A collection of short stories from the twisted mind of Matt Shaw
Please be aware that whilst ‘Insomnia’ and ‘I Lay Still’ are brand new stories – ‘The Review’, ‘The Food Critic’ (Parts one and two) and ‘The Mystery Shopper’ are from the now deleted title “Reviews, Critics and Mystery Shoppers”
A collection of short stories from the twisted mind of Matt Shaw
THE REVIEW is a story about an author, Alan Daleton, who is trying to cope with a ‘one star’ review that someone left on Amazon. This review, along with a few snarky comments made my some guy named “Matt Shaw”, is really starting to bother Alan. He can’t let this go, so he decides to take this reviewer up on his ‘challenge’. By the time he is through, Matt is wishing he’d kept his narrow minded opinion to himself!
This story had me all giggly, then the moment of OMFG! No effing way!! And I wanted to call someone & talk about it… but it was brand new..only released mere hours before I started reading. I couldn’t stand it! So, I emailed Matt. Got my initial reaction out of my system. Now…Dear Reader… I’m just waiting on you. Hurry up, already! I wanna talk!
THE FOOD CRITIC – Part I
Jamie Mitchell, THE FOOD CRITIC, used to be a chef at one of the city’s greatest restaurants. The stress of his job was getting to him, bad for his nerves and his mind, so a career change was in order. Now, for his health, he’s on the other side of the table – eating and reviewing the meals, instead of preparing them. You can tell by the size of his ever increasing belly that he loves what he does.
He’s been seeing some great reviews for this new place, and he cannot wait to try it out for himself. The restaurant itself is nothing to write home about, so he is betting that the food must be to die for. It has to be, for people to forget about the state of the dining area. Things are not off to a good start, though. He’s had to wait ages to place his order, his waitress is a little bitchy, and his water is room temperature. Let’s hope things get better..
We’ll find out about his dining pleasure in part two…
THE MYSTERY SHOPPER:
Does your work ever test you by sending in Secret Shoppers? We have a promotion going on right now, from the Coca-Cola people as well as my employers. We had someone come in just two days ago, asking some odd questions. Thankfully, Nikki was helping him. She answered all his annoying questions correctly, and with a smile. The Coke people gave her a $25.00 gift card, they gave the shift manager a$50.00 gift card (for training her properly, I guess), and they also gave everyone working that shift a code to download free music. That’s a lot of stuff for a ten dollar order! I wonder what the Secret Shopper got.
The Secret Shopper in this story, well… The Mystery Shopper, is Tom Peterson. He apparently doesn’t make enough from the companies that send him out, because he found an inventive way to supplement his income. If the people he ‘tests’ don’t score so well in his reports, then Tom might be persuaded to fudge his report. He has found that most employees don’t want their bosses to know what kind of piss poor service they provide. One poor guy took it so hard… well, why don’t you get to reading the story, instead of this review.
Make sure you let Matt know that I’m doing a good job…
THE FOOD CRITIC Part II:
When we left Jamie, he had just gotten his pitcher of warm drinking water, and ordered his meal. Let’s see if his dining experience has gotten any better, shall we?
He is seated next to Matt and Alan – who are there celebrating the simultaneous release of their books. They’re not to excited to join in any conversation with Jamie, who is seated in the corner, being fat. The stage is set… on to the end of our story…
Jamie is brought his main dish, his stew, and he thinks it looks perfect. Beautiful veggies, perfect hunks of meat, and it smells divine! He devoured it quickly, tasting as perfect as it looked. His dining experience had improved dramatically, and he tells the waitress. She shows concern, finally, that his experience wasn’t favorable from Jump Street, and asks Jamie if he would like to speak to the owner, her father. Which he does. He has a very interesting conversation with the owner, and gets a tour of the entire restaurant. He also gets to find out why the reviews for this place are to die for.
I LAY STILL:
He wakes up, sore & fuzzy headed. Trying to shake it off, to figure out where he is and why.
Faces coming into view above him. Talking. OK… he realizes he’s in the hospital, his family & friends surrounding him.
They’re acting kind of strange. He had wrecked the car driving drunk, they should me madder than this. Lie here in bed with him, as he tries to figure out why everyone is acting so odd.
This is the Matt Shaw take on Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW. In this story, the main character has insomnia (hence the story’s title), which is why he sits up nights watching out the window. Some interesting things to be seen, when people don’t realize that they’re being watched! Even more interesting things to be seen when people suspect they’re being watched… or just don’t care.
A story of voyeurism, exhibitionism, and intrigue.
Hands down, THE REVIEW was my favorite SS in this collection.
But, it would be hard to rate the rest in order! But… INSOMNIA does stand out, because… I finally made it into one of Matt’s stories!! All that time of hinting, pestering, begging, bribing, stalking & threatening finally paid off! I must say, I made out pretty easy, considering the conversation I had with eee brother and his mum! I thought I would be tortured slowly for that.
Mandy Hartley got a shout out in the book, too.
If there were others, I missed the references…Sorry.
I LAY STILL, the other new one in this collection, is really good, too. I hate to admit this, but, when I read it the first time… I didn’t get the very end correctly. In my defense, I first read it while on break at work. When I re-read it… I had one of those *face-palm* moments, and when I realized where we just went… it became much cooler!
So, even if you’ve already read the first few stories, you need to pick this up to read the 2 new ones! If you’d like a personal autograph from me right on the INSOMNIA title page, private message me… I’m sure we can come to a monetary agreement! Hahaha!
Since we’re on the subject, don’t forget that you can get Matt to AuthorGraph many of his titles to you personally!
Since I’m plugging… have you read my interview – LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW?