PAPERBACK BOOKS
THE SCULPTOR 

when peace of mind becomes a mind in pieces 

only one thing can truly mend it

A story which is at times humorous, at times raw, at times even tragic but at all times written with the express purpose that once read, the reader will hopefully be uplifted.  

Life is something to be embraced by an open mind, not merely endured by a cluttered one!

A cluttered mind is one thing that ‘Bull’ knows all about. As the main character he is obsessed by the negativity that has swirled inside his head since youth. Employed as a factory hand at Jenkin’s Joinery, his opinions on life and human nature are less than complimentary.

Following some sound advice from his would be mentor, a factory philosopher named Doc, he makes the decision to move away from the stress of frantic production schedules and lands a job as a carer in an aged care facility.

Buoyed by the prospect of escaping his old boss, the holy woman, and spending quality time with the people of his grandfather’s generation, his illusions are crushed as he finds himself processing people like pieces of timber.

Surrounded by death and total disregard for human dignity, he plummets to rock bottom only to find that his life is about to be reshaped through a series of events so perfectly orchestrated that only one explanation remains on offer.

In Store Price: $AU26.95 
Online Price:   $AU25.95

ISBN: 1-9211-1861-X
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 280
Genre: Philosophical Fiction/Spiritual

 

 


Author: Wayne Leslie Sorrell 
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2006
Language: English

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About the Author  

Wayne Leslie Sorrell was born in Western Australia . Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, he completed high school and joined his father’s sheet metal firm. A blue collar worker most of his life, he currently works in the plumbing industry. One of four children himself, Wayne has a son Adam and daughter Natalie. He lives in the northern suburbs of Perth with his wife Maggie, who he credits with having encouraged him to pursue his passion for writing.  

Both take great pleasure in the family pets and admit to being ordinary people who derive most of their enjoyment from simplicity.  

The Sculptor is Wayne ’s first published work.   

Chapter One (part sample)

Bull the bull

 

 

All cattle are colour-blind.

A bull can see neither the red of a matador’s muleta,

nor the swirling yellow and magenta of his cape.

A bull cannot see the vibrant complexion of the bullring.

Even the reds of his own blood are hidden.

Tragically, he is blind unto the colours before him,

the colours around him

and the true colours of himself.

 

WLS


Millions of others had already made the same journey. The game had been played many times before. It was nothing new! But now it was his turn to wait for the gate to open. The old adage of look before you leap was the last thing on his mind. He had no intention whatsoever of looking anywhere except straight ahead towards opportunity and adventure.

Slowly but surely, the gate began to creak ajar. As the first sign of sunlight filtered through the narrow opening, he poised himself, ready to make a premature dash for fresh air and fanfare. Brimming with self-confidence he charged toward the end of the tunnel. He figured he had already done a long enough stretch tucked away inside the womb; it was finally time for a break out.

Born on the twelfth of May 1959 under the star sign of Taurus, with a square head, flat nose and wingnut ears, he was nicknamed ‘Bull’ by his proud and loving parents. Strangled by his own umbilical cord on the journey, Bull spent the first three days of his life in the maternity ward’s humidicrib. Some said he was lucky to even make it that far. But luck had nothing to do with it. You see, Bull chose to be born, he chose to survive. His ability to choose anything and everything was his natural birthright.

However, as Bull would soon learn, there were those who frowned upon such unlimited freedom of choice. Like all good little bulls, our young square-headed friend was eventually abducted by the ‘all-knowing herd’. The right to chose was somehow taken from him. They proceeded to demonstrate everything, instructing him when, where and how to do it all. The herd were extremely set in their ways: everything had to be done in an acceptable and expected manner. He had no need to think, he just had to do as he was told; after all he was a mere infant and the herd were much older and wiser.

Year in and year out, he tagged along blindly behind the rest of the mob, believing whatever they told him.

 But all that was about to change, thanks to the Sculptor. I suppose you’re wondering who I am? Well, that’s not really important at this stage. Let’s just say I’m a close personal friend of Bull, a friend who has known him longer than he has known himself. If you could spare a little time, I’d like to share with you his story. It’s a tale of self-discovery; a story of how a much older Bull strayed from the herd and lost his way but in the process reclaimed his true nature.

 

The year was 1985 and Bull was now a typical blue-collar battler. After twenty-six years of toeing the line, he had become extremely cynical of the herd and developed a certain kind of indifference towards life in general. His nappies and teething ring exchanged for denim overalls and cigarettes, he only earned a minimum wage and constantly juggled to make ends meet.

