Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect: Character Introduction: Lilly Hempstead
Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect:
Character Introduction: Lilly Hempstead
To Lilly Hempstead, life couldn’t be better. She’s got a beautiful house in Beverly Hills, a husband with a successful business, and two children she adores. Plus, she’s a popular book blogger and life is awesome when you’ve got books to read and review. Nothing gets her goat more than trashing a new author or sounding off on another tirade when the author attempts to stifle the reader with some new plot twist that just doesn’t add up. Nope, not at all. Lori is set in her ways and any deviation from the norm needs to be put on blast. There’s no room for deceptive practices and reading is for entertainment, so, entertain or go away. Plus, there’s too many people attempting to become authors in today’s market and most of those books are shit. The author should just give it up and leave the reading world alone. They don’t belong and never will.
But today started off on the wrong foot. Waking up late and she had to rush the kids to school. She never even had time to add her morning pick up to her coffee and her oldest son, Chris has a stick up his ass this morning. She’ll need to remedy his attitude immediately. She doesn’t have time for the whining or the piss poor attitude. Not when there’s something up with her husband, Tad. He’s been acting strange lately. Angry, possibly overwhelmed, although over what, Lori isn’t certain. Can’t seem to put her finger on it. She’s hoping to talk with him sometime today but he’s been so elusive lately, so erratic with his schedule and so tightlipped about everything going on in that brain of his, she’s beginning to feel a bit self-conscious about the situation.
But if she could just carve out some time. If she can just get him to slow down for a second and talk she knows everything will be all right. Because that’s what a mother and wife do, they solve problems. They fix the family when the family is out of sorts. All she needs to do is find the source of the problem, and when she does, confront that source and rip it to shreds. Carve the good out of it and leave the rest to rot.
Discover Jigglyspot and his cast of clowns, killers, demons, and wretched fiends, in a novel like you’ve never experienced. Horror, mayhem, thrills, chills, fantasy, and spoils are waiting for your reading eyes with an escape into the underworld of mind control and human slavery.
Get to know Lilly a bit more with the excerpt below and don’t forget, if you haven’t preordered Jigglyspot or added him to your KU subscription be sure to do so now. You won’t want to miss what Jiggly’s got up his sleeve. Click here to preorder from Amazon or here for Barnes and Noble.
Thank you for reading,
Chapter Six: Jigglyspot Excerpt:
Los Angeles, California
Delilah Hempstead (Goes by Lilly not Lilah)
Lilly had no time this morning. Everything was on fast-forward from the minute she opened her eyes, a full hour after her phone alarm attempted to wake her. Not that the alarm didn’t try. It did its job sounding off at six, although Lilly never heard that all too familiar screech. One of her children-and she was sure it had to be Sam-must have turned down the volume prior to meeting the pillow. Those damn games again. Sam was infatuated with the games, and he was only six. What kind of future would that hold?
Anyhow, waking up an hour late resulted in a rash of get dressed quick and eat in the car on the way to school, Lilly’s coffee in the cup holder all the way. She’d thought about adding one of her morning pick me ups, would have done it to if Christopher-Lilly’s first born–hadn’t been bitching up a storm on their way to the car. That boy couldn’t find an elephant in a barn without his mother. Always losing things and this morning it was his earth science homework. Of course, it wasn’t where he said it should be and of course the blame game–that would be Chris blaming Sam–escalated with Sam protesting he’d had nothing to do with the missing homework.
Lilly made a mental note to give the babysitter a good talking to the next time she walked through the door. That girl’s about as useless as an elevator in a port-a-potty. Was she babysitting or on her phone the entire time? Lilly had given explicit instructions to make sure Christopher’s homework was put in his folder and the folder placed in his backpack, which Chris had assured her he had done. The optimal reason for the missing earth science homework was Sam, with his tricky little fingers. Said homework had never been recovered despite Christopher’s protest that his science teacher–one Ms. Finicky–would more than likely provide a bit of ridicule over the missing homework. Of course, this would happen in front of his classmates, none of whom Christopher cared much about with one exception: Jenny Crawford, who, according to Chris, was the most beautiful girl the world had ever seen. That being said, Chris wished to avoid a scolding from Ms. Finicky.
Lilly played the world’s smallest violin, her forefinger moving across the tip of her thumb as they waited in the car line at Christopher’s school. Those blue eyes narrow as she watched her son’s reaction from the rearview.
“Do you know what this is?” Lilly asked. Chris eyeballed her and Lilly could see he was sucking it up, swallowing the tears and over-emotional entanglement.
“Don’t I?” Chris said. “The world’s smallest violin playing just for me. I know. You play it all the time.”
Lilly shrugged and looked at Chris. “Well, stop losing your homework.”
Chris went to speak but stopped before the words dripped off his tongue.
“What?” she said.
Chris said nothing. He looked out the window.
Lilly shook her head. “You’re not the first student to lose homework and you won’t be the last. Tell Finicky to lighten up. Take that stick out of her ass.”
Which made Chris smile. Just in time, too, he jumped out of the car like he was sitting on a spring. Lilly saw why. Jenny Crawford was walking into school ahead of him.
