||Jan 1 2003
A thriller with a moral thread woven throughout, twisted just enough to send the reader spiraling toward an outcome that can't be imagined.
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A slice from chapter ten . . .
On this particular Saturday night, Jaclyn Krebs [Skip's mother] is staying at Floyd’s place. The house on Spruce Lane seems much smaller than it did through adolescent eyes fourteen years ago. Skip expected preponderant demons to expunge his very existence as he rounded the rear corner of the house where he swore he’d never return.
The intermittent clouds overhead whispered across the moon. The night was as still as death.
Stealthily hugging the shadows, he traversed the backyard to what had been his bedroom a lifetime ago. Skip had a massive déjà vu and realized that he, as a small boy, played hide-and-seek in this same yard. Morosely, he also realized that this was the same yard where he witnessed the burning of his father’s dream. He could still hear his mother’s self-righteous laughter as she threw his father’s personal belongings into the fire.
What did she gain by burning Dad’s military uniforms, medals, and ribbons?
What was the point in destroying his collection of John D. MacDonald books?
Did she ever love my father, or am I the result of her materialistic desires?
She forced me to attend her fanatical religious meetings, but did she ever know God?
There was no swimming pool back then, and the maple tree outside his bedroom window was just a sapling.
I wonder if I can still pop the latch.
Skip paused to put on a pair of latex gloves and joggled his bedroom window frame, declaring, “Still works, by golly!” He climbed in and closed the window behind him. Surveying his old haunt, he light-heartedly inquired, “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?”
Skip searched diligently, but there was not the slightest indication that he had ever been in this room. Jaclyn had erased every clue as though she were trying to extricate a malignant disease. Skip imagined a doctor’s bellicose laughter as he diagnosed his patient’s terminal condition: “I’m sorry, lady, your cancer is back and it’s going to eat you alive. You’re history. I recommend that you pick out a gravestone, like soon. Next!”
Illuminating his way with a penlight, room to room, Skip performed a thorough search of the premises. He found several photo albums on the shelf above the hallway closet that contained pictures of his mother, Sabrina, and a slew of strangers. Two of the albums were types of pictures tourists would take while sightseeing, most of which were oddly overlaid with paper flowers of various shapes and colors. Skip peeled the plastic sheathing back on one of the pages, lifted a flower, and revealed the images of his father and himself.
Skip reflected. Obviously, my mother wanted to show off her world travels without giving credit to Dad for making it possible or having to explain what happened to her son. I’ll bet she hasn’t been out of the country since she drove us away.
One of the flower-covered pictures, showing the Eiffel Tower in the background, was especially peculiar—the masking sunflower appeared to have a human arm, which draped around Jaclyn’s shoulder. He remembered having toured Europe with his parents while his dad was stationed at the NATO headquarters in Belgium, but he wasn’t sure whether his recollections were first-hand memories or stories that he had heard his parents recount. Skip considered taking a few of the pictures that contained him and his dad, but refrained.
Moving across the hall, Skip opened a door to what he remembered being Sabrina’s room. He assumed that Sabrina was attending the University of Kentucky because of the oversized, royal blue and white Wildcat pennant tacked on her bedroom wall. Skip’s intense demeanor softened as his flashlight revealed the musical carousel on Sabrina’s dresser. He walked over to the dresser and turned on the switch to the music box. The melodious sounds of Brahm’s Lullaby are as calming now as they were twenty-one years ago when he and his dad bought the carousel for his newborn sister.
Initially mesmerized by the parabolic motion of the colorful horses that revolved beneath the rainbow-colored canopy, Skip’s reverie was shattered by the thought of Sabrina’s complicity in the events that resulted in his father’s death. He sadly turned it off.
Skip walked down the hallway and stepped into his mother’s bedroom. A competition ensued—hate and disgust fought to be the first impulse to leap his brain’s synapses and ring the conclusive bell. Disgust won. Her bedroom reminded him of the hairball that he extracted from a bathtub drain sometime in the past. The hairball was caked with bodily slime—the shoe fits. A third cerebral contestant limped across the finish line—helplessness—the emotion that dominated his teenage years after watching his mother mercilessly destroy his father.
I’m in control this time.
Looking through his mother’s jewelry box, Skip picked up a locket and opened it. Sabrina’s baby picture was still in the right side as he remembered it from long ago, but his baby picture on the left was gone.
Skip’s eyes glazed over with an emotional sheet of ice. You may have forgotten me, but I haven’t forgotten you. Can you imagine having someone like me out there lurking, thinking, and abhorring you as much as I do? I’m here. I’m lurking. And I’m thinking.
