InÂ Fly Another Day,Â I introduce Mitch Farrow who’ll become the main supervillain in The Adventures of PowerhouseÂ This is his first scene in which we see him and get a hint at his motivations:
Mitch Farrow slouched in a green metal office chair held together by duct tape as he viewed his eBay auction on his bulky, third-hand computer monitor. A fast food bag and an empty paper cola cup littered the buckled plywood desk that also served as a kitchenette table. The green linoleum floor had missing patches. On his right, four daysâ€™ worth of dirty dishes were piled in the sink and it smelled of putrid water. The electric stove and refrigerator were cracked with paint peeling, as was the cabinetsâ€™ frou-frou blue paint.
He refreshed the Ebay auction. Thirty-five seconds left to go. Come on, a few bucks more.
The auction ended at $315. He made a note in his ledger.
Not bad. This sale would put him at ninety bucks for the month once he paid his bills. He smirked and hummed â€œIf I Were a Rich Man.â€
He turned off the monitor, grabbed his newspaper from the kitchen counter, and strode to the eight foot square patch of carpet that passed for a living room. The taupe carpet was blackened from foot traffic and riddled with ratsâ€™ teeth marks. He rearranged two red afghans over his gray recliner, covering where the stuffing was coming out while protecting his sensitive skin from the irritants ground hopelessly into it.
He settled into his chair and took a sniff of the newspaper. â€œGood old newsprint.â€ The only clean smelling thing in this dump. He smiled. Why sit there and read a bunch of lies and fabrications on the internet when he could read lies and fabrications in a good old American newspaper? He reached into the cigarette pack in his pocket, withdrew one of his blissful cancer sticks, and slipped it in his mouth.
No, Rosie needed him. Even with his life insurance, she and her mom wouldnâ€™t make it without his alimony checks. He put the cigarette back in his pack. On the bright side, he was still worth more alive at the moment, he was down to two packs a week, and heâ€™d be dead before he could get lung cancer from smoking anyway.
â€œRazzle Dazzleâ€ played on the lace-covered cardboard box serving as an end table. He picked up his cell phone. â€œFarrow speaking.â€
â€œHi, this is Anne Falkenberg. The FDA just voted.â€
Mitch held the phone tight. It was his attorney.
â€œThey decided the drug needed more testing.â€
Mitch dropped the phone. A stream of curse words left his mouth. He grabbed the phone. â€œItâ€™s been used in Europe for five years.â€
â€œI know this is disheartening. Understand, though, theyâ€™re just wanting to make sure that the drugs are safe and people are healthy.â€
Mitch huffed a shallow breath. â€œNone of them have AIDS. None of them have an ex-wife and daughter who have AIDS. This is what 235 years of democracy has produced in this country, a bureaucracy that fiddles while people waste away and die.â€
â€œI know itâ€™s frustrating.â€
Mitch laughed. â€œFrustrating is when your DSL wonâ€™t work. Seeing your daughter suffer and knowing she and her mom are going to die like you are isnâ€™t frustrating.â€
Tears welled in his eyes. He clutched the receiver with a death grip.
â€œAnne, Iâ€™m hanging up. I know you did all you can, but Iâ€™ve got a lot of vinegar to spew.â€ He punched the red end call button, hurled his cell phone across the room, and let out a primal scream.
He stared at the ceiling. â€œWhy, God? If youâ€™re there, why didnâ€™t you let me die in the accident rather than get that accursed transfusion?â€
What was he doing? That was silly and pathetic.
Time for some meaningful, purposeful venting to the folks who read his website. No question he was going to blog about the FDA Nazis.
Still, he should check what else was going on. He flipped through the classifieds and spotted:
Help Wanted: Cynic
Change the World
Great pay and benefits.
Send application to Box C, Seattle Guardian
He chuckled. If you need a cynic, Iâ€™m the man for the job.
Fly Another Day is available in Paperback, Kindle, and AudiobookÂ formats.