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His senior year is looking up. He has hopes and graduation is approaching. He has a hot girlfriend. A friend who is in on his dream. But Mom's beatings continue. The cops don't get it right. They keep getting it really wrong. Then they mess with the wrong guy. They start dyin'. Ain't no one the wiser for it, with one exception. It took some smarts. Bombs, snakes, guns, trains and a knife. He did it though. He took a stab at righting wrongs and somehow managed to execute the perfect prison break.
Brand of Justice blasts off as such . . .
He stood staring up towards the top of a prison wall. No way had he wanted it to work out like this. The clouds rolled in bringing rain and a coyote got to yipping in protest. He had too much going on in his head to care in the least about rain or hail for that matter. This whole thing got going because some cops messed up. He had to tend to matters because they screwed up. How in tarnation could he just stand by and let a lady get thumped? Anyone can boo-boo, he figured. It’s when a fella keeps it up and up that it gets old really fast. The bumps and bruises, the looks at school and ma.
He figured he didn't start out hating ‘em. Ended up, he hated some of ‘em p-len-ty. And he didn't figure he was a one-a-them serial killin’ jobs. No Sirrree! He knew he was going to probably forget some of it as he hashed it over in his mind. Ahhh, he had made everything better, the police department, court and saved his friend from getting killed. Oh, he hadda do some killin’ for sure. But ya gotta pay the fiddler if ya wanna dance.
Plenty of folks in these parts figure things out from the news. He had seen them do it. Not a good way to go near as he can tell. Before long, good, decent, honest types get to being blood-thirsty hounds without even a knowing it. Slip him the needle. He ain’t nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ money. He heard it all. Pretty hard not to. He knew though. He knew he was innocent. He knew a whole lot. People were remarking some as to dying being easy and living being tough. It’s folks who ain’t strapped down on a cold steel table waiting on a needle to drip poison into ‘em who say such nonsense. He couldn't live with himself if he let someone do any dying on account he had went and screwed it up. Some folks can look the other way and not do a good goddamn thing. Maybe they already been beat down and figure what’s the use. Maybe they know, they too fat, stupid or something. Well, he was still just in his teens and he wasn't fat, dumb or stupid. He’d heard tell of boys as young as sixteen going to war. It felt like that to him, he just felt a duty to do something, anything. He figured he was what they call desperate to put a stop to a ma being beaten. He was too involved to look the other way like the cops had done.
He didn’t see any guards up in the tower slowly massaging their weapons. What’s the deal? Budget cuts. Where the hell is the ol’ sharp shooters? Nope. They’re up there for certain. Probably bored with the routine of prison life. Most of the guards never get to pop a round off at any of the prisoners. That’s just in the movies. Besides the wall look to be twenty- five feet if it’s a foot. It’d take some doing to get over that puppy. He could do it though. Anyone can do anything; they set their mind to it. He was gonna pull it off. Oh yeah, he was about to conduct a li’tle ol’ prison break by using his noggin’.
He gave the laughing guards a polite nod as they headed towards the parking lot. Suppose they put in their eight hours and now it was time to tackle some choices that come with freedom. A beer? Girlfriend? Then showing up for the wife and kids. Anything they damn well please. No rules. No bars. No twenty minutes for chow with a bunch of nut job skin heads. Doing time can dull the brain some. After the prison break he hoped things could be like they always were. Living in a cage eating what’s dished up and standing in lines can probably dull a guy. Make him numb. Never even having the warm touch of a woman to settle things. How does a guy go about quieting death row nightmares? Some things can’t be changed.
Well then, how many needed to be dealt with—huh? If he hadn’t been such a good ol’ boy he’d a killed more of them lying assed badge pinner-on-ers. He heard it, and seen it. Guys doing time for nothing they ever did. Every once in a blue prairie sky it’d come out ‘bout how somebody done gone and got railroaded. Cops somehow got it all wrong or witnesses were yammerin’ their way out of a jam. Snitches they’re called. Lot of folks doing time because of people who go and lie their asses off for one reason or another. Maybe cops think they see something or a witness wants someone hauled off. Suppose there are as many reasons as there are people. How about DNA? The truth can come back and haunt all those hoity-toity bastards parading around their brand of justice.
