Psychological Demons Teaser #3

Here is teaser #3 for my story, Psychological Demons. I am introducing the relationship between Eve and her mother, Cynthia, as Eve visits her mom for the first time since she left for the military. Not all is what it seems on the surface. 

Cynthia Torseman only had a couple skills for work, waitressing and bartending, while raising Eve after the divorce with Joe. The divorce resulted in a hardship for Cynthia, as she was used to being a stay-at-home mom, now had to manage herself when Joe moved out. Cynthia and Joe only lived a couple blocks away from one another for Eve’s benefits and relationships with both parents, but that didn’t change the fact that Eve wasn’t raised on a silver-platter. She developed an appreciation of her mother, as Cynthia worked more than 40 hours a week to make ends meet. There was no need for court dates between the parents, which was rare for a broken home in the United States.

As she came to age, Eve enlisted in the military to assist her mother with her bills. Eve would send an anonymous envelope with money, while she was away for training or missions, no matter where she was in the world. As Eve returned home for the first time in two years, Cynthia would discover a change.
Cynthia walks to her mailbox to get her mail. She opens it and grabs the stack in the box. Cynthia skims through the mail and notice an envelope is missing from the stack. She looks down the street on her right and then left as she pats the stack of mail on her chest. Her facial expression expressed a concern. Did the mailman drop the envelope? Did the envelope get lost on its way home? Cynthia slowly bit her lip out of nervousness and double-checked the stack again to make sure she didn’t misplace the envelope herself. The middle-aged lady takes another look around the area and turns around to walk back into her house.
            Two blocks away from both her mother and father’s houses, Eve was waiting in a taxi cab parked. Inside the taxi, the driver looks through his rear view mirror to his passenger who is smirking and flipping the envelope over and over in her hands.
“Ma’am, I know it’s none of my business, but isn’t it illegal to be digging and stealing other people’s mail?”
The taxi-driver expressed his concerns towards Eve. In response, Eve smiles and continues the conversation with the driver.
            “Not if you are the person who sent it.”
            Eve flips the front of the envelope with the addresses facing the driver and leans forward. She grabs her bills out of her back pocket and hands forty dollars out of the money stack to the taxi driver.
 “For caring, lunch is on me. Keep the change, buddy.”
            The taxi-driver responds with a relieved laugh, “Thank you, Ma’am.”
            Eve kicks open the back passenger door and grabs her duffel bag from across the seat. She shuts the door and walks across the street and up to the front door of her mother’s house. Eve puts down her duffel bag. The duffel bag is weathered and the color is faded from the use Eve has put into it. She claims it’s her lucky bag, as “lucky” is stitched across the pocket on the side, symmetrically across the pocket. The doorbell rings.
Cynthia yells from inside the house, “Coming!”

            Cynthia opens the door while still skimming the mail. Before Cynthia can look up to see who the visitor is. Eve sets the envelope in front of her mother’s face. 

2015©H.M. Gautsch


Teaser For "Psychological Demons" II

 I will not reveal the part of the story this teaser is from, but here is a sneak peak of one of the novel projects on my list. A suspense/drama about a female combat veteran fighting her psychological war, as she tries to keep her relationship with her father alive. Hope you enjoy it!
 

 Chapter ??

