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A Story Within: The Collected Short Stories and Novellas of Jason Wallace

A Story Within: The Collected Short Stories and Novellas of Jason Wallace

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A Story Within: The Collected Short Stories and Novellas of Jason Wallace

Longueur:
209 pages
3 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
May 17, 2014
ISBN:
9781311559272
Format:
Livre

Description

Come journey through the inner workings of the mind of a genre-spanning author. From horror to historical fiction to romance, these five short stories and novellas will grip and enthrall. There is something for everyone herein.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
May 17, 2014
ISBN:
9781311559272
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Jason Wallace is related to Tolkien and a descendant of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner "Lord" George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible first novel, Out of Shadows. And he did actually meet Robert Mugabe when he visited his school. Jason is currently a web designer, living in South West London with his partner and son.

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A Story Within - Jason Wallace

A Story Within: The Collected Short Stories and Novellas of Jason Wallace

By Jason Wallace

Smashwords Edition

******

Published by:

Jason Wallace and JaMa Publishing on Smashwords

A Story Within: The Collected Short Stories and Novellas of Jason Wallace

Copyright © 2014 by Jason Wallace

Table of Contents

The Firstfruits of the Flesh

Eternal Desire

The Legend of Arthur Tanner and Johnny Red

The Swamp Fox and His Ragtag Militia

Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Epilogue

Relentless

About Jason Wallace

Other titles by Jason Wallace

Connect with Jason Wallace

The Firstfruits of the Flesh

Ginny realized finally that her life had taken a road that she never wanted, leading her into numerous failed relationships where she was left only hurt and broken down, feeling disorganized, disgruntled, and discombobulated. She needed a real break from all of it, everything that had been building up inside of her for so long. Nothing seemed worthwhile anymore. Even the simplest things that used to bring her immense pleasure and relief now seemed completely burdensome.

Everything from drinking to sex, even to sleeping, was a chore. Ginny found herself night after night unable to sleep, not really wanting to, able to sleep only after taking high dosages of sleeping pills, which always left her feeling zombified the next day. What could she do really, she often thought. So many times, she was wide awake until two or three in the morning and had to go to work the next day, fighting to find any sort of strength to rise from bed, beginning her daily zombie appearance.

On one such day, Ginny was more sluggish than usual and was nearly a half an hour late for work, resulting in her boss verbally reprimanding her in front of her coworkers, leaving Ginny to mock him when he walked away. Ginny could some days almost tolerate the man, Mr. Oliver Winston, douche extraordinaire, as Ginny had labeled him, a label which stuck and became quite popular amongst nearly everyone in the office, particularly those working in close proximity to the constant verbal abuses against Ginny.

Ginny had learned to take the ass chewings as she called them with a grain of salt, never paying much thought to them or to their originator, the douche. What she and her female coworkers really could not stand about the man was that even though he seemed to love verbally assaulting his underlings, particularly Ginny, sometimes even for her sluggish and somewhat unkempt looking appearance, he liked to come by from time to time to act like nothing was wrong, like he was one of the gang. He often made some kind of snide yet sexual comment, always to someone at random, yet not direct enough for it to be determined if there existed grounds for reporting him to Human Resources. Of course, this was not to mention that this particular douche's uncle was the company C.E.O. and that the company had been founded by the douche's grandfather. It was a family business, and so was being a dick.

Ginny, though the latest comment had not been directed at her, had had enough. She debated whether or not to quit her job. For the rest of the day, she couldn't get herself to focus on work and was extremely unproductive. She spent every waking moment that she could looking at vacation websites. When one of her coworkers, her closest work friend, Demetra, noticed, she told Ginny that she would get caught and should get back to work, to which Ginny replied, I honestly don't give even half a shit.

You know what it is you need to do right, asked Demetra casually.

And what's that?

Looking at Ginny as if she should know already, Demetra replied, Get your ass out of this hell hole and get far away for as long as you can get away. That's what you need to do!

And just where do you think I should go? Vacations are expensive, and I'm thinkin' about quitting this place. I never knew a job could suck so damn bad, you know?

If it was me, I'd go to Switzerland, honestly. Demetra stood shaking her head as if she were approving what she herself had said, as if a simple head nod would reinforce the emphatic suggestion.

