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96 Seiten
1 Stunde
Oct 30, 2018


Micah has been out and proud most of his adult life. Unfortunately, pride parades can only carry you so far when there are deeper, darker issues at hand. As he nears 40 years of age - the dreaded "Gay Death" - he finds himself single, trapped in a job he hates, at odds with his over-zealous mother, and loathing his own body. To top it all off, he's being stalked by a Shadow that seems hell-bent on destroying the few moments of joy he has in life. Little does Micah know that he's about to turn a corner in his battle when he gets help that reaches through the very fabric of time.

Diving into a surreal world that collides with our own, we're given a unique glimpse into the psyche of a man who is as much at war with himself as he is the world around him. This is the author's second time to publish a piece of work that is unapologetically LGBT and his first creative fiction work in the genre. Micah's experience will speak to an array of readers as his struggles mirror many of the darkest battles we hide within ourselves.

Oct 30, 2018

Über den Autor

Salutations, dear readers! My name is Chris. I've been a writer for a number of years now. My first book, "Awaken: The Hollowstone Chronicles" was originally printed by Tate Publishing in 2009. I have since left Tate and am now publishing exclusively online. My favorite genres are horror, suspense, mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi. Please check back often as I'm getting pretty prolific as of late! The first three books of my Hollowstone Chronicles are now available and have the green light for Premium Catalog status! Book IV has been outlined and I just recently started on it. I'm hoping to release it sometime in 2016 (updated as I was originally planning for 2015... moving to a new state for a new job tends to throw a monkey wrench into writing projects)l. Book V is... well, it's in there somewhere. Stay tuned! I have also written a book about my experiences as an American teaching English in Korea. Trust me, the act of simply taking a shower is enough to write a book over there! Be sure to check out "A Life Less Ordinary!"I've taken up several smaller, but definitely significant writing projects. I took my first swing at including LGBT writing in my arsenal with "Both Sides of the Fence." In May 2016, I hope to release a series of mind-bending short stories in a collection entitled "An Unusual Anthology." Book IV of the Hollowstone Chronicles (should) be released in October. Lastly, my first children's book, another anthology called "The Heroes Chronicles" should be released on Black Friday 2016.Other than that, I'm an English teacher, a martial artist, a linguist, and a pretty darn good cook if I do say so myself. I'm originally from Dublin, VA, but I relocated to Carrboro, NC after living for three years in Baton Rouge. When I figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I'll let you know.Thank you for visiting my page and taking an interest in my books! If you'd like to know more, please feel free to connect with me via Facebook. Sadly, I'm hopelessly addicted to Facebook, but it's a good place to get updates for that reason. Happy reading!

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Pieces - Chris Van Dyk


Chris Van Dyk

Copyright 2018 Chris Van Dyk

Smashwords Edition

Licensing Statement

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Cover designed by Fabián Ramos-Jimenez, photographer and graphic design artist. Business inquiries may be directed to

Monday Morning

Micah knew it was no longer the weekend by the overwhelming sense of dread that blared from his phone’s speakers.

Without opening his eyes, he fumbled for the device to which so much of his life was tethered. After knocking over a few miscellaneous inhabitants on the nightstand, he found the offending object and sentenced it to silence.

One breath… two breaths… three…

In one motion and with eyes still shut, Micah heaved himself upright and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He felt his belly bulge a little over his waist as he took this position. Eyes still closed and head up, he refused to look down and acknowledge it.

A shudder passed through his body. The Shadow’s cold hand had touched his bare shoulder. He breathed harder, trying not to look.

Micah knew what the fiend wanted. It knew all too well his struggles with his body. It wanted him to look down.

Micah forced himself to his feet. He stripped off his navy blue boxers with the bright yellow smiley face on the ass and kicked them to the corner where discarded clothing huddled together. He had to open his eyes at this point so he wouldn’t walk into a wall or unwittingly pee into the bathroom sink, but he kept his gaze up even as the Shadow silently mocked him.

He kept the focus on his routine – pee, shower, brush teeth, deodorant, clothes, hair, door. Focusing on his familiar tasks and programmed breathing helped him to quell the uneasy feeling in his stomach he experienced every morning before work. An uneasy feeling the Shadow did everything in its power to exacerbate.

