All posts filed under: Work-in-Progress

Incomplete works. Some merely first drafts, others from The Vault of Unfinished Things.

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

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

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 …

Make Them Pay

~ written 11/22/2010 ~ 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 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 the wave of nostalgia crashed over him, he found himself drawn up into the attic where he kept the many keepsakes …

A Very Bad Day

~ written 1/24/2006 ~ CRUNCH. That was the sound Caleb Shaw heard while lying on the pavement as he watched a steel-toed boot stomp his left hand—the hand he had used for fingering the fret board of his Les Paul guitar just an hour ago—and the cell phone that was in it.  That was after receiving a few blows to the torso, front and back, which had landed him.  Sure, the various fists, elbows and knees delivered their own brand of hurt, but it was a manageable pain, the kind most men just swallowed with ego, pride and maybe a few over-the-counter feel-good pills and a shot of hard liquor.  The smashing of his hand, though, that delivered something altogether different and new. Yeah, crunch was what he heard. But what he felt? A pain so unbearable that the scream, which his body—hell, his very soul—had mustered got lost sub-sonically in the ether, but only temporarily.  After a few seconds of uncontrolled breathing and the realization of what had just happened, not to mention the …

He Must Be Dreaming

~ written 2/27/2006 ~ I had to be dreaming. That’s the only way to explain it ‘cause there’s no goddamn way I was lying next to her, holding her in my arms snug and safe, her smelling the way she always does, like a bouquet of flowers, making me go stiff like a stale cadaver at the morgue, only I’m no dead man ‘cause she’s got me more alive than ever, like she’s my goddess giving me the gift of life, though all she really did in the end was give me the curse of heartache. Only in a dream would she still be whispering in my ear: “I want you, Lenny…” “I need you…” “My heart would die if I never saw you again…” Only in reality would I not be smart enough to know that a dame like that would never stick with a loser like me.  I’m not what most would call a looker, my face always the best impression of a mug shot after a night of boozing and passing out …

A Matter of Perspective

~ written 2/24/2006 ~ “The way I see it I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. That sounds a little strange coming from a degenerate gambler like me, but it all depends on at what perspective in The Game I’m saying it from. When I’m up on cloud seven, nine and eleven, winning four-figure stakes, that means I haven’t won enough and much gain is still yet to be gotten. It means my booty on chance has only begun. But when I’m saying it from rock bottom, having lost my shirt, my good shoes and maybe even a few teeth, that means I got nothing left to lose, the only way to go from there is upward. So either way you look at it, I’m always looking up.” — viewpoint character Max Van Gelder. Taken from my story “Max-a-Million” © 2006 Brandon L. Rucker.