I'm welcoming Jeff Gardiner to the promotional spot today. Congratulations to Jeff as this is launch day for his YA novel
- Myopia - from Crooked Cat Publishing! What's it about? Read on to find out...
“Oi! You four-eyed freak!”
Jerry is bullied for wearing glasses. When he realises his short-sightedness is not a disability, but a different way of perceiving and understanding the world around him, he begins to see things from a new, unique perspective.
He even starts to believe he might have super-powers, but soon learns a great deal about himself and about the boy who is making his life such a misery.
As he becomes alienated from his girlfriend and best mate, both victims of racism, Jerry realises he needs to think hard and put his plan into action.
Has Jerry discovered a new way of dealing with prejudice?
Myopia is a novel about bullying, friendship and learning the hard way.
‘Here comes four-eyes.’
‘What, that speccy git in our technology group?’
‘Yeah. Oi! Goggles! Where’d you get the space visors from? NASA?’ Cruel sniggering filled the corridor.
As Jerry looked up his glasses slipped down his nose, so all he could see was a fuzzy mix of shapes and colours. He wrinkled his nose to lift his glasses back into his sightline but then remembered how it made him look haughty, so he prodded the central frame with his forefinger to slide his glasses back up his nose. Now he made out a double line of pupils, mostly from his year, making a tunnel leading to the outside door to the field. It looked like the rows guests make when a newly married couple leave their wedding reception, only Jerry didn’t think there would be as much jollity – or kissing.
This gang, made up of boys and girls, often stood here, threatening younger pupils who made the mistake of walking past. He knew he should be worried.
‘Oi, you four-eyed freak.’
One of the boys grabbed his blazer. Jerry let himself go limp. He’d been in this situation before.
‘I’m talking to you, dickhead.’
Jerry knew the speaker only too well: Wayno. Their noses almost touched. Wayno’s breath reeked and Jerry guessed brushing teeth was not a priority for him.
He wanted to walk away but Wayno held him tightly. Where were the bloody teachers when you wanted them? Always there when you don’t need them.
Wayno suddenly let go but Jerry felt himself tugged backwards until he stumbled into the corner under the staircase, surrounded by about half a dozen boys and a few girls. He was now being manhandled by a different boy known as Rhino, Wayno’s bodyguard.
‘On the way to the library are you, you boff?’
The library was actually in the opposite direction but Jerry guessed this wasn’t the time to be pedantic.
‘Are you gonna answer or what?’ Rhino snarled, spitting as he spoke. A fleck of saliva landed on Jerry’s cheek. His eyes flicked quickly between the framed limits of his focal range. As he began sweating he felt his glasses slip back down his nose. Too scared to push them back, he maintained his silence, glad the marauding bullies stood before him in a blur.
Before he knew it a hand appeared before his face but not with the velocity he imagined. Instead the hand hovered at Jerry’s eye-level, tilted with fingers pointed towards him. Then suddenly some fingernails clicked against the lenses of Jerry’s glasses.
‘Pretty useful in a fight these visors,’ said Wayno. ‘I can’t poke your eyes out – so I’ll just have to rip your whole head off.’
Many responses flashed through Jerry’s mind but he sensibly kept his mouth shut. It meant his tormentors assumed him stupid or easy prey but saying the words out loud would only earn him a visit to intensive care.
Suddenly his whole world fuzzed into a kaleidoscope of blurs as Wayno removed his glasses, leaving Jerry standing in a lonely world of short-sightedness. He could no longer see the bullies at all; not even sure any more of his location in school, having lost all visual markers normally putting things into context.
The crowd around him became unidentifiable blobs – weird creatures continually contorting, ebbing and flowing. It was impossible to see where one of them began and another ended; they all just merged into an insignificant mass of blobbiness. Jerry imagined them as one giant monster made of snot, which made him smile.
Although he couldn’t focus on faces he became aware of movements. Voices murmured, overlapped and buzzed but Jerry chose not to listen, preferring his own thoughts as he blocked out the world around him.
Where the hell were those stupid teachers?
Amazon link for the paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Myopia-Jeff-Gardiner/dp/1908910534/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354978938&sr=1-1
Jeff Gardiner is a British writer whose novel, Myopia, launches on the 14th Dec 2012, from Crooked Cat Publishing. His collection of short stories, A Glimpse of the Numinous, contains horror, slipstream, romantic and humorous tales. His non-fiction work, The Age of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock, has recently been revised, expanded and retitled in e-book form as The Law of Chaos. Many of his stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines in the UK and USA, and he’s also enjoyed some success with articles, some of which have even been translated into German.