Sample Sunday: Powerhouse Flies Again

Here’s a Sample from Powerhouse Flies Again, currently available for Kindle.

In this scene, we meet the villain of this new novella series:

Mitch Farrow slouched in a green metal office chair held together by duct tape. His Ebay auction filled the screen of his bulky, third-hand computer monitor. A fast food bag and an empty paper cola cup littered the buckled plywood desk that he also used as a kitchenette table.

The green linoleum floor had missing patches. On his right the sink had four days worth of dishes piled in it and smelled of putrid water. The electric stove and refrigerator were cracked with paint peeling, as was the cabinets’ frou-frou blue paint.
He refreshed the Ebay auction on his screen. Thirty-five seconds 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 “If I Were a Rich Man.”

He turned the monitor off, grabbed his newspaper off the kitchen counter, and strode to the eight foot square patch of carpet that passed for a living room. The taupe carpet was partially blackened from foot traffic and riddled with teeth marks from rats. 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. “Good old newsprint.” 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 wouldn’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 he’d be dead before he could get lung cancer from smoking anyway.
“Razzle Dazzle” played on the lace-covered cardboard box serving as an end table. He picked up his cell phone. “Hello, Farrow speaking.”

“Hi, this is Anne Falkenberg. The FDA just voted.”

Mitch held the phone tight. It was his attorney.

“They decided the drug needed more testing.”

Mitch dropped the phone and a stream of curse words left his mouth. He grabbed it. “It’s been used in Europe for five years.”

“I know this is disheartening. Understand, though, they’re just wanting to make sure that the drugs are safe and people are healthy.”

Mitch huffed a shallow breath. “None 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.”

“I know it’s frustrating.”

Mitch laughed. “Frustrating is when your DSL won’t work. Seeing your daughter suffer and knowing she and her mom are going to die like you are isn’t frustrating.”

Tears welled in his eyes. He clutched the receiver with a death grip.


“Anne, I’m hanging up. I know you did all you can, but I’ve got a lot of vinegar to spew.” 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. “Why, God? If you’re there, why didn’t you let me die in the accident rather than get that accursed transfusion?”

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 and see 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, I’m the man for the job.


Learn more in Powerhouse Flies Again.