The Inspiration Behind Blood Oranges
The idea that led to Blood Oranges took shape a thousand years ago when I was a teenager. I worked in a grocery store that was older and run-down (they’ve since turned them all into bright, shiny superstores). I was a cashier, a bagger, and also a produce clerk. The back areas were always a little creepy—dark and empty. We used to get crates of fruit that we had to pull out of the cold room to stock the store and I was always worried I’d stumble onto a tarantula or something similarly horrible. I never found anything like that but once I did open a crate of melons and they had some weird disease or genetic abnormality. They were covered with weird bumps and this fuzzy fungus that webbed them together, separate but part of the same whole. It was really gross. I showed it to all my friends who were properly impressed and disgusted. After that I started drawing pictures of weird sentient fruits and vegetables as well as monsters—big bugs, and bats, and trolls, and things—and I’d hang them up in the break room and write on them, ‘What I saw hiding in the compactor’ or, ‘What I found in the walk-in’ and everybody got a kick out of those. Eventually when I started to write, (or tried to write anyway), I thought a story about something haunting the back of a grocery store would be cool… something that one guy knew about and protected. Maybe even fed. It never occurred to me that this was basically the plot of Little Shop of Horrors. I wrote the story and promptly put it away. It was silly.
So years later, I wanted to write something about people who were at a crossroads in their lives. I like protagonists who aren’t necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but just ‘real.’ I wanted to write about someone who was trying hard to put their life back together after pissing off all their friends and family. Someone who was fighting their way back from rock bottom, and finding that it wasn’t all rewarding sobriety chips and pats on the back. I wanted to have this character moving through a mundane existence suddenly find themselves in a situation that forced them to question their perceptions, and ultimately have to decide to be that ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person. Nothing is more mundane than a grocery store job and I remembered my long ago juvenile story idea. I reworked it, coming at it from a more serious and experienced place and it became Blood Oranges.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR — R.k. Kombrinck is a writer and artist who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and two sons. He is a founding cast-member of the popular horror podcast “Night of the Living Podcast.” He enjoys iced-tea (unsweet) and genuinely believes in Sasquatch.
Imagine finding a baby in a dumpster; how far would you go to protect it? Picture yourself trapped in a maze with a monstrous creature that wants nothing more than to spill your blood while others bet on the outcome of your life; would you run to survive? Do you think you could – run or survive? Perhaps you’re clinging to a lost love so strongly that your rational mind doesn’t realize how strongly it’s clinging to you; is it bliss or torture? Come to think of it, is it safe to accept that tasty sample the kindly gentleman who works at the grocery story is offering you? It couldn’t be anything but harmless, could it?
If you prefer your horror twisted with a bit of grit sprinkled on top for flavor, this is the perfect anthology for you!
Blood Oranges — R.k. Kombrinck
Polandrio — Trevor Firetog
Kin — Elizabeth Allen
Dumpster Baby Blues — Bob Macumber
Dead World Protocol — Glynn Owen Barrass
The Road Less Taken — J.T. Seate
Countdown — Danielle Allen
A Walk in Moonlight — Sharon L. Higa
David — John Mc Caffrey
Geo — Micheal Lizarraga
The Garden of Love — Kevin Holton
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