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BENT, NOT BROKEN
Dwayne Johnson recognized early in life that he was different. Over his thirty-five years, individuals had gone to great lengths to make sure he knew he was weird, creepy, queer, and not right in the head. As a child, the kids called him retard, and at work he was Duh-Wayne. High school was no different as his senior class voted him most likely to lapse into madness and murder his parents.
He stood in the kitchen of his apartment, sipping tea, staring at the calendar that hung on the same nail as the clock on the wall. He knew that the clock was in the absolute center of the wall panel. It was three feet from the front door and also three feet from the bathroom door; furthermore, it was four feet from the floor and four feet from the ceiling. He was certain of these dimensions; however, he wouldn’t hesitate to measure again and again.
On the calendar was a glossy black star on the eighteenth of November. It wasn’t to remind him of his father’s birthday; his dad had long ago estranged himself from his only son. The day was the second anniversary of the day that Leah Flanagan broke up with him. Throughout the calendar were thirty-seven such stickers; most were black and a few were gold and each indicated some event either pleasant or not.
He set his mug on the kitchen counter; and he knew that the mug was nineteen inches from the refrigerator, nineteen from the sink, eleven from the back-splash, and eleven more from falling to the floor. He washed his hands for exactly one hundred and nineteen seconds and ran a hand through his hair for the third time.
His wallet was in his right front pocket; garage door clicker in the front left, car keys in one hand, and lunch box in the other. He made a quick turn to survey his apartment and opened the door to the hall. The clock told him it was 8:01 AM. He was running on schedule. He made sure that the stove elements were off, the kettle was unplugged, and checked all these items three times before he felt confident enough to leave his home.
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Reviewers and readers praise BENT, NOT BROKEN and Lighting The Dark Side.
Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of three novellas and three short stories, including plenty of action, thrills, suspense, mystery, and even romance. We start with an engaging story of an improbable romance between an obsessive-compulsive geek and a drop-dead gorgeous woman, seemed doomed from the start. I shouldn’t think it’d be long before a major publishing house snaps Mr. Potter up because he belongs on the bookshelves with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Peter Abrahams. Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews
By Cassandra Mae (Wisconsin)
The author (Potter) has written an engaging book. The characters are so well-developed that you can "feel" them.
My favorite short story is the first one (Bent, Not Broken). It captured me as I see a lot of the main character's actions the same as my own. Thankfully, as I read on more and more I found out I am not as OCD as he is.
For the life of me, I could not put this book down until I finished it in one day! This is only the second book in my 43 years that that has happened to me. 5 Stars
A Captivating Read
By Heather Shockney (Greensboro, PA USA)
William Potter has done an excellent job of writing six short stories that draw you in from the beginning. Mr. Potter makes you feel so connected to the characters. You feel like you are right there with them, going through the same things they are.
My favorite story was Bent, Not Broken. I have dealt with OCD my whole life and I could relate so much to the way Dwayne felt each day. Dee-Dee was such a special person for accepting Dwayne as he was.
I would recommend Lighting the Dark Side to everyone. They will be hooked from the start. It takes a great author to keep my attention when reading a book. Mr. Potter has done that wonderfully. I was not able to put the book down until I was done reading the last page. 5 Stars
This is a great book!,
By C. Eversole
I'm so glad I decided to get Lighting the Dark Side. I love books that are compiled of short stories, so this one was right up my ally.
While I realize there are many people out there who truly deal with OCD, I also believe that everyone has their own...tendencies. This piece really shed some light on what people deal with on a day to day basis, as well as being told in a riveting, entertaining way.
The author has made it easy to really connect with the characters in this book through these detailed stories. In fact, you might not notice how time flies when you're reading this one; it really is hard to put it down! 5 Stars
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From his apartment to the elevator were thirty-three steps. Over the same distance seven light fixtures and only five electrical outlets were on the walls. He saw a dark trail of liquid coffee leading from suite 309 that had most likely leaked from a garbage bag when somebody dragged it to the lift. The line was new and Dwayne took a moment to assess it and decided that it was longer than a meter and not quite five feet. “Fifty-fiveand a half inches,” he whispered and nodded.
Dwayne couldn’t ride any elevator without imagining it breaking loose and achieving terminal velocity before crashing to the basement. This horrendous plunge would not occur as long as he was on the lift for no longer than one minute and fifty-nine seconds. Any longer was insanely dangerous.
He sat at the wheel of his Toyota Corolla and made sure the seat was properly adjusted and both side mirrors were also set. After overcoming the urge to check the fluid levels for the fifth time that week, he started the engine. He reached into his blazer and pulled out a flask, uncapped, and took a long swallow. The clear odorless liquid warmed his mouth and all the way down his throat. Two more long gulps would calm his nerves enough to have him on his way.
Dwayne talked his way through the morning commute. “Drive and drive—thirty-one MPH. Turn right at the lights, signal, break, and turn and turn. Now accelerate to the speed limit. Drive and drive.”
This went on for the entire twenty-nine minutes of the journey. “At the next stoplight,” he whispered, “look left for the girl in the dark raincoat.”
Sitting at the bus stop was a woman reading a tattered paperback. She was in her late twenties, and Dwayne had first noticed her several weeks earlier. He glanced at her, looked away, and then looked again. He began to feel nervous, and he felt his face flush.
Ten seconds to green.
Then the woman looked up and grinned. She gave him the I-see-you-looking-at-me smile, proving to Dwayne that she recognized him from previous days. He believed that she thought of him as White-Car Boy. She, of course, was Black-Coat Girl.
The light turned green, and the moment ended.