Nobody seemed to give a good goll-damn, but he did. Most folks too worried about their own pie hole. He had more things to worry about than just himself. He learned how the human animal can make good, honest things look just plain bad. Friends turn on each other at the snap of a finger. Cops get all worked up with handcuffing and herding criminals around for the cameras. Then the news stories get the whisperers revved up. ‘Didja hear the latest?’ ‘Ya know what I think!’ Well they’re innocent until proven guilty. Yeah right, he’d seen and heard it over and over. Fact is, you’re innocent until you’re accused of somethin’ is how it works. Then herds of stupidity start demanding justice, law and order and even the death penalty.
Sure I kilt ‘em, ain’t takin’ exception to that. It has to be done sometimes. The law goes and calls it justifiable. I’ve had plenty of schoolin’ regarding law enforcement to know I’d landed right on the mark there. Come Sunday the preacher is always going on and on about doing right. The human animal is too scared to do anything right. I gets the feeling if I didn’t kill ‘em it would’ve just plain been a sin, a mortal sin, the kind you can’t be forgiven for.
There’re plenty of okay cops. It’s the ones in the business for all the wrong reasons he took exception with. It’s them twerpy lil’ bastards that chaffed his hide. They the type always somehow screwing up but who get really good at covering up. They look good because they get lots of practice.
Another thing irked him. Just because a feller dressed up like a lawman, didn’t amount to diddlysquat. Persons gotta earn it. Hmmm he thought. Nope, they ain’t nothing less they earn it. It’s on them to prove their mettle, to turn that costume into a bountified uniform. Yesssiree, nothing but clowns till they get ta proving themselves worthy. Can’t change a pole cat just cause you paint over its stripes. Folks change plenty when they commence to sporting the badge. It ain’t always for the good neither.
So what’s a guy to do when a cop commences to be bad, really bad? Put him down cleanly and completely is what he got to calling it. He’d come up with a plan and stuck to it. No need having anyone suffering needlessly. That kind of stuff would bother him. Nope. Just kill ‘em completely and cleanly. Just a tiny bit of using thee’ ol’ brain and presto, the police force goes and gets a whole lot better! Cops come in a whole lot of shapes and sizes. They come with all kinds of different abilities, he figured. Some were good at it. Copping. Some weren’t. Usually the bad ones were good at one thing, covering their tracks. He’d seen what complaining got a person. A ton of cops lying and not seeing things. He remembered discussing in school the code of silence that cops duck behind.
Another thing ‘bout them coppers—they always use your first name, like you’re friends or somethun’. It didn't work on him, he was the kinda model came with an ounce of sense. He prided himself in the ability to smell a tall tale upwind a mile away. It’s like cops and used car salesmen sprung out of the same place. When car salesmen ain't no good, when they can't sella car, they get canned. Do bad cops ever get dumped? Naa. Unions, rules, policies and procedures keep ‘em around forever. The system protects them. He knew this. He’d seen enough of it and studied on it some. Bad cops like houseflies . . . they eat shit and bother folks. They hard to swat though.
Town folks all considered him a good fella. He never turned a blind eye on anyone needing help. After the killing started it got bothersome that so much death was called for. He didn't put much stock in serial killers. He killed when it was called for was all. He was just doing what the preacher always calls on folks to do. To stand up for the right things. It’s like weeding a yard. About like getting dandelions outa the lawn. Ya keep pulling and weeding until there ain't no yeller in the yard. Then before long ya gotta get after ‘em all over again. He figured bad cops, the yeller types, is a whole heap like dandelions.
He knew yammering about not taking the law into your own hands was a crock. He felt like his life would have been easier if I could have just looked the other way. He was good enough not to believe in something that wasn't right. Whoever figures ol’ cops and lawyers only folks that can get it right don’t know squat in his book. Anyone with any sense know when things need to be put back in order. He could smell badness rolling in with the tumbleweeds clear across the plains. When he smelt trouble, he did something about it.
