Blind Spot: Chapter One

by Hugh

Have I ever mentioned that I wrote a novel? I finished Blind Spot in 2005, sent it out, got a stack of rejections. It’s been sitting in various formats of a drawer for years now, and I figured it was time to release it into the wild.

The about goes something like this:

A novel about learning to drive, dying student drivers, terrorists, the CIA, an anarchist driving instructor, and one, or more, murders.

And here is the beginning of Chapter One:

He talked about the car crash all through the evening shift. Sylvain was shaken, true, but there was something reverential about his tone, as if he felt honoured to be the universe’s first chosen beholder of these deaths, and now that the two of us were alone, finishing the last of the kitchen clean-up, he grew more animated in his descriptions, more precise, more excited. His eyes sparkled as he spoke.

It was incredible, he said. Just incredible. The blood, the bone fragments. The damage done to a human body.

The sound of the crash had woken him at 7:12 a.m. that morning, and he had rushed out of his Villeray apartment, wearing only a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, despite the cool of the October morning. He expected survivors, he said, and took his cell phone with him, dialing 911 on the way down the stairs. The little red car had smashed head-on into a poorly-placed concrete divider, and as he rushed towards the steaming metal, Sylvain lost hope of finding anyone alive. The damage done to the automobile was frightening, and he braced himself for the carnage he would find inside.

“Have you ever seen a really bad car accident?” he asked me, suddenly. “I mean close up, I mean with the bodies, I mean before it gets cleaned up? Have you ever seen what actually happens to people?” He wasn’t interested in my answer to that question, and he pushed on with an uncomfortable mix of glee and horror, giving me more details I didn’t want to hear. The smashed windshield, jutting bits of metal, and descriptions of blood and bodies, the angle of one of the victim’s arms. “Pointing in all the wrong directions,” Sylvain said. “It was so weird.” He rested his chin on his mop, sombre and somehow pitying my lack of knowledge of the world. “You have no idea, Oscar,” he said, and the lights glinted off the shining tile of the floor, “how terrible it really is. How really terrible when you see it up close like that. These were people talking and breathing and all of a sudden they’re gone. I’m not religious,” he continued, cleaning again as he spoke, paying close attention to the floor, moving the mop in slow figure eights, the cleansing symbols of infinity, over and over in front of him. “But it’s scary seeing a body moments after the soul disappears. You have no idea.”

I did have an idea but instead of saying so, I just nodded. [more…]

It’s available in multiple formats:

I’ll be exploring more channels for getting it out there (Smashwords, Shortcovers, Podiobooks etc.) in the coming weeks.

And of course kind feedback is always appreciated.