Only Dictators Win the Lottery and Have Private Planes

The following is an excerpt from my novel, The Distance To The End. This excerpt comes from chapter 2, I believe. However, in the final revision, a nice chunk was edited out. I initially included it because I thought it important to convey a specific aspect of Nick’s character. But the content slowed the read, an unnecessary speed bump, as it were. So, I guess this piece qualifies as a deleted scene. The Distance To The End was published in 2016; for more information, click the “Books” tab at the top of the page. In the meantime, enjoy a glimpse into what never was, but may have been…

 

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Neville had always told me that he pictured himself from a very young age as the type of individual who was very successful and powerful. He dreamed big. He said at the age of five instead of playing Ninja Turtles with his friends, he was El Capitan, the commander of a vast army, busting down the doors of citizens and exerting his force. Fortunately, Neville had no military experience and probably never would. There were other things about his aspirations that were more humble, opening a business or something that would generate net worth or fame, or both. What he hadn’t told me, as he explained on the way to a private airfield, was that he had won the lottery. I was stoked for him, and could certainly understand why they had insisted on paying for the trip. A private airplane was something he always wanted, and flying from western California to Las Vegas was a quick trip by plane. Neville was ebullient. We could drink and just relax. Neville also knew, as well as Raoul and Gladys, that to fly, this would be my preference: private and not having to deal with the hoopla of current airport security. That’s right, we live in the year 2012 and security is the fad with politicians and big government, and let’s not be bashful, because the TSA workers weren’t with their groping and touching. I didn’t prefer to fly publicly because of the goons who ironically cop out on their own rights by violating others. The TSA, the “Traveler’s Security Agency,” a security agency contracted by the government are responsible for running security checks at airports. Some argue, they are just doing their job being part of the TSA and so one cannot really blame them. They are people just like you and me. And I never denied that. These are well meaning people, just trying to make ends meet one way or another, but it is also important then, that these people understand basic rights and, like diligent military folk, uphold their oaths and not infringe on the rights of others, regardless of chain of command or bureaucracy or paycheck. Of course, it’s a job, so I guess it’s not the same. And, of course, I had friends and associates who did not care either way. Members of my family, for example, were adamant they didn’t mind being felt up or microwaved in a big DNA microwaver. In fact, they insisted the radiation was healthy for them in a joking manner, and that they loved their healthy green glow, or that it staved off cancer. What was unfortunate was all the unknowing TSA employees who were constantly exposed to the radiation of their own machines.

Gladys had had her own run in with the TSA. They were actually in the process of filing suit against the agency. Gladys is claiming charges of sexual harassment, among a few other charges. She’s really going for the jugular on this one. Gladys is quite happy with the private plane.

We landed smoothly, buzzed off a bottle of champagne Neville had been saving for his plane’s maiden voyage. He was tempted to smash it along the side, but we had convinced him to drink it instead. Flying into Las Vegas was fun. The run of homes and retail centers all leading to the strip of new hotels and casinos, all tiny little boxes growing, growing till lavishness and verbosity, elegance and grandeur are the order. My heart smiled as the wheels touched down and we bounced ever so slightly in Neville’s nondescript personal plane, and the personal pilot, like all personal pilots in the imaginations of all, cleared us to exit, opened the hatch, and dropped the stairs. Neville stood at the top, a wily prince with an empty glass of champagne.

“Now that’s how I arrive!” he screamed and threw down his glass, it shattering on the concrete. He stepped down; we all followed. The captain opened a hatch on the back and began to unload our luggage. Raoul smiled. The sky was blue and the sun was bright, a stiff breeze carried the heat away and cooled the tarmac.

 


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The Distance To The End is available now. Order it at your favorite bookstore, or purchase it online by clicking on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Distance-End-Michael-Aaron-Casares/dp/0692667830

Receive a signed copy, and free shipping, by purchasing directly from the author! Visit the contact page! 

 

 

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About My Book, The Distance To The End

So currently at my Patreon  account I am doing a timed release of my novel The Distance To The End. It’s my test run for future novel releases on that page because more will be coming. As you can also purchase the book online or order it at your local bookshop, I probably won’t be posting the chapters on The Root of Many Returns, but I will definitely publish a sneak peak, which is also a deleted scene from the story. I’ll tell you more about that another time. For now, I wanted to share some intel on my debut novel. It was published about a year and a half ago now and is the first in a series of novels that will take readers through the best and worst times of the poet and writer, the protagonist of the book, Nicholas Duke. I consider the book to be literary pop fiction. If you’d like to read a review of The Distance To The End, I have posted one at the end of this blog post, along with a link to the website on which it was published. A brief summation of the story is an excessive Las Vegas weekend, but the story is not a Hangover type shenanigan, rather it examines the relationship of Nicholas Duke and his boyfriend, as well as the relationship of his friend Neville and Gladys Acosta, when a sudden windfall makes it difficult to keep their vices in check. But, hey, it’s Vegas, so what else should a reader expect. There will be a sequel to this book. It is actually something that I will be working on soon. I’ve already begun it, but there are other writerly projects that currently have my attention. I think I’ve already complete the first chapter. As I’ve mentioned, The Distance To The End is the first novel in a finite series of Nicholas Duke novels. It will also be the only novel set in Las Vegas for Nick. I don’t see him going back. I do, however, have plans for a different work of fiction to take place in Vegas, but that’s a future future manuscript waiting to happen. For now, I can only encourage readers to pick up a copy, or subscribe to my Patreon and get chapters at an easy and gradual pace. If you order the book direct from me, you’ll get a signed copy that includes free shipping and handling. And don’t forget to stay tuned for the sequel to The Distance To The End. Thanks for the read. As always, more poetry, fiction, and haiku await. Have a great experience!

 

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The Distance to the End
by Michael Aaron Casares
Serasac Press

reviewed by Yuliya Geikhman

“We were creatures of the moment. We were high on life in ways some would never understand.”

Four former drug users return to Las Vegas to celebrate a substantial lottery win. What could possibly go wrong? Nicholas Duke is drinking the moment in. For him, life is perfect. He has his estranged boyfriend, Raoul, back in his life, and his two best friends, Neville and Gladys, are around to partake in some nostalgic activities. The four are living the high life of limos, private planes, and lots and lots of drugs. None of them seem to realize that a lot can happen in just one short trip, especially when your destination is the city of vices.

In fact, vices are a central theme in the friends’ adventures. Despite their mixed backgrounds, Nick and his friends all equally partake in an impressive number of mind-altering substances. They stumble around Las Vegas, fueled by a drug and sex high. The reader is taken along on a ride that starts at a crawl but quickly escalates into a full run. The book reads like a mind-bending dream, seen through Nick’s hazy perception of the world. Between trips (both literal and figurative), Nick ponders the nature of Las Vegas, vices, life and death, and even God. Nick’s relationships with Raoul and others around him are also on display here, revealing how even the strongest bonds between people can become fleeting in an instant.

The Distance to the End reads like a beginning to a grand adventure in life. It leaves many questions unanswered, but shows promise for future entries about Nick and Raoul.

 

This review was originally published in The US Review of Books. 

http://www.theusreview.com/reviews/The-Distance-to-the-End-by-Michael-Aaron-Casares.html#.Wh0PYUqnHIW