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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

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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
2009 Thriller Young Adult

The Apprentice | A Work in Progress

{ 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 he is at what he does.  “If you join me, Callie, you will be Death’s apprentice.  That is, if you agree to be my assistant.”

He presents even more weapons of horror to me from a briefcase that lay on the table in his basement.  I could not begin to describe most of them with words.

“And provided that you were not just telling me what I wanted to hear when I saved you from the empty life of a rudderless street urchin you were living.”

That stings.  I hate his throwing my recent status as a homeless person out at me as some kind of grand judgment of my worth.  I start to think that in his deep-seeded misanthropy that maybe his opinion of women is right on par with his hatred of men.

“What will it be, Calliope?”

How can I not accept his offer for this great opportunity?  A few weeks ago I was a nobody runaway living hand-to-mouth on the streets, squatting in rundown abandoned houses with creepy bums, pick-pocketing unsuspecting yuppies on the subway and finding, to my dismay, that they only carried plastic.  I didn’t care if I lived or died.

“Remember that pack of wolves I rescued you from?”

Boy, do I remember.  Again, he is picking at healing scabs.  The night Death saved me I had been sold out by a squat-mate who had tipped-off the local boys in the ‘hood that if they looked past my short-cropped hair cut, flat chest, baggy clothes and outward androgyny that they would find a virgin teen-aged girl who was ripe for the picking.  That asshole squatter traded my virginity for a meth fix.

“Once you finish your studies in self-defense, and once I teach you the fine art of killing and the ways of death, then no man—or men, will ever be able to do what those gangbanging cowards did to you.”

I give it some serious thought and consider heavily what he says. No man includes him as well, right?

“Yeah, I’ll be your apprentice.”

And in the end I will become Death.

“When do I start?”


Written: December 22, 2009.

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

Image courtesy of Wallpaper Fav.com

brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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Categories
2010 Psychological Suspense

A Patchwork Companion | A Work in Progress

{ 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 the bottle did he realize that today had been his thirty-first birthday. A lot had happened in his life the past few years; several notable, calamitous events had irrevocably changed his life. He wasn’t sure if he had even acknowledged the arrival and subsequent passing of his twenty-ninth or thirtieth birthdays. His work was that demanding of his attention; his focus was keener these past two years than it had ever been in his life. He’d been motivated by the potency of vengeance.

He was anxious to return to his work downstairs, but something stirred inside him—emotion—a sensation that had been alien to him for quite some time. As a sudden wave of nostalgia crashed over him, he found himself drawn up into the attic where he kept the many keepsakes of his special memories. The old wooden stairs creaked beneath his feet. The floorboards groaned as he walked toward the cedar chest near the small widow.  Seized by the eager dark of night, the attic remained in gloom because he did not turn on the ceiling light. He knew every item contained in this attic intimately, but he did not want to be overcome with emotion if he could see every picture, or every handwritten letter, or every piece of lovely jewelry. All would be seen vividly under the luminescence. He did not want that. Simply being in their presence or feeling them by hand would probably be enough to move him to tears.

A few years back he had been a great husband and an anxious soon-to-be new father of twins.  A boy and girl, the ultrasound had miraculously confirmed.  He always wondered if the twins would have been identical or fraternal. However, he was never meant to know them, at least not for as long and as intimately as a father should.

The doctors and nurses had other plans for him. He believed they had sinister plans for his wife, and downright nefarious plans for their unborn children. That was the only explanation that made sense. The only explanation he would accept. Of course the powers-that-were, hell, the entire medical staff and all the lawyers involved with the case, none of them support his claim, but why would they?

He simply would not budge from his understanding of how it all happened. Why else would the love of his life be allowed go into premature labor with two fetuses in frank breech? Why else would she be allowed to hemorrhage profusely until she lost enough blood to rob her body of a fighting chance? Something had gone wrong during the emergency Cesarean section operation. The twins were pulled from the womb, delivered by the hands of the ob-gyn surgeon, but his wife did not make it through. Soon after that the premature twins lost their fight, if they even had a fighter’s chance.

The reasons were inexplicable. The explanations given by the medical staff were a series of unproven theories and scientific gobbledygook. He didn’t buy any of it.

What he did do was solemnly swear that he would bring vengeance upon those responsible. The police, the lawyers, no one else would deliver justice. He had to use his own hands and means to bring justice, one impeachable person at a time.

But first he had more pressing work that demanded his attention. He descended back down to the basement where waiting for his intense focus and determination was a woman who, in her own specific way, bore a striking resemblance to his dead wife.

{ not fin }


Written: November 22, 2010.

Copyright © 2010-2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Basement photo courtesy of Copyright The Basement film

brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

Amazon | Smashwords