An excerpt from chapter three of my new adult fantasy romance, Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. One of my main characters, Don Shimada, is getting his first taste of insanity.
“A million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go.”
Don’s face became as blank as the screen behind him. The conversation with Cassandra was edged in his mind as if he had written it down. Fear kept him from standing. He could just imagine his true self coming out. He’d become laconic, a side of him he’d rather not show.
“Actually,” Cassandra approached the podium with her Versace accessories in tow. “I’ll take it from here.”
Thankful to Cassandra, Don relaxed in his seat.
“I love the idea of doing this joint week.” She began her speech in true corporate fashion. “This week is about bringing women’s issues to light. Without you beautiful men, it would not be possible to host a week of events focused on love, appreciation, and respect for women.”
Cheers rose from the crowd as the lights dimmed. Don noticed a portal opening between the fourth and fifth row of chairs. It was a luminous grey space. He blinked. The portal was gone. He took a deep breath. I can control this.
“Sunday of course I’m excited because praise is what I do for all who don’t know. Instead of holding church at Bethel of the Lamb, we’ve decided . . .” Cassandra’s words faded into a distant hum.
A grey haze covered the entire room in a thin veil causing everyone it touched to stop moving. Helplessly, Don watched the vestiges of the room morph into a tall, curving archway. The homely navy carpet became marble tiles. Soon four winged men swept through the archways bringing in gusts of cold wind. Rococo robes adorned their towering frames. The darkest of them all commanded Don’s attention. He was a warrior angel smelling of soot and grime. His dreads fell down his back, the tips wound in gold.
I’m becoming like my mother. He had only known madness through her. Her madness defied all logic: there were no hallucinations or anything dramatic. A master of her feelings, she seemed to fool everyone, even the doctors. The media lionized her as the real life superwoman. Open a magazine and there she would be wearing her scarves and artsy dresses, never any spandex. She always made sure to include in every interview this quote from her autobiography: ‘I couldn’t just sit around queen of a conglomerate knowing that there were women suffering around the world.’
Every time he read that quote, he got sick. His mother would never let the truth slip; her past caused her to flee. Packing everything but her sanity, she ran from the safety of her husband’s mansion to some of the most desolate places in the world. To this day, he could not get his father to explain why he funded her crazy expeditions, or why he allowed her to take his only son. Don survived twelve years of his mom’s madness. At eighteen, he ran far and fast, vowing to never lose his sanity. Now here he was, another insane Shimada.
On the outside he looked like the next cover model for a Nightlife campaign. He smelled of ocean beaches. Yet a million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go. Just like his mother, a master of the façade, he was going to work damn hard to make sure no one was the wiser.