2009 Crime Excerpt

Four Deep | An Excerpt

{ 397-word excerpt }

Three-thirty now.  He’s got the four of us waiting with our cocks in our hands, but since I’m responsible for this partnership I’m the one who’s going to get pissed on.

At this hour with Mulligan’s now closed we’re lucky we haven’t seen any cops sweeping the parking lot.   I’m sure it’s just a matter time, though.  After another five minutes we finally see the rat bastard’s Monte Carlo pull into the parking lot, then next to my Ninety-Eight where we’re all leaning against it.  I notice he doesn’t switch off his engine.

Considering the situation I can’t bother with pleasantries.  “Raleigh, you got our take?”

The twitchy bastard hands over a black gym bag from his passenger seat.  “Yeah, it’s all there.”

I give the bag to Bert as he hops back into my car so he can do a quick visual.  I bet no more than four seconds go by before he’s humming “mmhm” to himself, which isn’t good news.  “Raleigh, Raleigh, you’re short, man,” He finally says with that incredulous disbelief that raises his voice an octave or two.  “I see . . . ten . . . eleven . . . twelve grand here!  Four ways that’s only three grand, man.”

Tevin says, “Dude, that puts us out one k each.”

“I think somebody failed grade school math,” Percy says reaching for the piece that he keeps in his inside breast pocket, thankfully not pulling it.

The total take was twenty k with our cut being sixteen of that.  Nice and even, Steven.  So divide that by four and that should be four grand each.  But that ain’t the case, hombre.  Looking back at Raleigh I tell him to turn his car off and stay awhile, but—

“That’s all right,” He says, now brandishing his Glock nine at us.  “I’ve got other plans.”  Next thing I know he peels off in his Monte Carlo, leaving us not only with our cocks in our hands but now with a sever case of blue balls.  Naturally, the boys are livid.


“Lets chase his ass down!”

“Bert, Percy, don’t worry about it.”  They won’t believe it, but I’m actually prepared this time.  “I took out an insurance policy in case something like this happened.”

Acknowledgment paints Bert’s face.  “Let me guess, dude don’t know you’re banging his girl?”

“That’s only the half of it.”

Written: December 12 & 13, 2009. The full story originally published in February 2015 by Dead Guns PressThis sample is for electronic access and online archiving, and is intended for reading and reviewing purposes only – any other unauthorized use or dissemination is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2009 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Image by Joshua S. Hooten and is Copyright © 2016. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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2001 Crime Dribble

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ I: The Company You Keep | A Dribble

{ 50 words }

They’re not exactly what you would call your friends.  More like associates.  They come with the profession, the rules – the lifestyle.  They wear expensive suits with black as the base color, matching the iron hidden beneath their suit coats.  Fair-haired women sometimes accompany them, dressed to impress, smiling uncertain smiles.

Written: December 29, 2001.

Originally published in February 2010 by blink-ink [defunct].

Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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2001 Crime Dribble

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ II: The Other Life | A Dribble

{ 50 words }

Sundays, his off day from the job, he is a practicing Catholic. At Mass his wife and young daughters accompany him. He looks over at his darling little ladies; both of them yellow-haired like their mother. He wants to provide a good life for them. And crime certainly does pay.

Written: December 29, 2001.

Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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2001 Crime Dribble

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ III: For a Day’s Pay | A Dribble

{ 50 words }

A man on his knees, begging for his life, mercy, anything as light glints off the pistol aimed at his sweat-beaded brow. Loud, bass-heavy music blares from the stereo as a cloud of smoke from marijuana and crack-cocaine lingers in the air. “Delinquent, again. We’ll have to consolidate your debts.”

Written: December 29, 2001.

Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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1995 Crime Excerpt Suspense

Call of Duty: A Cop’s Tale | An Excerpt

{ 959-word excerpt }

Before he made any attempt at action, Officer Bernie Reed sat in his cruiser and waited for Officer Taylor Guerrero to arrive at the scene, which was procedure.  Unlike the police officers seen on most television cop shows, metro patrolmen and patrolwomen rode alone in their department cruisers, yet still partnered up on shared areas of a particular beat.  Also, unlike the cops in those television shows, real cops often do not run sirens blaring with their cherries and blueberries flashing en route to a scene.  The goal was to catch perpetrators, not send the scurrying for safe cover.

