Bare Bones

The warm glow of his phone display illuminated his dark and desolate room. The only furniture in there was the heavy duty cardboard bo...

The warm glow of his phone display illuminated his dark and desolate room. The only furniture in there was the heavy duty cardboard box that had once contained all of his belongings. A modicum of activewear and white tee's, a couple of overdue library books, some dingy work boots, a thick wool blanket, and his coffee-stained manuscript. 72 days were spent in this ramshackle studio apartment as he wracked his brain, racing against time to finish his latest novel titled Bare Bones, a semi-fictitious account of a young man's struggle to reconcile his amoral past with his renewed, yet superficial joie de vivre.

It would be his fourth and final book for a series titled The Anatomy of a Suicide. He had begun working on the first of the series when he was completing his MFA at the University of Southern California, when he was just a starry-eyed writer hoping to become the next Oscar Wilde. At the time, he couldn't begin to imagine that his celebrity would come at a cutthroat price. His first inklings came when the girl he was dating at the time managed to pass the creative writing workshop when everyone else had failed. Let's just say that there were more uncharted territories in her deadened mind than in outer space. She was dim-witted, snarky, but had an impeccable beauty that, apparently, the professor couldn't ignore either. Every single instructor on campus was a zombified boor listlessly going through the motions until it was their turn to take their year-long sabbatical.

Anger fueled his relentless drive to speedily complete the final three chapters. This anger, which stemmed from years of being around an uninspired student body and the misguided teachings of the so-called scholars, was a relentless rally to give them all the middle finger. He had developed a callus on his soul. A fortress with armed guards protected what he valued most, or so he thought. Sometimes he would torture himself by wondering why he hadn't just gone to law school. Exorcizing the red-hot anger was more important to him than a sense of security and comfort. It was almost as if he enjoyed feeding off of himself like a suicidal cannibal. Not one of his publishers would be the wiser since he was always so amiable and genial when he was around them. He always asked about their families, their recent trip to Martha's vineyard, he would often go out for drinks with them to celebrate another successful best-selling book, all the while harboring a secret indifference to their well-being.

His books wouldn't be considered canon by any means. At least, not for another hundred years. They weren't sold at any brick and mortar locations because they were considered rude and crude depictions of the human spirit. Satirical modes of thought weren't tolerated if they contained grotesque and gothic descriptions of sinister and complex villains doing heinous things. Even without the support of the Barnes and Nobles of the world, The Anatomy of a Suicide series flourished through a concentrated push through word of mouth and discussions on literature forums. He hadn't even given a single television interview. He was blacklisted by the romantics who wished that every story ended with a happy ending. During the times he wasn't writing, he had the luxury of roaming the streets without anyone recognizing him because he never included a picture of himself on any book he ever published. He reveled in the fact that he could play two different parts in this wonderful play called life. The only question is for how long.

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