The silver bracelet he wore on his scrawny right wrist was a gift from his parents. There was nothing Bull wouldn’t do for his Mum and Dad. He drew comfort and security from their relationship and in his own meaningless world, cherished it above all else. In fact, nothing else even rated a mention in Bull’s book. He’d never had any luck with girlfriends, his mates were all piss-heads, his car was a bomb and he hated his job. He had no hobbies, no money and no interest in anything. Basically, he saw life as just being one load of bullshit after the next.

Engraved on the bracelet, which he always wore, was the name ‘Bull’, a tag which had stuck with him over the years and one by which everybody knew him. Having experienced many of the hardships associated with everyday living, Bull began to look upon the bracelet as a type of barcode identifying him amongst all the other poor, struggling mongrels on the planet.

Sometimes he got so drunk that he needed to refer to the bracelet to help him remember who he actually was. The question of his identity wasn’t one he pondered solely when inebriated either. In fact, most of his waking moments were dogged by feelings of uncertainty and insecurity. He knew his name, address, occupation and telephone number but beyond that, he knew nothing. Obsessed most of his youth with complying and acting the way other people expected him to, his individuality had become hopelessly lost. An enormous void had opened up within his very being.

The young bull, who had once chosen to pit himself against the odds and accelerate from the safety of his mother’s womb, now seemed even incapable of escaping from the negativity inside his own head. He had become nothing more than a bag of bones holding up a skull filled with sawdust and self-pity. Most nights he found it difficult to sleep. The noise in his head simply wouldn’t allow it. Yesterday’s worries and tomorrow’s fears, all stirred by pointlessness, chased one another in a never-ending game of ‘catch’. Alcohol proved to be his only respite.

Stretched diagonally across the mattress like a giant banana, Bull slept in a double bed to accommodate his six-foot-two frame. He was well and truly in the land of nod that memorable Thursday night, early in January. Having endured yet another unhappy day at work, his mind was like a can of worms. Administering his usual self-prescribed dosage of one six-pack on an empty stomach, he finally succumbed to the tranquillity of a deep sleep.

It was a wickedly humid evening and despite warnings on the six o’clock news regarding a spate of recent home invasions, Bull had decided to throw every window in the house wide open. Unfortunately, his invitation to the cool evening air fell upon deaf ears and he lay lathered in perspiration.

A whole gang of intruders could have broken in that night, without even the slightest reaction from Sleeping Beauty. He was so far gone they could have even peeled the mattress from his back and he still wouldn’t have stirred.

But something did wake him. It grabbed him by the throat and dragged him back towards consciousness. With words as clear as the crystal quartz in his mother’s favourite necklace, a woman’s voice spoke firmly into his right ear.

‘Bull, it’s your Dad!’

She spoke in a tone that suggested that all was not well.

The voice from nowhere frightened the living daylights out of Bull. He bolted upright in his bed launching the pillow beneath his head like a missile into a black hole, which engulfed him. The sound of smashing glass was followed by the haunting strum of guitar strings. An eerie musical note resonated through the darkness of his bedroom before gradually dissipating into the silence.

The thud in Bull’s chest echoed into his eardrums. He was scared, disoriented and confused. What was happening?

Who was there? The voice was familiar yet he couldn’t quite place it. He couldn’t place anything. Bull was in limbo, struggling to breathe and devoid of all motion. Unable to think, he lingered somewhere between a dream and the reality he would one day come to question. The stillness offered neither reassurance nor comfort.

Fumbling in an attempt to regain some bearings, his left hand found the splintered edge of a cluttered timber bedside table. As if reading braille, his fingers walked across a terrain of used tissues, empty cigarette boxes and unpaid bills, before finally discovering the relief of a brass-based touch lamp. The brilliance of the sudden flash sent the darkness scurrying and bought some much-needed clarity to Bull’s befuddled mind. Where he had been blinded by the darkness before, he now found himself blinded by the light.

The fully dilated pupils in Bull’s bloodshot eyes slowly contracted to normal size. Still with limited blurred vision, he recognised the frayed leather strap of his wristwatch hanging around the neck of an empty beer bottle near the lamp base. Bull picked up the bottle and all, bringing the watch face near the tip of his nose, as would a near-sighted jeweller. It was only four-thirty a.m. and following a frantic survey around the room, he could see that he was very much alone.

