Remember Mutually Assured Destruction? At age five,when the four minute warning sounded, my teachers took twenty minutes to evacuate the class to the nuclear bomb shelter. That troubled me. The next time the siren cranked up, I left the classroom and ran. When the four minutes were up I was sitting alone in the shelter. I’d let everybody down, I was a disgrace, a very naughty boy. Yes, I was naughty, but I was no fool. Did I need to be a fool to be good? I wondered. After that early lesson in self-sufficieny I plowed a lonely furrow, as the one who would break ranks and question rules.
Along the way I’ve accrued a wife, two children, two degrees, lots of experience, very little money – but a triple A credit rating, because I always pay my way. I’ve travelled with a backpack, run two businesses, practised in the law courts, worked in a lunatic asylum and laboured in construction.
Seventy years on I’m running out of ranks to break and rules to question, so I have to make them up. At five, I couldn’t make my case. My stories are a late comeback, picking at the foundations of of the big rules, the moral foundations, and exploring what might result when they fall.
As a child I read voraciously – everything. At fifteen every new novel I picked up was "stale", by the end of the first page I had that feeling of "deja lu", so, with nothing "fresh" to read, I gave up. Now, I understand there is only one story, the struggle between my version of good and your version of good, maybe His version of good - the battle of moral perspectives - of moral relativity. There are no white hats or black hats, all hats are grey, and by a moral illusion look white against a black background and black against a white background. When the background changes, the colour of the hat changes.
Now that I want to tell stories myself, I try to dress them in new clothes, but set them in reality, untanted and uninfluenced by the last fifty years of literary fashion, in the hope of achieving that elusive quality - “freshness.”
As death impends I write furiously in the hope that, if I hurry, I may finish two or three more “fresh” stories before I’m timed out.
Where to find XerXes Xu online
by XerXes Xu
Approx. 11,760 words.
Published on November 14, 2011.
How will Bethany, the career minded, new teaching assistant, resolve the conflict between her “new” and “old” brains? Intellect is sending her one message, but instinct, quite another. As she forms a schoolgirl crush on the mysterious Mr Hunter, whom both pupils and staff suspect of exotic sexual preferences, her "old" brain gains the upper hand, and events spiral out of her control.
XerXes Xu’s tag cloud
XerXes Xu's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by XerXes Xu
on Aug. 03, 2012
So you’re a succesful, inependent woman who can’t wear a possesive man, and who’s just escaped a sticky entanglement; then a hunk moves in next door.
First impressions are important, but the appeal can quickly fade. What if his lifestyle is a criticism of your lifestyle, his talents a criticism of your talents, your history a criticism of his history, what if you can’t communuicate on the same wavelength. Even the trees in the garden conspire against you. Then, you get two needy people living yards apart, aloof from on another.
Watching jealously through binoculars as your neighbour meets his needs with other women compels you to take your solitary pleasure, but this only heightens your yearning. Then catastrophe strikes, and you have to reinvent yourself. Will he want the new you? Will the new you want him? Yes,of course, for steamy sex, but can hot sex alone ever be enough?
Well worth a read before you turn out the bedside lamp.
- Wyatt & Nicole
on Dec. 20, 2012
Not just hot sex. This pot is brought to the boil in a well structured, well written short story that maps out the emotions and anxieties all of us feel when we’ve grown up and are finding love the second time around. We value friendship and companionship, but how can we tell if those whose companionship we value share our desire to consummate the relationship sexually?
Wyatt learns something unexpected about Nicole, and she becomes more than a friend, she becomes an object of desire. The couple then feel their way, uncertainly, towards one another until something threatening happens, and Wyatt must choose between gaining a lover or losing a friend. He makes the right call and is rewarded with a night of hot passion and a new lover.
All this is accomplished with believable characters in believable situations displaying believable emotions.