He thought about how much he hated criminals. About as much as anybody. His hatred ran deep as an oil well on the plains. When he did his killing he had to worry about having nasty dreams. Killing bothers good boy but sometimes there is no other way. Born of good wyoming stock they'd say he was. He was one of them good cowboys for sure. the bright sun suddenly peeked out between storm clouds hung low over the prison wall. The light blinded him back to where he was. Standing next to a cold, grey, prison wall that separated the fortunate from the damned. Vermints, vermin and lowdown cops that damned innocence into this place had to be dealt with. Can't have em' messin' up perfectly good lives. God had a plan. God wanted people to squash bad deeds. He musta wanted someone to put a stop to them Casper rascals . . .
What Readers have been saying . . .
Roy Huff Rated Brand of Justice A top rating of 5 Stars
Roy Huff is the author of Amazon's #1 international bestselling epic fantasy novel, Everville: The First Pillar as well as the newly released Everville: The City of Worms. These are the first installments in the remarkable Everville series which combines elements of epic fantasy and young adult fiction in a form that nearly anyone will enjoy reading, young or old. He is a man of many interests including but not limited to science, traveling, movies, the outdoors, and of course writing teen and young adult fantasy fiction. He holds five degrees in four separate disciplines including liberal arts, history, secondary science education, and geoscience. Roy Huff's background includes work in art, history, education, business, real-estate, economics, geoscience, and satellite meteorology. He was born on the East Coast but has spent more than half his life in Hawaii, where he currently resides and writes his epic fantasy sagas.
Lee Bonorden, Columnist for the Austin Herald "I’ve known Curt Rude since he was a brash, talkative, Alpha dog of a police captain and I still like him anyway. What’s black and white and read all over? Curt Rude’s latest book."
Old age and treachery in the form of a trusted Police Chief pound into youth and enthusiasm. Chief Pullet's obsession with grand slam, kinky sex doesn't stop until a young lady is raped. Then dreams and hopes are mashed up in a struggle to survive nightmares and tears. Though frightening, readers are in for a surprise. As they blow through this story, a startling notion comes to mind. The monster is real. Calling this story fiction seems somehow wrong.
And JusThis takes off like this . . .
It was a typical dreary, chilly Halloween evening that was full of warnings of a winter that was soon to arrive in all its wind-driven glory. Driving fast, perhaps too fast in the cold blowing rain, Martin felt that things could be made right. He'd driven this piece of the Interstate many times without problems. It was the smashing thud and the crushing windshield that brought him back from his obsessive thoughts.
Christ, a deer? Not a kid, God, not a kid. Not a trick-or-treater. Life suddenly downshifted from fast-forward to really slow motion. The screeching of the tires lasted for what seemed forever.
Martin lunged from the car, not wanting to see what it was all about. His eyes could not look away but were pulling him towards all the carnage of the gruesome spectacle, the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A large, bloodied mass lay in a twisted, morbid position. Ribs-blown from the chest cavity, pointing towards the cold, uncaring sky while holding the torso up in a macabre fashion - met his gaze. A seemingly never-ending pool of red, gruesome gore commanded the scene. Thick gobs of meaty red Jell-O were splattered everywhere.
Martin’s shocked-numbed mind told him to check for vitals, but then his policeman’s mind realized this was foolish; that would be the reaction of the untrained stupid civilians that were the butt of all cop jokes. No, this thing that had once been a woman, a daughter, maybe a mother, had now been reduced to a bloody puddle of steaming red, torn meat and busted bones. Yes, this pile - a formerly living, breathing person - was giving up its warmth to the cold indifferent night.
The chunks of possibly yellow fat were splattered everywhere; the skull was split in two from the force of the impact. And the eyes, the eyes pointed in different directions and seemed to be observing, working, but not comprehending.
Martin thought about the size of the pending lawsuit but then thought of the meat splattered all over the road. Lawsuits, meat, blood. He even thought of how the blood always smelled - like a deer carcass – and this actually reminded him of gutting a deer. Thoughts were screaming through his adrenalin-fueled mind without any real direction or order.