For a brief moment Micah considered making breakfast, even just something to-go like a piece of toast and a banana. But the Shadow found an opportunity and whispered you’ll make a mess. You’ll ruin it. You’ll be late for your pathetic job with the miniscule paycheck. You’ll be fired. And it would all be because you burned your toast this morning. What will your mother say?

The Shadow won this round. McDonald’s drive-thru it is.


As he sat in gridlock traffic that inched forward at an agonizing pace, Micah munched solemnly on his breakfast sandwich and sipped at his Coke. Subconsciously his free hand touched the protrusion of his belly. He hated that thing so much.

The Shadow had somehow moved from the back seat to the front.

At last, the little white Subaru pulled into the parking lot of the government building where Micah’s tiny paycheck was held hostage every month. He sighed.

If you asked Micah what he did for a living, he may mumble out an answer. However, no matter how heartfelt your interest, his responses wouldn’t necessarily encapsulate his actual job. He considered himself a murderer of hope. He’d worked for the state government for five arduous years. The most recent title bestowed upon him: a claims auditor.

Basically, he stared at unemployment claims all day. The hope-murder situation arose whenever he found an error in the paperwork where a person was being paid when they technically shouldn’t be. He would then correct the mistake and send it to his supervisor who would flash that sadistic, rat-man little grin, and adjust it. And just like that, another person lost their only source of income while they looked for work.

Micah imagined his karma resting comfortably in hell as it waited for him to catch up.

As he approached his cubicle, the Shadow was already waiting for him. It spun around in his chair like a James Bond villain and, with surprising decorum, got up and presented the throne to the guest of honor. It would then sit behind him and gleefully watch over his shoulder as he snuffed out hope for a living.

The only thing worse than the job itself was his supervisor, Tom. Tom was tall, blonde, and athletic. He looked good for a man in his early fifties. He didn’t lead so much as barked orders. He didn’t invest much interest in his employees on his floor.

The Shadow really liked Tom.

Tom stalked around the corner of Micah’s cubicle. The only reason Micah didn’t jump when a heavy folder was abruptly deposited on his desk was because he’d learned to recognize the creep’s approach.

Got a project for you, Tom said as though Micah were the one wasting his time.

Good morning, Tom, Micah said with barely an errant glance. He kept his tone carefully neutral.

I need you to translate these documents by Friday, Tom went on as he checked his watch.

For a moment, Micah froze. A small flame of anger ignited in the pit of his stomach.

Should I place priority on the translations or my case load? Micah asked as his jaw clenched.

You have to do the case loads from here as they’re part of a secure network. You can just take the file home with you, Tom waved dismissively.

Micah turned to protest, but the creature had already skulked away.

This wasn’t part of his job description. Micah just happened to be bilingual since his mother was originally from Puerto Rico. His father was a blue collar guy from small town USA. You wouldn’t think they’d hit it off, but they did. They hit it off so well that nearly forty years later, Micah continued to exist as living proof that the spark was there at some point.

Neither of them talked to him much now.

Had the Shadow gotten taller?

Micah snapped out of his revelry and realized he’d been staring blankly at his computer screen as he processed a series of thoughts, emotions, and a strange numbness all at once. How long had he been sitting there, dead eyes glazed before the monitor as the Shadow rubbed his shoulders?

Time for a walk.

Getting up to stretch his legs, Micah wandered over to Alex’s desk. She had a slight frame, wore thick rim glasses, and had a shock of curly fire-red hair. Today she was wearing a garish green sun dress that, somehow, looked rather fetching on her.

Hey, cutie, she smiled as her Work Husband approached. She eyed him up and down. Boy, if only you were straight. That polo is working for you.

Micah repressed a shy smile. Alex had been one of his closest friends for several years now. They shared many interests, not the least of which was their taste in men. One of their differences was that Alex had the occasional taste for a woman.

I need some air, Micah said. Care to join me?

"God, yes, Alex threw a pen disdainfully across the desk. It’s a crime that I’m locked away in here looking fabulous as I am. Let’s go greet the sun."

One of Micah’s favorite things about Alex was her unabashed confidence. It flowed from her ever pore

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