Brett Garcia Rose
Noise, by Brett Garcia Rose, was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Noise-Brett-Garcia-Rose-ebook/dp/B00KYY4MM4).
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery
The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.
Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.
Or did she?
A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.
A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.
Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.
He will not stop until he knows.
Where is Lily?
Praise for Noise:
“A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine
“Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories
“Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves
“Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay
“Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy
“Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap
About the Author:
Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s Award, Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.
My own hideous voice.
I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.
I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.
The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.
The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.
I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.
The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.
Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.
I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.
The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.
His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.
In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.
Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.
In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.
I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.
I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.
I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.
The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:
“Wait for me.”
Hi Brett and welcome to my blog
How long have you been writing?
20 years, on and off. So few thousand hours in total, I suppose.
What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
I never thought I’d write a novel, and once I’d started, it went quickly, and was shockingly different from any of the short fiction I’d written. But I'm still a little unsure of what my genre actually is. I'd like to say it's a literary thriller, but that classification doesn't yet exist.
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
My new novel, Ren (named after the title character) is more of a traditional thriller than Noise, and is written in third person, which theoretically gives me more room to explore characters, but it’s still a scene-based, cinematic work; in that way, similar to Noise, but a little less dark, and more accessible.
What motivates and inspires you to write?
No idea, really. I am a bit of a loner, living a simple, rather disengaged life. So long as I am in the middle of some creation, I’m happy. In that respect, fiction is my social life, and imagination becomes indistinguishable from memory. If you keep your mind fertile, fluid, then your really do live through your work. And I cannot create what I do not live. Which basically means that I belong in prison.
What is/are your all-time favourite novel/s?
Bright Lights, Big City. Fight Club. The Road.
If you could Time Travel - what year would you visit and why?
I’d travel far into the future. The unknown is far more alluring that the known. Somewhere, far in the future, I believe a new class of Samurai will roam the world. I'd like to see that.
When working on your current novel, were there any moments when you thought:- OMG what am I doing with this plot line? Or: Who are these people I created? etc...
For Noise, no, not at all. It all came in very cleanly. For Ren, yes. All the time. But most of my characters die, so it’s not really a big deal. What's another corpse?
Do you have a day job, other than writing – if so can you share?
I’m a software consultant. Years ago, when I told my Buddhist teacher I wanted to be a writer, he laughed, saying that’s ridiculous. A writer is something you are, he said, not something you do. He suggested I get into software design, train my mind while I’m going through life, and make a decent living int he process. He wasn't wrong, of course. If you can teach a computer to tell a story, then everything else should be easy, and the mindset is frighteningly similar. This is a mistake I see so many people do; focus on earning a living first, and then hoping they have enough time, money, and energy left over to do something they love. You have to find a way to align your whole life, all of your energy, not towards a goal, but towards a process, a journey, a path, whatever it is that you'd like to call it. Your living is your life, and vice versa. What I see, over and over again, is people fighting with themselves. Or fighting with each other, which is the same thing. It’s pretty sad. If you want to be a writer, it isn't enough just to write. Your life, your character, your disposition, your temperament; they all play a vital part. A writer is someone who sees life carefully, and develops the tools, the patience, and the desire to allow other people to experience the world through their eyes.
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
Go with the flow. Hope the characters I like survive, or at least die well.
Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
No, total silence. Any noise makes me instantly homicidal. I have earplugs in every room. I prefer to write outside, but have been known to setup a chair in the shower stall if that’s the only way to find some quiet.
What is the very best thing about writing for you?
The freedom. And the catharsis. Through my writing, I get to solve problems that I can’t necessarily solve in my own life (without going to jail, at least). I also get to explore different characters, different lives, like trying on new clothes.
Are you a morning person or a night owl or an inbetweener?
I used to be a night owl, but now I’m an early morning person. I feel like I get more out of life that way. Also, nothing good ever happened to me after midnight.
If you didn’t write or you went through a dry spell (aka a bit of writers block), what would you do to fill the creative void instead?
If I’m not actually writing, then I’m thinking about writing, which is the same thing. There’s the Buddhist slant again; mindfulness and meditation. You might sit down and meditate an hour a day, but the rest of the time, you remain in a meditative state. The same is true for a writer. In that respect, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. If you can’t write, then go get an ice cream or a vodka, go for a hike, have sex or cook dinner, whatever. Do something. You cannot not be a writer, so stop worrying about it. You can only be productive of unproductive, and that is an entirely subjective idea. Every time I see an article about writer's block, I throw up in my mouth a little bit. Often I write every day. Sometimes I take a year off. I know I'm a writer, and will always write, so I don't give it a second thought.
Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?
Chiwetel Ejiofor, form 12 years a slave. He portrays resignation and restraint, and a sort of quiet strength.
Tell us one thing that no-one else knows about you – your darkest secret if you dare!
I could not speak until I was 30.
Finally, what 7 words best sum up your novel?