"Everybody's A Critic"

"Everybody's A Critic"

A Story by Cody Williams
"

Being a critic is one thing, but when Alan Brooks began messing with the wrong guy, his criticism turned into a nightmare.

"

“Everybody’s A Critic”

By Cody Williams

 

            Alan Brooks turned on the light switch and walked into his condo. He threw the dress coat that was hanging on one of his shoulders on the sofa next to the door. He turned to the right and walked down to the end of the hallway turning left to his office door. He began reaching in his right pocket looking for the right key ring that had the key to the office on it.

            “Goddamn it!” Brooks said as he continued searching for the key. Several moments went by until he finally pulled the key out of his pocket and dropped it on the hard wood floor. “S**t!” He shouted. He bent down ripping a big hole the seat of his size 46 kaki dress pants revealing his tightly whitey underwear. “S**t! Mother f****r!” He shouted out in anger as he stood back up and held the ends of the hole together. He bent back down and picked up the key ring. He found the right key and placed it into the keyhole. He turned the key to the left and the door swung open. Brooks flipped the light switch on and walked into his office while slamming the white wooden door behind him.

            First thing he noticed when he walked he got inside of the office was the red blinking numeral 29 on his answering machine. He began looking around at the picture frames on the walls in his office. All containing pink colored rejection slips from short stories he has written.

            Alan used to write short stories for a living…or at least try. He began writing them in college as a creative writing major. When he began submitting to magazines that’s when the rejections began. And they haven’t stopped.

            To be quite honest, it killed him. He couldn’t stand the fact that he was a failure at what he once loved so much but have now become bitter about it. He kept the rejection slips framed in his office for the inspiration of what he does now. Since he couldn’t become a writer, he did what only people who couldn’t make as writers do…he became a critic.

            Not a day went by when some pissed off b***h called him bitching about the reviews he gave and honestly, he liked that way. He enjoyed running careers before they even began just as the editors of magazines have ruined his. It made him sick at the pit of his stomach that people everyday are being published and he wasn’t. He was a bitter b*****d to say the least. He walked to his large president like desk and sat down in the large leather computer chair.

            Only a few things made him feel better about him. One was propping his feet up on his desk and smoking that box of Cubin cigars he had hidden in the back of the top drawer of his desk. Another was the typical Jack Daniels bottle he had sitting on the floor beside his computer chair. The other one was writing horrible reviews about other peoples work and laughing about it. You see, the truth is, he didn’t hate all of the stories he read. In fact, some of them he loved. He just wrote them in hopes he can sway the opinions of the public and cost that author all of the tings that in his mind he feels he deserved. So that’s what he did. He lifted his feet and placed them on the desk while simultaneously picking up the Jack Daniels bottle, a Cuban cigar, and pressing the PLAY button on the answering machine.

            He also pulled out a cigarette lighter and light the cigar while also taking a sip of the whiskey He exhaled the cigar smoke putting an unusual smile on his face.

            “Mr. Brooks, my name is Fran Shelley. I just wanted to call and tell you what a no good b*****d you are! Your cold-hearted review ruined my career before it could even get off the ground. You’re just a stupid son of a b***h and I hope to God that you rot in hell like the good vermin you are!” A woman’s voice said while crying. The sound of desperation put a sick grin on Brooks face.

            “You’re right sweet heart! I am a son of a b***h! That’s the only thing I have left to live for!” Alan said as he took another drink of whiskey. There was nothing he loved more than being hated just like he loved hating people. In fact, he gets off on it. I think it’s safe to say he gets off on the hate. The next message was unusual. It was a man who didn’t seem too upset.

            “Howdy partner! The name is Ronnie Miller. I think you know who I am. I’m the SOB you gave that horrible review to. You know the book I’m talking about don’t you? I went by the name of Murderer’s Mind. If my memory recalls, you loved it.” The man said. He had a deep voice. He sounded like your average antagonist from a western horror movie. Alan dropped the whiskey bottle to the floor and sat up in his chair.

            ‘How could he have known that? I trashed that damn book! I shitted all over it in my review! How the hell does he know I loved it?’ Alan thought to himself as he leaned in towards the answering machine to hear the rest of the message.

