Modern Hobbies follows forty-five-year-old narrator, Lawrence Thorne, a disgruntled employee of Pittsburgh-based super company Graffius Co. Lawrence has been punching the numbers for twenty years, his body deteriorating in a similar fashion until a new test program offers the chance to up his productivity. The small silver injections every week give the recipient a much-needed boost in all the wrong directions, Lawrence being one of nine dummy employees receiving their first dose.
Lost in an inevitable swirl of collected nostalgia tied to his deceased girlfriend, Bianca Deist, employee Thorne initially shows few improvements. However, the spark comes in several forms by Friday. Lawrence’s livelong friend, the recently-divorced Grace Emerson, returns to the Burg, soon seducing him into hysterics. Unsure of his feelings, he desperately considers quitting his job and selling off his hobbies.
Internal tensions skyrocket following news of his Cousin Wesley’s suicide in their hometown of Atterbury, Indiana. Returning to his roots with an unlikely ingredient inside, Lawrence Thorne is propelled into a depleted world of familiar faces and clever ploys in a place he hardly recognizes. Haunted hotel rooms and alluring teen prostitute, Megan Bartina, are but half of the problems before the flood and his showdown with crazed legend, Motorcycle Frank Dribble. Lawrence subsequently loses his cool; collected habits amounting to very little while lost in the eye of the storm.
Modern Hobbies is the tale of accumulated memories tied to the staying quality of inanimate objects. Lawrence Thorne stands firm as one of the last survivors of a non-digital age, inevitably imprisoned by a thickened experiment meant to propel the human race forward, while still taking them two steps back. Amongst his jilted ego, a frantic rebel resides waiting for the inappropriate moment to lash out on society before his insides do so first. The subsequent consequences are beneficial albeit crippling to the fading mementos meticulously catalogued on his shelves.
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About the Author
Christopher S. Bell has been writing and releasing literary and musical works through My Idea of Fun since 2008. His sound projects include Emmett and Mary, Technological Epidemic, C. Scott and the Beltones, and Fine Wives. My Idea of Fun is an art and music collective based out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (www.myideaoffun.org) . Christopher’s work has recently been published in The Broadkill Review, Mobius and Fringelit.com. He is also a contributor to Impression of Sound. Find out more at www.myideaoffun.org and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/myideaoffun