“He was bad. He was trouble, and he was beautiful.” Robert Marazas enters our contest

(Chet Baker huddled over his horn before the music explodes. The quote in the title is from the video at the end of Robert’s contest submission. Read his entry, and view the clip)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Literati!
A Word with You Press is proud to introduce a new writer into our contest, Robert Marazas. I suggest you all get to writing, before this new-comer blows you away. I have read about thirty pages of his manuscript, and got hooked.
A successful novel must create a world that you know nothing about; a successful prologue should invite you into that world.
The world that Robert creates is obscured by late-night smoke, swirled insanely by a gushing trumpet, a world of night-clubs, sleaze, and beauty, and an obsession to spill music skyward, at the expense of all else.
Robert…you’re on.

Dimensions In Ego (Prologue)

by Robert Marazas


Brad stayed under the speed limit on the long road out of the Army base. He was anxious, watching for MPs, even with his discharge papers ready on the seat beside him. The past three years flashed by in his mind: the endless monotonous days in the peacetime Army, broken only by playing in the military band and in his off-duty hours sitting in in any local jazz joint he could find.

Now he was free. He left the base and did not look back but still kept his speed easy. Take no chances. Somewhere up ahead, far from his three year self-imposed exile, he would find a gas station and slip inside the rest room as Corporal Brad Chance, and after discarding his itching uniform in the trash and changing into the street clothes hanging from a hook in the back seat, emerge as Civilian Brad Chance, musician.

He pictured the route to Buffalo. These last two weeks he had memorized the map. It would be a snap, except for one thing. He gritted his teeth and swore to himself that he would not glance at the sign to his home town as he passed it, would not think about Maggie and the police and death. All that was his past. Buffalo was his future, and when they watched him bring that trumpet up to his lips and heard him blow, the past wouldn’t matter.

* * * * *

Why not enter our contest yourself?  Once Upon a Time requires only that you start that novel you have threatened to write. Just what are you going to do when you realize that actually have begun it? Here are details of how to enter, and how to win a share of $500 in cash and prizes.




7 thoughts on ““He was bad. He was trouble, and he was beautiful.” Robert Marazas enters our contest

  1. Glclark says:

    Hey, Robert. Welcome to our world. Please remember, as you read what we post about your stories, these are only suggestions and concerns and not ‘pointing and laughing’ as my grandkids say. If you were really in the military, you’ll remember the two biggest lies in the military as, The IG says, “I’m here to help you,” and the CO says, “We’re glad you’re here.” Well, it’s different here at AWwYP. We’re all here to offer our help and we are glad you’re here.
    I really like you prologue. You’ve set up a great mystery and I’m anxious to read more. It’s easy to see that Brad has a past that, I suspect, he will find he can’t outrun it. And that past will be slowly revealed to us throughout the story.
    I have only one comment or suggestion. Read the first paragraph out loud but start with the third sentence – “The past three years……..” then read the first and second sentence. To me, that builds more suspense. Of course I’m no expert but I did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express one time. Again, we’re really glad to have you here. You’re going to meet a bunch of great people and equally great writers on this site. Be sure you comment on our stories as we will comment on yours.

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    Your prologue Robert feels like choppy boot steps of pronouns which reinforce your brief prose of “Dimensions of Ego”. Being one of the most anti-military people I have ever known, I hope you will take this into mind as my ego plays out in this critique. I imagine that your novel may appeal to men much more than most women. The hook for me is the trumpet jazz player side which I have to give praise to whoever picked out Chet Baker in the opening photo and video at the end to set the prologue’s bridge between introduction and chapter one. Thank you for sharing your prologue with us.

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Mr. Marazas, it is exciting to read new blood on the site. Welcome, and thank you for submitting. The bit about Maggie, the police, and the death is a natural lead-off, stronger than anything else you got. I would have started there, but you know what? There is a mystery to this, a cloud of unveiled talent (kind of like jazz rips not on the sheet) that makes me anticipate how good this is going to be. A-wall in his mind, tragedy with the beautiful girl, death (murder?) useless escape, all the good stuff. What’s not to rip.
    Again, Robert, welcome and enjoy the show.

  4. Tiffany Monique says:

    Working with Fred Rivera on Raw Man has started some awesome conversations about Vietnam, PTSD and war in general. I am taken back to THE WALL by Gary Clark and once again reminded of the pieces of my lifestory that really had nothing to do with me.

    And then comes your story’s prologue… PING

    Excellent prologue. I’m drawn in by the character’s attempt at both death and renewal. In my heightened state of war politic-ing, I am weighed down, almost asking myself, “what did *this* poor soul have to go through?” I’m buckled in and ready for a ride. I am also NOT looking forward to what your story will tell me about myself.

  5. Shawna A Smart says:

    Nice delivery! Less is more, as my english teacher used to crow while butchering my work with a red pen. Poor fella, I feel quite sorry for him if he thinks the past can ever NOT matter when love, fear and death (my personal trifecta of dark horsemen) are haunting about in it. I think this is lean, functional and smooth. The prose would be dry if not for the smooth almost underhanded dealing of that deck of life tragedies. Pretty slick, slick!

    I would turn the page…nod.

    Fond regards to you and best of luck with your work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.