the official website for the writings of
The full text of Father Figure is now available in new trade paperback and Kindle editions, with a 2015 Author's Preface, and an appendix which includes 6,000 words in deleted scenes.
Father Figure is also available at all other Amazon sites worldwide, and additional online venues. 175,000 words, plus 6,000 words of deleted scenes.
South of Anchorage, accessible only from a mud-rutted road off Seward Highway, lies the town of Lodgepole. After midnight, among the blueberry bushes of White Birch Park, a man climbs on top of a woman and begins making love to her. As her orgasm rises he puts his hands around her throat, shutting off her air. She struggles, not to stop him, but to stop herself from trying instinctively to pull his hands off her throat. As the top joints of his thumb meet at the front of her throat she comes, her cry of orgasm ricocheting around inside her forever.
Daryl Putnam, handsome, bookish, wakes up from a nightmare and decides to do something he hasn't done in years. Take a walk outside at night. Down in the park, at the lime green shores of Little Muncho Lake, he comes across the body of the strangled woman.
The next morning, at the coffee shop of the hospital where he works, Daryl meets Sally, a pretty, dark-haired girl. He's intelligent, she's outgoing. What they have in common is both are living lonely lives. Until today.
Also in the hospital coffee shop, shaking half a can of black pepper onto his tomato soup, is Sam Rudolph, a fiftyish man with eyes like an angry dog's, who has spent over twenty years quietly manipulating events in Daryl and Sally's lives to have this seemingly chance encounter among the three of them occur.
And who is actually a lot older than fifty.
"It is easy to see why Father Figure has become an underground classic over the years. It is a dark, extremely disturbing but completely gripping suspense thriller with a strongly erotic subtext...Moore is an extremely talented writer with a gift for pushing the reader's emotional buttons...certainly liable to become a cult classic, and deservedly so."
From an editorial review
When someone you love dies, are they gone forever?
Meet the Ghosters, and the desperate people who hire them.
In our modern world, only Ghosters know what comes after death. What stays behind. And what dwells between.
Ghosters are a small, loosely-connected group of individuals who travel the highways of America curing people of their hauntings. For as much money as they can negotiate from each client. They are legitimate. But they are not nice.
If you're here, it's probably night. You can see a window from where you sit, and the window is dark. Who really knows what's outside?
I write. If you read, we've just made a connection.
SENTENCE is the forest you fall asleep into.
I created SENTENCE back in 1998 as a way of letting readers know a little bit more about me. Here you'll find about a dozen of my stories, the complete text of my novel Father Figure, essays of mine, videos I've made, photographs I've shot, a decade and a half of my on-line diary entries, some of my favorite recipes, and much, much more. I don't fear plagiarism. Ideas can be stolen-- a simile, a description, a plot, a joke-- but that will happen regardless of the medium in which your luggage is left alone on the airport floor. The truth is, fear of plagiarism is fear of readership. To be plagiarized is never fatal. What is more important is to be read. Because if it's in a box, and no one but you knows about the storms raging through the paragraphs, the footsteps plodding soggily down the sentences, water dripping off the rims of words, that's the biggest shame of all. A fizzle. Because the real achievement of writing is not the writing. The real achievement of writing is someone else reading the writing.
SENTENCE started as an island. Over the years, its accumulated bulk, added to each month, became a continent.
Art is an invitation to go inside someone else's mind. To see our world as they see it. SENTENCE is my mind.
I've been published in America, Canada, England, Ireland, India and Australia in a wide variety of genre and literary magazines and anthologies. My fiction has been called "graphically morbid". My writings are not for everyone. Are they for you? Find out.
I'm glad you came. I just lit a cigarette. I just poured Merlot. I hope you enjoy your exploration.
Webmaster Ralph Robert Moore at email@example.com. Entire contents Copyright © 1997-2016 by Ralph Robert Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Established January 1, 1998.
