Monday, July 27, 2015

Magic Times by Harvey Click

Release date: June 26, 2015
Subgenre: Dark comedy, funny fantasy

About Magic Times


Everybody wants a little magic—but just a little can do a lot of damage!
A young man not overly burdened with brains hitchhikes to Ohio in search of his runaway girlfriend, but he finds a lot more than he’s looking for. Soon Jason is chin-deep in a bizarre and perilous predicament involving a witch, a crippled magician, a sinister businessman, a mysterious stalker, and a book of magic that could bring about the end of the world.

Harvey Click, best known for his lurid horror tales, explores a different genre with this darkly comic coming-of-age novel. He mixes a tablespoon of black magic with a teaspoon of zesty sex, a sprinkle of savory satire, a dash of dire danger, a splash of spicy suspense, a pinch of pungent irony, a cup of coarsely ground comedy, and a full measure of sheer madness. 




“You getting in, kid, or are you going to stand there gaping at me all day?” the driver asked. His old blue Hudson idled with a noisy shake.
Jason spat his tobacco ball into the roadside dust and wiped grime from his forehead onto the sleeve of his grimy gray shirt. “Where you headed?” he asked.
“Hell. This is the hell-bound car.”
The driver’s middle-aged baggy face bore only the faintest resemblance to Humphrey Bogart’s. He wore a brown fedora and an old brown tweed suit.
“You headed for Columbus?”
“I was, and if you ever get in maybe I will be again.”
Jason threw his brown leather jacket and his duffle bag, made from an old pillowcase, into the backseat and got in front. Before he could get the door shut, the car lurched onto the highway with a sick whine.
“Call me Hatter,” the driver said. “Madison Hatter. What do you call yourself?”
“Hmm. You off looking for the golden fleece, Jason, or just a good piece of ass?”
Jason blew his nose into a red bandana and didn’t answer.
“How old are you, kid?”
“Sure you are. Where you from?”
“Glum Fork, down ‘round Bald Hump, thereabouts.”
“That would be in West Virginia, I presume?”
Hatter knocked an unfiltered Chesterfield halfway from its pack and offered it to Jason.
“Nope, I give up smoking,” Jason said.
The driver stuck the cigarette in his own mouth and lit it with a lighter that shot flames nearly to the brim of his hat. “What are you up to, Jason?” he asked. “Coming to the big city to score some good dope, are you?”
“I’m looking for a girl.”
Hatter chuckled and coughed. “Any girl in particular or just anything with boobs, butt, and a bodacious bellybutton?”
“Her name’s Holly,” Jason said.
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Hatter said. “What does this Holly look like? Maybe I know her.”
“She’s got long brown hair and her eyes are sorta like honey color.”
“Tall, short, fat or skinny?”
“She’s kinda plump but not too.”
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Hatter said. “She sounds just like the girl I saw a few miles back, hitchhiking in the other direction.”
Jason jerked up straight in the seat. “How far back was that?”
Hatter chuckled again and the Hudson shimmied. “Come on, kid, you’ve got to be sharper than that if you want to make it in the big city. How many fat girls do you think there are with brown eyes, anyway?”
“I didn’t say she’s fat. I said she’s plump but not too. She’s pretty ‘nough.”
“So you’re looking for a plump girl from the hills, are you? Well, Columbus certainly has its share of them.”
Jason, not much pleased with the driver’s manner, tucked his shoulder-length blond hair behind his ears, leaned his head back against the seat, and shut his eyes. He saw his mother’s hand waving goodbye.
“Everyone’s always looking for something,” Hatter said. “Everyone’s on the prowl. What’s so special about this particular plump girl anyway?”
Jason murmured vaguely. Behind shut eyes he saw Holly naked. He let out a slumberous moan as he watched her plump breasts jiggle.
“Go ahead and sleep, kid, I don’t care,” Hatter said. “I’m used to talking to myself. My life’s been one long monologue from the word go.”
Jason could see Mr. Hempy, a hefty, drunk silhouette in the yellow glow of a window. “Throw them off!” he raved. “The government is a clown suit made of stolen cloth! Rip off the emperor’s rags! Be naked and free!” But Jason and Holly scarcely heard him as they made the tiny tree house rustle with their hot, secret motion. “When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,” Jason’s mother sang from afar, and Jason began to tumble from the tree.
“You see what I mean?” the driver was saying. “No matter how they start out, they all end up in the same horrible little box. No light, no sun, no air, no life. Dead. Just plain damn dead, like all the others. To hell with them.”
Jason opened his eyes. “Are we there?” he asked.
“Yes. What you smell is Columbus.”
Jason’s left eye, the better of the two, beheld cars, lights, and a whizzing black pavement that shuddered to a halt.
“I admit it,” Hatter said. “I’m an out-and-out phony. But who gives a damn?”
“Musta dozed off,” Jason said. “You know where the university is? Ohio State?”
Hatter chuckled and coughed. “I’ll bet you’ve never been here before, have you, kid?” He skidded the car around a corner to the right and nearly hit a woman getting out of her parked car. “This is High Street,” he said.
Jason stared at a tattoo parlor with a sign that read “STONEY KNOWS HOW.” He stared at a run-down bar called the Old Dutch Café. He stared at an old lady in a tattered brown dress pushing a shopping cart full of junk.
“It’s not there anymore!” the driver said, looking at a building on the right. “Molly McGuire’s is not there anymore! This world’s going straight to hell.”
“Look out!” Jason shouted.
Hatter had veered over the center line and was about to collide with an oncoming pickup truck. He hit the brakes, swerved right, and laid on his horn.
“Hell’s bells!” he yelled. “Get in your own damn lane, you half-witted hill-jacks!”
“Shouldn’t ought to drive an old car like this,” Jason said. “Sounds like them brakes is shot.”
“There’s nothing wrong with old Jane Hudson,” Hatter said. “She’s my pride and joy, best girl I’ve ever known. She’s good for another hundred K without even trying.”
“I could fix them brakes for you pretty cheap.”
“I said there’s nothing wrong with my damn brakes.” Hatter pulled over and stopped beside a no-stopping sign. “There’s campus,” he said. “Is this where you want me to dump you out?”
Jason stared at lots of big buildings on his left.
“You getting out, kid, or you going to sit there gaping all day?”
Jason reached in the back for his duffle bag and jacket. Hatter’s right hand twitched a couple of times as if it intended to shake Jason’s. The third time it raced to his mouth to muffle a cough.
“Well, there’s an idea,” he said. “Kismet, the moving finger! Mayhap we’ll meet again in pages as yet unwrit. What do you say, kid?”
Jason quickly got out, having decided the driver was probably insane, and the car pulled away with an alarming clatter of gears.


About Harvey Click:

Harvey Click earned an M.A. in English from Ohio State University, using his first novel as a master's thesis. He has written five novels, four of them in the horror genre, and numerous short stories. He has taught English and creative writing for Ohio University, Ohio State University, the James Thurber House, and OSU's Creative Arts Program.


No comments:

Post a Comment