So it has been a long time since i posted anything.
I've been incredibly busy with my studies, with the occasional bit of freelance work to keep my free hours occupied. I haven't done much in the way of comic illustration in quite a while now, but i still got a few ideas up my sleeve.
What i have been doing a fair amount of recently is writing. My shorts are coming along well, and the newest plan is to have enough completed to my satisfaction by the end of next year to self-publish a small anthology (designed and laid out by myself, of course).
What is odd is how a number of my stories have begun shifting away from pulp horror to more dramatic intensity. That's not to say that they're becoming poignant or anything - heaven forbid - but more and more they've begun focusing on the characters rather than the action.
Hmmm... hope this doesn't mean i'm growing up.
Never fear though, there's still a decent smattering of gristle and gore, in between the occasional bouts of self-realisation and existential epiphanies.
Here's a bit of flash writing i did as a fun exercise.
It's actually a bit long to be considered flash fiction - around 800 words, i think - but my take out was the same. Trying to successfully condense a story into a single page is trickier than one would imagine. You eventually end up staring at the screen for two hours trying to decide exactly which last two words you should take out and whether you really need that last 'and'.
Anyway, here it is:
(P.S. it would'nt let me cut and paste from the origional doc, so have had to jerry-rig it. if there's a spelling mistake or a bit that should have been italisized and isn't, i'm sorry, but eh...)
(P.P.S. This story has since been edited for a reading at the Bloody Parchment reading - 28/10/2011.)
A Crowd Gathered
The bullet took him just below his left eye. The socket crumbled inwards as his cheek-bone disintegrated under the force of the .45 caliber slug.
His sight doubled. He blinked and his left lid refused to respond.
This isn't what I expected, he thought as he dropped to his knees, This isn't how it's supposed to be.
A spasm ran through his body and he realised he couldn't feel his legs. He felt a tickling in his gut and thought that, very soon, his bowels were going to let go.
A cop's salary is worth more than this, he thought. The left side of his face was turning warm and a spreading section of his white, collared shirt began to cling to his breast. The stubble on his jaw tickled as thin, delicate waves washed over his cheek and slid affectionately down his neck and he thought of how embarrassing it would be to soil himself in front of all these people.
At least a cop has a pension.
Around him, people were screaming.
Colourful streamers still hung in the air.
He slowly raised his hand to his face. When he brought it away, a slick of red coated his palm. He held it up to his eyes and watched as thick droplets began to roll slowly down the inside of his wrist. His vision blurred then snapped into sharp contrast. Everything flashed white then suddenly went grey. He was struck by a momentary panic at the loss of his sight before realising that he had fallen over - that the left side of his face now lay against the pavement. A sucking sensation tugged at his scalp as something thick and warm slid out of his skull, followed by an even more alien feeling: the cool touch of a breeze on the inside of his head.
It passed through. I can't believe it.
Shadows flicked past the edge of his vision. He tried rolling his eyes in their direction. His right eye twitched only slightly. From his left there was no movement at all. The corresponding ear heard nothing but a high-pitched ringing. The sound filtering through his right was muddy and the hurried thumping of the footsteps around him seemed out of sync with the quickly passing shadows.
Where are you running? he tried to ask.
He felt hands on his back and was gently rolled over. The sudden, harsh light sent a painful jolt through his head but not even his right eye would blink this time. His left eye was dead. Through his dimming vision he recognised the uniform above him - all red and green with shining yellow - but try as he might he couldn't bring the name to mind. The person's face was a blur.
Behind his helper, more colourful uniforms flickered past, while darker silhouettes rushed in every direction. From a thousand miles away, walkie-talkies squawked. As his vision dimmed, he could see the last of the confetti as it drifted down from the sky to settle around him. From inside his chest, his lungs began to bubble as they slowly filled with blood.
Where are they running? he asked again, but from the lone figure above him there was no response as he cut open his jacket and shirt. Be careful of my badge, he nearly asked, but then remembered; he didn't have that badge anymore.
His vision was now a collection of white and grey silhouettes, but he felt he was thinking more clearly.
It won't be that bad. Isn't it better that it passed right through?
Yes, he was sure. There was less chance of infection.
His vision faded to white, but that was okay. He was a little sleepy and he deserved some rest.
What a stroke of luck that it passed right through, he thought as the lone figure above him worked in vain and, along side them, a far greater crowd had gathered; their attention elsewhere.
Brett Rex Bruton