When Officer Guerrero arrived, she stepped out of her department sedan and met him midway to the sidewalk that led to the urban residence.  Bernie noticed that the morning sunlight had accentuated Guerrero’s half-Latin features—her long, wavy brown hair, caramel skin, and deep brown eyes

“As always, perfect timing,” she said.

“The art of convenience is a trait that’s inbred in criminals, didn’t you know?” Reed said with more sincerity than sarcasm.

Guerrero’s lips formed something that was almost the complete opposite of a smile.  She said, “This better be worth me being late.”

He knew she was anxious to get the shift over with so that she could see her young son before his aunt carted him off to kindergarten.  First Watch was a tough shift to work for a single mother.

Officers Reed and Guerrero approached the rundown house that had certainly seen better days like most of the other houses on their beat.  Just before they reached the porch they heard a scream from inside, followed by the crashing of something made of glass against a wall.   The two officers continued their approach to the door, but with caution now.  Once on the porch they heard what sounded like a typical domestic conflict with the proverbial screaming and name-calling; typical of domestic disputes.   However, when they heard what sounded like the thud of a body slamming into a wall, they knew they had a serious situation.

Reed checked the door knob.  By the way it turned he assumed it was unlocked.  He should probably knock, but as the apparent struggle inside seemed to intensify, he scrubbed that option from his mind.

One.  .  .

Two.  .  .

Three.  .  .

Reed flung the door open.  “Police!”

He and Guerrero entered the house, greeted by the repugnant sight of a man—if, indeed society would deem him worthy of such a term—crouched above a woman with his fists balled and bloody.  He was a shirtless, roguish looking subject with long, brown, unwashed hair, a scraggly beard, and various tattoos decorating his bare chest and arms.  Reed sized him up to be approximately thirty years of age, maybe six-two and two-hundred pounds.  The tattoos were quite large and colorful, highly detailed and flashy.  The guy was a walking mural.  The woman, his wife, or whatever she was to him besides his apparent punching bag, lay on the living room floor just past the foyer, sobbing.  She bled from the nose and mouth from the apparent battering she had just taken from his ring-covered fists.  Her morning gown had been torn from the struggle, and bared one of her small, perky breasts.  The woman’s lengthy blonde hair had fanned around her head on the floor.  She looked like hell.  Self-conscious, she adjusted the robe to cover the exposed breast.

The shattering Reed and Guerrero had heard earlier looked to be the result of a ceramic lamp that somehow introduced itself to the living room wall.

The two officers stood in the small foyer, which connected to the living room. “Someone here call for us?” he inquired, though the answer was obvious.

Tattoo Guy—surprised to see the police in his home—rose anxiously from his victim and started to protest their intrusion.  “What the hell are you doing here?”

Guerrero said, “Just calm down, mister, and no one will get hurt.”

Reed heard Guerrero’s words fine, but he detected a hidden message in them.  Knowing a great deal about her background, he could only imagine how these domestic calls affected her.  He knew that as a young child Taylor Guerrero had been witness to her own mother being physically abused by her father, who had been an upstanding citizen on the outside world, and, most notably, a sober man, not the drunken stereotype that was expected to have routine volatile outbursts.  Bernie knew that on a basic human nature level, Guerrero was immediately put-off by Tattoo Guy and would have a major attitude toward him.

Neither officer had yet drawn their pistols, though Bernie had a feeling they would need to.   He was usually quite intuitive when it came to these situations.   It was like a latent talent of his to predict negative outcomes, though he was not a complete gloom-and-doom cynic.

The helpless woman sat up and very timidly scooted herself away from her abuser, toward the two police officers.

She yelled, “Get this bastard away from me!”  Her voice was hoarse and tears streamed down her reddened cheeks to mingle with the fast-clotting blood at the corner of her busted lips.

“Just be calm, ma’am” Reed advised.

“He’s a freak and he’s crazy!”

“Ma’am, please—”

“He’s just an ol’ meth head who puts his drugs before his family!”

Her husband, pointing at her, said, “You better shut your fuckin’ hole.”

“Enough!” Guerrero said.  She pointed at the woman, “You, calm down and stop yelling, and you…” she pointed at Tattoo Guy, “You just make sure you keep that stance and don’t go near her.”

Reed added, “We’d really rather not have to use any force, you understand?  So, please, just do what my partner suggested.”