            A middle-aged man clusters half-packed boxes together in a bedroom. There are little children’s drawings on the sides of two boxes and another one that’s got a rip on a flap on the top of the box. The fourth box is ducted-taped shut. The man seems flustered with what to do with the dolls in the boxes. The man, known as Joe Sydney, stands about five foot nine inches. He picks up a faded and raggedy doll, with a missing button eye. The main gazes at it, with his pierce blue eyes, like it’s showing him a video of his daughter from when she was ten in its one eye. A flashback.
            A tan, Caucasian hand knocks on the opened door of the bedroom. The entrance of the doorway reveals Joe’s brother, Victor.
            “Are you okay, Joe?” Victor asks.
            Joe responds while being still being in a trance with the doll.
            “Yeah.”
            Victor continues, “Sure feels like yesterday.”
            As Victor steps closer to help with the boxes, Joe snaps out of his trance and back into reality.
            “Huh?” Joe replies short.
            “Little Evey,”
            “Oh, yeah. You are right, Victor.”
            “She has grown to be a great woman.”
            “Eve will always be my baby girl in my eyes, Victor.”
            Victor examines his brother, as Joe returns to his frantic situation of getting the room together for Eve’s return from her tour of duty in Afghanistan. However, Joe isn’t fooled. What he fears most is change.
            “Joe, war changes people. We learned this through dad. Just don’t let it get the best of you or your relationship with Eve. You are all you two got since Mary’s passing.”
            “You are acting like you aren’t family anymore, Victor.”
            “You know what I mean, big brother.”
            Joe smiles and chuckles a bit at Victor. Victor returns with a sigh and a smile. He tosses a stuffed animal that he picked up during his conversation with his older brother. Victor then walks out of the bedroom and into the kitchen to help himself into the refrigerator. As he grabs an apple and heads to the island in the middle of the kitchen, he notices a military newspaper with the headlines, “First Female in Front Line Unit Returns Home.” He picks it up to notice Eve on the front cover with her Army fatigues on, dirt on her face, a 9M on her hip holster, and a M4 at the low ready and loaded for any event to exploit. Victor takes the newspaper back to Eve’s bedroom where Joe is still packing the childish objects.
            “Joe, what the hell is this?!”
            Joe looks up once again at Victor to wonder what he is addressing, and widens his eyes as if he’s been guilty of something. Joe takes a deep sigh as Victor continues integrating his brother.
            “Is Eve asking for a death wish with this new task? Why didn’t you prevent her from signing up for this?!” The intensity grew in Victor’s voice as the protective uncle trait reveals itself in his questions.
            “Victor, calm down. I may not agree with her decisions, but they are hers to make. She’s 21 now. I can’t control her choices, as much as I would like to.”
            “I am not sure if I should be calm or concerned about your collective approach to this discovery.”
            “Trust me, I already went through my grieving and unacceptance process with her before she left for basic two years ago. She has become one of the best soldiers the Army has ever experienced with.”
            “Well, I am glad you feel that way.” Victor’s reply was short and sweet, but his voice still revealed a bit of anger for Joe’s secret. There was an awkward pause before Joe insisted a drink or two to ease the tension.
            “Let’s head to Frankie’s Bar for a couple rounds. I will explain more once you ease yourself a bit.” There was a pause as Joe moved the last box to the closet to organize a bit before he and Victor left the house. Joe continues, “I am surprised you aren’t taken this better than I. I thought I be more of the protective parent for Eve.”
            “I guess I am more disappointed in you keeping the secret from me. We use to tell each other everything when we were kids, Joe.”
            “I’m sorry, Vic. I’ll make it up to you. I’ll buy tonight. All rounds.”
            “I can’t refuse that offer.” Victor smiles. “Alright, you are forgiven.” Vic pauses. “This time!”
            The guys make their way to Joe’s red F150 Ford truck that is parked in the driveway. Joe climbs into the driver side, as Vic climbs on the passenger side. The truck is started up and starts driving out of the driveway and down the road.
The house seems to sit just on the outskirts of a small city, population of about 15,000. Enough people to make an honest living in Oregon. The town, Coos Bay, sits on the Pacific coast for an extraordinary view for the ocean front property.  It’s a perfect time of year for the scenery as the trees reveal through the color changes of mid-Autumn.
 Chapter ??
“SGT Sydney,” yells the commanding officer in front of the formation of soldiers in an outdoor environment. The environment is mixed with mountains, sand, brushes, burbs, barbed wire, and guard towers. It’s a forward operating base in the midst of Afghanistan. A couple of apaches fly over the formation towards the mountains in the distance, as Eve runs from her place in the formation, as squad leader for the fourth squad. Eve stands about 5’8” with brown, medium hair and blue eyes. She stands at attention in front of her commanding officer, Captain Forester. A tall, 6’0” male, brown hair, brown eyes. Eve salutes, as the commanding officer salutes back. 
“Attention to Order! The Department of the Army has awarded Sergeant (promotable) Eve J. Sydney the Army Commendation Medal for outstanding service during Operation Enduring Freedom while being the first female to serve in Alpha Company, 10thMountain Division, in combative missions. Her dedication to the unit’s mission, superior performance, and leadership greatly add success to the deployment. Sergeant Eve J. Sydney’s actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army, bringing great credit upon herself, Alpha Company, the 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army,” scripted by a fellow soldier in front of the formation.
As the commander finishes pinning the award on Eve, the rest of the formation applauds in sync with one another, along with a few whoops and hollers from Eve’s team. Captain Forester hands over the certificate of the award with the left hands and shakes with the right, as he exchanges a few words with Eve.
“Proud of you SGT Sydney. You’ve been through hell and back, but you are one strong bone.”
“Thank you, sir. It’s all in the job.”
Once the hand shake ends, Eve salutes once more in a professional manner and returns to her spot in the formation.
“At ease!” recalls the commander. The formation rests as Forester continues to speak.
“Soldiers, I cannot thank you enough for the outstanding job you have done to complete the tasks requested by our government. I could not ask for any one better than the person you all see when you all look into the mirror every night before you lay your head to rest. Regardless of everyone’s religion, I have prayed day and night during our mission here for all of you guys. God must have heard them, because we are blessed without any casualties so far in this deployment, but do not let this factor put your guard down. We still have one week left before our asses are on a plane and get the hell out of here, so please stay alert until we are up in the air and heading home.”
The captain adjust his standing to attention, then the commander continues his demands.
“Company, attention!”
The rest of the formation stands at attention and replies, “Hooah!”
“I’m proud of each and every one of you. Keep it up.”
 Forester looks across his soldiers left to right before revealing his last command, “Fallout!”
The commander turns around and heads to his tent in the distance. The company falls out as six of the soldiers surround Eve and congratulates her for her award. Eve returns with smiles and high fives.

