I am writing, but…

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I write under two names — this one, and a pseudonym. I know I wrote a bunch on my fantasy novel earlier this year, but that mojo has petered out and I’ve been instead working on pseudonymous fiction. I finished a book, two short-stories, a novelette, and the first part of a flash fiction collection.

So, I mean, progress is happening. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of my as-yet-unfinished horror short-story, “Creeping Cold”:

To her credit, Aundrea didn’t leave me a month later, when I was completely cold. She stayed; she tried; she gave me everything she had because, in her words, “someday I’m going to need it from you, and I know you’ll be there for me.” My brain comprehended her words, and somewhere inside me I even appreciated them, but at the moment all I could think of was the brittle way I moved and the block of ice that had formed at the center of my body. I barely felt anything anymore; I floated through life like a balloon that was low on helium, going through the motions: eat, work, eat, exercise, television, bed. A few times, Aundrea managed to eke a response out of my body, but I think she knew that even sex wouldn’t fix this.

By now Aundrea was going to the gym with me — she’d complained that she wanted to lose weight, and over my protestations that she absolutely didn’t need to, she’d gotten a membership. She even got me a session with one of the trainers, saying, “maybe you need to do something different. I’m always reading about workout boredom and getting used to it, and it not working anymore.”

The trainer was a compact, gregarious man who kept trying to make me smile. I finally faked one, just to get him to stop. He was so happy, so full of life, and I was dwindling away, the light at the center of my crystallized soul fading to nothingness.

And then, while I was on the squat machine, he reached across me to adjust the weight and I caught the tiniest whiff of warmth.

It was enough to get my brain working, enough to put a lighter amount on the back extension machine than I should be using, and when he reached across me again I breathed in as much of his warmth as I could.

He was dead three days later, but I didn’t care; I was warm again, and he had so much in him that I was free of the cold for almost six months.

About Josh Roseman

Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) has been published in -- among others -- Asimov's, Escape Pod, and Evil Girlfriend Media. He's published two short-story collections, THE CLOCKWORK RUSSIAN and BOSS FIGHT, as well as a novel, AFTER THE APOCALYPSE. When not writing, he mostly complains that he's not writing. Find him online at roseplusman.com, or on Twitter @listener42.
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