back against the steel—the rest of his body slumps in place—and sends an arterial spray onto the black leather executive chair. Jack extends a small grin at the poetics.

Jack’s smile fades as he realizes his next choices are murky. Jack can wait for the armed security to finally show up and suicide-by-cop that way. He can take out other executives still in the offices or even pick off people in the yard from a window. With the main job done, he could simply end it now. Jack takes a second to realize he can’t make the choice standing in the boss’ office. Distant footsteps and screams on the main floor echo in multiple directions; waiting in a back room does nothing for him. Jack makes for the hallway again to clear his head.

Entering the secretary’s space, a woman tries to stand against the opposite wall, but screams and lands seated as she spots Jack. He trains the rifle on her. She flinches, arms flailing defending her face. His name leaves her mouth, not so much a bellow as a stifled cry, but Jack clearly heard her call his name. “Christine?” he thinks. She hasn’t been here long, maybe less than a year, but she was always polite, friendly even. Is it Christine or Kirstie? Holding his stare, he finds it hard to remember what her name is. Her mouth quivers as she tries to speak. From the effort to move her lips, she has a lot to say, but all she can manage to eek out is “Jack… please.”

Jack regards the young woman slumped in front of him on the floor. Christine or Kirstie—why is he stuck on that? Her brown hair matted on the right side, her eyes inflamed by tears, cheeks stained black from the mascara. Her corneas now, slightly pink, offset her blue eyes. “Funny, I always remembered her eyes being green,” Jack thinks to himself.

In one fluid move, he flips the rifle barrel under his chin and reaches the trigger with his thumb. Christine lets out a short strangled screech as the rifle fires a final shot. Grey matter and blood splatter the ceiling. Jack hits the ground, his head slumped against the foot of the wall. Christine flinches again as the rifle crashes next to her. She turns towards the wall in spastic sobs. Her mascara runs black rivulets on the lines of her palm. Jack’s blood coagulates in the fibers of the carpet.

Word Count

August 10, 2013

“A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.
James, what’s wrong?’ the friend asked. ‘Is it the work?’
Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always?
How many words did you get today?’ the friend pursued.
Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled face down on his desk): ‘Seven.’
Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.’
Yes,’ Joyce said, finally looking up. ‘I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!” ― Stephen King

Great joke. Unfortunately I’m writing a short story with similar issues. Ugh! And It’s not even “Finnegan’s Wake”; it’s an Elmore Leonard western set in a sci-fi off colony setting. I told Sophia I was stuck on the story a little while back. I was mentioning the story to a friend, and she asked me if it was the same one I was stuck on. I said yes. She then asked “Are you stuck in the same place?” I said “No I’m stuck in a different place a few words down.”

Writing is never easy. Sometimes the output could be quicker.