Categories
1995 Excerpt horror

Pieces of Candice | An Excerpt

{ 772-word excerpt }

Back at my place you should have seen the poor gal.  She was sopping wet with the sky’s tears and her own.  Candice had come out of her state of shock by the time we had reached my cabin.  I suppose that Franklin’s passing had finally dawned on her.  She had to be quite distraught for the multitude of resident house flies and other flighty, six-legged critters to go largely unnoticed.

“It’s my fault he died!  It was my shift to drive when the car must have lost contact with the road.”  She tried to control her sobbing but to no avail.  “We crashed into the trees.  I’m so stupid, it should have been me.  It’s not fair!”

However, I could not seem to make logic of her rationale on the subject.  But no one has ever accused me of having a reservoir of sympathy, either.  Actually, I thought her to be foolish and babbling.  Yet being the gracious and very anxious host that I was, I was determined to comfort her and provide her with whatsoever she required.  For example, if she needed a back rub to unwind herself, I would have given her the best rubdown she had ever known.  However, if she needed me to put her out of her misery, I had the perfect cocktail to do so.  Who could blame me for my magnanimousness, eh?  It was not often in my forty years of existence that I was needed.

I prepared some hot tea with my special blend of ingredients to warm her and put an end to her chills.  She sat upon my love seat with her arms folded and her legs drawn up close to her body.  I handed her the drinking mug and sat in the reclining chair that flanked the love seat.

“Thank you, Mister. . . ?” She paused, not knowing how to address me.

“Oh, how rude of me not to offer you my name.  I apologize.  Please, call me Jules.”

“Hmm . . . Jules,” she mused, “not very common.”

“Is that meant to be a compliment?”  I said, glaring at her. “I most certainly hope so.”  She did not flinch at my stern voice.  Candice seemed to be quite relaxed now, which meant my special blend was working its magic—its affects were instantaneous.

Oh, how I reveled at the prospects of what I could do with her.  Her beauty did not affect me in the sexual sense; I was far beyond sexual gratification at that stage of my life.  Odd, yes, but when you’ve lived alone as long as I have you either got over such things, or you’re doomed to be ruled by them without resistance.

No.  My attraction to her was in an artistic, aesthetic sense.  Corruption, pure and simple.  Perverting her beauty so that it matched my own hideousness was going to be most invigorating!

Noticing the odd odor that permeated the place, she said, “What’s that smell?”

I said, “Rancid meat. I’m afraid I got a raw deal at the butcher in town the other day.”  I chuckled.  “Be wary of the manager’s special.”  I didn’t have the heart to inform her it was the smell of old death.

“So, um, do you live alone out here, Jules?” she asked.  To a more attractive man you would call it flirting.  She took another sip of the magical earl grey.

“Surely you don’t picture me with a woman in my life, do you, Candice?  Take a closer look at me.  Really, what woman would share her life with me, hmm?”

While Candice pondered on the question, she gazed intently into her drinking mug, apparently wondering what else was in it besides the tea.

“To be honest with you, dear Candice, I do not live alone in the spiritual sense.  If you follow.”

Now wary yet slightly disoriented, she dropped the mug onto the wooden floor, spilling the remaining contents.  She started to rise from her seat.  “I-I-better be going now . . .”

“Where are you going, darling?  You can’t leave just yet.  You haven’t met my roommates.”

Candice tried to run, but to her detriment she fell to her hands and knees, and then collapsed onto the floor, her face kissing the wood.

“Candice, my darling?  Are you all right?”  I stood above her figure, watching her squirm and writhe in her pathetic plight to escape me.  She was like a helpless insect missing a wing and two legs, waiting to be squashed out of its misery.

“W-w-what-d-d-did you—?” She struggled to speak before falling unconscious.

My exotic potion had worked its magic.  She was going to be staying with us after all.

* * *

{ End Excerpt }


Taken from a story written in 1995, inspired by the works of horror legends Edgar Allan Poe and Ramsey Campbell. The full story was previously featured in Madness of the Mind, a print anthology published in August 2010 by Static Movement, edited by Chris Bartholomew. 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 © 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Cover designed by Brandon L. Rucker and copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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
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 Short Stories Smashwords

Bedtime Story: “Pieces of Candice” by Brandon L.Rucker

Want some dark reading before you go nite-nite? Well, I’ve got a story for you that I think you’ll like if you dig your Edgar Allan Poe mixed with a touch of F. Paul Wilson, or Ramsey Campbell, or Clive Barker, or Stephen King. Yeah, Poe & King might be the main ingredients in this sick soup of a psychological horror story that is “Pieces of Candice”. It’s one of my oldest, darkets, sickest and most unapologetic tales ever told (and I hope to never write something like it ever again, heh-heh).

Available digitally as an e-book @ Smashwords
Excerpt (from the intro):
Please allow me be perfectly clear that this is not a tell-all confession of all the misdeeds that I have done over the years. It is simply an admission about one particular indiscretion.
I wish to confess to anyone who will listen to, and failing that, anyone who will read my brief account of madness concerning one Candice Bean. You will assume I’m a madman and that this confession is a plea for sympathy or for mere bragging rights. My only hope is that no one finds these lurid details to be too sinister that they would deem me as an unreliable source. Make no mistake that what happened to Candice years ago by my terrible hands is indeed true. [more]
###

Inspired in the mid-90s by the menacing voice used in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart” , “Pieces of Candice” was first completed in late 1998 and revised a few times over the years after that, but was never submitted for publication until 2010.  The story was accepted and published in Madness of the Mind by writer/editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew through her own Static Movement publishing imprint.  As the head writer of Serial Killer Magazine, she knows a thing or three about horror stories and serial killers.  Earlier this year the story was self-published by the author at Smashwords for digital download to computers and a variety of digital readers.



Clicky to purchase




Categories
e-books e-publishing Short Stories Smashwords

Pieces of Candice (and a Smashwords update)

Candice is feeling a bit lonesome. Of the four stories I have up over at Smashwords, “Pieces of Candice”, an Edgar Allan Poe inspired horror story, is trailing behind in downloads. She needs your help (and if you read the story, you’ll know why).

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. 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 editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew (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 to this current century.

Recently I decided to publish the story on Smashwords as an “e-book” so that it would exist in print as well as online and digital download. That’s the mode for modern publishing, going with multiple formats (similar to how recorded music has almost always had multiple formats).

If you’d like to step into the chilling, sociopathic mind of Jules (the narrator) for a little night reading, click on the cover image below to access the Smashwords download page. Just be sure to dissociate the art from the artist. -_^

Smashwords Update – First Week Totals:
 
4 = items in library (2 micros, 2 shorts)
 
157 = downloads/reads/samples
 
14 = members have linked the stories to their libraries