Categories
Blog My Fiction RUCKERPEIDIA Work-in-Progress Works

The Apprentice | A Work in Progress — RUCKERPEDIA

{ 404 words so far } “I am Death,” he tells me as he hands me the scythe. He had personally forged the blade out of stainless steel himself. I can’t help but be amazed at his resourcefulness, and the meticulousness of his craft, his attention to detail and his drive to be the best […]

via The Apprentice | A Work in Progress — RUCKERPEDIA

Advertisement
Categories
Blog My Fiction RUCKERPEIDIA Work-in-Progress Works

A Patchwork Companion | A Work in Progress — RUCKERPEDIA

{ 639 words so far } Just before dusk the man took a break from his work in the basement. He was not hungry, or more specifically, he had no appetite. Instead he opted for a cold beverage from the refrigerator in the kitchen to quench his thirst. Only when he popped the cap off […]

via A Patchwork Companion | A Work in Progress — RUCKERPEDIA

Categories
My Fiction Work-in-Progress

A Nice Warm Welcome, Right?

~ written sometime in 1998 ~

The abrupt sound of knocking on the door echoed throughout the studio and startled him.  Aside from his parole officer, he had no other company to expect.

“Mister Johns, you in there?” That was the annoying voice of the landlord, Albert McFarland coming from behind the door.  The man went by Al.  His voice reminded Maynard of Jackie Gleason on that old sitcom The Honeymooners.  McFarland knocked again.

Hold your damn horses, he wanted to say.  He opened the door to see the short rotund man as he stood there with a cheap cigar in his mouth.  McFarland gave him a once-over, a look of suspicion in his sharp gray eyes.

“Yeah, what can I do for you?” Maynard said, his morning voice untested and rough.

“Just came to have a look at those blinds,” McFarland said. “And I forgot to mention your air unit ain’t exactly up to snuff either.”

Was that all?  Maynard didn’t buy it.

“Mind if I come in for a sec?”

“Well, I was just on my way out.” Maynard said.  “I’m all out of squares, figured I’d go down to the Village Pantry for some.”

“Mister Johns, I can inspect them without you being here.”

For some reason he didn’t want the man to set foot in his home sniffing around for whatever things his obvious suspicions inspired him to.  It reminded him of a prison warden.

“This won’t take but a second, Mister Johns.”

McFarland stepped inside with a notepad, observed the blinds and made his notes.  “Prison, huh?  What’s that like, if ya don’t mind my asking?”

“I see word gets around.”

“No way Jennifer at the office wouldn’t tell me something like that, Mister Johns.”

“Well, let’s just say I’m a changed man, Mister McFarland.  Completely rehabilitated and reformed.  I’m not one to dwell on the past.”

McFarland said, “Well, I’m sure you understand some folks might not be comfortable with the idea of a known felon in the building—”

“That’s former felon—”

“Well,” McFarland said having worn out his welcome already, “Don’t take it too personal if folks act a little skittish around ya.”

McFarland took a quick glance around the studio and then made his way to the door.

“So about those blinds and the air conditioning,” Maynard said.

“I’ll get my maintenance guy on it. Might be a week or so.”

Maynard shook his head at the ridiculous wait time and let McFarland out. The portly landlord entered the hallway and wobbled toward the stairwell that led to the upper levels.

“Now you have yourself a good day, Mister Johns.”

“Every day of freedom is a good day, Mister McFarland.”

Taken from my story “All Things Considered”, a previously published work now being expanded into a novella. © 2010 Brandon L. Rucker.

Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – Pieces of Candice (eBook)

Pieces of Candice: A Horror Story

The Tease

Told in a voice of madness and menace inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, “Pieces of Candice” is the first-person account of what happened when a helpless young woman in a desperate situation ventured into the dark woods for help. It’s psychological horror right in step with classics by the likes of Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell.

Author’s Commentary

As a psychological horror story with a touch of gore, it’s certainly one of the darkest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the earliest as the seeds for it date back to 1994 as I was reading a lot of horror and suspense back then. Writers like Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, to name the heavy hitters at the time. Not to mention that the serial killer fiction as true crime stuff had been all the rage during that period. When I finally took a stab at writing it in earnest, it took roughly three years of stops and starts to finish it because it was difficult to slide in and out of the narrator’s disturbed mind. I felt pretty icky at times, other times I’d chuckle at my sick sense of the grotesque.

Although I finally finished it in the late 90s, I didn’t pursue getting it published until the summer of 2010 when then editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement put a call out for stories dealing with madness for an anthology aptly titled MADNESS OF THE MINDWith a title and theme like that I knew that “Pieces of Candice” had a likely home. Thankfully, I was right, although I made some changes to certain details and updated others to bring it to this current century.

Recently I decided to spruce the piece up a little more and re-publish the ebook edition on Smashwords as part of Operation: Remember Me? so that it would exist for online reading as a digital download on various eReader devices.

By today’s literary and consciousness standards, this piece probably doesn’t play as well given the old school male predator versus female victim aspect of it. However, if you can get beyond that and don’t mind stepping into the disturbed, socio-pathic mind of Jules (the narrator) for a little night reading, click on the cover image below — designed by yours truly — to access the Smashwords view page for a free read. Just be sure to dissociate the art from the artist.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

Pieces of Candice 5 (1600w)

Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – The Underneath (eBook)

The Underneath: A Bizzaro Flash of Horror

The Tease

After Ramsey discovers a strange blemish his life takes a swift turn into a painful, surreal experience, leaving him to wonder: is this real life?

Author’s Commentary

This one was published a couple of years back in the bizarro print anthology LIKE FROZEN STATUES OF FLESH, compiled by fellow writer/editor Joe Jablonsky. Written in 2009, it is certainly a bizarre piece of fiction dealing with a fella who has discovered a strange blemish on his skin that was not ever there previously. What happens after that discovery results in perhaps the most surreal story I’ve ever written in my two decades-plus of fiction writing. This one sports one of my better cover efforts. You can click it below to take a brief misadventure into something a bit nightmarish.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

The Underneath 3 (1600w)

Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – Finder Kept (eBook)

Finder Kept: A Tale of Unintended Fate

The Tease

Like Pandora’s Box, some things are simply best left buried or undisturbed. When a drunken homeless person unwittingly acquires a strange object from a man who is obviously running for his life, the homeless person’s apparent new fortune takes an instant turn for the worse. This is an unfortunate tale of unintended fate.

Author’s Commentary

This was the first story featured in the print anthology BEST LEFT BURIED, selected and edited by Gregory Miller a few years back. I’m guessing my little tale about what happens when a cursed, otherworldly trinket falls into the wrong hands must have epitomized the theme of the anthology because Miller chose to have my story lead the book. It’s no doubt an incredibly huge honor to have your words and your name be the first featured content in any book. This one’s definitely in the “weird” section of my personal library. You click the cover below for a free read.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

Finder Kept 2 (1400w)

Categories
Microfiction My Fiction Work - Microfiction

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.