Yeah, ok, said Ginny coyly. Like that's not one of the most expensive places I could go.

Ok. I know it's expensive, came the reply, but it's worth it. Trust me! My cousin went there last year and had the time of his life. He went hiking in the Alps. Our grandpa was there during World War II and always told us how beautiful it was. My cousin said it's like nothing you've ever seen before. He said he didn't worry about a single thing the whole time cuz it was that peaceful.

How much did it cost him?

Biting her lips from unsurety, Demetra said, I don't really know. I never asked him. But I'm sure that there's gotta be some kind of deal you could get.

Ginny thought about Demetra's suggestion all night. In fact, she thought about it so much that the usual regimen of sleeping pills did not faze her, causing her to call in sick to work the next day. Ginny spent the rest of the week mulling the idea over and mulling over the idea of quitting her job or at least, turning Mr. Douche Winston in for his string of sex-related commentary.

Ginny could not make up her mind. Time seemed to stand still because she had made no decisions, taken no chances, found no solace in any activities whatsoever. She felt dead inside, more so with every passing minute. The Douche made his ordinary comments, leaving everyone confused time and again. By Friday, Ginny had had it. She was bound and determined to turn her boss into H.R. for the things he had said...

But as Ginny was marching off to Human Resources, several hours before the close of the business day, Mr. Winston stopped her and asked where she was headed. Lying, Ginny said that she was simply going to the restroom, but Winston questioned her about this, angering Ginny even worse. Ginny thought for a moment about telling her boss what she was really going to do but thought that he might fire her and make up some excuse to justify it. She pretended to walk back to her cubicle but kept an eye out for Winston to go back to his office.

Once he did, Ginny hurried to the H.R. department as fast as her feet could carry her. Ginny stormed in, so frustrated and mad that she didn't recognize that she was nearly yelling at the H.R. receptionist. She demanded to see the director at once, figuring that speaking to anyone below the director might not do much good. The matter was much too sensitive and important to leave up to someone so low on the food chain.

Ginny told Mr. Darris, the director, everything that had happened, about all of the comments, even about Mr. Winston questioning her going to the restroom. She, however, left out that she had lied and had had no intentions of going to the restroom but coming to file the complaint. Ginny thought that this added incident would be more fuel for the fire that she hoped to build under Winston in order to, as she thought to herself, burn his ass.

Mr. Darris said that he would investigate the matter, speak to Mr. Winston and to Ginny's coworkers, but the matter was delayed, due to Winston claiming he was too busy to meet with Mr. Darris and Ginny's coworkers being too afraid for their own jobs that they refused to speak out against their boss. In the meant time, Winston made Ginny's life a living hell. He made sure that she was given every horrible, mind-numbingly mundane assignment that he could think of, even some that were of no importance or had no bearing on the company or its functions, such as going outside and moving his car for him, running his errands for him, and then reprimanding her every time she returned for not doing her job, stating that she was out doing her own things and not the company's.

Ginny got him back, she felt. Every time Winston sent her to his car for something, she did a couple of barely noticeable things that would irritate the Douche, such as changing the settings of his seat, his stereo, his mirrors, etc. Whenever she was sent to get his dry cleaning, she made sure that she put some kind of mark or spot on at least one piece of clothing, and if anything was said, swore that it was not her fault but the dry cleaner's fault. After all, what more could the Douche really do to her? Every sandwich he sent Ginny for was guaranteed to contain at least a little bit of saliva, hair, or dirt... or sometimes, all three.

The first thing on Monday morning, Ginny called in sick to work again, raising the suspicions of Mr. Douche, but Ginny didn't care. She immediately went downtown and got her passport and all required shots for leaving the country, assuming that she would, indeed, end up going to Switzerland or some other exotic locale.

Mr. Winston, now even more angry with Ginny, assigned more mundane, tedious, and/or humiliating tasks for her. Ginny didn't care about running errands. She was even beginning to like it. It gave her not only a chance to get away from the worst boss she'd ever had but the chance to get even time after time. Now, however, Winston was making Ginny do things like clean his bathroom, wash his windows, fill his stapler one staple at a time, and anything else embarrassing he could think of. Little did he know that Ginny had bought a tape recorder and was now starting to record every command. Every time she was called into Winston's office, she pressed record before entering. She now had damning evidence to give to Mr. Darris, which, of course, she handed over right away. Ginny knew that she was not going to be able to get away from the Douche unless she quit or got him fired. Ginny readily expected something to happen any day, but no more word of her complaints came, leaving her to wonder if Winston had not paid Darris off or come to some other kind of arrangement with him.