Shock. He must be in shock to be thinking so wildly. Christ, what next? He was brought back to present tense by a woman screaming that she had called 911. Did he need anything? Yeah, he thought, I need to get away, like that airline commercial he often saw when watching the game on Sundays. “Need to get away?” Yeah, a long god-damn way from this mess!
Martin couldn't believe fate had put his sorry ass into this mess. These things always seemed to happen to the other sorry-assed bastard. He wasn't the cop just doing his job looking for clues at the scene of a 10-54 fatal traffic accident. No, he was the driver. Jesus Christ, he thought, it sure is different being the driver and not the wise-assed cop on the scene. Oh, for Christ’s sake, he had worked thousands of accidents and never thought this shit would happen to him. Doesn't this always happen to someone else? Come on, let this shit be some kind of dream, please, a dream.But it wasn't. No it wasn't a dream and Martin, locked into a staring contest with the dying eyes, suddenly realized he had looked into those eyes before.
“Star Star” (The Rolling Stones)
Chimlyn heard a pigeon, or perhaps it was a dove, cooing softly. He and his buddies had gotten together to enjoy some underage drinking, but the town cop and some deputies showed up to spoil it. Everybody had scattered, leaving all the beer and other drunken possibilities at the scene of the crime. The cops had somehow found out they had planned to party at the barn, which had put an end to everything. No puking, burping, or playing grab ass. Life could be so unfair. If he had gotten apprehended (cop lingo for busted), life would’ve been even more unfair.
Chimlyn had ditched himself under a pile of straw in the hayloft. He just couldn’t get busted. His coach would kick him off the team, and football was too important to him. It was the only reason the other kids hung out with him.
He didn’t move a muscle for what seemed like hours, and it worked. He wasn’t one of those who got dinged for consumption by a minor. He made a promise on the spot that would last one whole week: no more drinking.
He left his hiding place only when he heard the prolonged sound of silence—no “10-4” or “How many perps did ya cite?” or any other of the language the law used.
* * *
When Charles Paul Pullet was born, his parents felt a lot of things, including relief that both mother and child were healthy. They had thought that advancing age and disappearing menstrual cycles had tossed them onto the “grandparent” heap, but their plans of escaping Minnesota winters by heading south were instantly dashed and his father was suddenly standing in line at the store, his cart filled with diapers and baby formula.
“Why, look, Father, he’s a perfect baby,” his wife had said, and in her world, everything was just as it should be—including her son, who could do no wrong in her eyes.
As Charles struggled with the usual issues of growing up, his mother was always there. She held her precious son close, pleading with him to stay away from hooligans—which included anyone his own age.
“They’re nothing but trouble, and Mother won’t stand for it,” she’d say. “You better stay away from those kids. Not a one of ‘em will amount to a hill of beans. You come straight home and practice the piano. Then we’ll have our DQ date!”
Any desires that involved hanging out with people his own age weren’t just discouraged—they were totally squelched. Mother even loved to hear him, in all his misery, struggle at the piano.
Charles’s father had once dared to question his wife (after finding some liquid courage in a six-pack), asking, “Why can’t ya just let ‘im get dirty like other kids? Yer gonna end up with a momma’s boy. Is that what ya want?”
His father had only been allowed to utter that entire sentence because she had never expected such a thing. She stopped drying the dish she was holding, slowly turned to face her withering husband, and said, “Who asked you, you ol’ fool? I should never have allowed you to go out. This is the thanks I get. I’ve been home all day trying to do right by my Charles—and you come home drunk! Why do I put up with it? What would Charles think if he knew what kind of father he has?”
“W-what?” his father had managed to stammer before retreating back to the relative safety of his silence once more.
For his part, Charles basked in the radiance of Mother Pullet’s approving smile. He knew she loved him dearly and he wanted to please her more than anything.
“Why, look at you. You’re Mother’s Sweetie Little Gherkins—and I love you dearly,” she said to her little boy, who was on his way to his school’s Halloween party dressed as a little law enforcement officer.
“Mother, I want to grow up to be a real policeman,” Charles announced.
“We shall see, dearest Charles, but remember, you can be anything you want, and you wouldn’t want to worry me half to death, would you?”
