What does the American robin, apple blossoms, alcohol, a taser, and an RV have in common?

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Bereft Reality

Bereft Reality book cover

On the outskirts of the slums around Lincoln Park, Michigan, chaos reigns. Most local businesses have long since left but, for one local business, life is good. An unknown local business owner offers a new you, at a cost. They focus on self-esteem, particularly in women, and offer a full spectrum of social and business skills necessary to succeed in today's corporate America.

They believe that the end justifies the means, and when one signs up, the individual forfeits their rights, going down a rabbit hole of physical and psychological rebirth. One exits the program mentally and physically fit to do battle, fully qualified to perform to the constraints of the toughest business models.

Esteem can be a powerful weapon, a two edged sword wielding as much power verbally as it could physically. What would you do if you grew up being told that the sky was green and the grass was blue?

An Excerpt

“You know you are never leaving this place, right? You don’t know the code, hon. What were you thinking?” Amanda said from somewhere in front of her but out of sight and muffled.

Summer did not speak; she kept looking around the room, standing completely still, completely quiet. Summer did not have any plans of leaving anytime soon; she had everything she needed right here, everything except Amanda.

“On the table there are three pain pills and a glass of whiskey, hon,” Amanda said.

Summer took small steps forward as Amanda spoke again, “Take the pills, crush them up, and place them into the glass, stir it with your finger and drink it down.”

Summer stepped forward again and off to the left side, going slightly toward the security door.

“Then you can sit at the table and wait to get sleepy,” she told Summer.

Summer looked for places that Amanda could hide, for places where she might be. She turned her head this way and that, looking for movement. Only Jake could be seen moving and an occasional twitch of pain from his girlfriends.

Summer still kept quiet, and waited for her to speak again; she wanted to get a better view of the couch.

“Come on, Summer, it’s either those pain pills, to stop your pain, to relax you, or it’s pain, hon. I’m sitting on the couch with a knife, a Taser, and a bottle of half-empty whiskey. You can join me after you finish your drink, if you like,” Amanda said half laughing.

Summer froze; she had not seen the Taser when she looked through the rooms. Summer already knew she was in trouble, but now she knew that she could not fight Amanda up close; she had to disable her from a distance. Just in case she took a knife from the table, she needed a weapon, just in case. She looked for heavy objects to use, and there were plenty of choices, just none that were available and not too close to the couch. For all she knew, she wasn’t even on the couch or even in the area of the TV. The Princess Bride continued to play; it was a good movie. She found it distracting.

“I’m not drinking that. I’m going to save it for you,” Summer said as she started walking up to the couch.

Amanda did not speak. Summer continued to work her way to the left side of the couch, keeping her back to the security door. It was too quiet, and as the seat of the couch came into view, it was empty. The movie continued to play, and except for that movie, there was not a noise to be heard; Amanda was somewhere close; she had to be.

Reviews

This book will haunt me for a long time, but in a good way!

Stacy Stacy

“Bereft Reality” is an interesting, if not surreal novel that pushes the boundaries of typical literature.

Laura Laura

This novel “Bereft Reality” reads like a steamy, X-rated soap opera! And I mean that in a good way :-). So much drama and what an emotional roller coaster!

Essie Essie

I enjoyed the easy flow and dark drama and original plot of “Bereft Reality”, and really liked the characters, especially Summer, Amanda, Sue. Happy that they were not cliché, cardboard cutouts but relatable and real…

Karen Karen *ReaderGirl*