Max Ruback, "How We Can Be Saved"

A Jesus-hugger tries to recruit two boys on their way out of the haunted house.

(from SmokeLong Quarterly)

In the field behind the church is the haunted house. We laugh at the caskets stacked in the yard, the fake howling wind sounds coming from speakers. We laugh at the paper skeletons hanging from the trees and the cardboard gravestones with mannequin arms and legs sticking out of the ground. We hear girls screaming.

Short, declarative and deliberate, this story has a gentle urgency to it; it’s told from the narrow perspective of a kid describing just about everything he sees. I liked the tone: The horror of the funhouse is laughable, but everything goes quite when the girl in the half-shirt tries to convert the two Jewish kids to Christianity. The poor kids are just trying to have fun. Ne need to bring pamphlets into it. Cool, quick story. Read it here.
Why not read an even tinier story by the same author, here?
Looks like SmokeLong’s deal is flash fiction, which I have no particular affinity for. But when it works, it works.

2 thoughts on “Max Ruback, "How We Can Be Saved"

  1. Anonymous

    hey Max Ruback… this is sky your old student… i think this is a good story… remember what we talked about… well i googled you and i couldnt find a way to contact you… i have accomplished a lot throughout the summer and i’d like for you to take a look at what i have done so email me… da email is my first name with the last 2 numbers of the year i graduated

  2. Katie

    Hey Rubix Cube.
    I mean Mr.Ruback.
    I miss your class so much. You inspired me in so many ways. You opened my mind and doors to my intelligence I never knew I had. I just want to say thank you for helping me with every thing you’ve ever helped me with. This is your old student Katie, I think you’ll remember, class of 08. Never did anything along with Medina. Ha, now you remember anyways, I hope to hear back from you. Contact me :D

    Katie M.


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