Monday, May 27, 2013

"The Story Until Now"

Kit Reed's books include a new novel, Son of Destruction and The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories, which features some Reed classics as well as her personal favorites over several decades, including six new stories, never before collected.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Story Until Now and reported the following:
One of my all-time favorite stories starts on page 69; it's called "High Rise High" and this is the opening page:
The situation at the school is about like you'd expect: total anarchy, bikers roaring through the halls pillaging and laying waste; big guys hanging screaming frosh out of windows by their feet, shut up or I let go; bathroom floods and flaming mattresses, minor explosions and who knows how many teacher hostages; this is worse than Attica and the monster prom that puts the arm on Armageddon is Saturday night. The theme is Tinsel Dreams; expect wild carnage fueled by kid gangs sallying forth to trash your neighborhood and bring back anything they want. Who knows how they got out of the citadel? Who can say exactly how they get back in?
An interesting thing has happened. Nobody's cell phone works inside the walls. Worse. The land lines have been cut so you can't phone in.

Then there is the problem with the baby. See, this Bruce Brill, he tries to get down with the kids, you know, call me Bruce, but the kids call him the Motivator? He's always, like, "Come on, if you want to, you can get a C," big mistake trying that on Johnny Slater: "Why are you holding back like this? You could go to MIT!" Well, that and his stupid play. OK, this is what you get for pissing Johnny off. He and his gang have snatched your pregnant wife, they broke into your house while you were scrubbing your hands in front of English class, we'll Macbeth you. Johnny is holding pregnant Jane in the woodworking shop while his seven best buds rig the table saw to rip her fuckin in half. Boy, you should hear her scream. Listen, when Mr. McShy the band teacher begged them to let her go the seven of them did, yes they did smash sensitive Eddie McShy's Stradivarius over his sensitive head; while he weeps and the pregnant lady screams for help, Johnny uses the splinters to pick his front teeth.

It's Teach, this eager jerk Bruce Brill, that alerted us in the city. "I tried to tell you but you wouldn't listen." Look up from supper and Teach is on your screen sobbing for Global TV. "Now it's too late."

Hunkered down in his office with a handful of survivors, deposed principal Irving Wardlaw shakes his fist at the TV. Frankly, the riot broke out because Bruce tried to make Johnny play a fairy in his "Midsummer Night's Dream." Fucking Shakespeare, what do you expect?
Learn more about the author and her work at Kit Reed's website.

My Book, The Movie: Son of Destruction and The Story Until Now.

Writers Read: Kit Reed.

--Marshal Zeringue