Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Reuben Sandwich Blog

I was messing around with Google, and I discovered there is a blog out there called the Reuben Sandwich Blog.

The creator claims to be named Reuben R. Reuben, but I don't know if that's his real name. He also claims to be the 'Reubenator', which I know is false, because people used to call me Reubenator all of the time. Well, along with other things, such as 'Reub', 'Ruby', 'Rhubarb', and 'Shorty'.

Anyway, this Reuben Reuben Reuben guy (okay, his middle name probably isn't Reuben) takes pictures that people send him of Reuben Sandwiches and posts them on his blog. He also writes about Reubens.

Sounds like a guy who really loves Reubens. I wonder if that means he loves me.

So go ahead and check out his blog if you want. I must warn you though, he has a lot of pictures of sandwiches!


Unfinished Plans

"You definitely have talent. Keep it up!"
-Charlie Dominici, lead vocalist of the Progressive Metal band Dominici


This was my second short story, written a while later. I wrote it for a competition, actually. For a long while, nobody noticed it. And then all of the sudden, soon after the contest ended, people started commenting on it and giving it their usual praise and constructive criticism. Yes, really soon after the contest ended.

When I first wrote it, I liked it a lot more than I liked One Weird Gas Station, but that has since changed, as I love my first story more than any other of my writing works. This story was partly inspired by Thunder of Heaven by Ted Dekker, which is one of my favorite books ever. When I look back, I see a lot of ways Unfinished Plans could've been a lot better, but what's done is done, and what's written is written.


Unfinished Plans
By Reuben Horst

Captain Jared Taylor stood with his left hand in his pocket, and his right hand handing a pistol at the man before him. Never mind the fact that his left foot was stuck in the mud, and his right foot was on the unconscious body of Karen Amir, the American wife of Muhammad Amir, the man before him and a well known terrorist.

His nerves were shaking and his heart beat like a thousand marching bands all hitting their drums at once.

Muhammad Amir stood confident, looking Jared in the eyes.

It had come down to this.

“Go on, shoot your little toy at me,” Amir spat, “I deserve to die. You’ve said so yourself.”

Jared continued to tremble. If this kept up, he would break down before he shot, and then Amir would escape.

But is it worth all this?

Jared Taylor caught his breath, and looked at the dead bodies around him. This was Amir’s doing, not his. It had to be.

Amir continued to mock him. “So you break into my secret base, lure everyone out, kill almost everyone, and then accuse me of killing innocents?”

Jared growled. “There were no innocents here, Muhammad.”

Amir raised an eyebrow. “So you’re saying that you’re not innocent?” he asked, a smirk on his face.

Jared felt his anger build up, and welcomed it. “I never said I was innocent.”

Karen stirred under his foot and started squirming. He stomped on her to make her stop.

Amir flinched when Jared stomped. Jared wondered how in the world an American woman as pretty as Karen would have met, let alone married, this beast of a human being. This demon from Hell itself.

But maybe he doesn’t deserve to die.

Jared mentally screamed at himself. This is Muhammad Amir! The world-known terrorist! The man who had killed your wife and children, along with a million other people!

He had sworn to kill this man six years earlier when it happened. It would never happen again.


This ends here!

Then something struck him. It wasn’t something physical, but . . . different. He remembered God.


What did this have to do with God? God had abandoned him long ago. He was starting to believe that the nuclear explosion that killed a million people also killed God. It was said that God was everywhere, and that included in the nuclear blast.

God has died and risen before, you fool! He could’ve again!

“So have you made up your mind yet, loser?” Muhammad Amir chuckled.

Alright, this was it. He was going mad. Suddenly, another voice spoke in his head. One not his.

I’ve always been here, Jared. I never left. I haven’t died since the time almost two thousand years ago.

He stopped short. “God?” he asked aloud.

Amir laughed. “And now the kid’s god is talking. As if he would care for you.”

