A very special thanks to Mike Snyder for providing the artwork for the stories.
SHORT STORIES BY RYAN DANIEL BUELL
Among other things, I am a writer. Am I a great one? Well, that's for you to judge. Over the years, stories pop into my head. Some float away while others pound on the door of my psyche non-stop until I give in and write them down. You can certainly say that most of them have paranormal themes. But not always. Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of horror novels. I actually read a lot of non-fiction. And if I do pick up a novel, I don't require it to involve the paranormal. I just like to write. Sometimes, it feels like I have to write. My goal is to offer at least one short story a month. Some of these stories were written years ago and even though I've edited them a bit and added some tweaks, I've decided to leave the majority of them intact. That way you can even see how my writing has progressed over the years, for better or worse. Please enjoy them. If you're asking, "why don't you start writing fictional books?" Well, you're in luck. I plan to. But one thing at a time. I have one that I am almost finished with, but for now, I enjoy the idea of throwing these stories out there for you to explore.
"Usually in life there's some kind of pattern, a shape, something that makes it all make sense. Not here. There is no shape, no life. It's a dead zone, see? I mean, I know it's New York and all. I'm not stupid. I can see the Empire State Building. But it's different. I'm different.
Then there's all the liveys trying to steal your soul. They're these massive black things, with really big overcoats covering them shoulder to foot, and there's life a cloud of smoke surrounding them. One's bad enough, but when they crowd around you, it gets kinda frightening..."
Rosebud is a short story told from the point-of-view of Trevor, a man who has died and is trying to survive in the afterlife. Whatever you were told about what happens when you die, forget it. There's no heaven. No hell. Just a strange blur of the world you once knew. And beings known to the dead as the liveys, creatures determined to take you somewhere worse.
Written in 2002 while in college, Buell explores how the dead perceive a world where the afterlife is unlike anything they imagined.
THE WOODS: PART ONE
Screams. Screams in the night.
Hayden opened his eyes in terror, mouth wide open. He could feel the air release from his lungs and the shrieks vibrate his throat.
The bedroom door burst open, filling the room with light from the hallway. Morgan ran to the bedside of his younger brother and knelt down to meet Hayden’s dark, brown eyes. It was like staring into another world. Outside, the dogs were howling. Morgan placed his hands on Hayden’s shoulders and shook him.
“Hayden!” Morgan yelled. Hayden let out another scream. Morgan slapped him, jerking him awake. He still wasn't the same. But Morgan knew the routine. Hayden panicked, fighting against Morgan as he pinned him down. He knew it would be over soon.
"It's me, Hayden," Morgan whispered. "It's Morgan." Hayden writhed for a few more moments, and then went limp. Morgan released his fragile brother from his firm grip, leaning back to give him some air.
“Another nightmare?” Morgan asked.
“What was it about?”
Hayden tried to think. He saw the trees, yes - the trees were staring down at him. He remembered feeling as if there were a hundred eyes on him, and with every creaking of a branch, he grew more and more terrified.
“The trees were alive,” Hayden said slowly and quietly, as if in fear that something else may be listening.
The Woods is the bizarre story of two brothers living deep in the country, surrounded by a forest spanning thousands of acres. During the day, Morgan, the older brother, tries to make ends meet by managing the family farm while also taking care of his frail younger brother (Hayden) who is confined to a wheelchair. By night, everything changes and the ritual begins. Morgan sends his brother to bed and then waits. Waits for the screams. Every night. Hayden dreams that there's something happening in the woods, and soon reports come in to town about missing hikers. Worst of all, Hayden starts remembering what happened to their parents while in the woods, and Morgan fights to keep the truth from his brother - for his own good. But the nightmares intensify and the small town begins suspecting Hayden may be the cause of it. Hysteria starts to grip the small town, while deep in the woods, something stirs. Paths disappear, as if the trees are moving. Every night, Morgan desperately waits for dawn to come. But nothing is what it seems.
The Woods is broken into two parts.
THE WOODS: PART TWO
The conclusion to The Woods will be released on November 15th.
SHADOW MAN: AWAKENING
The first two chapters are published. The book will be released in 2017.