Jared R. Lopatin
March 31, 2015
Amazon | Goodreads
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force. Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?
A knot had reformed in his chest. White hot; full of fear, despair, frustration, and rage. Nothing about his life was fair. If he stayed passive, he was tortured. If he fought back, he was punished. No one else felt the way he did. No one else could because no one else had the horrible life he did. He couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Not his parents. Not his friends. Certainly not the Principal. He was alone. Utterly alone.
A sob, primal and full of darkness, ripped itself from his throat and filled the room. He sat down at one of the desks with a bang. Pain shot through his buttock and he lifted off the seat, reaching back into his pocket. He had forgotten about the canister. He pulled it out now, examining the contents with vision blurred by hot, salty tears. There was a paper attached to the outside, but it was half ripped. The only thing he could make out was part of the doctor’s name (Ink-something) and a few letters in the middle of the medication name (me). Laughter bubbled up as he read it together: Dr. Ink me. Dwight had a strange sense of humor. Hiccoughing with a mixture of tears and laughter, he decided he would follow these strange instructions and he twisted off the top of the container. Inside were a bunch of white pills.
They seemed so innocuous, piled up together. This was his salvation; his only option. He barely took a moment to consider anything further except that here, in his hand, was an escape from his pain. From his life. The thought actually excited him. He didn’t want to just be numb. He didn’t want to be high. He wanted to be done. They would have to find someone else to kick around. Someone else to destroy. He wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. Alexander Carroll Lewis would be free.
He brought the canister up to his lips, took a breath, then tipped the contents into his mouth. The pills were hard and chalky and they left his tongue feeling gross. He took a water bottle from his bag and uncapped it. Taking a huge swig, he felt the pills lift from his tongue and enter the liquid, moving around together.
About the Author
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.
His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let's Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.
Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.