Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shattered Wings by Bryan Healey

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John has the life he wants: A man he loves, a beautiful little girl and a decent white-collar job. But a sudden layoff brings about financial and emotional struggle. In his inability to secure new work and a growing sense of despair, he relapses into alcoholism and faces his demons of addiction, discrimination, and regret as he tries desperately to regain the life he had.

Bryan Healey went to Northeastern University for Computer Science and works full-time as a web engineer, and is now pursuing a degree in English. He previously wrote 'A Line Blurred' and is currently living in Rhode Island.

Why did you self publish?
I like having full creative control over the work, from the cover design on down to the layout of the pages. Additionally, self-publication affords immediate sales potential and more rapid feedback from readers.

How long does it take to write your first draft?
In calendar time, it usually take 5-6 months, but is interrupted often by work, family obligations, vacations and periods of lethargy. It probably takes about 1 month worth of continuous effort.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
The initial concept was merely to chronicle an upper-class individual and his struggle with unexpected unemployment. This evolved into an exposition into the isolationism of those affected by sudden financial strain, and I wanted to incorporate other elements of individual adversity to highlight this sense of isolation.


I'm cold. My back is hurting from being pressed against this building. I sit motionless atop the wet, red-brick sidewalk. My pants are soaked and my arm is sore, but I don't care; I don't care about much of anything anymore. I can barely think, still fogged from the poison in my blood; my world has been upended, and so much faster than I thought possible. 

I have nothing- no job, no money, no future, no escape. I've lost everything, the love of my life, and my daughter along with him, and I would be destined for prison, or worse, were I to be...

How had it come to this?

I had a good job and a good home and a beautiful little baby girl who loved me unconditionally. And I had Charlie, my sweet Charlie; he cared for me and supported me and wanted me to succeed, even when I so earnestly didn't deserve his affection. It should have been more than enough to keep me moving, to keep me right, to keep me sane, to push me forward.

It should have been enough...

I don't know why I didn't let him be there for me when I needed him most, when he was able to help me, when there was something from me worth saving. I don't know why I failed them so completely. I don't know why I let myself become what I now am.

...what have I done...

The rain is coming down harder now, each drop larger than the one before it. I look up, but the water keeps me from seeing the menacing sky, illuminated only briefly but a silent crash of light. My hair is fallen and becoming matted to my forehead. 
I can feel the stain spread across my chest, and the water streaking down my cheeks in rivers, as though the world were crying in my stead. I must look an awful mess; and yet I will look so much worse in so short a time, as I squeeze the rubber grip in my hand, resting the steel comfortably against my thigh. The barrel is still warm from being so recently in use.

...I can still see his eyes...

Odd, I think, to end here, alone in the rain..."

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