Book Spotlight: Refused Existence by Steven Wain
Book Title: Refused Existence
Author: Steven Wain
Description: It haunts our dreams. It stalks our streets and lurks within the halls of our homes. It tingles our spines and waters our eyes. A world very different to the daylight that accompanies us in the waking hours. It is there, waiting to be spotted, but it is never seen.
We know it’s there, but we tell ourselves it doesn’t exist.
Gathered here are ten twisted stories from this dark universe.
A young girl walks home from school, unaware of the dark shadow which stalks her every step. A mother watches on as her child is slaughtered by a band of crazed psychopaths. A man makes his three hour journey home, wanting but failing to ignore the strange child who sobs in the back seat of his car. A boy sits alone in a room with a journal and a boarded up window, tormented by a merciless entity.
Don’t expect sunshine and rainbows. You won’t find those here.
Shortened Description: Ten twisted stories from a dark universe, one that haunts our dreams and stalks our streets in dark hours. Don't expect a happy ending.
Refused Existence Excerpt
Nightfall – Part One
Okay, now I’m a little freaked.
Obviously, I won’t let anyone in on that, but I am. Right now, as I make my gargantuan journey home, I see this guy standing at the end of the road. Like, he’s at the corner just staring at me.
Who even does that?
He might not be staring, though. It could be innocent. I’m quite far away, at least half way down the road. But it sure looks like he’s staring. From where I stand, it looks like he’s got his limbs all tucked up, nice and snug. He’s just one tall, slender stump of a silhouette.
Is it even a person? I wonder.
Probably not. Knowing my luck, I’ll reach him and he’ll turn out to be a sign post. Yeah, that’s gonna be real hilarious.
Good one, Sam. Definitely won’t tell anyone about this.
I continue in his direction. A decision hangs over my head like a swinging pendulum. Two choices. I can keep walking, and hope that I don’t get mugged or bashed or worse. Or, I can turn around and head back to the club.
That does sound very inviting. Very inviting, indeed.
But what excuse will I use? My friend, Jon, will still be there, and I can’t tell him the truth. Definitely not. I can see the amused looks on his face already. Those half upturned lips, furrowed brows, desperately withholding laughter.
Definitely can’t tell the truth.
I can just say I changed my mind and want to stay for a bit longer. No, that’s too weak. He knows I have work tomorrow, and he most certainly knows that I wouldn’t risk going to work with a full blown, sweaty, hurling hangover.
No choice, I have to keep going.
Don’t be stupid. I will be fine, totally fine. I’m just going to walk right past him. And if he gives me any shit, I’ll knock him down.
He’s probably just some crackhead, anyway. In some sort of a trance. He might even think I’m Jesus or something. He might be enthralled by my presence. Come to think of it, I never have been worshiped before. It does sound nice.
The worst I can see happening is he hits me up for some ciggies or drugs. No biggie. All I have to do is politely decline, explain how I don’t have anything of the sort, and tell him to stay out of trouble.
Now, with a skyrocketing sense of self-confidence, I push on. My feet take bigger, longer strides. My arms puff out like I’m carrying luggage through the airport, fists clenched. My back straightens. My posture is impeccable.
I look like I’m not to be reckoned with. And, just for an added touch, I insert into my eyes the most evil look I can think of. Looks like I just stepped out of prison. Yeah, I look like that guy that says to kids, in a really gruff voice, “I’ve seen some crazy shit, boy. You’ve got no idea what these eyes have seen.”
Although, to anyone else on the street, I probably look as wacko as my friend up there on the corner, whom I near with each and every step.
Come to think of it, as I look around, there are no other people. The pathway across the road is empty. There’s no one behind me. When I first left the club, there were people everywhere. It’s pretty late, so mostly everybody was off their face. They slurred their words, telling their life stories to strangers, hooking up with sleazes and sluts. You name it.
People were lining the streets. It was chaos.
Police were out and about, too. I saw some on foot and some in their cars, on the prowl. I saw a few dickheads in the back of one of the cars and laughed, but not too crazily. Didn’t want to get picked up myself.
That time is over.
Author of Descent Into Darkness and Refused Existence. Born in Wollongong, New South Wales and graduated from high school in 2013. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading and playing guitar. He is a vegetarian and an animal advocate.