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About Me

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RALPH PULLINS is much happier and more well-adjusted than most of his writing might suggest. When he is not busy writing lies for fun and profit, he lives and works in suburban Michigan with his brilliant wife and two sons. His first novel, Antiartists, will be published by Pen Name Publishing in the spring of 2016, he is currently finding a good home for his second, Flagg, and he is writing a third, an adventure story meant for young readers.

He is very interested in hearing from readers and other writers and what they think about life, the universe, and everything, so you can also email him anytime at dissent.within@gmail.com.

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We Would Be a Song

I seem to define my life with soundtracks, playlists that encompass epochs or periods of change or development.  My earliest music was my mother's: Van Halen and Judas Priest, Def Leppard and AC/DC.  I remember a friend of hers explaining to second grade Ralph that the big balls that Angus was singing about were parties, but even then I didn't buy it.  My teen years were heavy on grunge, Nirvana and Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and that was the first time that music ever felt like it was mine, that I discovered by myself or through the radio, or like minded friends, that was the first time that I took it and owned it and loved it, and even now I'll hear Black Hole Sun or Rooster or Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio and back I go.

In the fifth grade, I moved to Kelso, Washington. I want to say that it was hard, but what I remember mostly from childhood is just this sense of taking every day as it arrived.  What else do we have except our own experiences to measure thi…

The Wall

I originally wrote this story for an anthology of cosmic horror that ultimately never came to fruition.  It is based on an idea from my son, Cayden, who asked during the run up to the 2016 election, what if they actually did build a wall, and then there is some kind of  apocalypse and instead of keeping people out, the wall ends up trapping everyone inside with the sickness?  So when I saw the call for submissions for cosmic horror stories with a political theme, I asked him if it was alright if I stole his idea as long as I give him a co-author credit, and that he had better say yes, or I would make him pick up the dog poop all summer.  He agreed, his brother got stuck with the poop patrol again, and I sat down and wrote this story.  Since the anthology never came to pass, and it was written for that alone, it has been sitting in my file for quite some time.  Recently, there has been a lot of wall talk in the news again, and so I decided to just put it up here because, after reading …

I, Failure.

Listen carefully, because this is important.

You are going to fail.

There will come a time when you will think it was all for nothing, all of your time and effort, you will think it was a waste.

You will look at all you have accomplished, all that you have done, and you will not feel pride at the things you have managed to do in the face of resistance and adversity, but a numb despair that, after everything, this is all you have to show for it, these shabby relics, these nothings.

You may consider quitting.

Maybe you will quit, you will tell yourself that it isn't worth it, that arriving at the destination is not worth the hardships of the journey. You will try to walk away.

You are going to fail, and if you fail, you are then a failure.

You will be a failure.

Maybe you have had nothing but success up to this point, maybe you begin to believe that the usual hardships have just passed you by, maybe you will begin to think that you are just lucky, or that all the warnings have been …