Title: Muckydum – The Story of a Haunted Man
Author : Stephen Chiarelli
Bill Hammond lives a lonely life yet shuns any intimate contact with the people around him. He is haunted by visions of people from his dysfunctional relationships, but does his best to ignore or avoid them. Conjuring up fleeting memories of his wife and teaching Shakespeare at the local college provide him with his only semblance of happiness. When he uncharacteristically befriends a withdrawn student in one of his classes he is inadvertently taken on an emotional roller coaster that sends him deeper into despair. On a frantic search for answers he comes to realize that he must affirm his own indiscretions in order to come to terms with how his life has come to pass.
Ten years later on a sunny spring morning Breanna Sutton is reluctantly meeting with Bill, who is now a recluse in an isolated cabin up in Northern Ontario. He had inexplicably started Breanna off on a rewarding and lucrative career that makes her feel bitterly obligated to the old man. She discovers Bill adrift in a world of fantasy and in severe need of medical attention. But the stubborn old man insists that she listen to his recount of his romance with his wife and its tragic conclusion before consenting to get the help he needs. Through the course of an agonizing day, Breanna learns what family truly means and about the obligations that come with it.
Muckydum will take you on the journey of a tormented man’s pursuit to clear his conscience before it’s too late and a woman’s realization that life isn’t measured solely by one’s successes.
From the Author –> A Little More About Muckydum:
Some of the events in Muckydum are based on a true story. Back in the late seventies when I was in a college in Ontario there was a course elective called The Relevance of Shakespeare. The course had a reputation as being the best elective in the school. Everyone tried to get it as their semester elective.
This was based solely on the spirit of the professor who taught the course, Bill. He looked like an old fisherman, something right out of The Old Man and the Sea. He wore an old Greek fisherman’s cap, jeans and white shirt and always drove his utility bicycle through the halls of the school to get to his classroom.
Bill’s classroom was set up in a small lecture room, tiered up three or four oversized steps covered with plush red carpet. He would have the students lounge among pillows as he presented them with fascinating facts about Shakespeare and how his stories related to the present day. Bill would always video tape each student at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester to evaluate what they had learned.
The semester before I joined the class Bill had made a close friend of a shy, awkward student. During the summer break this student had committed suicide. Every class we had started out with us watching the video of this student and analysing if there was anything to indicate why he may have taken his own life.
I, being young and expecting to have fun, became bored with the class and began skipping most of them. But later in life I always wondered what Bill was hoping to find in those videos, and why he was so intent to find out why.
Muckydum gives me my explanation.
About the Author:
Stephen Chiarelli was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and currently resides in the Niagara Region. He’s been an accountant, a forklift driver, a computer technician and an administrative assistant. When he’s not cruising down in the Caribbean looking that one great shot, he’s working on his next novel. His first book The Connected was released in 2008. Muckydum – The Story of a Haunted Man was released in 2012. Stephen is working on two new novels as well as trying to establish his photography into a new venture.
Photography by Steve Chiarelli:
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