            “You see Alan, I’m not a good guy! I don’t pretend to be! In fact, I would rather have your balls for breakfast than sit down with scum like you and even pretended to have a nice conversation. When I read your review, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t too heart broken over it. I was kind of amused actually. The reason I didn’t care too much about it was because I know what you know. That you can’t even call yourself a has been. You were a f*****g never was. And you know that. That’s why you write these horrible reviews. So I’ll tell you what Alan. I’m coming over and taking care of you once and for all…believe me, I’ll be doing you a favor.” Ronnie said as he abruptly hung up the phone and the line went dead. This message wasn’t like the ones he gets all the time. This guy, whoever he was, was serious. He meant business.

            Alan reached over and pushed the STOP button on the answering machine and stood up. He and his spaghetti legs walked over to the door of his office. Sweat began rolling down his head. He opened the door and walked out of the office. His heart was racing. It was as if he had drank 20 cans of Red Bull and his heart was going to blow out of his chest.

            He heard a car door slam from the driveway. Alan ran across the room and peaked out of the shades that were hanging in front of the window. In the driveway sat a rather large big Ford truck with the headlights shining at the house. The driver side door opened up and a man jumped out of it. Alan quickly backed away from the window and he ran towards down the hall towards his office. He ran inside it and shut the door behind it. He turned back to face it locking it. Alan quickly ran over to his desk and opened the top drawer dumping everything out of it.

            He ran his hands searching through the Cuban Cigars before finally grabbing his emergency pistol. That’s when he heard the front door swing open. It was enough to gar him. Alan heard the sound to cowboy boots clatter against the hardwood floor. He heard the walk grow closer and closer to his office until he finally saw the shadow of a man appear from under the door.

            The man began to twist the doorknob back and forth but it wouldn’t budge. That’s when Alan figured out how he got. He slipped a credit card between the door and the latch and the door swung open. The man was wearing a long black leather jacket, black jeans, a black button u shirt, cowboy boots, and a black cowboy hat. The man was holding mouthing but a long machete in his right hand. He walked in the office and closed the door behind him. Alan was trembling with fear.

            “Who are you? How did you know where I lived? What the hell do you want with me you stupid f**k?” Alan shouted. Ronnie slowly began walking around looking at the framed rejection slips that were hanging on the wall.

            “I already told you what my name was Mr. Brooks. It’s Ronnie Miller! I know you don’t know who I am Mr. Brooks. What is important is that I know who you are.” Ronnie told him. Alan slowly began to pull out the pistol that was hidden behind his back.

            “And what is it that you want to do with me?” Ronnie asked him as he began pointing the gun at him.

            “I wouldn’t if I were you! The damn thing’s not loaded anyway.” Ronnie told him calmly. “You know what I want Mr. Brooks. It’s what many writers in the world want. We want you out of the way. And I’m the only one who has the balls to do anything about it.” Ronnie informed him. Alan pulled the trigger but Ronnie was right. It didn’t fire. It just clicked. Ronnie turned to him with a wicked pissed expression.

            “I told you not to even think about it! I even told you that it wasn’t even f*****g loaded? You just dug yourself into a deeper hole than you already were in!” Ronnie shouted. He raised the machete and took charge at Alan. Alan threw the no good pistol at him and ran towards the door. He opened the door and ran out of it.

            Alan ran down the hallway tripping over a small stool landing on his knee. The knee he had already three knee replacements on. Alan screamed in pain and attempted to crawl across the floor to the front door. He almost reached it when he saw the two cowboy boots of Ronnie cut him off at the door. Ronnie knelt down beside him and rolled him over.

            “Look Alan, let’s just get this over with. It doesn’t matter who I am or how I know everything about you, but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ve actually been looking into for a long time Mr. Books. I know a guy who can get me anything I need. He’s my editor. That’s what we do. We look up no good scum who nobody will miss. Someone who everyone secretly wants to see dead anyway, and my editor gives me all the information about them and it is my job hunt them down, kill them, and write it down. Why the hell do you think people love my stories? Because they love seeing no good varmints like you get what they deserve.” Ronnie told him. Alan began to sob.

            “Please! Please! Let me live!” Alan said begging for his life. Ronnie grinned with amusement and then looked back down at Alan.

            “No, I can’t do that! You see, it’s all about the ending. And this one Mr. Brooks, it is perfect!” Ronnie Miller said proudly. He raised the machete and Alan screamed with fear.