Teaser for "Psychological Demons"


 I will not reveal the part of the story this teaser is from, but here is a sneak peak of one of the novel projects on my list. A suspense/drama about a female combat veteran fighting her psychological war, as she tries to keep her relationship with her father alive. You can find the rest of the synopsis under the “Projects Wall” tab. Hope you enjoy it!
            The alarm clock’s neon light blanketed throughout the bedroom, as it displays 05:30am. The door is cracked open, with a bit of light from the hallway shining through the small space. In a blink of an eye, the alarm goes off. A man’s hand reaches out from the quilts, from the bed, as it firmly presses on the snooze button on the alarm. More features are revealed from the bed as the man slowly makes his way up and stretches to start the day. Superb details of his features rain in like melody with the ashy hair with small highlights of his remaining brunette roots, and the deep blue-grayish eyes. Just as the alarm clock goes off again, the man, known as Joe Sydney, beats to the snooze button and then turns off the alarm settings.
            Joe makes his way across his room, as he heads out towards the hallway. He follows the lights down to a second bedroom, cracks upon the door and peaks in. The queen-size bed has been ruffled, but yet not made as if someone has awoken from their slumber. Joe then turns his head towards the dining room area and hears clashing of pots and pans in the kitchen. He smirks at the productive noise and heads on down towards the racket.
            In the kitchen is a young woman, in her mid-twenties. As Joe turns the corner, he comes to the discovery of the lady attempting to make breakfast. The woman, Eve Sydney, is startled a bit from Joe.
            “Dad! I didn’t mean too…” As Eve tries to apologize, Joe cuts her off.
            “It’s okay, sweetheart. Good morning.”
            Joe makes his way to kiss Eve on the forehead and embrace her.
            “Dad, I’m not a child.” Eve squirms away from her dad’s morning love.
            “You know, if you reserve that love for a woman, you may be able to get a girlfriend in your life.” Eve continues on with a witty comment and a smile.
            “Ouch, that hurts.” Joe replied with a sarcasm remark and a smirk of his own. “So what are you making?”
            “Omelets. Just the way you taught me, or tried.”
            Both look at the pan with the omelets, filled with mushrooms and spinach, but nowhere near the awesomeness of Joe’s craft with his chef skills. Joe notices coffee is made in the coffee pot, grabs a cup from the cupboard right above, and pours him a cup as he also continues on the lovely morning conversation.
            “At least you make better coffee than me.”
            Eve starts laughing and replies with, “Dad, you are ridiculous.”
            “What?”
            “Well, I tried.” Eve continues, as she grabs a plate from the cupboard and dishes the hot mess of an omelet, which by now looks like a scramble of some sorts that’s overcooked. Joe willingly grabs the plate, along with his black coffee, and makes his way to the dining room table.
            “It’s the thought that counts, hon.” Joe replied.
            Eve makes her way to the coffee pot and grabs a coffee cup from the cupboard, but this isn’t just an ordinary coffee cup, it is one that she purchased while being deployed to Iraq. As she examines the broken handle and faded décor, a flashback hits her.
Eve is joy-riding around the Green Zone in Iraq, with a couple of male comrades, on her downtime from her duty shift. As they come up to a round-about, their smiles and jokes quickly turn to blank stares as they spot a local national digging on the side of the road. With no hesitations, the driver pulls over, but keeps the truck running.
“Stay here, Eve.” The driver insisted.
As both the male soldiers slowly make their way, pistols pulled from their holsters, towards the man. The man drops his shovel and starts running away from the two soldiers, but with their speed, the two are able to quickly catch up and tackle the man, cuff and blinded the suspect. As this event occurs, Eve watches from the truck.
As the soldiers and suspect return to the truck, the driver throws the man in the back with Eve and hands her his loaded pistol with the instructions,
“If he moves one inch, shoot him.”
Eve suddenly feels a nudge and comes back to the present day. She sees her father on her side with concern.
“Are you okay?”
Eve shakes off the flashback and puts the coffee cup in the trash and grabs a new one from the cupboard, as she quickly changes the subject.
“It was time to move on from that cup anyways.”
As Eve continues to make her coffee, her father observes her behavior.
“So, you go back to your treatment tomorrow?” Joe insists in continuing on the conversation. Eve replies, “Unfortunately.”
She avoids eye contact by looking down and fiddles with her newly filled coffee cup.

