In addition to the Rudi and Raven Series, I am also an avid short story writer. In fact, it is my preferred medium, which I use to make sense of my own world. While Rudi and Raven is suitable for most ages, my short stories are – generally – not. Here is a list of those short stories currently available for purchase on Amazon. Clicking the image will take you there.
It’s been weeks now since everything changed. Nothing is stirring. There are no animals, few people, and even fewer resources. Things are still standing, though not for long.
A man is walking. He is going somewhere, looking for someone. He has only himself for company, if he doesn’t count the voice of Ell and the ever-persistent Mocking Voice.
As he moves from one area to the next, staying out of sight and always on guard, from abandoned industrial districts to failing fields, along lonely roads and through empty houses, he takes with him not only what he can carry but what he mustn’t: a spiralling sense of unease and – also – madness, always beckoning and laughing and just over the horizon.
On the 14th of November, 1947, Samuel Packer, an engineer and pillar of the community, killed three people. A jury of his peers found him guilty, the judge sentenced him to death and now – 12 years later – Hatchet Sam is scheduled to ride the lightnin’, courtesy of the good state of Louisiana.
In the time that Sam has left, he must have his last meals, meet with his useless lawyer, chat with the warden and the Reverend, say goodbye to his family and – worse – finally meet the family of the people he is on death row for. And of course say goodbye to Row Mates Mad Mike, Lou the Jew, and Pedo Pete.
These are his final 16 hours.
Tamara has taken over from her father as ruler on Happiness Prairie, and not everyone is happy about that. The unicorns – the ruling class – seem to be having no issues with it but the ponies – being the migrant population – certainly do. Even now there were reports of intimidation, especially in the outlying areas. It wasn’t as prevalent in the city and of course the conspiracy theories abounded. Ponies had been said to have disappeared, and those that kept abreast of the news and joined the quiet talk in the dark recesses of the pubs were saying that this was no ordinary crime, that it was political, a marginalisation of the ponies.
Some of the ponies are starting to speak up, but this is dangerous. It was rumoured that spies were about the land. When Tamara took over, the days of the King were done. The Royal Guard became the Praetorians. The city was being referred to as the Citadel, the Royal Advisors were now the Central Committee and Queen Tamara was now Chairperson Tamara.
Six ponies – Eclipse, Periwinkle, Merton, Carver, Firelight and the one they call The Pencil Pusher – are not only asking the important questions: they’re also starting to huddle, and to think, and to plan.
Something must be done about Tamara.
“What happens when you die? No one has come back to tell us. Oh, there are people who have claimed to see the “other side”, a near-death experience on an operating theatre table or beneath the turbid waters of the deep. Some claim to see a light. Others that they have met beings from beyond. Some claim a sense of peace. Some a sense of unfinished business. Some claim to have met aliens and been given an important message to bring back. These are the ones that go on lecture circuits or write books. The usual types seem to flock to them. Dispossessed, lonely, hurting people, searching for something and grabbing onto anything and everything, hoping to find a shred of meaning.
There isn’t any, of course. But the fools will try.”
This story explores life and death, our memories, our consciousness…and what might happen to them when we die.
Bill has a lot of coping mechanisms. He practices smiles in the mirror, and frowns, and a lot of other human emotions. It’s because his therapist told him to. He learned how to laugh at people’s jokes, and how to know when someone laughing at him might not be okay. He learned about things like breaking the ice and establishing common ground, all important things when you’re in society. In fact, Bill’s therapist told him so many things that he did the only thing he could: he left his therapist.
Because Bill doesn’t get on well with people. He doesn’t understand them and they tend to stay away from him but that’s okay, because Bill knows gardens. He knows things like Blue Marguerites and Corn Poppies. He knows which plants like calcium and which like potassium.
And he likes water features. And collecting things.
Bill likes to surround himself with Pretty Things. And everyone knows that you need water if you want a Pretty Thing to stay pretty. You water the things you love.
In this short story, Adrian Partridge explores what happens when one man’s love of Pretty Things might go…well, maybe just a little too far.