"Antun thought about the dignity that owls possess"
Shane Jones's upcoming novel, The Failure Six, being released by Fugue State Press is available for pre-order. And if you pre-order, you get a complimentary e-chapbook of DELETED SCENES FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Here's an excerpt from The Failure Six:
Antun struck a match and read from the pamphlet.
His hands trembled.
He felt the air, with its swirling scents of turpentine, beeswax, and smoke, being sucked from his throat.
One of the cats began playing a guitar. Another opened a book by Lewis Carroll and the spinning face of color sighed, causing a large cloud of white smoke to puff out and float up to the ceiling.
Antun thought about the dignity that owls possess.
He lit another match and read the first section of the pamphlet before the tiny flame went out. In his mind what he read aloud sounded like:
Your name is Foe. You are a seamstress who earns a decent living through your ways with linen and silk. Your mother died in an automobile accident in the countryside when you were twelve and your father lost a duel to a man with a green mustache. Your father was drunk during this duel. He would have won. You cried a lot. There was no one to comfort you so you began your lonely apprenticeship in sewing.
The girl didn’t move. Her head was cocked to the side and for a moment Antun thought she was dead. Then she yawned and wiped some blood from her exposed legs and onto some papers.
Partial List for Messengers# Do only as instructed by given cover note.
# Emotional interaction with recipient is frowned upon.
# Once message is delivered leave the household.
# Appear stoic.
# Dress appropriately for the delivering of bad news.
# Almost all messages will be passed by written note.
# In rare cases, the messenger will be required to become orator.
# The hunting of animals is encouraged.
# A messenger must possess an excellent memory.
# Payment will come in the form of gold doubloons placed upon your pillow.
Illustration by Morgan Blair