His eyes, with sight now fully restored, were drawn to the broken photograph of his parents, lying on the carpet after being dislodged from its wall mounting. Surrounded by shards of glass, which were once housed within its antique copper frame, the photograph itself had been sheared in half and now sat lodged between the strings of his old guitar that he usually kept leaning against the wall. Who would have thought that a foam rubber pillow could have left such a trail of destruction?

But then again, bad luck seemed to follow Bull wherever he went; nothing surprised him any more. He took a deep breath. The fresh morning air passed through his nostrils and filtered down into his welcoming lungs. Although soothing, the air was still insufficient to pacify the thump of his heart. The voice had seemed so real. He wondered if his Dad was safe.

Bull and his father shared much more than just a paternal relationship. They were best mates. The thought of anything happening to his Dad was more than Bull’s already fragile nerves could cope with. Feeling compelled to ring his father, he searched for the telephone, buried somewhere beneath the pile of dirty washing that littered his bedroom floor. Tracing the cord back into the debris, he managed to find it and hesitantly inserted his finger into the dial.

But commonsense suddenly kicked in and he dropped the handpiece back onto the floor before even dialling the second digit.

‘It was just a bloody dream, you idiot,’ he told himself out loud, as he rubbed his eyes and stroked his furrowed brow.

 Still yawning, he staggered to the bathroom down the hallway. His urine was tainted with a dark brown hue. Together with the offensive odour, it was obvious Bull was extremely dehydrated. But he took no notice of his body’s plea for fluid, choosing instead to cup his hands beneath the running water and swill his gums, before spitting a mouthful of mucus down the drain.

Returning to his room there was no way known he could go back to sleep, so he decided to turn on the television. The set perched precariously on an old discarded cardboard carton opposite his bed. The remote lay on the floor where he had tossed it the previous day in one of his frequent outbursts. Missing the battery cover, which had flown off on impact, Bull depressed the green power button. With the black box searching for reception, he tried to make himself comfortable. Grabbing the spare pillow from beside him, he used it to lean against the bare plaster wall.

The faulty television jumped to life on the only channel it was capable of receiving. Some early morning breakfast show reporter was interviewing an old timer on the verandah of what looked like a suburban hostel. From the looks of things, the old fellow had just turned one hundred. The birthday boy was surprisingly sharp for a man of his age. Apparently, he was still able to care for himself with most aspects of his everyday living. Obviously unimpressed by the senior citizen’s amazingly good health, clarity of speech and sense of humour, the female journalist tried to act interested.

‘What do you attribute your longevity to?’ she asked.

‘Well,’ replied the old man deep in thought, ‘I’ve never been one for the drink or the tobacco and I’ve always stayed well away from loose women.’

The veteran’s face was deadly serious while the reporter showed remarkable composure trying to prevent a smirk from appearing on hers.

‘What did you do for a living when you were a younger man?’ enquired the buxom young interviewer, clearly pleased to get another question away and change the subject.

‘I’ve done all sorts of things from digging graves to laying bricks,’ said the centenarian. ‘A real jack of all trades, that’s me. There’s not too much I haven’t had a go at.’

The old bloke raised his hands to the camera. ‘These two hands have cradled newborn babies and held dying infantrymen. They’ve planted seeds and chopped down trees. These two fellas have been my meal ticket. I’ve been …’

With complete lack of sensitivity, the journalist cut the old man off in mid stream. Bull, who wasn’t one to care much about most others these days, did still have a soft spot for the people of his grandfather’s generation. He felt sorry for the man, whose words were to remain unheard. The old-timer on the other hand didn’t seem worried by the rudeness at all. He gave her a half smile, exposing his worn, yellowed dentures.

‘Have you got any words of wisdom for our viewers?’ she asked, beginning to wind up the short interview.

The old man paused to consider his response and was astute enough to keep it brief. ‘Work hard, do what you’re told, live clean, stay happy and praise the Lord.’

Surprisingly, the journalist squeezed in one additional question. ‘What does it feel like to be the most senior person here?’

‘I wouldn’t know,’ replied the birthday boy. ‘Old Jock there is three years older than me,’ he said, gesturing with his rolling eyeballs to another grey-haired man sitting next to him on the verandah.

‘It’s true,’ interjected a passing nurse, in the middle of her rounds. ‘It’s his birthday next month.’

Bull couldn’t help but notice that the alleged one hundred and three year old was smoking a pipe.

 

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