Harry Turpin’s losing his girl… and maybe his mind! Find out why in CLOAK!

The World Revolves Around You

Storyworld: The Sovereign Era | Series Name:
Reading Order: 02 | Stand Alone? Yes
Genres: Alternate History, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | Editions: Audiobooks, E-Book

It’s the Sovereign Era, when the sudden appearance of men and women with remarkable powers — Sovereigns — changes the course of history and threatens the balance of power in the late 20th century… and Tony Fallow has a sticky problem: everything that isn’t bolted down wants to literally be near him!

Fearing he must be a Sovereign, Tony travels to the Donner Institute for Sovereign Studies in the hope of being cured. But as he tells his story to a human doctor working at the Institute, the boorish Tony soon finds his problem might be more complicated than he suspected, and bigger trouble than he could have imagined..!

THE SOVEREIGN ERA is Matthew Wayne Selznick’s ongoing alternate history series presenting a mosaic of novels and stories detailing how the presence of super-humans changed the last decades of the twentieth century and the future of humanity.


0) Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights: “How It All Got Started” (free online serial)
1) Brave Men Run
2) “The World Revolves Around You”
3) The Sovereign Era: Year One
4) “Canary In A Coal Mine”
5) Pilgrimage
6) The News From Bewilder Pond

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An Excerpt from
The World Revolves Around You

“Thanks for setting things up for me, doc. That big white room worked like a charm – cleaned me right up.”

Dr. Kenner pointed loosely at the examination table. “I’m glad. Have a seat, Mister Fallow.”

Disheveled, tattered and unbathed, Tony Fallow hopped up on the table. He shuddered and removed his scratched, battered sunglasses. He reached to touch the bridge of his nose and jerked his hand back as if he’d thought better of it. “I’m sure glad to get out of that waiting room, too. I mean, I might have a little problem with this Sovereign thing, but at least I still look like a person. No extra eyes or bat wings or nothin’, y’know?”

Dr. Kenner carefully studied his clipboard.

The edges of the white paper on the examination table crinkled and curled, slightly, toward Fallow.

He grimaced. “Aw, here we go. Not five minutes.” He spread his hands. “What can you do for me, doc?”

Dr. Kenner laid a hand along his jaw. “Why don’t you tell me what brought you to the Institute, Mr. Fallow.”

Fallow glanced at the paper, which bunched against his hips as he watched. He sighed and licked his lips. “Okay. It’s quite a tale.”


It goes back to me and Jane, see? She was my girl. A real peach, one of those bookish types most guys pass over, right? Comes across as real sweetheart… but not so much, if you know what I mean. In a good way. The whole package.

What’s that saying? Y’know? “An angel in the kitchen, a devil in the…”

Well, I’m getting to that, doc. I’m telling the story. This is all part of what happened.

Things were goin’ great with us. Now, you can probably tell, I been around a little, and I think Jane recognized she was getting a pretty good deal, a guy like me, good job, decent looks, someone who could show her a little bit of the world she was always readin’ about. This is a girl who was brought up sheltered… privileged. I mean, she’s the only chick I ever met who asked for a pony when she was a kid, and one shows up the very next day.

I think she saw an opportunity to get a little real world education, being with me, and heck, I was happy to oblige. She was a quick study, lemme tell you, those first few months.

Well, you know how it is with these things. Women start off grateful for the attention, and then it gets all turned around and they start thinking they can make demands. I mean, I enjoyed taking her out on the town, showing her around to all my buddies, goin’ to all my haunts and what not. But this one time, she wants to go to some art gallery or some such, something one of her feminist-bookstore-drum-circle-type friends tells her about, and I gotta tell you, such things do not appeal to me.

I told her, sorry sweetheart, we’re goin’ down to the Kozy Korner. There was a game on and all the guys were gonna be there. I was expected.

Well, yeah, of course we did what I wanted. Like I said, she was grateful for the attention from a real man, not like those swishy college boys she was probably used to. Anyway, how long can you stand around eating cheese and looking at a bunch of color-by-numbers? Damn right we went to the bar.

I couldn’t see the big deal.

Things were fine for a few more weeks, then she starts dropping hints about this lecture about all this Sovereign stuff. Of course, she wants to go. That’s really the first time I started paying attention to all you guys. Honest to Pete, I thought all this crap about people who can fly and read minds and everything was just mass hysteria, like the Moon walk or whatever. But Jane really wants to waste her time – that reporter guy was gonna speak. What’s his name..?

Right, Kass. No kidding, he’s got an office right here at the Institute? Well, if I run into him, it’ll be the first time, since we didn’t go to no lecture. The new Arnold movie opened that night, and I’ve gone to the first showing of every Arnold movie since the one with that Dago shrimp from “Taxi.” I wasn’t about to miss it for some talking head going on and on about a buncha freaks. I want Sovereigns, I’ll turn on the news, you know what I’m saying?

Don’t rub it in, doc. No shit, things are different now. Hah freakin’ hah.

So anyhow, we get back to her place after the movie, and she doesn’t want me to come in. Says she’s tired. I tell her, “Hey, baby, I packed my toothpaste and I plan on using it,” y’know, kinda funny, and I give her a wink. She usually loves that, but it just pissed her off. She leaves me out on the sidewalk, no kiss, no nothing.

So, I figures that’s that. On to the next one, right? Easy come, easy go. She lived a charmed life, but she’d be hard pressed to get so lucky again, I can tell you that for nothin’. Her loss.

Only, next night, she shows up at my place. I was just crackin’ a cold one and getting ready to catch a little wrestling, but I figure what the hell, I let her in and ask her if she wants a beer.

She didn’t want no beer. She’s got a paper bag, and it’s got my deodorant, my extra pair of skivvies, my comb… even my spare toothbrush. Yeah, she made a big deal outta that, yuck yuck, right? Tells me we’re through, which, duh, I kinda figured, like I said, but she wanted to see me one more time so she could tell me to my face what she thought of me.

Whatever. This was no big deal to me. I invited her to express herself.

What’d she say? You know, the usual stuff women yammer about when they think they’re really stickin’ it to you. I waited it out, but the thing was, I couldn’t help but glance at the TV now and then. The match was getting started. She catches me, and got really mad. She actually thew the paper bag at me.

Right before she left…


It spooks me, I am not ashamed to tell you.

Right before she leaves, she says to me, all sarcastic, she says, “The world revolves around you, you know that, Tony?”

Then she slams the door, and I never saw her again.

That was it. “The world revolves around you.”

Next morning, my troubles start up.

Name Your Price!