Charles’s concern for his mother’s wishes resulted in the loss of many of his boyhood ambitions. His friendless world of nothing but a happy mother and piano practice squeezed him into a tight ball of frustration, and he longed for more.
“Yes, Mother, I’ll be home as soon as my studies are in order.”
“Oh, Charles, you’re such a joy to me.”
Charles managed well enough until another urge started demanding attention—the urge. He fertilized it with impure thoughts and dirty picture books. The urge made him lick dirty pictures and fondle his wee-wee friend. He knew other boys who got to hold girls’ hands and imagined them holding a whole lot more, but he wouldn’t have done it, even if he could have. Mother would have frowned on such behavior—and besides, she watched him like a hawk. Thus Charles’s life revolved around dirty pictures in private and piano practice in public.
* * *
Young men in the military are at times prone to mistakes. After an evening of revelry that included drinking and driving, Martin’s father was involved in a car accident. He was laid to rest—not to sleep but to decompose. His widow then fled with her two children back to Minnesota at about the same time her folks had sold the farm and retired to the quaint community of Red Wing.
What Reviewers have had to say . . .
Lee Bonorden - Austin Daily Herald Columnist
Curt Rude … Take one dose of his prose. After 4 hours, call a friend
and tell ‘em, you can’t put this book down.
The Total Writer
"Curt Rude captures what many run from - the truth - in this captivating story of greed, lust and ego fueled off vulnerable human emotion. Dark, yet, captivating, this fast moving book will have you on the edge of your seat."
Ben Johnson - Goodreads Review
This extraordinary work of literary art took me by surprise. I will recommend it to many friends.
By J. Chambers
Joan's Musings Book Blog
This novel is almost like a character study with some of the author's philosophy thrown in to elaborate more fully what he is saying to the reader. Chimlyn, a hunk of a football player is considered a retard by his friends, but manages to attract one of prettiest girls in high school, Robin, who is a cheer leader. They marry and financially life is a struggle for them, but they are in love and face life realistically. Charles Paul Paullet, has always been a mama's boy, subject absolutely to her will with a wimp of a father. He is forced to play the piano, but hides his sexual Urge, as he calls it, which rules his life. His mother selects as his wife Agnes, an extremely overweight teenager, whom he can't stand, but plays the game because of his mother. Agnes has appetite for anything other than food so is unaware of his sexual weakness. Eventually Charles becomes the police chief of Normal and because as a teenager, he always carried his father's badge, is nicknamed "Badge." Martin's mother was an alcoholic and she and he were always getting beat-up by the drunks she dragged home. But he chose to rise above that, became a policeman and married Lacy, an elementary teacher, and they had a good marriage. He was hired as a police officer in Normal under Badge's supervision.
Throughout the story are events and actions that police are faced with everyday and in this story, the main villain is Badge because of his grotesque sexual hunger. He uses his authority as Police Chief to do whatever it takes to make himself happy and sometimes at the cost of hurting others, especially his underlings. Much of the language in this story is vulgar and although usual to men and teenage boys, in this story seems to be the common verbiage of the men. There are many flashbacks, which are handled nicely, but wherever there has been happiness, the plot stamps it out, leaving depressing impressions. I think the author, who is an ex-law enforcement man, is attempting to tell the reader something that he feels is important to know. I do not think this is a book that would particularly appeal to women, but men would find it interesting.
The book starts out with a good strong introduction to the three main characters. You are then very deeply drawn into their lives and their stories. I read the book straight through, I could not put it down as it was definitely a page turner. The ending is phenomenal...I felt throughout the story that the main characters were on a collision course, and what a collision it ends up being. I found some of Mr. Rude's writing to be incredibly powerful, "We all struggle against the torrential waves of the unscrupulous, clinging to the shifting shores of trust only to be pulled into the chilly depths by deceitful intentions. Evil maintains, evil gains and evil destroys. Humans will be forever haunted by the unjustness of things and the agonizing presence of the self-absorbed and the evil, bloated, noxious ego..."
I would definitely recommend this book.
I have accused and been accused. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Egos run amok. Cops choking on self-images of everything they ain't. I know. And now so can you.