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The Beginning: I began writing in my mid to late teens, sequestered away in my bedroom in rural south west England. The writing was borne out of a need to express myself and to communicate with the world, something I was not good at doing verbally. It became an outlet for me and my writing grew with me through the years.
The Middle: The writing stuck with me, and the style and nature of my writing naturally evolved as my life changed. Longer stories started coming along, and I even went through a period of planning and organising stories out before actually writing anything. That flew in the face of the disorganised nature where I would just write everything in one go from a single thought such as a title or a name. Still through a lack of self belief, everything was kept close to my chest. That and habitual procrastination.
The End: There will be no end, not until the sun dies its death. For the longest time I had a fear of being forgotten and the way I figured to combat that would be to have a published book sat on a library shelf somewhere. I would have indelibly left my mark somewhere, long after I passed. That was a motivation in the back of my subconscious mind somewhere and still to this day, the enduring nature of my words in print following my end, is comforting.
on Jan. 11, 2017 :
A Cerberus Jaw by Lee A. Jackson is a 13-page (7,460 words) Fantasy short story. Jackson introduces the reader to Clay, a man who lives his life via order and routine. He must walk the same path each day to meet Elsa (his wife) at Mrs. Quinn's Tea Room and perform a shaving ritual each day. Along that path, he encounters a dog that he has named Cerberus who quickly becomes Clay's nemesis. A fear of this beast grows, but because of his need for order and routine, Clay forces himself to pass the corner house where this dog is fenced in instead of crossing the street to avoid it. Everything changes after the Coffee Bang. Instead of order, Clay's grief causes his life to spiral into chaos. During his shaving ritual one morning after the Coffee Bang, Clay discovers a black strip along his jaw - a black, sucking hole that confuses, fascinates and consumes him.
Jackson tells this story in the present with flashbacks to the moment of the Coffee Bang. This weaving of the past and the present allows the reader to witness the breakdown of reality in Clay's life. It also creates suspense. Just what is this Coffee Bang and what does it have to do with the black hole in Clay's jaw?
Jackson is a clever storyteller, one who slowly builds upon the story by dropping small hints along the way that entices and encourages the reader to keep reading to the very end. His characters are well-developed, the settings are masterfully descriptive, and the scenes of the Coffee Bang are rich in details. What I enjoy most about this story is the way Jackson uses Cerberus as a metaphor for fear, loss and grief throughout the entire story.
(reviewed the day of purchase)