Taken from a story originally written in 1995. The full story was previously featured in Local Heroes, a print anthology published in November 2011 by Static Movement, edited by Brandon L. Rucker. This sample is for electronic access and online archiving, and is intended for reading and reviewing purposes only – any other unauthorized use or dissemination is strictly prohibited.

This edition is copyright © 1995 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Cover provided by Jessy Marie Roberts and is copyright © 2011. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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2000 Crime Dialogue

What It’s Like | A Flash of Dialogue

{ 756 words featuring Jamila and Tommy }

I wanna borrow one of your guns.

What fo’?


You a girl, you don’t need no gun.

Yes, I do.

No, you don’t.

Then neither do you.

Whatever, girl. Don’chu have cooking shows or The Disney Channel to be watchin’?

You know me better than that.

Go help your Ma with the dishes or something.

You should know better. I ain’t ever been like that and you know it.

I don’t see why not.  You should be more like a girl. I blame your brother for that.

Don’t go there.

He always wanted a lil’ brother but he got a lil’ sister instead, so he tried his damnedest to make you a tomboy.

So why you need your gun?


What’chu need a gun for? You don’t shoot nobody.

Girl, you don’t know what’chu talkin’ ‘bout. Now run along . . .

Just a tough guy with a gun who don’t even use it. Wannabe gangsta.

Shut up, girl, you don’t know what’chu talkin’ ‘bout.  This a man’s thang.

I bet you ain’t ever shot anyone.

Lil’ girl, you don’t know shit. Another one a yo’ brotha’s mistakes.

You leave my brother outta this…

Brought you up to be like a man…well, a boy…but he hid the truth from you. He wouldn’t let’chu near the ugliness.


Way I see it, if you gonna take away the girl inside, you gots ta put the streets in her…

That’s a bunch of bull—

Ain’t no girl got no bid’ness meddlin’ in man’s world. What’chu need a gun fo’ anyway?


I heard that already.

Because I want to get those suckas . . . killed my brother.

Fuck you talkin’ ‘bout, girl?

You heard me.

Do you know what it’s like to kill somebody?  No? Of course not ‘cuz you a silly ass lil’ teenage girl try’na be like her dead big brother.

Shut up. Shut the fuck up!

You little shit …

What the fuck you smack me for?

‘Cuz you don’t need to be talkin’ like that. You talk like that ‘round your mama? Huh? Say it again and you get the same.

You didn’t have to hit me.  If my brother was here he’d kick your . . . butt.

Yeah, but he ain’t here cause he’s dead. And you know why he’s dead? ‘Cuz he fucked around and got himself killed. He wasn’t wronged . . . yeah, you’d like to believe that, but you pay fo’ what you get, you get what you pay fo’. No disrespect, but he had it comin’. He did wrong to the wrong people.  But it ain’t my place to tell you ‘bout all that.

[Momentary pause]

So have you ever killed anyone? 


What was it like?

To kill anotha nigga?  Girl, the first time is the worst experience of yo’ life.  You get in real close and personal, right? You’re . . . what’chu call it . . . intimate, right?  Intimate with another muhfucka, another living person . . . a human being, right? You come up behind him and throw your arm around his neck . . . get’im ‘round the shoulders.  Then you take the gun, shove it into his back . . . you pull the trigger, right? POP! POP! POP! POP!  Four shots, quick . . . straight through the heart . . . lungs . . . kidneys . . . whatever.  He falls to the ground, but somehow he gets his hands locked onto you . . . he’s pulling you down wit’im . . . it’s like a death grip. You see his eyes . . . and fam, they wide as all hell . . . he’s coughing up blood . . . choking on it . . . blood splashing all over his face . . . his chest. Sprinkles of it hit you in the face . . . gets in your eyes . . . and he won’t fuckin’ let go!  And he’s shaking and shivering like he’s freezing . . . it’s all the blood oozing from his body . . . like his soul’s evaporatin’ from his blood or his body. It freaks you out . . . to see this dude . . . dyin’ . . . starin’ at’chu with dead eyes . . . so you freak and empty the rest of the clip in’im.  He let’s go . . . finally, ‘cuz he’s dead.

Oh, Jesus!

Girl, wha’chu you crying for? You asked what it’s like.

Written June 27, 2000 (updated for modern times)

Copyright © 2000-2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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