Peter Markham, Hero of “Divide by Zero” by Sheila Deeth

Who are you?

Name’s Peter Markham. I own the garage in Paradise, north end of town. You’ve probably seen it, right?

Are you the hero of your own story?

Sure, I’m a hero. You should ha’ seen me when the bus broke down on the corner. I’m out there with my tool-belt around my waist like some kinda cowboy. You know, Peter Markham, the garage guy, marching out to save the day.

What is your problem in the story?

Don’t know why everyone assumes you have a problem. Sure, my wife’s sleeping with the man upstairs but, well, she’s got her reasons and I’m not complaining. I don’t have problems. I solve them.

How do you see yourself?

The last great superhero? No, seriously, I’m a good enough guy. I’m no angel, sure, and I’ve had my moments. But I’ve never hurt anyone. I wouldn’t do that.

How do your friends see you?

Well… There was that sweet young thing came into the garage the other day, offered to buy me a drink…

How do your enemies see you?

I don’t have enemies. Not me.

What are your achievements?

I’ve got my garage. And I’ve got my son. He’s my greatest achievement I guess. Got a grandson on the way too; did you know that? Grandchild anyway, I guess they don’t know yet if it’s a boy or a girl.

What makes you happy?

Really? A job well-done.

What makes you sad?

Nothing. I’m not that type of guy.

What do you regret?

Ah, you’ve got me there. Regrets, I’ve got my regrets… I regret leaving I guess, all those years ago, missing young Troy growing up. I regret coming back and things not being the same. You know, you can’t help wondering sometimes can you? If you’d done things different, said something else. I don’t know. Mary, she never was quite the same and I regret that, I know. So now she’s got her fancy man upstairs and I’m left with nothing, no-one. I mean… But I’m fine with it really. Not a problem. Not really.

Have you ever failed at anything?

Well, it’s like I said. Failed at being a husband and father I guess. But it wasn’t my fault; you’ve got to understand that. I did my best by them. Heart in the right place.

Has anyone ever failed you?

Failed me? Sure. Her with her fancy man for one.

Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Sure, but what are you getting at? Trying to be my therapist are you? Think I’m going to tell you something I shouldn’t?

What was your childhood like?

Yeah. Let’s stop this. Let’s not talk about that. I’m not my father. I never will be my father. And whatever it is you’ve dug up about my father it doesn’t matter. I’m not him.

Do you like remembering your childhood?

Do you like upsetting people? What game are you playing at? I’m a busy guy and the garage won’t run itself so I think we’re done. Yeah, we’re done. See ya around. And bring your car in if it breaks down on your way out of town.


“Divide by Zero by Sheila Deeth: It takes a subdivision to raise a child, and a wealth of threads to weave a tapestry, until one breaks. Troy, the garage mechanic’s son, loves Lydia, the rich man’s daughter. Amethyst has a remarkable cat and Andrea a curious accent. Old Abigail knows more than anyone else but doesn’t speak. And in Paradise Park a middle aged man keeps watch while autistic Amelia keeps getting lost. Pastor Bill, at the church of Paradise, tries to mend people. Peter mends cars. But when that fraying thread gives way it might take a child to raise the subdivision…or to mend it.

Author bio: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States near Portland Oregon, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.


Click here to read an: Excerpt From “Divide by Zero” by Sheila Deeth

Tony Gavel, hero of “Wasted Space” by J. W. Metcalf

Who are you?

My name is Tony Gavel, I’m a private investigator in Big City. I am 36 years old

What are your achievements?

Well, I don’t like to brag but if you goggled me you would know I was a former golden gloves champion at 16, State wrestling champion during college, and the youngest person in the Big City Police Department to ever make detective.

What is your most prized possession?

I have two actually. My first prized possession is my .38 revolver Louise. She has saved my life so many times. I don’t know how I would get through the day if I lost her for good. My second prized possession is a map of Red Valley Falls. I took off a year after college before i joined the force and spent it living off the land in red Valley Falls. I own a hunting/fishing cabin there. During that year of living in the wilderness I made a map of all the secret crevices, caves, mine shafts, etc… I lost it during a case, though that I call Gone Fishing, when convicted serial killer Doogan Ashe cut my climbing rope and dropped me into the rapids 40 feet below me.

What, if anything, haunts you?

My ex-fiance Mary. She was killed during a robbery at a liquor store, while she was getting some wine for dinner, and i was never able to bring her killers to justice. That has haunted me ever since. It has ruined any chance for me to have a real relationship with a female.

What was your childhood like?

Times were hard growing up in a strong Irish community. Not many people in my neighborhood had a lot of money. My dad worked two jobs trying to support my mom and my two sisters and me. We had a lot of thugs and bullies where I lived that would shake me down for my lunch money or just give me a beating because they could. Most of the dads worked so just the moms would be home all day, cooking and cleaning and doing various chores around the house. They never really payed attention to what the kids were doing all day out in the streets.

