Mental Shrillness Blog Tour

Today on the blog I have author Todd Russell, who is here to promote his thriller, Mental Shrillness. We're doing things a bit different today though. Todd Russell has given you a challenge. That's right a challenge. Read the story below and see if you can guess the ending. Leave your answers in the comments. The person who guesses the right answer or the closest to the right answer wins a copy of e-copy of Mental Shrillness by Todd Russell. Be sure to check out all the rules below. Good luck! 

Father Knows Winners Best by
Todd Russell

A Guess The Ending Contest and with Mothers's and Father's Day coming up the timing is good. This story was written during the same era as the stories in Mental Shrillness

     Ricky and Jake, twin brothers, battled for Dad's attention until graduation night at Peadman's Cliff when they decided to settle it.
     The crowd had gathered from school, alcohol carelessly involved, the torches flaming against the ebony chill. Wendy Simmons stood between the two beater cars, raised a makeshift checkered flag, her sweet fragrance kissing the air.
     Jake raised a thumb to his brother. Ricky showed him his middle finger instead.
     The checkered flag dropped and they both slammed on their respective accelerators. Dirt and gravel spit from tires and the crowd raged, pumping the torches.
     Jake stared at his brother and saw Dad. Jake was the son who never won at anything. Dad loved winners and Ricky fulfilled those desires better and more often than he. Ricky won his first fight when the bully, Billy Watkins, wanted his lunch money. Jake got beat up by Billy three times before finally returning the favor.
     The cars bobbed for position. The cliff a football field's distance away and closing. Ricky smiled with his perfect teeth. Jake returned his crooked grin..
     Ricky was Dad's jock. He could do it all: football, track, baseball, soccer, name it. Jake could do it all too, just not nearly as well. Ricky's wall overflowed with ornate plaques and ocean-colored ribbons and impressive trophies. Jake's wall smelled of honorable mentions.
     Closer to the cliff edge. Night breathed through the inch slit in Jake's window. Jake looked at Ricky's clenched hands on the steering wheel, his determined eyes.
     Dad's eyes. He had Dad's eyes too, but Dad always remarked how the girls loved Ricky's eyes. I HAVE HIS EYES TOO, DAD! Jake complained but it was always after the crowd had gone home. Ricky owned the stage, Jake the backstage pass. Just a roadie in the concert of their disproportionate lives.
     Ricky smiled at Jake with those damned straight teeth! He raised his middle finger to his brother. HE wasn't jumping out, not Ricky The Stud Johnson. No way. He'd go to the edge. Maybe over the edge. No chickening out with his big breasted girlfriend, Wendy Simmons watching.
     Wendy, oh Wendy, Jake's thoughts burned his brain. Wendy was the first girl Jake had loved. Still loved. Why wouldn't she look at him? Why Ricky. Why did Ricky always win all the time? Dad loved winners. "The winners circle, sons. Strive for that winner's circle."
     The edge one hundred feet away. The jagged rocks four hundred feet below mocking the brothers.
     Jake turned, screaming, "JUMP! JUMP!"
     80 feet....closing...quicker, quicker.

It's your turn. Can you guess the ending of "Father Knows Winners Best" The first person that comments on this post with a guess closest to the ending of this story will win a Smashwords coupon for free download of Mental Shrillness in the ebook format of choice. The author, Todd Russell, will monitor the comments and announce the winning guess. This contest will go until the closest winning guess is made or until the end of the Mental Shrillness blog tour at 12:01am PST May 15, 2011, whichever comes first. On May 14, 2011 if no winner has been announced yet, then the author will choose the closest guess and work with Marcie in getting the email of the winner to award the prize.
Tips from the author: Make your answer as detailed as possible.
Rules: A maximum of three (3) guesses per person, please. No purchase necessary to play. This contest in international. 

Mental Shrillness Factoid #4
The story in Mental Shrillness that still disturbs author Todd Russell in a certain way to this day is "Falling The Bobbitt Way" The author explains in the author notes at the end of the book specifically why this bothers him.

Be sure to check out Todd Russell's website | twitter | Goodreads | facebook
Also make sure you check out the Mental Shrillness Blog Tour page for upcoming book reviews, guest posts and interviews.


  1. Jake wakes up from the dream as the cars are about to go over the edge.

    I'm not a writer- no imagination!! :)

  2. Jake goes over the edge, killing himself in the process and finally managing to finish something before his brother.

  3. "JUMP, DARN IT!" Jake called.
    "YOU JUMP!" Ricky replied, giving him a wink.
    Jake glanced at the cliff as a knot formed in his throat.
    25 feet...
    Live to be a winner, or died in the process?
    5 feet...
    Jake finally let the wheel go, threw the door open, and jumped. He hit the ground rolled and fell over the edge, just catching the ledge. The car flew through the air, fliping onto it's back as it landed on the rocks below. A fire ball shot into the air.
    Seconds later, Ricky's car flew over edge just inches from Jake.
    "RICKY!" he cried.
    A second explosion answered his call.

    Sorry for the long comment! I just got into the storyline. :) Good luck everyone!

  4. Another non-writer here..

    At the last moment, Ricky manages to pull the car around/brake, avoiding going all the way over, but it's close. Jake runs to rescue him and as he does, Ricky makes him promise never to tell his father - Jake can tell Ricky's terrified of disappointing their father.

    Jake sees that maybe the cost of winning his Dad's approval might be higher than he wants to pay and that just being himself is good enough.

    (I have no idea about Wendy - she doesn't seem like she matters much)

  5. I'm not sure if this contest if over yet but I think both brothers keep going closer and closer eyeing each other and at the last minute, Ricky jumps out but Jake can't get his door open and so he wins, but dies a very short lived victory when his car plunges over the cliff.

    Not very imaginative I know.


  6. Thank you for guessing folks :) Keep them coming.

    Per Marcie's post above:

    "This contest will go until the closest winning guess is made or until the end of the Mental Shrillness blog tour at 12:01am PST May 15, 2011, whichever comes first."

    So as I'm writing this there is about 1 1/2 days left to get your guesses in.

    Thank you for reading :)

  7. Thank you for playing everybody :) Some good guesses.

    I just emailed Marcie the winner so she could announce it either here or in a new post at her discretion in the not-too-distant future. I also included the actual ending of the story so she could post the complete version.

    I'll send out the prize when provided with the email of the winner (should be no later than next Sunday May 22 at midnight) so please keep an eye on your spam folder :)

    Thank you again :)


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