The Call

++ Post #547 ~ 66 words of dialogue ++

Created: 8.8.2018 by BLR


– Hullo?

– Hullo. Is that you?

– Last time I checked. Who is this?

– You know who this is.

– Mmhm. What do ya want?

– For some reason you’ve been showing up in my dreams lately. I just wanted to make sure you were still alive.

– Why do you care?

– Well, even though I hate your two-faced, lying, conniving, backstabbing ass, it doesn’t mean I want you dead. Yet.


Fin.

Inspired by a true event. Sorta. It’s complicated.

stagisti-e-tirocinanti_icon

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Microfiction: Turn

Right Turn* Note: Contains adult language and themes *

Turn

486 words

by Brandon L. Rucker

I wrote this on January 11, 2012 via a prompt in one of the private offices at the Zoetrope Virtual Studio. The piece had to contain any of eight select words and could be any length, any genre. I wrote mine spontaneously in about 30 minutes with no editing (the fastest ever for me) and used these words: signal, seethe, focal and suffer.

Roger tapped the turn signal down to make a left turn, but immediately realized it was the wrong turn when his daughter started screaming at him.

“What the hell are you doing, old man, you were supposed to turn on Binford Ave. Can’t you do anything right, I swear!”

He slammed on the brakes but it was too late, the car was too far into the intersection to successfully make the right turn without taking out four other cars and a pedestrian or two who stood on the curb waiting to cross.

At only nineteen, Gina was already a lot like her mother, his ex-wife. Loud. Demanding. She seemed to always seethe with anger, never satisfied with anything, especially anything he did. It didn’t matter that he was her father. It didn’t matter that he nurtured her as a small babe when her mother was too stoned to give a damn about the fine art of motherhood.  That just was not a focal point of her miserable existence.

Roger drove to the next intersection and made a right turn that would eventually get them back on-route to Binford Ave.

“A simple mistake corrected, Gina,” Roger said.

“Whatever.”  She said. “You’re going to make me late.”

Roger had enough. “Make you late? You kids today, always looking for someone else to blame your problems on instead of taking responsibility for your own actions. Unaccountable shits, all of you. We’re running late because you spent an hour in the bathroom primping and getting yourself all slutted-up for a guy I’m starting think must be your pimp.”

Roger stopped at a four-way stop and glared over at his ungrateful daughter. Her mouth agape, her eyes wide with shock and perhaps a bit of hurt because he had never talked to her that way, at least not so angrily. Usually he used a passive-aggressive manner in dealing with her, usually bending to her ways, if not breaking like he did for her mother.

“Fuck you!”

“Get out of the car, you can walk the rest of the way.”

Gina huffed, grabbed her purse, pushed the door open, thrust herself out and then slammed the door behind her. She gave him the middle finger and stomped off, looking like a tramp. A little girl in big girl clothes.

Roger wondered if he was actually hurting himself more than her. It didn’t matter. He knew that at her age and with her attitude, not to mention the bad hand life dealt her… well, she was just going to have to suffer this one out, maybe learn a lesson.

However, like usual, he immediately felt guilty about what he said and he couldn’t shake the pain that he saw burning in her eyes from his mind. The car behind him honked impatiently. He rolled through the intersection and then pulled over to the soft shoulder and waited for Gina to catch up.

Copyright © 2012 by Brandon L. Rucker.  All Rights Reserved.

Microfiction: Pretty Things

stock-photo-887597-three-pale-autumn-leaves

Pretty Things

335 words

by Brandon L. Rucker

From the BLR Vault. An oldie (wow, fourteen years now), but has always been one of my favorites. I’ve taken a few passes at it over the years, tweaking this or that. It’s probably still not “perfect” but I think I may be done tinkering with it. I might’ve submitted it once to a lofty literary webzine or two at some point in the past five years. Still, it sits in the nursery as one of my favorite, if somewhat dour, children. 


My wife and I are silent this morning as we walk our six year-old daughter to school.  We don’t speak to one another much these days, idle chatter seems like a chore.  Many sunsets ago we would gaze intently into each other’s eyes, now neither of us so much as steals a fleeting glance at the other.  That infamous saying that there’s ‘no love lost’ does not apply to us; there’s a lot of love lost here.  More anchor than glue now, our little girl trots merrily between us, relishing the rarity of a family outing with both Mommy and Daddy.

We stop at a crosswalk and I take a moment to bask in the scenery.  It is the best and worst part of autumn.  The fall air is brisk and chill, it smells undeniably like change with a tinge of the unknown.  Bullying winds send chilly kisses to my face where the newly thickened beard gives way to exposed skin.  The sun graces the leaves with glorious light, accenting the yellows, oranges, reds, and browns as they cling feebly to their vitality.  The few that remain green are sparse and out of place.

