Most of the world’s seventeen billion people are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, and corporations control all of the world’s resources and governments. A bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet predicts nineteen year-old waitress Eadie will lead a revolution, but how can she prevail when hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?
“I know what you did, Sett. There is a Federal Angel with me right now. He wants to talk to you. He would like to know why you helped some waitress escape after she killed Matt Ricker. Switch to visual. Now.”
He blinked hard and wiped a palm across his forehead. A sickly gray light seemed smeared along the opposite wall, having filtered through the filthy window at the end of the hallway. The floorboards creaked as he shifted his weight.
“Is it true, Sett?” his mother asked. “Why would you get yourself involved in a debacle like that? Why? When everything was going so well for you?”
He stared down at the stained plywood floor, now spotted with teardrops.
“What were you thinking? A waitress? You know better than to go getting messed up with people like that. They’ll drag you right down with them, every time. You come home right now and explain to this Angel exactly what happened; I’m sure he’ll understand. But I’m not going to lie to you. There will still be fallout. Society does not tolerate wretched, uncivilized behavior. I can’t guarantee you’ll be allowed to remain at Fisher.”
“I wasn’t thinking at all, Mother. I was just doing it, all of a sudden.” He sniffed. “She was hurt, and they started it, not her. Nobody else would help. What was I supposed to do? Just let her die?”
“Oh, Sett.” His mother sighed. “Of course you were.”
Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.
After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Author’s Website: http://www.markddiehl.com
If you were a shifter, what animal would you like to be?
In his book “Galapagos,” Kurt Vonnegut described the life of a Galapagos marine iguana. It sits most of its life on a rock in the sun, thinking of nothing. When it gets hungry, it swims out and gulps up a bunch of seaweed, which cannot be digested unless it’s cooked. The iguana climbs back up on the rocks and sits in the sun, cooking its seaweed in its belly. When I read that I thought of how nice it would be to have an empty head, a full belly, and a sunny day.
Favorite season? Why?
Early spring here in Maine, when there’s still just a bit of snow here and there but it’s no longer cold. The spring peepers trill through the night, and the days come shrouded in a fresh, velvety mist that you just want to keep inhaling forever.
Best movie ever made?
“American Beauty.” We, the audience, know Lester has one year to live, but Lester himself does not know. Early in the story, he quits his slaving job and starts living the life he wants to live. We watch him abandon a life of materialism and social climbing, and slowly develop his own understanding of what it’s all about.
By the time his death arrives, he is fully self-actualized, living as he chooses, and we see what a waste his last year would have been if he’d continued slogging along like everyone around him. We’re left to ask ourselves what we would change if we knew the next year would be our last.
What is your favorite quote and why?
My friend back in Iowa, whom I call “Physics,” is an incredibly gifted mathematician and engineer. His father, though, had some kind of mental disability. The movie “Forrest Gump” reminded me a lot of his dad, because both he and Forrest interpreted the world in stunningly simple terms.
Physics’ dad rarely gave advice, and when he did it was almost always about totally obvious things, like “If you see a stop sign you have to stop!” One time, though, he offered up his version of the adage “Be careful who your friends are,” and it was so perfect I never forgot it.
“If you’re walking down the street with a bunch of clowns, everybody’s going to point and say ‘Look at all those clowns.’ They never say ‘Look at all those clowns and that one normal guy.’”
Win a $50 Certificate to amazon.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-tour-seventeen-by-mark-d-diehl.html
Be sure that all entries are in the rafflecopter.
Interested in subscribing to all my site's updates? Subscribe below!