When Brandon asked me if I would like to read his new short story The Card, I was all over it!
Some of you might think this story is predictable. Not so for me. Brandon threw in some curve balls that distracted me long enough to forget a few hints.
Jason is the moderator for the three. Even close friends get into it now and then.
Brian’s ticked off. He’s adamant he didn’t do it.
Freddie’s furious. He’s sure Brian slipped the card into his deck.
They get in each others faces, causing Jason to step in and try to diffuse them.
Freddie designs his tarot decks himself, and he’s positive the card was slipped into his deck by Brian. Even though the back has the same design, there’s no way he created the picture of the creepy old man in the hooded cape. The figure is surrounded by fog, and the raised hand holding up three fingers, what’s up with that? No way does this card belong in his deck.
Brian’s tired of hearing about it. He didn’t put the card in the deck and doesn’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s just a card.
Freddie storms out. When Jason suggests to Brian that he apologize, Brian storms out too.
Great. He’ll just let the two cool off for the weekend and see them next week when they’ve had time to cool down.
Monday comes and Freddie doesn’t show up for work. After his shift, Jason heads to his mobile home to see what’s up.
The minute he steps up to the door, his radar starts warning him somethings wrong. He has a sick feeling, but continues inside.
What he discovers sends him to his knees. Before everything fades to black he sees it lying there. That card.
I love short stories. I get something similar to tunnel vision when I read them. There’s nothing like them. So much is revealed in so little words. I let myself go and just become engrossed in the story, knowing I’ll only be allowed to be there for a short while.
Brandon is great at getting you to connect with his characters quickly. They become familiar and you grow to care about them. At least the good ones.
Then comes the twists. You have to have some good ones and know where to place them. Brandon does this very well, drawing my attention this way and that, my mind trying to visual each scene.
I didn’t get the ending I expected and that was a nice surprise. I’m usually close when I guess the ending and thought this story would go another way. But, nope. I got a different ending and thank Brandon for that.
The Card gets Four Stars from me!
Next up is Out After Dark. Another creepy short story by Brandon.
Eric had to get out of the safehouse. He couldn’t stand it for one more minute.
That’s how he finds himself in the alley with the woman. Not sure if she’s spotted him yet, he slips deeper into the shadows.
He’d first spotted her in the club. they exchanged passing glances. He should’ve known the night was going to be bad when he thought he saw her again at the next club.
When he spots her in the shadows of a doorway outside, his worry turns to dread.
Sure enough, she follows him, so he ducks into the alley to hide.
But she follows him.
She calls out to him.
“Come on out and play, you little bastard….”
She casually steps forward as Eric slips further down the alley, and her hand, when she withdraws it from her coat, holds a gun.
This was fun. At first I thought Eric was one thing, then I thought he was another. It was fun finding out what he was or wasn’t and whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that.
You know that feeling you get where the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you’re sure someone or something is watching you? That’s what I experienced when reading Out After Dark. I’m sure that’s how the author wanted me to feel. Good job creeping me out.
When the true story of the mysterious woman became clear, I was delighted. I had it somewhat figured out, but then Brandon did the twists thing again, and took it in another direction. An exciting one too!
I just wish it had been longer!
Four Stars for Out After Dark!
About the author
Born in Statesboro, Georgia in 1976, Brandon Luffman was raised in rural North Carolina from the time he was old enough to walk. In the sixth grade he discovered The Chronicles Of Narnia. Soon after that, he was on to Stephen King and Arthur C. Clarke. At the same time, he was making his first forays into writing fiction. After creating a series of short fantasy pieces for a class assignment that were received with praise, he was hooked on writing fiction for the entertainment of others. Now Brandon writes supernatural horror as well as fantasy, science fiction, and other genres. His short fiction is available online in various formats. Brandon still lives on the family farm in northwestern North Carolina with his wife and family. Taking inspiration from his homeland, he brings southern sensibilities and a modern flair to these classic genre themes. His upcoming survival horror novel, Frostwalker, is expected to be released in 2013.
Coming In 2013!
There’s something in the woods behind Jake Marsden’s house – and someone wants him to find it. A strange dream shatters his sleep, night after night, and a compulsion to find the dark presence in the forest wars with his logical and ordered nature. What’s a geek to do?
When his small hometown of Wynn falls under an ancient curse, Jake will find himself in a battle against creatures worse than any he’s faced in a game. Playing for keeps, it will be geek versus god in the fight to stop an evil force bent on destroying everything he holds dear.
The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth – If They Live Long Enough.
For more information, or to sign up to be notified upon release, please visit the Frostwalker site.
I’ve been anticipating this one for a while now. Excited to know it’ll be here soon!
For more about the author
Click on the covers to purchase the books.