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Bound to Fall excerpt

This is a small taste of Jamie Samms story ; Bound to Fall.

Bound to Fall excerpt:


 Angus Edwin McCrea. He ran a finger over the words as if the action might transform them. The identifying ridges and whorls on his fingertip could scramble them out of their current pattern and into something both flashier and easier to remember: Eddie Crane. They didn’t. He tried again. And again. The letters insisted on that configuration.
The picture next to the name blurred and came back into focus as he blinked and sniffled. He dashed his hand under his nose, hoping it wasn’t too red and that Margaret didn’t notice the sniffing. The image before him didn’t change. It was his face. He’d been born with it. And with the name too.

“Stop,” Margaret hissed, tapping his wrist with manicured fingernails.

“They are so not going to believe I’m me,” he whispered back.

“Honey, you are the only one who has no idea who you are. Every other soul in the known universe knows Eddie Crane.” She handed him a tissue, but when he looked down at her, she was studiously arranging her boarding pass and passport and not looking back.

But no one knows Angus McCrea.

He grimaced, wiped his nose, and tossed out the tissue. He had curled his lower lip over his bottom teeth and was combing his top teeth through his soul patch as he got back in line next to her. She made a face. She thought that particular impulse of his was a filthy habit. He smoothed the wiry strands back against his chin. His image in the little book he held wavered again. The soul patch was there, darker four years ago when the picture had been taken than it was now, and his cheeks had been smoother and rounder. He touched his jawline, scratching the dry skin with bitten nails—another filthy habit Margaret hadn’t managed to break him of. Five o’clock shadow well on its way to midnight scruff scratched back.

“Honey, stop fidgeting.” Margaret’s admonition harkened back to Eddie’s mother reaching past his brothers to smack him, admonishing him to keep his bottom still in the church pew.

God. How long ago that had been. Fifteen years? Twenty? It felt like fifty.

He rolled his eyes at Margaret as she stroked his wrist lightly, a gentle scrape of her deep plum nail over his pale skin. “You’re fine,” she assured him. He didn’t argue, though he was reasonably sure they would never let him across the border. That thought eased his nerves, oddly enough, and he stopped his hand halfway through the motion of raking it through his midnight-black hair. He almost smiled. If they didn’t let him into Canada, he wouldn’t have to follow through with Margaret’s craptastic idea to reinvigorate his stumbling film career. His stumbling, drunk-in-the-gutter, coked-out film career. Or, at least, passed out on his couch where Margaret had found him when she’d arrived to bring him to the airport earlier. 

“YOU’RE TURNING into him,” she’d said as she scurried around his living room picking up clothes and shoving things into the trash can. Eddie crawled from the leather couch, bare limbs sticking to the surface just long enough to sting as he peeled himself off. He had on only his boxers and didn’t remember how he’d gotten home. “Who?” Stumbling over a strewn pair of jeans he didn’t think belonged to him, he made a pathetic escape bid for the bathroom. “Eddie!” She trailed after him and got the door closed in her face for her effort. “Angus!” “Don’t call me that.” He whispered it, because anything louder would puncture his skull and let his brains leak out. “Annie,” she called more softly. “Don’t do this. The hang gliding and heli-skiing are bad enough. Don’t go down this road, huh? You saw what it did to him.” “I don’t want to talk about him.” He infused the pronoun with as much acid as possible as he turned on the shower. He fumbled his way inside where anything else she had to say got lost in the spray.

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