What do you get when you mix a haggard old ghost who is severely ill with nostalgia with the end of the world? You get Dreamers and Thieves, by S. R. Schuch. That is I. I am he. Thomas is dead. He is an old, old soul who just cannot bear to take himself to Heaven, even though that is where all the people are. But, they�re not the same there. They are happy and healthy and eternal. Thomas misses Humans as they were on Earth: emotional, struggling, surviving. He misses them being alive. He saw himself through them, seeing as he was once one of them. Now, they are all gone, and dead, and scattered about the scorched Earth like rotten sprinkles on a big, rotting cake that floats through space. Thomas has lost almost all hope in ever finding life again. His hope is fragile and fleeting, as are his ghostly emotions, which go up and down, up and down. He roams and roams the broken Earth in hopes of finding life when he sees something he hasn�t seen in ages. He sees the Sun poking its blazing face through a pinhole in the blackened, neon, toxic pudding clouds. He hasn�t seen the glory of the Sun in years upon years, not since bombs dropped from all corners of the globe. He knows this is something. He hopes and he prays. He hopes and he prays. The sight tickles his dying hope, which is something that he desperately needs to keep roaming, roaming, roaming, and he instantly knows how he is going to spend his day: he is going to wait out the sight of the Sunrise or Sunset, which ever comes first, and as he waits, he is going to tell you a little story about what could have been, what should have been; the story is about his best friend. His best friend was Victor Connelly. He is dead now. Thomas is nostalgic, sick with memories and ghostly emotions. He and I are the same in that sense. We are ill with emotions that go up and down, up and down, and we both had to do something about it. This is that something.
I have been called an artist, though I�m not fond of calling myself such. I have recognized that I do fall into the category of �Artist� due to the many art-like things I have made. Do you know what the difference between an artist and a non-artist is? Get ready. It�s the Art. Imagine that. In some way, shape, form, sound, splatter, accidental spill, brush stroke, mold, pluck, twang, click, or clack is where you will find the difference. Make something, anything, and you�re a real artist. I have never made one red cent from the are-like things I have made. That is a lie. I have made a few red cents, but not enough to support myself, my family or to even take my mother out to dinner on her birthday. In other words, art has made me poor, so I work, just like everybody else. I manage a restaurant. I do not like to discuss my work. I have been a musician and songwriter for seventeen years now. Where has the time gone? I have made records, toured the nation, lived a life on the road, which is not quite as glamorous a life as you�d imagine. It is a very difficult and challenging life. People would say to me, �Wow, you must have so much fun out there!� My reply would often be, �Yeah,� I would say, �if you consider starving, driving endless hours through unfamiliar roads in darkness, sleeping on random floors, and not knowing when your next meal and shower were coming as Fun, then yes, we had tons of fun.� They would look at me confused, not knowing what to say next. Realizing that I had just squashed their vision of a Rockstar fantasy and sounding like a dick, I would say, honestly, �But I wouldn�t change it for the world.� And I meant it. I was married to music. We are divorced now. I don�t live my every waking moment to write and record and hit the road to play my tunes for varying numbers of people. Some of those people were called fans. I knew them as friends. They were good to me, to the band. I was close to making money, the good kind of money, the kind that would allow me to pay my bills, buy my family nice things, and to take my mother out to dinner for her birthday. But, I walked away many times from those opportunities. I don�t know why. Time would pass and I would miss the scent of my cruel mistress; I would want her back. I would want the opportunity to �make it� come along again, but it was never easy to come by after I first walked away from her. It was silly behavior. So, here I am. I have channeled my artistry into creative writing and I�m not looking back. I have no clue whether I am good or not. That is for you to decide. I do know one thing: I have a sever sickness, which I call passion, passion to write stories that others may want to read. I have a severe illness that I call desire to create characters, plots, and scenarios that question who and what we are. My favorite author of all time, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. once wrote, not verbatim, that when creating characters and interesting stories that grip your imagination, you should be as sadistic as possible. I took those words to heart. Just read this book. You�ll see. This book was a symptom of my disease to create. I thought I had cured my illness when I finished it. I thought that this book would, at minimum, slow the growing cancer of art within me, but it did not. I was so close to curing myself that I could taste it and it tasted like paper and ink. Now, I�m writing another. Who knows what will happen. Only the story can tell. Again, I�ve been called an artist. To that, I reply, �I�m just a man making things that will hopefully outlive myself, as I sense that I will die sooner or later.� And, in the words of Thomas, the narrator of my little tale, when speaking about the inevitability of death, he says, �You�ll see.� �Yes,� I say in response to a character alive, yet very dead, in my imagination, �You�ll see, indeed.�
To put it simply... Incredible read.
Descriptive, thorough, pulse pounding and heart wrenching.