Synopsis & Story Of "Evolution of Oneself: My Poetic Memoir"

So as I let my life sit in for a minute, I can’t help but stare at the cover of my book and think how blessed I am for the four individuals who are helping me live my dreams. Before I go on with my story, I want to throw a special shout out by name. I don’t think I can thank you all enough. Ever. So, thank you to my book cover designer, Don Schlising, for taking the time to help me bring my vision to life. I don’t think the book cover can get anymore bad ass than what we have brought to life. To my editors, Lena Plaut, Julia McCune, & foremost Paul Morairity Jr. Thank you all for supporting me unconditionally through the years you have known me and for taking the time to edit over a hundred something poems. Also thank you to those friends, family and fans out there that keep me pushing towards my dreams of writing and the rest of the pieces that falls into place in this puzzle called life.

My poetic memoir is a collection of my poetry throughout the years that reveal my darkness, light, happiness, tears, and sadness. I have a mix of poetry from lyrical, short, and long poems. Also my poems express my passion to fight my diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and my chronic depression. When you read my poetry, it’ll reveal the hell I been through, through my short time on this Earth. The bottom line here though is, I am still here, walking. I didn’t give in to suicide and I hope my book can change other people’s insight on their struggles and lives as well as it did with mine. All is in chronically order as well to see the progress and depress of my life. The common cliche of life is, everyone has a story to share. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to share theirs. Well, I decided to be one of the few that use creativity to share my stories, my life, and my dreams to the rest of the world. 

The poetic memoir is just a small taste of what is to come for future writing and publishing. I also have an actual memoir in the works for my life. The reasons for sharing my story is to find the light in others and allow them to find a new faith within themselves when others aren’t always there. I may not be able to open my arms, physically, to all who struggle with their current life situations, but know that I will always have open arms in a spiritual matter.

With my trials and tribulations in life I’ve been beaten down numerous times. Each time I have been knocked down and beat down, I rise again and my flames get higher. My wings spread wider like a phoenix. I could have gone many routes with my book cover from a griffin, archangel, wolf; however the phoenix remains bright in my mind and heart out of all the ideas I have had come across in my unorganized membrane. The quote on my cover is one of my all-time favorite stanzas from my poem, “Light.” Life isn’t far from easy, however it is worth living and fighting for on this battlefield we call our temporary home. I will leave with one other favorite stanza from my poem, the influence of the title of the book itself, “Evolution of Oneself:”

“It’s not the destination, but the journey itself.
That’s the goal.

For the true definition of our existence,
is not to lose or find ourselves,
but of creating and discovering ourselves.
That’s the evolution of oneself.” 
– H.M. Gautsch ’13