I’ve noticed that any time I so much as post a deleted scene on my website, it ends up on bloody Goodreads and people start asking me where they can buy it. I start seeing reviews and star ratings and shout at my computer screen, “But that’s not a book! You can’t rate and review my deleted scenes!”
Turns out you can.
Nonetheless, in the interest of flooding the universe with even more strangeness, on this infrequently updated page you’ll find openings to novels I’ll probably never write, complete with covers for which I’ve allowed myself only sixty seconds to create.
Will I ever write “Death Gets a Furball”? Let’s hope not. “The Man Who Forgot to Die” has a nice bit of weirdness going on in the opening, though . . . but no, that’s unlikely. What about “Only Idiots Wear Capes”? Actually, I wrote two whole chapters of that book one day, but it’s not really my genre, so better it be immortalized here.
Oh, and Brooke Talona is my official pen name for books I’m probably not going to write – just in case somebody starts creating entries for these on Goodreads (which I beg you not to do).
“I stared Death in the face and smiled.
‘Death’ is the name of my Burmese cat, so it’s not really as impressive as it sounds.”p.1 of Death Gets a Furball by Brooke Talona
‘I’d like for us to start going to couples therapy,’ she says, sitting down with what looks to me like an excessive amount of caution on the seat opposite. She sets down one coffee cup in front of me before taking a sip from the second. ‘I think it would be good for us.’p.1 of The Man Who Forgot to Die by Brooke Talona
‘Couples therapy?’ I ask, staring at the coffee cup. It’s got what looks like an excessive amount of cream and sugar in it. I drink mine black.
‘I know it’s a scary word,’ she says, reaching out one hand tentatively to put it on top of mine.
‘Two scary words, actually.’
Her eyes narrow. ‘If you’re not going to take this seriously . . .’
‘Honestly, that’s kind of hard to do right now.’
She nods as if this was expected. ‘Because you think it’s a joke. Because you think any time two people need to talk about their relationship–especially with a professional instead of your drinking buddies–that it’s all just psycho-babble nonsense that a “real man” like you shouldn’t have to endure.’
That’s a lot to take in, especially under the circumstances.
‘Actually,’ I say slowly, still contemplating whether to take a sip of the coffee. ‘I’ve got the utmost respect for couple’s therapy.’
‘Really?’ she asks, a hint of tentative optimism in her voice.
‘I do. There’s just one problem.’
She practically slams her coffee cup down on the table, then takes a deep breath before leaning back into her chair, looking up at the coffee shop’s beige ceiling before saying, ‘Because you don’t want to have to expose your feelings to scrutiny. Of course.’
‘Okay, two problems.’
‘What’s the other one, then?’
She’s staring at me now, with piercing blue eyes that I can’t tell if they’re indicating she’s moments away from crying on my shoulder or slugging me in the jaw.
‘Well,’ I say, finally taking a sip of the coffee. As expected, it’s incredibly sweet, and has way too much sugar for a type-I diabetic. ‘It’s that I’ve never met you before, ma’am, so I really have no idea what you’re talking about.’
Iron Will was about to die, and the only surprising thing about that fact was that the cause of death wasn’t his stupid name.
p.1 of Only Idiots Wear Capes by Brooke Talona
‘Iron Will’. Was it supposed to be a play on words? Anyway, he fought bravely – which is to say, stupidly – on the very edge of rooftop of the Madison Bank building, trading blows with a psychopath by the name of Freemaster who wore a black and silver lycra jumpsuit so tight that even from down here you could make out the crack between his butt cheeks. Iron Will, at least, had the decency to fight in something closer to the kind of padded trousers worn by special forces soldiers – not in real life, of course, but in movies about special forces soldiers. He made up for this relative modesty by going around in a cape but without a shirt.
What an asshole.