Every item in Jaclyn’s bedroom seemed to be meticulously arranged—throughout the entire house, for that matter: knick-knacks precisely spaced, shoes lined up as though a straight-edge had been used to align them, towels perfectly folded and centered on towel racks, pens placed parallel and equidistant on her desk, bottles of cleaning solution lined up like soldiers for inspection. Everything was methodically polished clean and shiny; nothing—not one single thing—was out of place; not even a scintilla of dust blemished the surfaces. Skip understood: An illusion of orderliness to counter-balance her mental disarray. A pretense of sterility to offset the dirty, filthy repugnance occupying her mind. An outward display to give the appearance of ultra-normalcy, to blanket the wickedness within. A flood of nausea overpowered him—the identical revulsion he had experienced as he ripped the snarled hairball from that drain.
Skip’s usually spry reflexes became sluggish. Like an intoxicated man walking on the railroad tracks who just realized that the bright light bearing down upon him is attached to the front end of a speeding locomotive, Skip dashed into the hallway. He leaned against the wall and trembled, breathing deeply and rapidly as though dispelling the toxic air in his lungs, the toxic air that seemed to permeate the atmosphere on the other side of the open doorway. He sighed like a man who narrowly escaped certain death.
His composure nearly restored, Skip approached the basement door where he zeroed in on a glass cat centered on a wooden settee. A brazen impulse slung his arm around, cupping the glittering object like a catapult—it disintegrated against the far wall of the combination living room/dining area, scattering tiny flecks of light to the ends of the room. Skip remembered his mother’s scathing remarks when his dad had suggested putting her hand-blown glass figurines—the ones she had collected while living in Belgium—in the jewelry showcase. Jaclyn castigated Skip’s dad for even mentioning it. Bitch! She put nothing—absolutely nothing—into Dad’s store . . . and then . . .
Descending the stairs into the basement, Skip relived in his mind the words and images of a stilted conversation he overheard when he was seventeen. His boss, Harry Marigoo, was talking to the company computer whiz, Gus Doherty, who had worked himself into the state hospital for Harry’s sake. Dispensing wisdom as though he were the god of sensibility, Harry patronized Gus: “No one on his deathbed ever wished he had spent more time in the office.” While working for peanuts and naively hoping that Harry would reward him with a few well-deserved cashews, Gus had worked double and even triple shifts in an all-out effort to make Harry an even richer man than he already was.
Skip dispensed a little sensibility of his own: No one on his—or her—deathbed ever wished they had taken more advantage of people for their own selfish purposes.
Cluttered. That would be an understatement for the state of affairs in the basement. Crumpled water-soaked boxes, overturned flowerpots, twisted lawn chair frames, busted toys, and the redolence of mildew-blackened curtains conjured the image of an upended trash dumpster. Skip grinned, knowing that his assessment of Jaclyn’s fastidiousness in the house above was faultless. The trash in the basement was analogous to the disarray in Jaclyn’s mind—out of sight, out of her mind.
Opening the door to the back room of the basement, Skip was delightfully surprised to find his dad’s jewelry equipment largely intact, although covered with 14-years worth of dust. He recalled working here with his dad: sculpting the wax models, attaching the wax sprues, encapsulating the wax figurines in plaster, baking the plaster-filled cylinders, pouring the molten gold under vacuum pressure, disintegrating the heated plaster in water, and cutting the resultant gold rings and pendants from the tree. Finally, he and his dad would polish the pieces and set the stones.
Skip was amazed that he could still remember the entire casting process after more than a decade. He smiled warmly as he revisited those fond memories of working with his father.
On the subsequent Saturday night, Skip trailed Floyd Webster to Jaclyn’s house. When the last light winked out, he returned to Floyd’s apartment for a night of exploration. The last pin reached its breaking point in the pin tumbler lock on Floyd’s doorknob when Skip heard a noise down the hall. He quickly turned the tension wrench and ducked inside, softly clicking the door shut behind him.
Skip waited in total blackness.
The doorknob jiggled.
Skip extracted a leather, lead-filled blackjack from his vest pocket, preparing to welcome the unexpected guest with an unexpected thump.
Seconds passed as slowly as if their passing were marked by a funereal cadence. As though time was an elastic substance, seconds seemed to stretch into minutes.
Someone down the hall yelled, “Open it! I know he’s in there.”
Skip tensed, every muscle primed for attack. Adrenaline shot straight up his spine like a geothermal geyser, his blackjack poised like the death-end of a mousetrap.
The unseen intruder wrenched the doorknob back and forth, spouting: “Damn thing’s locked!”
Someone yelled, “Bust the door down!”
Continued . . .
Alan Caruba, www.Bookviews.com
A talented novelist, Scott Zachary, has written Scorn THIS. It's officially due off the presses on October 1st, but let me get the ball rolling by recommending this story whose theme is the psychological damage inflicted on children by a divorced mother. The main character is determined to make such women pay the ultimate price for the emotional torture he has suffered. This story of vengeance will keep you guessing and keep you reading. Some smart moviemaker should snap it up.
