Daryl Handy has never been lucky. Cursed with an awkward appearance and unmarketable skills, his life is a constant struggle. However, an assassin bearing a grudge—and Daryl’s face—is about to prove he could have done far worse. Driven by a hatred that spans dimensions, only Daryl’s death will satisfy his double, and not even other worlds offer any place to hide…
If that has made you curious, below I have a small excerpt for you.
Darrell Handy staggered back into his world. His street. He stumbled hard to the left, nearly into the middle of the road. Blood trickled from his nose, mingling with the light rain striking his face. The honk of a passing driver brought him hopping back toward the well-groomed lawns. He laughed when his legs finally buckled under him and left him sprawled atop the wet grass.
Gabe—his Gabe—looked at him, confused. The boy was digging in his driveway again.
“Are you okay, Mister Handy?” the kid asked.
Darrell chuckled and waved from his lawn. “I’m fine, Gabe. Just thought I’d rest my back and feet a minute. I had a long walk.”
Gabe’s round face frowned.
Darrell tasted copper as blood dripped into his mouth from his nostrils. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and tried to dam the flow.
The pain was every bit as bad as he remembered. The migraine and disorientation were worse than the effects of any binge. His brain felt as though it was more liquid than solid. He almost expected little chunks of the organ to start pouring out his nose. Like the rest of his body, the gray matter was wrestling its form back from the space he’d traveled. Only the essence of his consciousness had made the trip all in one piece. The rest could only try to catch up.
Darrell blew his nose and examined the stain spreading across the cloth. There was more blood than when he’d jumped to kill Darrell Number Six, but no solid matter. That was good.
He stretched on his lawn, testing the readiness of his limbs before climbing to his feet. He noticed Gabe’s eyes were still on him as he brushed off the dirt. Darrell smiled when he finally noticed the large strip of moss in his neighbor’s hand. He almost pointed before he remembered he was still holding the bloody handkerchief.
Darrell returned the cloth to his pocket. “How’s the battlefield coming?”
“Almost done,” Gabe said. The frown continued to crease the boy’s brow. “Are you sure you’re alright, Mr. Handy?”
“Yeah,” Darrell said. “Just a little sore and tired like most people my age. I should probably get some rest. See you later, Gabe.”
“Later,” Gabe called after him.
Darrell rested his back against his front door once he was inside. He did ache, yet the worst of the fatigue was already fading.
So quiet. Finally, finally quiet…
He breathed a deep sigh of contentment as he fished for the pack of smokes in his pants pocket. His knuckles struck oiled metal when they grasped the cigarettes. A whiff of gun powder entered his nostrils as he lifted a cancer stick to his mouth. The click of a lighter replaced the acrid smell with tobacco smoke.
Darrell made a note to get a new pair of pants. As small as it was, the .32 was a tight fit. He took care not to crush the cigarette between his teeth while he pulled the weapon free.
There were still six rounds left in the clip. Darrell Handy—the other Darrell Handy—hadn’t had time to plead. He’d managed only a single scream from the pain of the first bullet wound before the second one silenced him.
Darrell pulled the smoke into his lungs and let it linger before blowing it back out. He couldn’t hear Gabe outside. There were no insects thrumming or so much as a passing car. Darrell grinned at the tortured faces on the mute Bosch prints gaping at him from the hallway. There were only his thoughts and the cycle of his respiratory system. It was bliss.
Let me now introduce the author.
Patrick Rutigliano grew up on a steady diet of comic books and horror movies. Making his first sale to Permuted Press in 2007, he has since placed short stories with several publications in addition to his first collection, “Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room.” “The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy” is his first self-published work.
He can be found online at: