Book title: Miles of Files
Author: Michael J. Sahno
In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn’t end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing.
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AT 5:38 ON the morning of his forty-first birthday, Graham Woodcock awakened to the sound of a cat retching. He heard three distinct thumps as the cat’s larynx contracted, then a sound with a different quality, liquid, gurgling: no doubt the discharge of some vomitous hairball. Or, worse, an entire meal. He saw it in his mind’s eye as he glared through the dark at the red numbers of the alarm clock.
When he finally decided to rise—after another hour’s sleep—he was roused not by the urgency of cat puke, but by the urgency of the breakfast hour. Not his—the cats’. One of them leapt on the bed and nuzzled his outstretched hand with phony affection, a clear message: get up, get up. Giddyup.
Graham crept into the kitchen, trailing the cats in darkness. He scanned the floor to avoid any cat vomit that might be there, but there was none. He flipped on lights and fed the cats, then wandered from room to room in search of vomit. Nothing.
He sat down to eat his breakfast, and everything was fine until one of the cats began to move its bowels while Graham was finishing his cereal. It was Truman, no doubt, whose bathroom routine was maddeningly predictable.
He decided to ignore it and finish the cereal in spite of the odor. Then Truman strutted into the kitchen, waving his tail like a dog. Somehow he’d managed to snake his tail across the gloppy pile of excrement in the litter pan, and a streak of it glistened in his fur like a grotesque flag.
The cat approached the breakfast nook, still switching his tail back and forth, and each motion left a faint brown brushstroke against the cream-colored paint. He created his own masterpiece right beneath the kitchen counter.
“NO, no, no. Shit,” Graham said, then realized the irony. He picked the cat up by the scruff of the neck—the only way he could hold him without getting himself painted—and carried him into the bathroom. “You little bastard.” He swallowed the urge to slam the cat against the wall.
“I hope this isn’t an indication of the kind of day it’s going to be.”
But it was. On the side of the bathtub stood a cockroach the size of Graham’s thumb. He froze, dropping the cat as the roach scampered down into the clean white tub. “Christ!”
He cranked the hot water all the way on to drown the brown beast, which swam around with frantic leg movements. At last it succumbed to the boiling hot water and floated toward the drain, which was too small for it.
“Why the hell did I ever come to this godforsaken swamp?” he muttered. “All I ever wanted was a nice house in the hills and a bit of crumpet on the side. Now I’m stuck in Florida with the cast of Deliverance, killing roaches that look like Harley fucking Davidson motorcycles. If it weren’t for the 401(k) program, I’d bloody well sod off.”
The Harley Davidson was dead now, and Graham grabbed it with a wad of toilet paper before flushing it. Unfortunately, he’d scalded himself in the process, and small pink welts like fever blisters rose on his arms.
He remembered the cat, and knew it was too late. Sure enough, as he walked from the bathroom he saw light brown feather-strokes at odd points on the burgundy carpet. Some were barely visible, like the first one he stepped on—with his bare foot, of course.
“Happy fucking birthday,” he said between his teeth.
Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. Eventually, he was selected for Editor-in-Chief of his high school literary magazine. The quality of his work led to several honorary titles and academic awards by his senior year, which made it clear he was predestined to serve a role in literary excellence.
Mr. Sahno earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.
After college, Mr. Sahno served in several management positions, including Director at a marketing research firm, Assistant Vice President at a Tampa-based mortgage company and college professor in the field of English composition.
Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and, in the following years, wrote more than 1,000 marketing articles on a wide range of topics.
Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.