Then Dwight moved into the house next door to me. He was a big kid back than. Not many people liked to mess with him. He saw me getting a beating one day by three of the street bullies and jumped in to help me. I never saw anyone fight like he did. Most kids in our neighborhood used sticks or what ever they could get their hands on. They would throw wild punches or rocks. They always traveled in packs so that you had no real chance to defend yourself unless you were with other people. Dwight ran in and kicked the guy that was on me and then stood over me in a boxing stance protecting me. The other kids were laughing at Dwight, calling him all kind of names and telling him to get out of here before he gets hurt but Dwight stood his ground. The one kid that Dwight kicked got up and charged Dwight. That was all it took. Dwight was a blur of motion. Throwing Jabs and uppercuts, using his big body to push kids aside if they came at him more than one at a time.

At the age of nine, I started my life in boxing. I trained hard every day with Dwight after school. I started to fill out and get muscles where I never had any before. Dwight and I were always together. No one ever messed with us much after that day. A few times they would try when Dwight wasn’t around and I still got some beatings, but I started to hurt them a lot more than I was getting hurt. By the time I was ten, people left me alone. Dwight and I were starting to get a reputation and no one wanted to mess with us.
My dad took an instant liking to Dwight and he became like a brother to me. He started coming to our Saturday pizza nights. It was the best times of my life. If it wasn’t for Dwight I would never have won the Golden Gloves championship when I was sixteen. He really turned my life around and helped me turn into the guy I was today.

Name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.

In my wallet I have cash, probably about $500 or so. I carry a lot of money so that I may pay off contacts etc… I have an expandable baton I carry in a secret pocket of my jacket in case I don’t feel like shooting someone and I need to defend myself. Credit cards for when I’m on a case and need to have expenses. My gun Louise, I never leave home without her. My cell phone. It’s a big part of my business.

Where do you live?

I currently live at 19 Orchard Ave, Big CIty, USA. I have a hunting cabin in Red Valley Falls, USA and I had an office in Big City, but it got torched during a case that I call, Wasted Space, so now I am looking for a new one. If you know of a place cheap be sure to let me know.

Are you healthy?

I hope so. I work out at least four days a week. Mostly I use the punching bag and speed bags. I also swim almost every day. It keeps me in fighting shape. The only time I don’t work out is when I’m on a case, with the crap that usually happens to me, I don’t have time for it, but I do make it up after the case is over.

Do you have any skills?

*laughs* Is lock picking a skill? I do have a bunch of different skills. I am excellent at reading peoples body language. I am very tech savvy. I can Box, wrestle and hit a bulls eye with my gun from 50 yards out. I can survive in the wild. I specialize in finding missing persons. There’s more, but I don’t want to tell you all my secrets.

Do you embrace conflict?

As a matter of fact I do. I feel that you will never accomplish anything in life if you shy away from conflict. My problem is that I am usually stabbed, tortured, have broken bones, or got shot when I am trying to face my conflicts.

How do your enemies see you?

I would hope that I have no enemies, but the truth is a lot of people just misunderstand me. I am just trying to do a job and if they don’t like what happens to them, then they shouldn’t have done something stupid. My enemies would say I am stubborn, annoying, relentless.

Do you have money troubles?

I am doing well at the moment. I make a good living doing my job. I get a lot of clients and they keep me busy.

Have you ever had an adventure?

*Laughs* My life is one big adventure. I wouldn’t know where to start with this one.

What is your favorite beverage?

Jack Dawson’s Home Brew. Jack is the bartender/owner of’ Last Call’ in Red Valley Falls. He makes a special apple flavored beer, mixed with moonshine. It has a real sweet flavor, but has a big kick. If you ever make it to red valley Falls you should try it out.

Are you honorable?

I try to be, but in my line of work it’s hard. I have to con and fool people into giving me information sometimes, but I am honorable to my friends and make it a point to never lie to them. My friends know that my word is good and I would never be dishonest to them.

What do you think of yourself?

I think of myself as a hard working, dedicated, caring person that would go to any length helping out my clients.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Yes, I kinda touched on it before about my buddy Dwight. I wanted to add to that though. He made me look deep inside myself and taught me to take no #$%^^$#@, sorry. Take no crap from people and to stick up for myself and believe in myself. He taught me to never give up and how to excel at whatever I do.

What are the last five entries in your check registry?

Nothing. I hate checks and I will not use them. I pay cash for everything and I do not accept checks from clients either. I have had so many problems with checks that I just stay away from them now.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I wouldn’t say I’m a hero. My clients might say differently though. I am just a guy doing a job that I got paid for. You decide for yourself. Read my Case File: Wasted Space and you let me know if you think I’m a hero.

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