New Non-Fiction book coming this holiday season!

Being a shameless INTJ, a natural allergy to humanity must follow, and what better way to canvas my failings at social interaction than writing about it. I Hate Everyone, the sequel to I Hate Summer, will be available this coming winter. And now, a sample chapter, detailing my continued war with the Bad Man:

Find my non-fiction series HERE
It was a brisk morning, and just as I was about to leave the keep, to welter in the cool and cloudy weather and cackle at all the children crooning about having to return to school a few days hence, when there was a timid rap at the door. The musical cadence of the knock suggested a neighbour, and as there was no caroming din from the stairs, someone from my floor must be outside. The Gods blessed me with early autumnal weather and slighted me with a most unwelcome visitor.
I opened the door, and standing on the landing, looking rather deplorable, was the Bad Man, his tool box in hand, his overalls slumping over his wilted shoulders, his aspect downcast and cringing.
There was a pause. I glared at him, acknowledged my error in having opened the door, and awaited the fascinating explanation of his presence with folded arms and pursed lips.
“Bad Man,” I seethed.
He gave a demure salute and continued to eye my doormat.
A silence followed. The light in the hallway flickered, the saccharine whine from my neighbour’s fiddle sung out, and the faint warbles from the opera singer fluttered up the stairwell, while the Bad Man admired his toes and lapsed into silence. He seemed to be waiting for permission: the rocking back and forth on his toes, the unconscious lip movements, the expectant glances betraying how much he begged to be allowed a word.
I knew I should regret my mercy. “SPEAK.”
“There’s a leak in the bathroom in the apartment below yours,” he began.
“Is there.”
He made a sullen nod. “Water coming through the wall, dripping down everywhere.”
“That so.”
“Taking the paint off the wall and causing a few other problems.”
“I imagine so.”
“Not pleasant for anybody.”
Another silence succeeded,
“Leak might be coming from your bathroom.”
“It isn’t.”
The Bad Man turned aside, looking confusedly about.
“Oh, he did not tell you?” I said. “That last time your older counterpart was here months ago, he said the very same thing about the leak. He came and found nothing, and just as a professional precaution, he reinstalled all the pipes in my sink, just to be entirely sure that the leak was not coming from here, and disturbed me nearly every day for a month.”
“Right,” the Bad Man nervously replied. “Ha ha. It’s been so long, I forgot. Ha ha.”
I gave a mirthless “Ha,” and returned to my simmering.
Another silence, and the Bad Man at last reached the point of his visit. “So,” he hemmed, “may I come in to look at your bathroom?”
“You have already seen it. Several times.”
“I mean, may I inspect it?”
I gave him a flat look and imagined kicking his tool box down the stairs.
“I just need to look at the wall behind your toilet.”
I turned and glanced at it from the threshold. “I have looked for you. Excellent news: the wall is dry. Now leave my landing.”
“Ha ha.”
There was no anxious laughter on my side, however, nor was there the joyless civility that one is used to practice with those one would rather see hanging by their bootstraps on a pigpole; there was only the severe displeasure of one who has just discovered a brume of midges hovering about when the nest has already been destroyed.
“I helped you with the wasps,” said the Bad Man, in a hopeful voice.
“You insisted,” I reminded him. “I could have done that myself.”
He sighed, and my chest swelled.
“Please? It won’t take a minute—“
“You have thirty seconds.”
I moved aside, and he hastened in, forgetting the first rule of law upon entering the keep.
He kicked off his boots and shuffled into the washroom, ushered in by the mellifluous sounds of an ancient melody:
“You don’t have to count—“
The Countdown of Calamity continued, and the Bad Man made his investigation, searching the far wall and even looking around the standing tub and sink.
“Done!” he cried, hopping out of the washroom.
“I see absolutely nothing, no signs of water damage, no leaking whatsoever.”
“I told you as much, but now that you have made your unprofessional opinion of it, I trust you never need to come back here again.”
He looked askance, and his features bespoke what I already knew.
“You will not return, Bad Man,” I rumbled, pointing the Finger of Doom at him.
