ISBN-10:
1481733850
ISBN-13:
9781481733854
Pub. Date:
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Hula Ville: And Other Short Stories

Hula Ville: And Other Short Stories

by Mark Lages

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Overview

Welcome to Hula Ville. In this collection of short stories, award winning author Mark Evan takes you on a page-turning romp through everyday existence in Southern California. You may find yourself crying, or perhaps even angry. But most often, you'll be laughing out loud. With his sense of humor and imaginative plots, Evan brings the reader into the idiosyncrasies of his characters. His subjects range from mischievous school boys to elderly women, from retired aerospace engineers to harried housewives. No one is immune to Evan's insightful takes on modern life.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481733854
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 03/21/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hula Ville

And Other Short Stories


By Mark Evan

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2013Mark Evan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4817-3385-4


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hula Ville


Charlie Blake was sitting quietly on the lumpy sofa, his hands folded in his lap and his eyes focused on the wall across the room. He was dressed in his gray three-piece suit, white shirt, and yellow tie. There was a film of light brown dust still clinging to his shoes and pants cuffs, but except for this dust, Charlie looked just about the same as he did every day.

Charlie removed a piece of white paper from his coat pocket and unfolded it slowly. He looked at it. It was the only material evidence of what had happened to him during the past twenty-four hours, and he read it again for the umpteenth time. "Involuntary Patient Advisement: You are being placed into this psychiatric facility because it is the opinion of the professional staff that as a result of your mental disorder, you are likely to—"

"Hey, man!" the guy across from Charlie shouted. Charlie stuffed the paper back into his pocket and looked across the room at a long-haired, rough-looking motorcycle type with a lot of tattoos embroidered up and down his arms. He was wearing a white tank top and a pair of tattered, oil-stained jeans with a chrome chain for a belt and lock for its buckle. There had been an old cigarette butt poking out of his mouth since Charlie first arrived twenty-four hours ago. He had been asking Charlie if he had any matches just about every hour on the hour, like a sort of Hell's Angels grandfather clock. "Hey, man!" the guy shouted. "Hey, you man. Mr. Three-Piece Suit. You got any matches on you?"

"Is it really ten o'clock already?" Charlie said. He looked down at his wristwatch.

"What?" the guy shouted.

"Sorry friend. No, I don't have any matches."

"Bummer," the guy said. He scratched his crotch and looked out toward the window angrily.

Through the corner of his eye, Charlie looked over at a woman. She too had been here since Charlie arrived. She was sitting in a chair at the other end of the room, staring at Charlie and smiling whenever he looked at her. She'd smile and then her face would light up like she was about to say something, but she never said anything. She just stopped and stared. She looked like an average housewife type with closely cropped wavy red hair and a pair of hazy green eyes. Charlie wondered what the woman had done to end up in this place; abandoned her baby in a garbage can, perhaps, or poisoned her husband with a deadly batch of fried chicken? She was still staring at Charlie as he spied at her through the corner of his eye, and he quickly looked away. He looked instead at the wall, waiting.

"Mr. Blake?" a voice said. Charlie turned his head and looked toward the doorway. A nurse was standing and smiling at him. "Are you Mr. Blake?"

"Yes I am," Charlie said.

"Please come with me."

Charlie stood up from the sofa and stretched his arms. He walked to the doorway and followed the nurse down a hallway and into a room full of empty beige walls and a large wooden table. Two men were waiting for Charlie in the room, seated at the end of the table. The nurse pulled a chair out for Charlie, and he sat down and smiled.

"Charles Blake?" a man said.

"Please call me Charlie."

"Okay, Charlie," the man said. "My name is Dr. Lee, and this is my associate, Dr. Flower."

"Nice to meet you," Charlie said.

"Do you know where you are?"

"In a mental hospital."

"That's correct."

"Somewhere in Santa Ana, I think."

"Very good!" Lee said. "We're here to evaluate your case."

"I understand."

"Just one moment please." Lee leaned over and whispered something to his associate, pointing to a piece of paper.