Copyright 2013 by Cody Williams

Courtesy of TRUE TERROR PUBLICATIONS

A division of TTP Entertainment

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© 2014 Cody Williams


Author's Note

Cody Williams
I feel that this is one of my better ones for sure. One thing I really had a problem with was the title. I just couldn't think of one. I ended up going with "Everybody's A Critic". It's a bit hokey but sounds something like Tales From The Crypt or R. L. Stine would use. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

-CW

My Review

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Featured Review

Darlin, I think every writer has had fantasies similar to this one...seeing that rotten critic/agent/editor/publisher get what's comin' to him...grrr!! Well, maybe we aren't all quite as bloody about it as you are...but...well, you get the idea.
I loved this one, except...Sweetie, like I keep telling you, you need to work on the mechanics. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, sentence structure... Yeah, I know...BORING!! But they make your wonderful gory stories easier to read.
Another gem, Luv...but listen to ol' Granny, and review those old English Usage text books. Honest, you'll be glad you did!!

Ha! Just thought of a title for you...
'Critique This'

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Angel! This is a rough draft so there will be a few changes and editing done on i.. read more
Angel

6 Years Ago

Back atcha...



Reviews

This is amazing!
Mean reviews can kill you inside and this is what many of us would like to do... oh yeah, I know, we did it in a fantasy world. ;)
Bravo!

Posted 4 Years Ago


You did it again Cody, i like it.Nice work....


Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Sonnie!

-CW
Darlin, I think every writer has had fantasies similar to this one...seeing that rotten critic/agent/editor/publisher get what's comin' to him...grrr!! Well, maybe we aren't all quite as bloody about it as you are...but...well, you get the idea.
I loved this one, except...Sweetie, like I keep telling you, you need to work on the mechanics. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, sentence structure... Yeah, I know...BORING!! But they make your wonderful gory stories easier to read.
Another gem, Luv...but listen to ol' Granny, and review those old English Usage text books. Honest, you'll be glad you did!!

Ha! Just thought of a title for you...
'Critique This'

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Angel! This is a rough draft so there will be a few changes and editing done on i.. read more
Angel

6 Years Ago

Back atcha...
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I guess assualt with a deadly weapon must be the sincerest form of criticism. Enjoyed the story, good work. I felt just the right amount of loathing for Alan to make things work for me.

If asked, in my most honestest moment, was it perfect? I'd say no, but a little editing would get it very close.

Cooper

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Deimar!

-CW
Art is a little more delicate than most people may realize. We write to bring the world to our view and perceptions ... certainly when someone tears it apart destroys your entire world. But we need to ask ourselves why it happens. Bukowsky commented that we may need to ' kick out the w***e-a*s art ' in order to start again.

But in starting again we are apparently taking a different tack. In such a light, the critic is also a social reformist. Good work on this JW ... its starting to take shape is what I think ... your characters are appearing more true-to-live especially as you tackle real social issues. Well done.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Dayran!

-CW
I have to say from what I read (I am really bleary-eyed sleepy right now so eyes are having issues focusing on the screen.. literally), this is one of the better short stories I have read. Grammatically and typo wise there were a few issues but nothing ultra, ultra glaring. I will admit that it took me a bit to get into the story BUT once I did - wow holy cow this makes me ashamed of my book, and I have been working on it since 2008! I LOVED the ending. I feel like this could totally be expanded into a far, far fuller work. My only complaint really is with the beginning. I feel like there wasn't much of a 'gripper' - opening that caught my attention. That is why it took me a few moment's to start to get into it. I think, for me, if that were fixed then this would be just about perfect. Great work, CW, great work.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks so much for reading!

-CW
Umm, don't come after me with your machete. In the beginning it should have been ruining instead of running. I didn't look too closely for others, I was scared! LOL

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

LOL! Thanks for reading KL!

-CW
Absolutely loved it! a few typos slowed down the reading a bit but the plot and characters and everything else was perfect! I would have liked maybe one more heart broken voicemail and his response to it just to build a little more of Alan's character though. Amazing job though!!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading!

-CW
First off, let me say that I enjoyed your story. Still I felt there were a few things that went unexplained and I don't know if this was on purpose or unintended. I think that this story deserves to be expanded addressing those points and that this will help shape it in a better way.

Great job!

Posted 6 Years Ago


Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Dante!

-CW
Awesome story, and really interesting characters :) I love all the unanswered points at the end, just adding to the mystery, great write :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cody Williams

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading Jackson!

-CW

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Added on December 30, 2013
Last Updated on January 1, 2014
Tags: horror, fear, fiction, Cody Williams

Author

Cody Williams
Cody Williams

Elizabethton, TN



About
I am in my second year at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee were I major in instrumental music education and minor in English. My passions include playing the trombone/euphonium an.. more..

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