To All Books by Charles Martin Simon


Another great novel from
Charles Martin Simon

perfect-bound paperback
5 ½ X 8 in. - 227 pgs.

ISBN 1-892489-03-1

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The Fame and Fortune Demon


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Sample - from Part One 


Chapter 1 

I wasn't getting rich or anything like that, but I was surviving. I was my own boss, and that was the important thing, at least I thought so at the time. That's all gone now. The disease is all that's left.

The left arm doesn't work, no feeling in it at all, except the pain of remembering. It's limp, stretched to a third again its normal length, the skin marbled with blotches of red and purple, the bones turned to mush. 

I feel tingling in the right leg from the foot up to the crotch and into the testicles and penis. That's how the arm felt before. It means the leg is next, I suppose, and the sex organs. 

The face is discolored, a phosphorescent, flaming purple at the ears, fading to blue toward the nose, with red splashes at the cheeks and the tip of the nose. And distorted. The bony cartilage is gone from the nose; it hangs flattened almost to the mouth. 

It could be exotic-looking if it were a picture in a book, like it was painted and shaped on purpose, with symmetry and definition. It might even be beautiful from far enough away, if it belonged to some primitive man from some lost tribe in National Geographic. But it's my face, and it's not beautiful. 

I haven't gone out in I don't know how long. I couldn't if I wanted to, not even to check on Wanda and Ray. We've all got it. I call it Mickey's Disease, but He didn't give it to us. It's not his fault.... Oh, how could I have forgotten? Ray's already dead. 

I get the food delivered. It's all arranged with the supermarket. A guy leaves it at the front door. I pay over the phone with the credit card. So up-to-date you'd almost think it was normal. That's what's so weird about all this, how normal it seems, like everything is the way it's supposed to be. 

I order lots of food, whatever I feel like, but I hardly eat anything at all. It always sounds good when I think of it. The names have excitement: hamburger, hot dog, buns, coca-cola, cheesecake, instant rice pilaf, mushroom and barley soup, breakfast dinkies, frosty foos, cinnamon puff swirl ice cream, candy, bar-bar bokoos. I wait for it almost like it matters, but as soon as I see it, the excitement evaporates, a nibble of this, a bite of that. 

After a couple of days, I put whatever's left over, which is always most of it, out the back door. It gets removed by person or persons unknown during the night. Then I start thinking I'm hungry again and order more. 

I imagine it's some homeless guy who takes the food away. I can tell it's not a dog or other animal. My back door is the magic resource for him. I like that idea, because it's something good coming out of this. I just hope I'm not giving him the disease. And, God, what if he has a wife and kids? And friends? After all, a small tribe could live on what I throw away. What if I'm killing them? 

Let me let you in on a little secret. The disease is evil; it makes me want to share it. It pleases the infected aspect of my mind to imagine whoever is feeding off me getting sick and dying too. 

The problem is I have no problem with that. I accept the inevitable, for myself and everybody else. Whether by this or by something else, the inevitable is inevitable. There are no doctors for this. I know that. I don't even bother trying to look for any. They would only get in the way of my dying anyway. Interfere. It's my death, and I want it all for myself. It's the only thing I have that's really mine. 

I accept the evil too, inside me as well as out there. 

Numbness and pain and the sick feeling, like awakening into the hangover of a bad dream, vague, disconcerting, nausea.

I hope I can tell the story before it's too late. I'm not doing it for money. I've got tons more than I could ever possibly use, even if I lived to be a hundred. Mickey has seen to that. 

I'd probably get sued by Dizzy if I lived anyway; and who needs the aggravation, right? The good news is I won't be around for that. I am sorry, sort of. 

I don't know whether I'll be able to get it done or not. When the right arm goes, that's it. Finito. I'm not going to write with the pencil in my mouth. I don't have that much motivation. 

Actually, no real good can come of this probably, so I wonder why I'm even bothering. Well, for one thing, I am driven by the desire to spread the misery. But there is the other thing too: the raw need to tell, to confess, to cleanse the soul preparatory to passing on. 

This is the story of the man who met and interacted with Mickey Mouse, not the Mickey Mouse of Waldo Dizzy fame, but the real Mickey Mouse, the demon rat guru that scared the heck out of Waldo and at the same time gave him his success. 

At the same time, the man met Firchen Merkoochi, and the four dwarfs: Sleazy, Slimy, Burpy, and Twerpy. 

I am that man. And it's not a pretty story, not a children's tale, not a cartoon with a happy ending. It is an adult horror story. You wouldn't want to read it to your kids. In fact you might not want to read it yourself, because I can't guarantee that the disease can't be transmitted by the written word. So maybe you'd better not proceed beyond this point. But if you must, please use a condom. You have been warned.

© Charles Martin Simon