Dr. Lee, Charlie thought, was a smartly dressed man. He had a head full of neatly combed silver hair and a pair of gold framed glasses that defined his face rather nicely, and Charlie noticed a lot of jewelry on his fingers and wrists, and on the cuffs of his white starched shirt. Lee's associate was quite different in appearance, an obese man who wore a pair of crooked wire-rimmed spectacles that were high at one eye and low at the other. He had a massive beard that fell from his face to his chest in black oily curls, like some forest growth, the kind of stuff that grows in the crooks and armpits of trees. The man's extra weight and massive beard made him appear a lot older than he probably was, and Charlie guessed the man to be in his forties, the same as Charlie. Neither of these two men matched Charlie's conception of psychiatrists. Dr. Lee, Charlie thought, looked like the president of a computer company, and Dr. Flower looked more like a post office clerk.

"Okay," Lee sighed. "I think we're ready."

"Good," Charlie said.

"Would you like to tell us about yesterday?"

"Sure," Charlie said. "Where would you like me to begin?"

"Wherever you like."

"Okay," Charlie said. He thought for a moment, looking across the table at Flower, who was listening intently and trying to get his large body comfortable in the wooden chair. "There isn't really all that much to tell you. I was on my way to work yesterday morning, the same way I am every morning. I was driving my car on the freeway toward Anaheim."

"You work in Anaheim?" Flower asked.

"Yes," Charlie said. "I've worked at the same firm for nearly twelve years. I don't think I've ever missed a single day."

"That's a very impressive record," Lee said.

"Thanks," Charlie replied. "It isn't a crime to miss a day of work, is it?"

"But that's not why you're here."

"I know," Charlie said.

"Let's go back to yesterday morning," Lee said. "Tell us something about yesterday morning. What happened that morning?"

"I got up and showered just like I do every morning. I put on these clothes. I went downstairs to eat breakfast in the kitchen. I sat at the table with my son."

"You have a son?" Flower asked.

"It's using the term loosely."

"Oh?"

"He has blue hair."

"I see."

"He's one of those, whatever they're called, those kids who dye their hair strange colors."

"Punks?" Flower said.

"Yes," Charlie agreed. "And he's got a golden earring in his left ear, and one in his nose."

"You're having difficulty with your son?"

"Not really," Charlie said. "I mean, I did yesterday, but not right now. Yesterday morning while I was eating my breakfast, I finally asked him, 'What's the deal with the blue hair and earrings?' I'm not sure why I brought it up all of a sudden like that; it's not like this was the first time this question had ever crossed my mind. My wife always says that it's just a phase he's going through, that he's just rebelling against things. 'It's his outlet,' she says to me. I suppose when I asked him why he did these things, I was expecting an appropriate answer from him, like it all had something to do with nuclear weapons or acid rain or apartheid in South Africa. I mean, I lived through the sixties, not that I was a hippie or anything—in fact, I was a Republican then—but I was around during all that nonsense, and I think I'm capable of understanding this sort of thing."

"So what did he say?" Flower asked.

"He said he didn't know."

"I see," Lee said.

"He sounds like my son," Flower noticed.

"Then he told me to chill out, whatever that means."

"My son says that too," Flower said.

"Go on," Lee said.

"I think he's taking drugs," Charlie said. "I think my son is one of those kids who says yes to drugs."

"Why do you
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Hula Ville by Mark Evan. Copyright © 2013 by Mark Evan. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Hula Ville....................     1     

Merry-Go-Round....................     15     

I Had Opinions....................     23     

Tuesday Night....................     27     

Naked Women....................     37     

Shooting Star....................     45     

Batman....................     53     

Natalie's Bathroom....................     63     

Prank....................     71     

Gift....................     75     

Sugar....................     89     

Long Shot....................     97     

Matterhorn....................     99     

Entrepreneur....................     107     

Cut....................     115     

Things....................     123     

Jinx....................     133     

Twilight....................     139     

Tick Tock....................     141     

Pride and Joy....................     151     

Running Red Lights....................     161     

Technical Difficulties....................     177     

High Dive....................     185     

Dogs of Summer....................     195     

Be My Valentine....................     203     

Tribute to Ishiro Honda....................     207     

Mattress....................     217     

Escape....................     225     

Hot Saliva....................     233     

Call of the Wild....................     243     

Thanksgiving....................     251     

Wink....................     255     

Secret....................     265     

Blue Cheese....................     281     

Jack Be Nimble....................     287     

Mirror Mirror....................     297     

Josie!....................     303     

The End....................     313     

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