David T. Pennington - Newsletter
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The below piece, “An Empty Bottle of Vodka,” is the first in a series of teasers about my novel in progress, Gravity's Loop.
It's not a scene from the book, but takes place shortly before the events in the story unfold. 

As a subscriber to this newsletter, you get special treatment, so Sam wanted me to share it with you first, before sharing it with everyone,

Who is Sam? Read on and find out.

An Empty Bottle of Vodka (part 1)

June, 1966

Sam Westmoreland here. You may have read about my mother’s time travels in the book Peer Through Time. The author was right to present the story as fiction, because Carmela Akronfleck Westmoreland is not in her right mind. I’ve always worried about Mom, but lately her delusions have been getting worse. She claims I’m going to travel through time, because she’s been to the future and has already met me.

She doesn’t want me to take this job as staff psychiatrist at the asylum, claiming it will put me in danger, but I won't pass up the opportunity. I worked hard to put myself through medical school, because she worked hard to raise a self-sufficient son. She was always a little eccentric, but lately ...

It's not just the talk about time travel and killer androids—I've heard that all my life. It's Mom's recent ramblings about the CIA and mind control, no doubt fueled by the LSD she's been dropping with her new friends in San Francisco. Damn hippies started out protesting the war in Vietnam, but instead of taking action, now they just take acid and dream up government conspiracies. 

I'm no prude. I can knock back a few shots of vodka—no chaser—but I'm smart about it. Nobody wants to encounter a six-foot-four, 250-pound guy stumbling around drunk, and I don't want to see that in the mirror. So I drink now and then, and I know how to have a good time. But LSD? That shit's legal. It shouldn't be. It's messing with my mom's already-fragile mind. 

I’m going to accept the job offer. I’ll call back in a couple of hours, when the business day starts. Right now, I’m off to meet my cousin for our morning basketball drill, and then I’ll come home, shower, and drive my wife Elsie to work—assuming she's not too hung over. She’s still snoring away, and I just found an empty bottle of vodka in the trash.

The bottle we just bought last night. 

We’ll hear more from Sam in the upcoming novel Gravity’s Loop, to be released in 2017.



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