Categories
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.

“Mutha—”

“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.

brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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Categories
Blog Daybook Journals Update

Daybook 2 | Update Untitled

I Got Nothing

Firstly, I have no Workbook update to share this past week (or the past week before that) because, honestly, there wasn’t any of that kind of work done the past couple of weeks.

ME3_Garrus_NormandyRe-calibrating Like Garrus *

Making some reconfigurations and changes here and abroad, and so things will be a little different here after that reconfiguration. Going to resurrect my old blog and reassign all my nonfiction writing over there and make Ruckerpedia the venue for my fiction writing and music. Or something like that. Gimme a week to tend to these . . . calibrations . . . and we’ll see what’s what.

* Bonus geek points to those who get the Garrus Vakarian reference.

Back In Briefs

With my novel writing prospects in flux for the immediate future, I see no reason to avert my writing attention from short fiction. The novel stuff will likely have to wait at least until the darker, colder months arrive which is when I go into hibernation mode like a grizzly bear in the American wilds. If then, because it’s quite evident that right now I’m just not novel-ready, despite my public displays of eagerness and determination. Who knows if I ever will be? Despite that, I am still a storyteller and will be exercising those muscles on some shorter works. I think I could use a dozen more bylines under my belt, so it’s time I start submitting short fiction work again since my only new fiction credit in the last 3.5 years happened back in March or whenever (see Four Deep” @ Dead Guns Press) . I’ve zeroed in on a few online venues that I will pay off, er, I mean persuade to read, accept and publish my work this year and next with my meager talents. So yeah, short prose fiction. Speaking of which . . .

Smash Hits

So on Sunday I ran a series of posts that focused on the digital versions of old previously published short works of mine that are live over on Smashwords. I included some ‘behind-the-scenes’ author commentary that you may want to read for a little insight on the work. Fair warning, it’s warts and all on those old pieces. Featured on my Smashwords profile page are these four:

The cursed object story Finder Kept

The bizarro horror story The Underneath

The Poe inspired horror story Pieces of Candice

And of course there’s also the bloody little ditty called Shard

I have four or five more previously-in-print works on deck to upload, so once they’re live I will link them here on Ruckerpedia.

I think that’s all I have this time. Be well, be merry and be better than you were the day before today.

– B.

Categories
Blog Update Workbook Working Update Writing

The Rucker Report: Week 16, 2015 – A State of Revision

28368403-vector-silhouette-of-a-man-sitting-at-a-computer-on-a-white-backgroundMost of my best writing occurs during the “Triple R” phase: re-writing, revision and refinement. I guess you could throw rereading in there too, but that’s a given. Ah, yes, the revision phase.  No matter how old the original draft was, the later draft will almost always be greatly improved.

Howdy, y’all.  I am returned.

So, yeah, I’m still in revisions with a handful of old stories.  I actually look forward to SMH moments when doing line-by-line revisions.  What can I say, I’m easily entertained.  What I find interesting about revising and refining old works is how often the Writer Me of Today vehemently disagrees with the Writer Me of Yesteryear.  Writer Me of Today is a great deal more picky and often dissatisfied with many initial word choices or turns of phrase.  Just as a point of distinction: The Writer Me of the 1990s had not yet read and reviewed hundreds of short stories in workshops, nor read, edited and selected for publication several dozen short stories for an online webzine, nor read, edited and selected from dozens of short stories to compile and publish an anthology.  Nor had he yet been schooled by the likes of stingy wordsmiths (and personal literary idols to boot) like Elmore Leonard or Bob Thurber.  In jive terms: 1990s Writer Me didn’t know shit!  Even early 2000s Writer Me was just starting to get a true education in fluid, hooky prose.  However, Writer Me of Yesteryear had far less demands of his time and attention.  In an apples-to-apples comparison, that’s what I call an unfair advantage.

