Muckydum: The Story of a Haunted Man
William Holden has been haunted by visions of people from his dysfunctional relationships but has done his best to ignore or avoid them. For the successful author happiness has been but a series of fleeting memories. Bill held onto those memories and used them to make it through a lonely life.
Now Bill sits in his cabin in Northern Ontario listening to the soft tones of the woman’s voice sitting on the couch in the living room. She talks to him about what he needs to do. His health is failing but he still hasn’t finished what he set out to do ten years before. He must get his publisher, Breanna Sutton, to come up and see him. He has a story to tell her. A story of finding and losing love and the consequences and regrets of the decisions he made in his life.
While he waits he remembers an event from his past. It was a time when he had shut himself off from any intimate contact with the people around him. It was a time when conjuring up intimate memories of his wife and teaching Shakespeare at the local college provided him with his only semblance of happiness. But for some reason he uncharacteristically befriended a withdrawn student in one of his classes and he inadvertently gets taken on an emotional roller coaster that sent him deeper into despair. On a frantic search for answers he came to realize that he must affirm his own indiscretions in order to come to terms with how his life had come to pass.
Breanna Sutton drives up from Toronto to reluctantly meet with Bill at the reclusive cabin. He had inexplicably started Breanna off on a rewarding and lucrative career that makes her feel bitterly obligated to the old man. When she arrives she discovers Bill adrift in a world of fantasy and in severe need of medical attention. But the stubborn old man insists that she listen to his recount of his romance with his wife and its tragic conclusion before consenting to get the help he needs.
Through the course of an agonizing day, Breanna learns what family truly means and about the obligations that come with it. Muckydum will take you on the journey of a tormented man’s pursuit to clear his conscience before it’s too late and a woman’s realization that life isn’t measured solely by one’s successes.
- Stephen Chiarelli, March 2012
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