I am somewhere a hundred, maybe two hundred feet below ground. My food and water are almost gone; the cold damp air makes me ache all over; and the silence, like an invisible worm, slowly eats away at my soul. So begins the tale of Mark Tolliver, an attorney confined to an abandoned coal mine by a former client who had several issues to settle. As his mind spirals down toward insanity, he begins to see visions of his life played out on the walls of his dark prison. It is t only events of his own past that have brought him to the bowels of the earth. Long before he became an attorney, others set in motion a series of events for which he is w the one to be punished. His father taught him the first rule of politics, but t the second rule, and w he is the one paying the price for his father's reckless acts. Set in the small city of Bedford during the Depression and World War II, life takes some unexpected roads-roads many actors in this drama wished they had t gone down; roads leading ultimately to disappointment, anger, and desperation.
John O'Bryan is a published novelist (A Pilgrim's Soul, What Evil Lurks, and Camille) and poet. He is also the creator and editor of Artworking, an online journal of literature, art, and philosophy. His special interest is the exploration of the dynamic relationship of artist, art, and spectator, and the many ways this relationship creates opportunities for understanding ourselves and others.