http://michaelosullivan.com//html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js Moral Zero is a dystopian thriller with post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, existential and horror themes. Contains visceral and potentially disturbing sexuality and violence and is not for everyone, certainly not the faint of heart and stomach.
institutionally It is currently self-published as an ebook and can be found on Amazon for Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Zero-Set-Sytes-ebook/dp/B00LDWTQC2/
http://offsecnewbie.com/category/live Disclaimer: The lack of speech marks and other idiosyncrasies are deliberate.
Here is an extract from it.
On the lowest flight was a grand artistic rendition of some seemingly apocalyptic scene, but it was smeared and sooted from some past fire, and whether the work was of a great battle, a religious revival or a ferocious orgy was unknown. Mr White peered at it as he dropped step to step, and he could just make out in the very centre of the piece some black shape, a human figure perhaps, but it could as well be a curious blot, a burned scar forming nothing but the centre of everything.
Mr White came out of the fire escape into the sun and met Red with his back to the wall, one foot up. Red was wearing shades and pendants on chains and was staring down the sun.
How long have you been out here?
Red shrugged. He had a cigarette in his fingers dropping ash and his other hand thumbed his belt. You ready.
Mr White looked up at the sun, still blinking as his eyes adjusted to the light. It wasn’t joyous and rich, it was thin, artificial, as though the sun was an imposter. Perhaps nought but a bright moon shone on them that day, as every day. Cutting through the skim of the city’s milk. As though it were a bubble, and nothing could pass through and keep its lustre, its original power and integrity. Mr White waved a hand through the air and he could feel it. The cloy of the city, the milk, the soul. Sour and pungent.
I’m ready. Mr White took a deep breath and the air was neither fresh nor clean.
Red looked at Mr White and grinned. Old habits die hard, don’t they.
Mr White smiled and stretched a little. Yeah.
They moved off, Red leading, Mr White just a step behind. Red walked with his customary jaunt as if he thought he was a rockstar or a drug dealer or a pirate. He could have been all three and it wouldn’t have mattered.
Mr White felt a dull, snapping breeze on his neck as though someone was clicking fingers on his skin. He reached up and found a button undone on his shirt, and he hastily rebuttoned and held his coat tighter to him.
Red glanced at him. It ain’t cold.
I don’t like it.
Red chuckled and kept on.
They walked through trash and bottles span and splintered as Red’s boots kicked them away. Beside them cruel looking taxis vibrated back and forth along the road. They looked like they were battered out from sheet iron. The windows were frosted to obscure both driver and passengers, but the appearance was more of glass punched and cracked over and over, utterly smashed and held together with invisible tape. Like some crude icing rink after years of use without repair. The wheels were crags that crunched refuse and dead things under their merciless tread.
On their left buildings and shop windows were passed without comment or notice, all the same, all hopeless and blank. White lights shone into the day, advertising, always advertising, but without vigour, as if even the perpetrators of such had fallen to resignation, a disbelief in their products. Once in a while a tree was passed, but they looked plastic and they stood like statues, the leaves as still as iron claws. Beside every one were two benches, one on either side, blue paintwork scabbing away to show a brown leprous heart. On some sat people, and they all stared forward, even those in halting conversation. Talking as if ghosts in a foreign land.
You oughtn’t have done that. An old man stared ahead and he blinked so slow and heavy that it was a wonder if he knew whether he was awake or asleep, or alive or dead.
I know it. His companion was emaciated, looking like something just dug up. You know how it is.
No I don’t.
The man from the grave sighed, and the world seemed to fall off his bones. Every man wants to be seen as dangerous some point or another. Capable of such things. No man can go a whole life otherwise. Every man wants to know he’s a danger. To be thought of such a way. For one moment or two.
You oughtn’t have done it.
I know it. It is how it is.
Red and White walked on out of earshot and at length they came to a checkpoint cutting off the street. It clustered with police, in their black uniforms and black mirrored helmets.
You done this before?
Mr White shook his head.
It’s easy. They got nothin.
They were looked at like robots handling objects but they gave their names in the booth and they were let through without further consideration. There were no niceties. They were ushered in and out and they walked away from the faceless stares, those expressionless things that seemed so alien and hostile, void of feeling. They walked away with their necks prickling into District Seven.