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Blind Fury


   Julian Brown's life is in turmoil when his wife Vanessa of eighteen years files for a divorce, and he loses his job within a two-year span. He then tries to pick up the pieces of his life but things get much worse when his thirteen-year-old son Miles is killed. Julian fights to stay sane and stops at nothing to find the criminals responsible for his son's murder, even if it means putting his own life in jeopardy. Blind Fury is an urban fiction short story full of grit and determination on the mean streets of Chicago.

Amazon eBook Price: $2.99


    Somehow, I found myself sweating in 45-degree weather on a typical Friday afternoon in March of 2012. Each step sent a shockwave up and down my left leg as I tried my very best to get to this job fair before it ended. I had parked for free a mile away from the heart of the Chicago Loop in order to save money, instead of parking inside the thirty-dollar lot across the street from the fair. It was scheduled to be over at two o’clock, so I had given myself an hour and a half to see what options were being offered to me and probably hundreds of other applicants. My name is Julian Brown, and I was laid off from my job six months ago. I’ve filled out dozens of online applications, but the fact of the matter is that no one was dying to hire a middle-aged accountant, who commands a salary comparable to an eighteen-year vet in the industry.    

    The pain in my left knee was almost unbearable, and I struggled to cross each intersection before the light changed. I had tweaked my knee while working out a month ago, and it had gotten worse instead of better. I was going to give it one more week before I made an appointment with my doctor because I feared that I might have torn something. I had gained about fifty pounds over the years, and before I had my setback, I was determined to get off the excess weight.

    I was two blocks away from the job fair as an elderly woman seemingly zoomed past me while crossing the street at Wacker Drive and State Street. I pulled out a paper towel that I luckily had inside my coat pocket and wiped my face once I arrived safely on the south side of Wacker Drive after nearly being struck by a taxi, and I found myself standing in front of the Wit Hotel, completely winded, moments later. I walked inside the lobby, and security directed me to the staircase. Damn, my knee was in no shape to hike a flight of stairs, I thought.

    The recruiters were waiting for me once I finally lumbered up the stairs. A metrosexual looking black guy and an attractive young white woman greeted me in front of a podium, and another Asian young man was on a computer at a desk next to the podium. Numerous millennials were filling out applications to the right of the welcoming committee.

    “Hello, sir, what job are you applying for?” the metrosexual guy asked.

    “I wanted to apply for the accounting position you had posted,” I answered.

    “I’m sorry, but that position has been filled,” he said, “but you’re welcome to apply for the other positions available.”

    “Okay, thanks,” I said.

    He handed me an application, and I asked him where the bathroom was. He directed me to walk around the corner to find the bathroom, which was to the left of the young men and women filling out applications. I relieved my bladder, washed my hands, and checked myself in the mirror. I made sure my skin and hair were still intact, and I realized my goatee had more gray in it than I previously noticed.

    “Damn, I’m the old man at the club,” I said out loud.

    And I was the old man at the club indeed because almost everyone outside that bathroom appeared to be under thirty. I never felt so out of place in all my life.

    I went back to the application area and found a seat next to a guy who looked closer to my age, and I felt more at ease. I then scanned the application and the sheet with a list of available positions. Nothing remotely peaked my interest because none of the jobs paid even a third of my previous salary. However, I was beginning to feel a sense of desperation because my severance package was almost gone, and unemployment alone didn’t come close to covering my monthly expenses. I also didn’t plan on dipping into my 401K fund or savings account, but if something didn’t open up soon, I would have no choice. I had decided to apply for a mailroom position, even though I had no prior experience.

    “Thank you, Mr. Brown,” the metrosexual guy said. “We may contact you for an interview after we carefully review your application. Good luck.”

    “Thank you for your time and consideration,” I said.

    I left the hotel and flagged down a cab. There was no way in hell I was going to walk back to my car with my knee throbbing and swollen.

    “Take me to the corner of Kinzie and Desplaines,” I told the cab driver.

    “Sure, no problem,” he said.

    I used to work in the Apparel Center of the Merchandise Mart on the fifth floor, and I was a senior accountant at a mid-level company for almost twenty years. It was the one and only job that I had held since graduating cum laude from Bradley University in the mid-nineties, and with my fortieth birthday quickly approaching, I received a pink slip for an early birthday present. I did everything right professionally—or so I thought—but loyalty didn’t carry a whole lot of weight with my former employer. It was easier for them to hire someone half my age and pay them half my salary as opposed to keeping me on the payroll.

    “That’ll be eleven dollars and ten cents, sir,” the cab driver said.

    I handed him fifteen dollars and told him to keep the change. My car was parked a little farther down in a secluded spot, but I had the driver let me out at the corner, so I could get a cold Pepsi at Jewels.

    I somehow managed to limp for a block to my car across the street from the store only to find my driver side window completely busted and my radio and CDs gone. A thirty-dollar parking lot expense I avoided paying just multiplied tenfold.


Viola said...

I enjoyed this clip. I'm going to look for the book.

The Indie Crime Novelist said...

I glad you enjoyed reading the excerpt.

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