In "The Bleeder", Leo Dershowitz is an unsuccessful artist with minimal talent. But all that changes one day when he finds the macabre source of his artistic muse — and now nothing will stop Leo from creating his masterpieces.
In "Deal With the Devil", a private investigator gets the wrong end of a deal gone bad. Or does he?
In "The Back of Beyond", a lonely bar at the far edge of the world gives the owner much more than he bargained for.
(Plus a bonus scene from Vampire Moon, sequel to Moon Dance.)
Leo Dershowitz stood in front of his painting and frowned. It wasn't quite right. He had a firm image in his head of what he wanted and this wasn't it. The color was wrong. And the shading was off. Yeah, that was it. The shading.
The problem was, the clear image in his head was fading, becoming hazy around its edges, amorphous.
Which meant only one thing.
He must be scabbing over again. He hated when that happened.
Leo looked down at his right arm, which hung over a white plastic bucket, inside of which was splattered with blood. His blood. Sure enough, the gash in his forearm was threatening to close. The steady flow of blood was nearly being cut off by a thick, congealing scab.
Using a very clean surgical knife, Leo deftly flicked away the scab, which broke off and fell with a splash into the bucket, itself partly filled with a finger or two of his own hemoglobin. Now, once again, sweet blood pumped freely from the gash just below his elbow, flowing rapidly over the many horizontal scars that lined the inside of his arm. Leo always thought the scars looked like piano keys.
Even though he had performed many such blood-letting rituals before, the site of so much blood at once gripped him briefly with nausea and an old fear. The fear of dying.
What if I bleed too much this time? What if I pass out and never awaken?
Leo knew the answer: If he passed out while bleeding, there was a very good chance he would never awaken. That he would bleed to death.
Then don't pass out.
But Leo had learned long ago to ignore such inhibiting fears. He had to ignore them. Because the moment he began to bleed, the moment the life-force flowed from his wounds, a magnificent vision would appear. A vision that hovered tantalizingly in his mind's eye. Clear as day. A vision that only lasted for as long as Leo would bleed.
And now, as the blood dripped steadily from his dangling fingertips, the vision, which had been losing it sharpness with the congealing of his blood, came starkly back into focus.
Leo had a painting to do.
He touched the tip of his paintbrush to his palette, rolled it gently, applying the perfect measure of light desert auburn mixed with pure white, and turned to the half-finished painting before him. And for the next hour or so he transferred the burning image of his mind to the canvas, twice more knocking away the damnable coagulating scabs.
And when the painting was done, when the bucket was splattered with his blood, Leo nearly wept at the painting's beauty....
Three months ago, Leo woke up from a dead sleep and knew he was going to die.
It was in the middle of the night and his heart was racing madly.In his dreams he saw a fragmented image, the sort of image that only occurred to him when bleeding.A vision.Leo quickly realized the relevance of this.
A vision had come to him without bleeding.This was big. No more bleeding!
Now, if he could just grab hold of this elusive image trying to make its way into his conscious thoughts from his dreams—or from wherever these vision came from.So he lay there in bed and tried his hardest to grab hold of the amorphous vision.
The harder he tried, the more it slipped away.He likened it to a photograph held just beyond his peripheral vision, a photograph that was slowly burning.And the more he strained to look at it, the faster it burned.... ... Read more
Customer Reviews (7)
The Bleeder - Leo an unaccomplished artist finds out during an accident that he can bring out his inspiration. All he has to do is bleed. While he's bleeding he paints the best pictures that sell for thousands. One day he see's his masterpiece and he knows he'll never get another chance to paint it.
This story and masterpiece was ominous. Very freaky. I'm not sure how I felt about it. I think scary is the best word to describe it. Mostly, it leaves you thinking which road would you take?
Deal with the Devil - This story was different from what I've ever read. It was basically the first chapter or edition in a comic book. Unfortunately, the comic was never made. However, that wasn't necessary. The imagery in this book made me feel like I could see everything happening as it would in a comic book. Best short story of the lot in my opinion.
It's basically about a private eye who makes a deal with the devil. They'll let his father go free if he finds the one soul that escaped from Hell. I hope that Rain completes this story. I'm itching to read more.
The Back of Beyond - I honestly didn't remember reading this one. I had to go back to recap what happened. Basically, it's about a yuruk who starts a fight in a bar. The owner doesn't want to fight but when the yuruk hits his help he has a no hitting the help policy. This story was just that a story. I had no strong feelings whatsoever.
Vampire Moon - This is a deleted scene from a book that has not been published yet. It's the second book in the Vampire for Hire book. It basically puts Samantha Moon in jail talking to the warden because she appears to have punched through a bulletproof window. Samantha insists that the glass was cracked. The warden of course suspects something else.
I enjoyed the deleted/bonus scene. I can't wait for more. I really enjoy J.R. Rain's stories. They're creative and fun. There are a lot of things going on and some even have lessons to learn. I can't wait to read more.
I always enjoy anything J.R.Rain writes and this is no exception.I enjoyed the main characters visions and I really enjoyed this story. Five stars!!!!
Bloody Good Fun
Okay, I seriously cringed while reading "The Bleeder". That story will seriously stick with me. "Deal With the Devil" has a nice twist, and I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion to that one soon. "The Back of Beyond" is an exciting, classic adventure story. And the snippet from Vampire Moon was a lot of fun. Once again, great job, J.R.!!
Too Much Bleeding
Pretty gross, don't see the link to his Vampire for Hire Series.Why not save the blood for the Vampire for Hire?Duh.
Disturbingly delightful story, and collection
I am not one to leave reviews, although I read new books frequently.I have been following this author for some time and unlike the lovers of a good vampire story, I am drawn most to J.R. Rain's PI hero, Jim Knighthorse. I am a sucker for a good hard-boiled detective mystery--every time.
J.R.Rain tells a good story, period--which is why I've started reading his other works.I must admit, Samantha Moon has found her way into my heart, and I can hardly wait until the next installment of his bestselling vampire series comes available.And I've now finished every other book Mr. Rain has available in Kindle, including "The Bleeder", which I just purchased this past Sunday.
I liked the story a lot, which is why I finally am writing my first review on Kindle.Other readers need to know that there is something of value here.In addition to the main story, there is another short story, a short graphic novel installment, and a great sneak-peak at the new novel, Samantha Moon (even if it is a deleted scene--which is strong enough that I was left wondering how awesome the new installment will be, if this is what ended up on the cutting floor).Not to mention, for those unfamiliar with J.R. Rain's work, there is a sample from his bestselling Moon Dance to complete the download.
"The Bleeder" is a disturbing story--well written, and a tragic tale about a marginally-talented artist who must literally bleed himself in order to rise above ordinary.Images from that one will stay with me for quite some time."Deal with the Devil" is quite interesting for those of us who wonder how a graphic novel is put together--very lucent descriptions of Lucifer and a story with a twist I didn't see coming.The other short story in this collection, "The Back of Beyond" is a sneak peak at a novella that begs to be fully fleshed out...hopefully, Mr. Rain will find time to do that in his obviously busy schedule.
Most readers on Kindle know about Samantha Moon by now...so I won't spoil anything from what Mr. Rain included here--especially since the sliced segment didn't make it into the final version of the upcomingsequel to "Moon Dance".
So, for those on the fence about this one....take a chance.Especially if you like this author.I guarantee that the vast majority of readers will be glad they did.
... Read more