To buy my books, please go to BUY MY BOOKS
To see where I've been published, please go to BIBLIOGRAPHY
For samples of my writing style, please go to WORDS WALKING NUDE
For a complete chronology of site updates, please see HISTORY
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"All was chaos, that is, earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and out of that bulk a mass formed-- just as cheese is made out of milk-- and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels."
my many murders
may 1, 2016
The other day I was in our high-ceilinged garage, stuffing flattened cardboard boxes into our green recycle bin, about as tall as a woman, when a question occurred to me: Is there any author whose fiction does not include a single death? Where all his or her characters, over the course of a writing career, survive the final sentence?
I started going through different authors in my head, and each time, at some point, usually right away, other times only after a minute or two, my fingers, rooting through the bowl, would unearth a black jellybean.
Which makes sense. If you're going to write, why would you not, at some point, or repeatedly, write about death?
Like a lot of you, my own writings are dark. So of course there's a lot of death in their pages. But then I started wondering: Just how much death?
So what I've done is gone through my stories, and for each story determined if anyone dies, and if they do, how they die.
I am not including my published novels (there'd just be too many pages to comb for deaths, plus you have some ambiguity: In my novel As Dead As Me, for example, do billions upon billions of people die, or just one?) And I am not including stories that have not yet been published, or stories that have been sold but not yet published.
Also, for each story I am not including people alluded to in the story who are already dead when the story starts. The character must be alive at the start of the story, and dead by its end.
There are also a number of stories where it seems likely a character dies soon after the end of the story, but since they don't die during the story itself, that is not counted as a death.
Finally, although a number of animals die in my fictions, none of those small deaths are recorded here. This list obviously includes major spoilers for all of my published short fiction. To try to make it a little less spoilerish, I have eliminated the characters' names.
Here we go.
WHEN YOU SURFACED
SEX ON SHEETS
DESPAIR AT MCDONALD'S
WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS
THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE
THE WOMAN IN THE WALLS
THE MACHINE OF A RELIGIOUS MAN
PUSHING DOWN THE TOMBSTONES
THE HOLE AND THE SPIKE
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES IN THE WOODS
THE BURDEN OF WORDS
FLEEING, ON A BICYCLE WITH YOUR FATHER, FROM THE LIVING DEAD
TRUTH BE TOLD
MY FIRST KISS
STEAKS IN THE CITY
STRANGERS WEAR MASKS OF YOUR FACE
LIKE AN ANIMAL IN A HOLE
GRAPPLING WITH URINE
IN THE TUNNELS OF THE AGOGS
NOBODY I KNEW
RAIN TURNS TO SNOW
THE MAN WHO COULD JUMP OFF ROOFS
SUDDENLY THE SUN APPEARED
THE WET MONTHS
THE BAD BOY
DOGS WANT TO EAT YOU
THEY HIDE IN TOMATOES
ELEPHANTS ON THE MOON
ABOUT TO BE KISSED
DADDY'S GLAD HANDS
THE ONE WHO ALWAYS GETS TO SIT IN A CHAIR
SHE HAS MAIDS
THE YELLOW FRUIT
ALL YOUR FACES DROWN IN MY SYRINGE
THE SPACE BETWEEN (co-written with Ray Cluley)
THE MIDDLE LEG
WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU THEY'LL LOOK NORMAL
GHOSTS PLAY IN BOYS' PAJAMAS
SOME SORT OF EDEN (co-written with Allen Ashley)
BANG, BANG, THUD
MEN WEARING MAKEUP
LEARNING NOT TO SMILE
YOU DRY YOUR TEARS IF THEY DON'T WORK
Deaths in sold but not yet published stories:
Deaths in novels and stories not yet published.
So all in all, looking at this list, finally compiled, I realize that a lot of my characters who do die either drown, commit suicide, or are in automobile accidents. And realize even more so, with some surprise, that I haven't really murdered as many people as I had always assumed I had. So much less blood on my hands! Fingertips definitely dripping, but maybe my palms are still clean? More or less?