Title: Things Mysterious
Author: Matthew Chabin
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: June 22, 2015
Keywords: Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Mortality, Literary
Dasan Garret is a disappointed man. Recently divorced and just returned from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, he moves back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon only to find himself unexpectedly alone. His old friends are all gone, moved away, locked up, or dead. Women seem to occupy a parallel universe. With no community and few prospects, he takes a job as a night watchman and withdraws ever deeper into the shadows of his mind. Until one day when he meets Edenia, and she lights up his world like a bolt of pure energy. She seems perfect: vibrant, gifted, kind, sexy, a sudden and unlooked-for reprieve from the sad ruin of his life. And yet there remains a nagging sense that something isn’t right. Could it be that he is merely slow to trust the happiness she offers him? Or is there something behind that waver in her laugh, that fleeting look of sadness in her eyes?
The mystery deepens when one day Edenia disappears. Dasan believes he must find her in order to go on living. But to find her again, he will have to confront a devastating truth about her life, and his.
He’d heard on the radio that Whitey Ford was going to play the Rose Garden in April, and right away he’d thought of taking Edenia. He remembered she’d mentioned something about agoraphobia and, if that meant what he thought it did, then a concert might not be her scene. Then again, no harm in asking.
An elevator opened to his left and he got in. Lingering smell of perfume made him vaguely horny. He stuck his hands in his pockets and leaned back against the wall as the door closed, bracing slightly against the liftoff. No worries though, just a little ride.
It occurred to him for the first time that this building had only twelve floors, and therefore no thirteenth. Unless one counted the rooftop. He’d been having his zombie fantasies again. It was an old habit.
It started back when he first got the job, standing long, lonely vigils against nothing in particular. He imagined himself in the path of a full-on zombie apocalypse, the Big One. He plotted ways of using his keys, knowledge of the building and what crude weapons were at hand to stave off a fate worse than death while society collapsed around him. Only this time, it wasn’t just him alone, running these horrific gauntlets. Edenia was there. She was with him, depending on him, aiding him and, though they were both in constant danger of being ripped apart by the living dead, somehow there was always time for a last, desperate, doomsday tryst in a boiler room, or shower stall, or maybe up on the roof under the stars.
He started to wonder if it was really going to take the end of the world for him to get laid by the girl. Because he sure as hell wasn’t getting any outside of his own head these days, that was certain. And therein lay the crux of what he’d come to think of as the only problem with Edenia.
Matthew Chabin was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He served four years in the US Navy as a ship crewman, journalist and public affairs liaison. He studied literature and philosophy at Southern Oregon University. After graduating in 2010, he started teaching English abroad, working in the Czech Republic and volunteering with the Dalai Lama’s affiliate organization, Tibet Charity, in Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj, India. He currently lives in Nagano Prefecture of Japan with his wife, Marie, and cat, Futa.
His work has appeared in Gravel: A Literary Journal, Southern Pacific Review, Piker Press, and Black Denim. He is the author of a memoir, Equaling Heaven, which he hopes to see published in the near future.
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