I think I’m starting to go a little loopy out here. I coulda sworn I heard my name on the breeze last night. I think it was the leaves on the trees. That’s not as crazy as it sounds—they would know my name by now, I been saying it out loud all the time, like when I’m collecting firewood or fishing. Like, “JJ, there’s some wood over there.” Or, “JJ, smells like its goin rain, better make a shelter.” I wanna say it was your voice but that wouldn’t be true. Shit. Maybe it would. I can’t remember what your voice is supposed to sound like. Used to pour something cold down my spine, that voice, send the hairs on my arm reaching for the skies as if they were all dancing together.
Why’d you have to go and leave me like that, Anabelle? I ain’t ever goin recover from that. It broke me. Sent me out into the damn wilderness. What the hell am I doing out here? But I can’t go back. I don’t have a place anywhere but here anymore. I think about you day and night. Even more now than before. Not much else to do out here.
I remember the first time you held my hand. I remember our first kiss, too, and that was mighty special, but there was something about that first time you held my hand. It was like I’d suddenly grabbed hold of a train heading in a completely new direction. My heart swelled up just like when you fill a balloon full with water from the tap, and it was sloshing about inside my chest just the same. It’s a strange thing to me now to think that holding a lady’s hand could ever have made me feel so safe, but it did. I even remember what color your nails were . . . a bright, light, paradise blue, like the sea in Florida.
Yesterday I saw a baby deer drink from a stream with its mama. Damn near the most beautiful thing I ever saw. You woulda loved it. I shoulda taken you someplace nice. Maybe we could have gone to Europe. You were always talking about the ancient Romans and all that. Maybe we could have gone to Rome. Paris. Bet your big city boy been taking you everywhere. Bet he’ll take you to New York. But I wonder does he make your blood sing. That’s the real question. That’s the only question.
This brilliant debut consists of a prose collection of fictional letters from a deceased 26-year-old Southern American named Jeremiah John Watts (JJ). The people JJ mentions in these letters have a parallel to the alienated and confused dreamers, addicts and lost souls found in the work of the likes of Denis Johnson and William Burroughs, but JJ’s larger-than-life sentimentality as his past leaks out of his heart and onto the page puts this collection in some new sphere of perception equally brilliant but entirely its own. Gradually, the letters tell a fractured tale of a life of mistakes, heartbreak, sickness, and regret, but also love, faith, hope and perseverance.
– Heath Brougher Author, A Curmudgeon is Born, and Your Noisy Eyes
To find out more about Dreaming In Starlight read the Introduction.
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About the Author
Philip Elliott was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1993 and quickly started scribbling nonsense. He’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Into the Void Magazine, and his own writing can be found in various journals in 9 countries, such as Otoliths, Scarlet Leaf Review, Foliate Oak, Revista Literariedad and Flash Fiction Magazine. He has a degree in Ancient Classics, likes to blur the boundaries between fiction’s many genres, and loves above all writing that is honest and heartfelt. Philip lives in Dublin, where he gets along better with his dogs than any humans, is finishing up work on a novella and much too many other projects, and is any combination of these things: fiction writer, poet, feminist, vegan, atheist, buddhist, minimalist, mindful meditator, wandering wonderer, punk rock fanatic & very loose cannon. Stalk him at philipelliottfiction.com.
Visit Philip’s Author Page At www.ctupublishinggroup.com/philip-elliott.html
Read on Kindle Unlimited At www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJCG48J
Reblogged this on The Salamander Chronicles – Don Beukes and commented:
The phenomenal debut by the Editor in chief of award winning Literary journal ‘ Into the Void’ from Canada.