“Mommy, Daddy, how come the leaves are so pretty at fall time?”

My wife says, “Baby, that’s just God’s way of showing us that dying things can still be pretty things.”

“But that doesn’t make sense,” Bright for her age, the irony is not lost on our only child.

The last car passes and we cross the street to the other side where the school sits just past the intersection.

Our little girl is right, of course.  It doesn’t add up, at least not when using that simpler mindset.  Soon these pretty things will get blown away in a passing gale, swept in the wake with other things once believed to be permanent.  All that will remain is a skeleton of what once bore wonderful fruit.

Rather than further complicate it for her with a grownup’s perspective, I change the subject.

Copyright © 2000 by Brandon L. Rucker.  All Rights Reserved.

Microfiction: Shard

e4bfc-shard2b1Shard (original version)

203 words

by Brandon L. Rucker

Originally published in the anthology A Pint of Bloody Fiction by U.K. publisher House of Horror, September 2010, which was edited by S.E Cox and Nandy Eckle. Microfiction with just enough words to quench your bloody thirst.


He lunged at her clumsily, but missed.  That imprecision cost him.  Unknown to him was the fact that she had a weapon.  At the moment he lunged she used cat-quick reflexes to duck and avoid his attack.  She scrambled to the basement floor.  This allowed her to strike swift just as he recovered.  She used a broken mirror shard to slice into his Achilles as if it were a mere thin ribbon made of fine silk.  He screamed in agony, lumbered to the floor like a wounded animal shot in the wild. Predator had become prey.  As blood began to flow from the injured tendon without pause, endorphins and adrenaline masked his pain as he struggled to get back on his feet, finish the job.  She had other plans.  She wanted to see more of his blood before she was finished with him.  She kicked him in his back and that landed him again.  She struck the other Achilles.  Blood ran.  She restrained him to apply a sedative, undressed him and pierced his genitals with the shard.  She sliced the sack, severed the member.  Torrential blood flowed.  She needed to be sure her husband paid for what he did to their young daughter.

Copyright © 2010 by Brandon L. Rucker.  All Rights Reserved.

NOTE: the newer “expanded” version can be read on Smashwords.

Bob Thurber – Maestro of Microfiction turned Novelist

Please allow me a moment to act like a fanboy regarding the writing of Bob Thurber, whom I’ve always revered as the Maestro of Micro Fiction. Nearly a dozen years ago we made acquaintances and I’ve championed his work since. Now this coming Spring I can finally have his writing on my bookshelf. Paperboy – A Dysfunctional Novel is his debut novel and guess what? It’s a novel made up of 150 short vignettes, effectively what is microfiction, his best stock and trade.

Mass Graves – A Story for Haiti

250 words written: January 21 & 26, 2010
by Brandon L. Rucker

The sound-bites linger in my mind as images of people suffering flickers across my flat-screen TV, or my flat-panel monitor, or the smaller screen of my smart phone. The horror is clear and repulsive no matter the visual resolution of the display. And the headlines tick on like minutes evaporating from the hour.

Haiti rocked by a 7.0 earthquake.

Survivors seek solace in their faith.

Roughly two million are now homeless.

Aftershocks register at 5.9 and 6.1 in magnitude.
Wounded children are calling for their missing parents.
100,000 dead as rescue efforts get underway in Port-au-Prince.
With no safer alternative a desperate mother feeds urine to her infant child.
Makeshift camps set up by survivors will only fester disease as the countless injured remain untreated.

Pat Robertson says, in so many unintelligent words, that the people of Haiti deserve this because they had made a pact with the Devil.
This situation gets more insane, more inhumane and more nightmarish with every passing moment.

They call it Ground Zero, the heart of a disaster area. That’s where I want to be. As the mass graves fill at an alarming rate, doctors fear even more death. Will there be enough time?

I get my fill of sitting idle, watching, listening, weeping, cursing, praying and dying inside. It’s time to take action, there’s much work to be done.

Today the American Red Cross accepted my application to volunteer. It won’t be long before Haiti’s soil is underfoot while I lend a helping hand.
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Copyright © 2010 by Brandon L. Rucker
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Blink|Ink to publish my micro fiction

Just got word back from blink-ink.com editor Lynn Alexander that my 50 word micro fiction story “The End” will be published on their website on or around Feb. 8, 2010.

Blink|ink publishes micro fiction 50 words or less. I worked two old pieces from 150 words down to 50-word snapshot. Unlike what I’ve seen in their archives, “The End” is almost all dialogue. I submitted two stories to them, but I haven’t heard back about the other one. Yet…