Spoiler-Free Excerpts of The Un-Life of William Moore

I’m just so excited to share my book with you that I’m going to share some short segments from all over the story so as to give you a taste of what the book is like without revealing it to the point of spoilers, hopefully.

Get the FULL ebook for FREE if The Un-Life of William Moore is selected for publication by nominating it now on Kindle Scout. Voting ends Feb 2. Chapter one is also available to read on Kindle Scout. Chapter two is available to read on this blog here.

I might cut down on some unnecessary or confusing details with ellipses (...).


From Chapter 7

I slept far later than I meant to. My make-up was smeared all over my pillow when I woke in the afternoon. I didn’t even care to look at the clock. I purposely didn’t plan anything the day after Billy’s visit. Stumbling to the bathroom, I took a shower, washing the sweat and make-up from the night before off of me. I felt so much better once I was clean. Without even thinking, I walked naked through my own house, opening my closet door to get some clothes. I luckily stopped myself before opening the chest, and quickly put on the closest thing my hands latched a hold of.

I stared at the chest, thinking about what was inside. Was he really in there? I lightly tapped the top but there was no answer. He said not to open it…but really, how could I resist?

I found a flashlight and closed myself in the closet. Without the flashlight it was completely dark. Surely no harm would come to him. I flicked the light on and set it on a pile of clothes. I unlatched the chest and still there was no movement inside. Taking a deep breath, I pulled up the lid and rested it against the side of the closet.

The faint light from the flashlight illuminated the figure curled up in the chest. I was a little surprised that Billy still looked normal, but unnaturally so. He did look like he was sleeping, even though there was no rise and fall of his chest. Billy almost seemed to be carved from stone he was so immobile. I reached out to touch him, stroking a finger across his cheek. I pulled back quickly. It was like touching ice. Hard, cold, without life. When I touched his hair even that wouldn’t move freely. His eyelashes, too, were frozen in place and I couldn’t force open an eyelid. As far as I could tell, he was only a statue.

I closed the chest and patted the top before I let myself out of the closet. I put the flashlight back where I had found it.


From Chapter 5

“I want you to tell me about yourself, before you were turned into a vampire.”

...“Oh,” he said. “All right then.” He was quiet for a time, then he began in a voice that seemed distant, as if he wasn’t really there.

“I was born in a big city in the eastern part of the United States. Exactly where is hard to remember. Some memories fade as easily as the stars do from the morning sky, one by one. I do remember the poor state it was in as the Great Depression wore on. Every day my father had to leave to look for work and often came back without even a penny. One day he didn’t come back at all. I never found out if he took off on his own or if something happened to him.

“With him gone, I had to go off and try to find work, too, but it was very rare that I came back with any money. My mother had a hard time trying to care for me and my two siblings alone. I had become the man of the house, being the eldest. My sister was sick with fever and my brother was always stealing to keep us fed. He got in trouble for it and was arrested. He perished somewhere in the system not long after he went to prison. My sister died shortly after, and when I disappeared because of…what I became, my mother couldn’t find the will in herself to go on living, I suppose. I watched her die as I stood unseen in the shadows, not knowing how I could help her. I was afraid I would hurt her by accident. Looking back on it, I think of all the ways I could have helped her—such as using my powers to bring her food or take care of her, but I was so unaware of myself at the time. It was all a blur, the entrance into that night world that has trapped me ever since.”

Billy grew silent, so deep in thought I was afraid to interrupt him. “I remember that I liked to gaze at the stars, imagining a world where everything was right, where a person didn’t go hungry and families weren’t torn apart. I don’t stargaze much anymore. I can recall watching sun rises and sun sets, and I think that is what I miss most about being human. The heat of the sun, the glow against my face that, for a moment, promised everything was going to be okay.”

He seemed to be done, unable to say any more, at least for the moment. “Wow,” was all I said.

He chuckled softly. “My turn. Tell me about you.”

I blinked and felt the tell-tale heat in my cheeks from a blush. I was glad it was dark so he didn’t see—at least, I hoped he didn’t. “There’s nothing much about me that would be worth telling,” I said.

“Oh, do tell me something. It’s only fair.”

“Well, okay,” I grumbled, trying to think of something. “I was born in this town, raised and lived here my whole life. I have a little brother that just became a freshman this year in high school. My mom is a lawyer and my dad is a fifth-grade school teacher. My parents moved to the other side of the state when I graduated. I lived in the college dormitories until about a year ago. My parents help me rent this place so I don’t have to worry about anything but the utilities. I work part time at the local library shelving books. I’m studying literature and stuff in college so I might become an English teacher and instruct high schoolers someday.”

“Teaching,” Billy repeated. “That’s a wonderful career. You can have a chance to guide a child to a better future, to make a difference, however small.” “I guess so,” I said. “I never thought of it like that. I just really like books and didn’t think there was much I could do with an English degree apart from teaching.”