However, in regards to some of my older works, published or otherwise, I am reluctant to touch them for ‘improvements’ because some older works are special snapshots in one’s life and journey as a developing writer.  For instance, there’s an old story of mine dating back to 1997 called “All Things Considered” which was finally published in 2010.  Sure, I spruced it up a great deal before submitting it, but if I am being honest I know it’s still the mark of a naïve storyteller because my emotional attachment to its original essence was not something I wanted to part with.  Even now as I contemplate republishing it, I am reluctant to significantly change it to improve it, short of line edits and deep proofing.  It’s a peculiar situation, I know.

It has recently occurred to me that should maybe start posting excerpts of various works, whether in-progress, sitting on-deck for submission or previously published.  I talk a lot about writing here (‘cuz, y’know, I’m a writer and stuff) so it’s probably high time some of it get featured here in this theater of text.

And now for the In Case You Missed It portion of the program. The previous two updates heralded the coming publication of a little crime story of mine called “Four Deep”.  It was accepted back in early February by Dead Guns Press and was supposed to be published March 29th.  Well, it didn’t quite make it that day, but it did finally go live on Wednesday, April 8th.  Have a read, though I should caution there’s a bit of mature (or immature) language in its contents.

In non-fiction writing news, I recently changed my mind and re-activated my little blog that’s dedicated to an old favorite pastime.  Yes, this is mere weeks after saying I’d simply just move that particular themed operation here for the convenience of consolidation.  However, for me, the very niche nature of graphic fiction, and the love and adulation for it, demands its own space and forum in which to be revered.  So, yeah, if you’re inclined you can check out Brandon Rucker’s Comic Book Fetish from time to time to see what’s got my mind going over there.  I actually have more comic book-y stuff to discuss, but that’s a whole other post of its own soon enough.

And finally, since the last Rucker Report update here, on March 15th I wrote the music for the third song in my new band’s catalogue.  A few weeks ago my co-guitarist B.J. Walker came over to add his embellishments to it so that we’re not both playing the same thing the whole time.  I can’t wait to see how the rhythm section reacts musically to this rockin’ little number, that’s probably influenced by bands such as Refused, Fugazi and Jawbox.  I’m quite stoked for band practice this coming Wednesday as we will be breaking in our new bassist.  Hopefully by summer’s end I’ll have some recorded music to share, or at the very least a raw video from a rehearsal session.  We should probably take a band photo soon too.  And finally decide on a band name.

Well, that’s all the news that fits.

Y’all be good each other and stuff.

-BLR

Categories
Short Stories Writing

Story Quote from “Four Deep”

Well, last call’s come and gone. My guys are getting impatient, especially Bert who already thinks the jobs I find for us are bunk. And then there’s Percy with his delusions of grandeur, thinking we should be going Big Time, but the reality is we’re tiny fish in a large pond. We ain’t Italian or Russian, and none of us are connected, really, not to made guys anyways, so any mob work we get is going to be for scraps. That’s just how it is on the lower level. — Zane Mitchell in “Four Deep”

Read the story here @ Dead Guns Press

Categories
Stories Writing

“Four Deep” by Brandon L. Rucker @ Dead Guns Press

Your after-hours reading may commence.  Published today (albeit a few days late) over on Dead Guns Press.com is my short story “Four Deep”. DGP specializes in modern crime stories written in the new era of pulp, and as a lover of all things crime fiction, I was happy to contribute to the site and am now honored to have my work featured there.  The story in question was originally written in 2010 as a workshop prompt involving time and the number four, from what I can remember. Naturally, I thought of these four scumbags: Zane Mitchell, Bert Simmons, Percy Collins and Tevin O’Brien as an easy reach to fulfill the number four. Add ‘just another night in the life of…’ approach and the rest is history. Mind you, it’s not your typical hardboiled crime story, which is evident by the fact that the editor at DGP (a fine and ultra-friendly British chap named Marcus Leon Smith, an author in his own right) was at a loss for finding a suitable image to accompany the piece (give’em time, this may be rectified). I figured the story’s oddness would either make it somewhat attractive, or make it easy rejection fodder. Looks like the sun decided to shine on me and these low-rent wannabe gangsters. Please take a moment to indulge yourself in their sunless world. See if you can be charmed by Zane, the groups de facto leader and the story’s narrator.

Four Deep

by

Brandon L. Rucker

@ Dead Guns Press