Horror Business by Ryan Bradford
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Armed with a passion for classic B-grade horror movies, a script co-written by his twin brother, and a wicked crush on his death-obsessed neighbor; hardcore horror fan Jason Nightshade must finish his student film.
But his plans are derailed when the children of suburban Silver Creek start disappearing – his twin brother among them. Battling a possessed video camera, a crazy zombie dog, a monstrous bully, and a frighteningly broken down family life, Jason embarks on a mission to find his lost brother so the two can write an ending for his story.
As an any horror fan knows, saving the day won’t be easy, as Jason finds himself forced to face the real world where death isn’t just a splash of fake blood on a camera lens
A day in the Life of Ryan Craig Bradford
– Wake up around 7 a.m. after a fitful night’s sleep. Usually, sweat has soaked the sheets and my pyjamas are in varied states of destruction (if they’re present at all). Flashes of the previous nightmares linger on the back of my eyelids. The dreams are never clear, but I know I’m running. It’s never certain if I’m running from or after something, but they usually end with a horrific scene of violence, too disturbing to write here. I then tend to the scratches on my arm—the result of my own mid-nightmare thrashing (I hope).
– 7:30 a.m., I make a pot of coffee. Don’t get between me and caffeine! Mmmm!
– Around 8ish I take a shower. I like to take long showers—it’s where I do the best thinking. It also takes awhile to scrub my fingernails clean. For some reason, I always wake up with dark brown (although, sometimes red) crescents under my fingernails. In the shower, I sometimes find more scratches, these ones deeper, bigger. I touch them, but register no pain. In fact, I feel rejuvenated and incredibly strong. I blame this new brand of coffee.
– 9 a.m.: I’m lucky enough to work from home for the first half of the day. I usually disconnect from the internet and set aside one hour to write. I aim to get at least 500 words per day. Can’t stress the importance of ME time!
– 10 a.m. The nightmare comes back. This time the flashes are excruciating—like lightning hitting my skull. The visions are not clear, but I hear what sounds like voices of countless, screaming in fear. Their screams turn into triumphant laughter and somehow I know that this laughter has travelled through the ages, that it has persevered through plagues, extinctions and mankind’s darkest eras. This ancient laughter is dark, but it is not unwelcome. The pain is comforting. When I regain consciousness, the pain is gone and my voice is hoarse from laughing.
– 11 a.m.: I check Facebook, Twitter and email.
– At noon, I have lunch. I’ve been trying to eat less carbs (New Year’s resolution J) Been eating a lot more meat.
– After lunch, I walk to an office where I work as a Web Editor for an alt-weekly newspaper. Outside, the sun seems too bright. I’m irritated by the slightest sounds: far-off, honking cars sound like they’re parked right inside my brain. Sometimes, people with clipboards ask if I can donate to their cause; I find myself growling at them.
– From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., I complete my work at the paper. During this time, the scratches over my body itch to a maddeningly degree. I try to be as covert as possible so I don’t arouse the suspicions of my coworkers. I mask the intensifying hysteria by sending them links to silly lists or goofy gifs over IM. I’m constantly at the water-cooler, consuming at least one of five-gallon water jug per day. I talk about “the game” or a new TV show or whatever—anything to keep from howling.
– I get home around 6:30 and watch TV for an hour or two. Try to never miss an episode of Big Bang Theory.
– Eat dinner around 8:00 p.m. Then I catch on some missed emails, maybe check Facebook again.
– At 10 p.m. I feel the moon’s omniscience. My pupils and blood vessels dilate. Oxygen flows easily. All anxieties about work, about money, about word-counts melt away. Senses are keen.
In San Diego, the weather is always great. Often, I end my days with a night-time stroll.
Ryan grew up in Park City, Utah. His fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Paper Darts, Vice, Monkeybicycle and [PANK]. He currently lives in San Diego where he acts as Creative Director for the nonprofit literary arts organization So Say We All. He’s the co-editor of the anthology Last Night on Earth and founder of the literary horror journal, Black Candies.