He curled shyly against his shoulder his shoulder and mumbled, “…I need to come back Monday—“
He made a disconsolate sigh, and I neared, my finger at his neck, my nose at his ear.
“Listen here, Bad Man,” I breathed. “I know this game. I have been through it three times before. You say you are here for a look, you say you must come back another time, that other time turns into ten other times, and three months later, you are still in my bathroom.”
He swallowed and murmured to himself, “…One time it was the kitchen--”
“Case in point. There is no need for you to be here Monday or ever. You said so yourself. There is no leak, there is no sign of any damage, and you can therefore have nothing to fix.”
But there was a something to fix: his relationship with my downstairs neighbours had dwindled into abysmal desolation over the last little while, his refusing to rebuild their ceiling and wainscoting stoking the flames of a revolt that had ruined a good portion of his week.
“Have they?” I said, with a wry smile. “They have been all kindness and sundae sprinkles to me since they received a letter about the importance of never making noise beyond the allotted by-law hours under threat of my dragging the standing air-conditioner across the room at 2am to teach them about the importance of silence.”
The Bad Man muttered that he kind of wished I would do it as remuneration for their calling him at sunrise over the paint in the bathroom ceiling. “I really kinda hate them,” he admitted, his fist tightening around his tool box handle.
“They have taken my place in your heart, I see,” I laughed, “supplanting me as primary antagonist. I am all envy.”
“Look,” the Bad Man exhaled. “You’re weird and you got some problems--” here was a fearful look, “--but you’re quiet and you keep the building in good order. These guys,” pointing downward, “have been complaining about everything ever since they moved in.”
“So, move them out. You say there is a phantom leak plaguing them, move them into one of the landlord’s other buildings and leave the apartment below mine vacant, if it cannot be made perfectly habitable.”
A notion passed across the Bad Man’s face. “Are you—“
“No, I am not purposely doing anything to make their wall leak,” I contended, “though I should like to know how causing a leak with no clear origin is done. Perhaps it the ghost of the previous tenant is come back, the young man who stood out on the balcony and pretended to be a dinosaur at four in the morning.”
“That guy,” the Bad Man flumped, clapping his hand against his forehead and sinking into his boots.
“He was a treasure, a source of comedy for me for many months together.”
“Yeah, I’m sure he was. He was a nightmare for us. We had to redo the entire living room downstairs after he coated in it tar black paint.”
“I know,” I cooed, grinning. “No one could live there for years after he had done with the place.”
The Bad Man looked unimpressed and at last was moving to go. He stopped on the threshold and turned back to say, “Er, so--Monday?”
He winced and waited for Ragnarok to pass, and although he suffered no material injuries from dangerous looks, my shadow still loomed.
“I could lock you out of the keep,” I said, “and allow the downstairs clan to torment you forever, as recompense for your coming in here unwarranted.”
He groaned and leaned against the wall in resignation.
“But I was sad to lose you as an enemy,” I said, in a feeling tone. “I do not like our being friends, even if it is only a temporary alliance. If your coming back on Monday brings a return of our war, I will allow to spend a few minutes in my washroom.”
The Bad Man had no idea whether to be relieved or terrified.
“I am a benevolent warlord after all,” I said, with a sigh of sentiment, “and I must have a somebody to antagonize. In truth, I have missed our little velitations. I so enjoyed watching Jose and the Carpenter band you about and blame you everything gone wrong in this place.” An idea descended, and I gave the Bad Man back a little of what he gave me earlier. “Are you making up a leak for the purpose of infiltrating my—“
“Don’t even start!” he cried, and he was gone in an instant, flying down the stairs on the wings of anguish, stopping only to point at me from the landing below.
“Monday!” he shouted, shaking his finger.
A plume of dust rose and fell when he was gone. The opera singer reached the height of her range, the fiddle finished its concerto, and I turned back into the keep, to manage about the garrison and prepare for the coming battle.
The wheel turns another revolution, the war continues, and I await my enemy with an insidious smile.