Lilly didn’t like Jenny, especially for her son. She knew Jenny’s mother, knew her enough to form an opinion that was for sure. They were part of the same book club, a passion Lilly was more than fond of; she even had a popular book review blog. She loved blasting an indie author. The way she saw it, everyone had a dream, but Lilly didn’t have to stand for someone else’s dream. If they wanted to be popular, then write a damn good book. No reason to fill it up with personal points of view, especially if those views were counterproductive to the rest of society, or, at least, Lilly’s society. And Lilly had no use for metaphors. The way she saw it, that writing style went out with Hemingway. But Jenny’s mother, Kathy, never saw it that way. She enjoyed a different perspective. After all, according to Mrs. Crawford, that’s what separated the human race, our ability to go against the norm and offer a wide lens with a fresh perspective. Lilly would cringe every time Kathy’s turn to share arrived. Lilly always gave a headshake prior to Kathy’s turn. Kind of a ‘here we go’gesture. Rolled her eyes too, but that gesture came in the middle or at the end of Kathy’s review. Lilly otherwise remained quiet, waiting for her turn to speak and paying Kathy no mind. You either agree with me or you don’t and if you don’t, then there’s no use for you, was Lilly’s mantra.Always dealing in absolutes was Lilly; there was no gray area. She’d bash and tear down any alternate point of view if she could. Cancel that culture immediately. If it were up to Lilly, she’d have them all burned at the stake like heretics, if you believed in that sort of thing. Then again, if you believed in anything that wasn’t right in front of your face, you were already on the side of the foolish.
And that’s what burned Lilly. That Jenny girl was still on her mind when she powered up her laptop, ready to provide her opinion for another book on another blog. She’ll grow up to be just like her mother.
Lilly punched in her password, then cupped her coffee mug and took a sip. This time the pick me up was included. The glow of her laptop, home screen cluttered with so many file folders, the picture of Sam and Chris could hardly be seen. Her desk was piled high with books, mostly older books from a few decades prior. Lilly adored her e-reader and since then, print books had gone by the wayside. Nevertheless, she enjoyed the pile of books.
Still holding her coffee mug in her left hand, Lilly double clicked on the most recent file folder dated June 2019. Double clicked on the latest blog, the one from last week, then highlighted the text with a quick Alt-A and hit delete, then performed a save as and typed today’s date and, as she was typing the new book title and author, she heard footsteps on the stairs, circling down to the living room. Soft, subtle little creaks on the carpet.
Lilly’s husband, Tad, owned his own construction company; he had to be in Beverly Hills by noon for a formal meeting on a reconstruction project. Lilly watched him, now standing in the living room, fumbling with a button on his cuff. Tad was just under six feet tall, well fit, with thick dark hair and brown eyes. His hair slicked back and his Armani suit fit him like a glove, black jacket hung over his left arm.
“Need some help,” said Lilly.
Tad turned to her. “Yes,” he said. “I hate these damn cuffs.”
Lilly bounced out of the chair, shuffling across the Italian tile. “Why don’t you use your cuff links? You’ve got over twenty pairs.”
Tad rolled his eyes.
“Guess not.” Lilly buttoned his cuff, then met his eyes with hers and ran her hands across his shoulders.
Tad stretched the jacket across his shoulders and squeezed his arms through the sleeves. She tried to meet his eyes, but he looked away. He’s distracted again, thought Lilly, wondering why the distraction. He’s been short too. Last night’s cocktail party was proof positive he had something on his mind; he barely paid her any attention.
“You look good,” she said, but received no response.
Instead Tad said, “You’re being too tough on Chris. Give him a break every once in a while. Take his side; let him know you’ve got his back. It’s tough out there.”
“That’s why I’m hard on him, so he can be strong. He’s hypersensitive, you know that. We shouldn’t placate him,” Lilly said, more matter of fact than defensive, as if Tad was a passive observer who required no detailed explanation for why things were happening as they were.
Tad stretched his arms inside his jacket and went into the kitchen. Lilly followed. “He’s not one of your book reviews. You’re always passing judgment on the kid like he’s doing everything wrong.” He took the coffeepot and poured the black liquid into the cup Lilly had left him.
Lilly stretched her eyelids. She’s heard this before; the same conversation came around every so often. Most people were like a broken record, always on repeat, with the same conversation, same complaint, and same catastrophe, but with different names, places, or faces. But Lilly knew her husband, aware that Tad would forget the conversation by the time he reached his car, so there was no reason to continue. Best to placate Tad and push it aside. Besides, she was still trying to put a finger on his real distraction.
A change in subject was required. “So, Beverly Hills today? How long will the meeting last? Can you meet for lunch after?”
Tad had the fridge open, his head moving left and right, searching. He was looking for the creamer. Funny, thought Lilly, how men can’t see what’s right in front of them. She walked over, grabbed the creamer from the door, and handed it to him. Tad took it.
“Not sure. Mrs. Reilly likes to occupy time, and she refuses to meet with anyone other than the owner. We’ve worked with her before, remodeled the pool.” He added the creamer to his coffee. Just a splash. “Now that was a lesson in hostility.”
He put the creamer in the fridge–not on the door though, instead he squeezed the container between milk and eggs, popping it behind them so he couldn’t find it later–when Lilly’s phone buzzed.
Her eyes went wide when she read the notification. Jaw kept dropping the longer she read.
“Lilly?” Tad’s voice dropped.
“I don’t think your appointment’s happening today.” She scrolled across her phone.
“Why? What is it?”
Lilly looked up from her phone. “James Reilly,” she said,
“They found him dead this morning.”