...

“I’m a bumbling fool,” he said. “I don’t know how to talk to people or how to act. Even when I was alive I wasn’t a people-pleaser. It’s a rather cruel joke on the universe’s part to have put me in the role of a predator when I feel like prey. I’m different than everyone else. I don’t belong.” He hung his head and clasped his hands together in his lap.

“Well,” I said, “you sure sound like everyone else.”

He lifted his head to listen to me.

“Everyone is trying to find their place in this world. We’re all different, bumbling fools with no clue what we’re doing. Your diet might be weird, but I’m sure that someone else’s is probably even weirder. At least you’re not a bumbling jerk.”


From Chapter 17

I didn’t really pay attention to anything my mom was saying. The fried chicken I was eating tasted bland in my mouth, even though my dad said it was like homemade from grandma’s house. I ate mechanically, nodding to what my parents were saying. Deven seemed just as out of it as I was. He had sucked down his meal and was now playing with his phone. Probably texting somebody. My parents never should have gotten him that thing.

“Are you even listening, Kaylah?” my mom asked.

I looked at her. “What? Oh, yeah. You were saying something about Marty.” Marty was Deven’s new dog.

Mom placed her hands under her chin, letting the weight of her head rest on them. I have her blonde hair. Hers is tied up in a bun while mine hangs straight today. She always wore formal clothes as if that was all she owned. Her words were always to the point but very detailed. And worst of all, she can tell when you are lying. Almost every lawyer can, as well as every mom, and she was both. “Something the matter, dear?”

I shrugged. “Nothing too much.”

Dad had to interject. He had acquired a gut in my teen years, and his hair was starting to recede. His hair was brown, like my brother’s, and he had small green eyes and wore glasses that made them look bigger. “Is it a boy?” he burped.

I shook my head quickly. “Oh, no-no-no!”

My mother nodded. “So a boy, is it. What’s his name?”

“Mom,” I hissed. “Are we really going to talk about boys here?”

“Of course,” she said. “Tell me about him. Now.” She had a look on her face that said “Tell me so I can begin preparations on the restraining order.”

I rolled my eyes. “Even if I’m seeing a boy, I’m a grown woman and I can take care of myself.”

“Is it that boy that drove you home from the hospital?” she inquired. I had really hoped she wouldn’t have brought up the hospital.

“No,” I grumbled. “He’s just in my class.”

“But you see him outside of class?”

“Well, sometimes. But he’s just a friend. In fact, I don’t even know if we’re friends anymore. He’s mad at me.”

“A lover’s spat, eh?” my dad piped in, wiping his hands on a napkin. The grease from the fries he was eating smeared the white paper a sickly yellow.

“NO!” I declared. “Adam’s a jerk. Billy’s the nice guy.”

“Oh, so Billy, is it?” My mom sipped at her tea.

I wanted to palm my face. Between the two of them they always seemed to be able to weasel something out of me.

“He’s just a friend,” I growled.

“I’d like to meet the boy,” Dad said. He picked up the chicken bones he had been munching on and tried to pick off every last scrap of meat on them.

“You can’t,” I said, then quickly tried to work out a reason why and landed on a lie I’d told before. “He works the night shifts and has to sleep all day.”

“So then how did you meet him?” my mother inquired.

I really hated trying to lie, so I went with another lie that I had already told. “At a Halloween party. He was dressed as a vampire.” Well, at least my second statement was partly true.

Deven perked up from his texting. “A vampire? Cool. Did he have fake blood all over him?”

“Deven!” Dad scorned. “Not while we’re eating.”

My brother shrugged and went back to paying attention to his phone. If only he knew.

My mom’s ringtone went off, a tune that reminded me of the sound that begins Law & Order. She answered it and started talking into her phone. I looked at my dad, who was negotiating with a waitress about getting a slice of pie for desert. I rolled my eyes. What a family gathering this was.

Mom’s phone snapped shut and she stood up. “We better get going.” She took the slice of pie from the waitress as she went by. “You really should start considering what you’re eating, dear.”

My father shrugged and asked for a doggy bag.

I stood up also. I drank down the last bit of Mountain Dew in my glass, knowing I would need the caffeine on the drive home. I patted Deven’s head, and he hardly seemed to notice. “Catch you later, kid,” I said fondly to him.

“Yeah,” he muttered back as if he were listening. “I agree.” I almost felt like laughing, but then again, I didn’t. I felt more distant from my family the longer I was away. I knew this was the way it was supposed to be, eventually, but not to this degree. My mom had always been intent on work. My dad was busy grading papers. Deven was a boy and I didn’t have much in common with him. It’s funny how you notice things most when you are on the outside.



Thank you for reading!


-Dana Lockhart


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