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Reader Reviews for "Scorn THIS"
|Reviewed by Paul Chance
|A very in-depth look into the soul of a hurt little boy is he writing second sight or from experience, chilling to the core, masterfully worded couldn't put the darn thing down!!!!|
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
|A ticking time bomb of rage and emotion lies underneath the calm, cool exterior of the main character, Skip Martin. I received the book today and devoured it in one sitting--the action, the taut dialogue had me rivited to my seat. The ending is not at all what I had envisioned--it was like falling off of a roller coaster, so sharp and vicious was the unexpected turn!
Well done--I highly recommend "Scorn THIS," and look forward to reading more of Mr. Zachary's works!
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|Tantalizingly & intellectually evil is the main character of this book! He exudes a personality of a suave & handsome young man, life fully together. A US Marshal as his job, so psychologically sound for all intents and purposes, but deep inside lurks the heart of a killer. Taking the lives of those he see's as taking the lives of those that "they" supposedly love...This one I could not put down. If one book is what you read this summer, maybe during vacation on the beach or wherever, this should be that book...Congrats to Mr. Scott Zachary (DW), for a well timed, well written book with proportions only someone of his apparent intellect can fully expound...When is the next book coming out, I am looking forward to it with bated breath...Peace, Ed|
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
|I just finished this book - in one sitting.
The author, Scott Zachary, has written a book with a unique and powerful topic
- the life-altering devastation that can be befall both adults and children - by women scorned.
Extremely interesting plot development, fascinating characters, and an intriguing ending.
Enjoyed both the topic and the book,
and I would highly recommend it.
|Reviewed by T. Emilie Dybevik
In this book Scott D. Zachary touches ALL of the unspoken innuendoes of men going through a divorce and having their children used as weapons against them. He covers all of the things that most men only dare to think! A very bold stroke on the author's part to write such a piece of work. It brings the malicious women that do these horrible damaging things to their innocent children to justice and exposes them for what they truly are. This gives men being victimized a voice. The way Mr. Zachary does this is stunning and quite thrilling! He gives new meaning to the old saying "What goes around comes around"!!! IT is a unique blessing to the literary world to have such a fresh new author break ground this way.
"Scorn This" IS the other half and or side to a MALE VERSION of "Waiting to Exhale" with murderously clever twists and turns that will haunt your thoughts days after reading the novel. His character Skip Martin is the modern day CLINT EASTWOOD for all men victimized monetarily and outright wronged in this manner. Skip is bold, tender, vicious, daring, and has a tortured heart of gold. He is also a bit of a stand up comedian in his own right. This excerpt where Skip is thinking to himself properly displays this with flying colors:
"What would happen if the authorities started finding women hung up in trees with cardboard signs stapled to their foreheads? The signs might say something like: "I got the house, the car, the boat, the furniture, and the kids. I got the rope and the staple gun too." Another blood drenched sign might read: "I turned my children against their father. See what it got me?" How many examples will be needed to change women's minds throughout the country?"
This book cleverly takes you inside the minds of the children, men and women involved in such ridiculous chaos such women can create. There is no possible way that you can read this book with a dry eye. Especially Chapter 13. It is the pivotal chapter that takes you inside of a young girl's mind that has been a victim of a woman scorned. Exceptionally moving work! At the end of the book when Skip cries a tear, he is crying a tear for humanity in justice, help and truth. Everyone has their breaking point. The author displays this with elegance.
If this were to be a movie, it would be a box office hit. Any movie maker would be a fool to turn it down! I'd go see it twice AND buy the DVD too! This book belongs in all supermarket check out aisles and FINE FINE book stores. This is a book that will not get dusty on shelves. This is something men all over the world can relate to. Even women too. I demand a movie! It is more than deserving of one. It took me two days to read the entire book. I simply could not put it down. After I read it in such a hurry, I had to read it again to make sure if my eyes were being blessed with such fine literature! Definitely an A LIST BOOK! A MUST HAVE BOOK!
Scott D. Zachary is a new author that has sailed brilliantly into the literary world to take it over with his outstanding talent and creativity. A writer with heart and soul like this does not come along very often. Readers...hurry and get yourselves a copy! I found myself not wanting to lend the copy I have but buying copies for the men I know that have been done this way. Truly poetic justice for these victims of a woman scorned! This man is a genius...simple as that!
This book is done with exceptional skill! It will not surprise me if I see this name by other literary geniuses like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and other greats very soon!
A book that will make a woman scorned truly rethink her plight!
I highly praise this book! I give it a Modern Heartland Literary FIVE STARS! Best book I've read in a LONG TIME!
T. Emilie Dybevik
Modern Heartland Literary Review