Ginny knew that she had to do something else drastic to get even. Every time that she was alone in her boss' office while he was away, Ginny put eye drops into his coffee to give him diarrhea. Winston ran to the bathroom so many times that he sometimes spent a half of an hour at a time there. In the end, however, it became more work for Ginny, as she had to clean the toilet at least a few times a day, and it was almost disgusting. In fact, Winston often did not flush, just so that Ginny would be nauseated by her job.

Soon, Ginny learned that her boss was allergic to both peanuts and coconut, overhearing him tell one of his other subordinates when they offered to buy him a candy bar out of nervousness as he watched them at the vending machine in the break room. Ginny, out of an overwhelming desire to get rid of Mr. Douche Winston for the rest of the day, at least, bought a candy bar and snuck back to the office before her boss got back. She plied a few peanuts from the candy bar, as well as some pieces of coconut and ground it all up as finely as she could, putting into Winston's pot of coffee and shaking the pot to spread it around. Ginny figured that it would be enough to make her boss slowly feel sickened, as he was very fond of coffee and known to drink several pots of it per day, always keeping his personal coffee maker running.

As the day wore on, Winston complained about feeling nauseated and occasionally having some difficulty breathing as well as feeling a hive like feeling. Ginny felt monumental pleasure at hearing of this. Eventually, however, Winston took a large gulp of his coffee, and within a minute could not breathe at all, his throat having closed up entirely. Ginny thought to herself that she must not have spread the peanuts and coconut around enough. She became worried that it might all lead back to her and result in her arrest but then assured herself that there would be no way to prove how her boss ingested anything to which he was allergic. Ginny began to panic about her boss' state and called erratically for help.

Winston pointed frantically to his pocket where he kept his syringe of epinephrine, after which he began to experience anaphylactic shock. Ginny hurriedly pulled out the syringe and hoped that she knew what she was doing. She jammed the needle deep into Winston's chest and injected him. As soon as people came flooding into the office, Winston began to regain his breath.

After he gained full consciousness and breath, Winston yelled at Ginny to help him up from the floor, refusing anyone else's aid. Winston couldn't figure out exactly how he had ingested either peanuts or coconut, as he was always very careful not to do so. He wanted so badly to accuse Ginny of responsibility, but what proof did he have, and how could he make anyone believe him? Paramedics had already been called, arriving ten minutes later. They gave Winston a full examination and begged him to go to the hospital. Refusing to go, Winston sat back down at his desk and fired off insult after insult and demand after demand at Ginny. Ginny knew that she could do nothing about it because her previous complaint about Winston's behavior had gotten her nowhere but into Winston's office.

The rest of the day was an absolute nightmare. Ginny couldn't wait to leave. The next day was even worse. Winston was bound and determined to make Ginny's work life so unbearable that she would decide to quit. Ginny did not want to give Winston the satisfaction of the doubt but seriously thought about it. The next day, Ginny felt so sick from the merest thought of going into work. She called in again but was told that she had used up all of her sick days. So, reluctantly, she crawled out of bed and hurriedly got ready and went to work, stumbling into the office. She decided, however, that she was not going to be Winston's errand girl any longer. Nothing she had done to him had made things worse for him, only for herself, in the end.

Ginny knew that Winston was enjoying torturing her too much to ever fire her. She thought to herself how she would simply pretend not to hear his insults and do small things to give herself a little bit of satisfaction, such as when, right off the bat, Winston ordered Ginny to brew him a pot of coffee, wait for it to finish, and then pour him a cup. Ginny happily obliged, adding as much saliva as she could as well as some dust from the back of the counter. Ginny knew that this would not make Winston sick and that he would probably not notice it at all, but it still gave her some gratification.

When Winston sent Ginny to get him a burger, Ginny happily stopped her car just before leaving the restaurant exit, opened her door, unwrapped the burger, and dropped it, meat and all onto the ground, picked it all up and after putting it back together, re-wrapped it

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