A Face Without A Heart

A Face Without A Heart

Rick R. Reed

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A Stunning Retake on the Timeless Themes of Guilt, Decadence, and Despair in Oscar Wilde's fin de siecle classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Amidst a gritty background of urban nihilism, a young man bargains his soul away, while his painfully beautiful holographic portrait mirrors his each and every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity...even cold-blooded murder. A Face Without a Heart takes you on a thought provoking tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Bristlecone Pine Press
ISBN: 978-1-6072200-1-5
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 57556
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 4 4 4 4
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary, ManLove, Romantic Suspense
KEYWORDS: gay, suspense, thriller, horror, contemporary
 

EBOOKS BY Bristlecone Pine Press

EBOOKS BY Rick R. Reed

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Rick R. Reed/2009

He was beautiful. Beauty is so seldom ascribed to men, too often incorrectly attributed to men with feminine features: wavy blond hair, fine cheekbones, teeth cut from porcelain. But I’ve always thought of beauty as a quality that went deeper than the corporeal... something dark, dense, inexplicable, capable of stirring longings primal, longings one would be powerless to resist.

He was beautiful. I sat on a Red Line el train, headed downtown, bags of heavy camera equipment heaped at my side, one arm resting protectively over them. I watched the young man, unable to train my thoughts on anything other than this man who had entered through train doors to blot out the reality of the day, magical and transforming. Beauty, especially so rare a beauty, can do that. The young man was an eclipse: his presence coming between myself and the reality of the day hurtling by outside train windows.

He had come in behind three foreign people, a bright counterpoint to their drab clothes, colorless, already wilting in the August humidity. They chattered to one another in a language unrecognizable, Polish maybe, and I was annoyed at their yammering, unable to block it out sufficiently enough to concentrate on the book I was reading: a biography of William Blake.

I almost didn’t notice him. It wasn’t like me to pay much attention to what went on around me, especially when I was preparing for a shoot. Usually, I used the time on the train to set up the photographs I would take, the way I would manipulate light and shadow and how it fell on my models, to arrange the props, set up and test the lighting.

But something caused me to look up when the doors opened, perhaps I was struck by the dissonance created by the unknown language...and saw him. Close cropped brown hair, a bit of stubble framing full lips, a bruise fading to dull below his right eye. The bruise did not detract from the man’s beauty, but served to enhance it, making of the rough features something more vulnerable. The bruise was the embodiment of a yearning for the touch of a finger, the whisper of a kiss. The boy wore an old, faded T-shirt with a Bulls logo, black denim cut off just above his knees and a pair of work boots, the seam on the left beginning to separate. In spite of the workman’s garb, there was something intellectual about the boy, an intensity in his aquamarine eyes that portended to deeper thought.

At that moment, I made a decision. I don’t know what caprice seized me. I have always led an orderly life, completely without surprise. But when the train pulled to a stop and the young man stood, I acted on an impulse that was as sudden as it was uncontrollable.

I gathered my things together, stood and hurried off the train. He was unaware that I was following. He traipsed down the stairs at the Belmont stop, summer light making slanted rectangles on the concrete floor of the station. Another el train rumbled overhead.

I watched him go through the turnstiles, then hurried outside, into the heat, humidity, traffic and voices raised above the hubbub. He had almost vanished into the crowd, but his beauty, a beacon, found me and I stayed behind him, save for a few paces, unnoticed.
 

 
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