Jared screamed, “Shut up!” and shot his pistol less than an inch above Karen’s head. Both she and Amir flinched, and Karen started to squirm again. Then sob.

Amir looked at his wife with pity in his eyes. In that moment Jared knew he couldn’t kill them. He just couldn’t.

He had done enough killing over the years to get to this moment, but he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. He slowly lowered the gun.

Karen immediately tried to struggle free, throwing Jared off balance, sending him crashing into the muddy ground.

Amir crouched, and then sprinted, headfirst, in the other direction.

Jared got onto his knees and, dodging an attacking Karen, fired his pistol.

Time seemed to slow as that bullet flew across the sky. It was going to hit Amir in the back, causing a fatal wound.

Wait, Jared had just decided that he wouldn’t kill Amir. He had just shot a bullet that couldn’t miss!

There was nothing he could do to stop that flying bullet. He registered Karen screaming beside him. Boy, what had possessed her to love that beast so much? Maybe the CIA or FBI could get her to tell, when this was all—


The bullet had hit! Jared looked up.

Muhammad Amir lay facedown in the mud twenty yards off.

Jared jumped up and ran towards Amir, barely aware that Karen was running after him.

He pulled up. Blood was leaking from a bullet wound in Amir’s leg.

Wait, hadn’t that bullet gone straight for Amir’s heart?

Jared looked down at the leg, not believing his eyes.

I have unfinished plans for this one, Jared.

God again. God always showed up at the weirdest of times.

Jared picked up his cell phone, and called headquarters. They would want a report.

Don’t forget, Jared, I’m still here. I always will be.

Jared smiled. Maybe now that he had captured the infamous Amir couple, husband and wife, he could find a real life. Maybe even find another woman of his own. One that loved God, as his last wife had.

He was still smiling when the CIA helicopter arrived. God was one his side again.

I always was, Jared. I always was.


Master of Shadow Matoran, an online friend of mine who is an Atheist, pointed out that even though this was written well, it makes it sound like we are being controlled. Like God is controlling our every move. This was not the intention, but I can see what he meant. But as I said earlier, "What's done is done, and what's written is written."

Feedback, please!


One Weird Gas Station

"It is so psyrealistic - it moves not outside of realism, but on a seperate track running an entirely different way than realism! Your characters, at times, can react opposite of what you would expect from any person, and at other times, be perfectly reasonable. It all fits into this nicely screwed-together universe of yours, and it turns out perfectly in a style that is all your own. Well done!"
-Master of Shadow Matoran, via VahiCove

"That really is quite a strange gas station, but with a strange place comes a great story, and you, my friend, have a great piece. Rather than go with the norm, you went with the strangest and most entertaining way to tell this story. From beginning to end, it was all good, so keep it up!"
-Xenogears, via Budding Writters


After quite a bit of frantic searching, I found the data I needed to repost this short story. I originally wrote it almost a year ago, and my writing abilities have, in fact, increased since then. When I first completed it from scratch (starting out not knowing what I was writing about), I received a lot more praise from my family and various other people on the internet than I ever expected I would. This is the latest version, with all (as far as I could tell) of the typos edited out.

So, alas, this was the first completed short story I ever wrote. At least after I started getting good at writing. It was also the first story I ever wrote in first-person.


One Weird Gas Station
By Reuben Horst

“John. My name’s John,” the man said. I looked at him with confusion in my eyes. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, extremely unusual attire for the crazy rainstorm outside. We were standing in my gas station on a very rainy day and he was wearing a T-shirt? Who was this guy?

Noticing my confusion, the man, John, said, “I know this seems a bit weird, but I can’t help it.”

I just shrugged and turned away. Some people were just weird. Most usually weren’t this weird, but I’ve definitely seen weirder people. Someone once walked in this station on Micah Street wearing a heavy coat and sweat pants in the middle of the hottest day of summer. This is a very weird gas station, I guess.

The man named John stroked his short beard and walked away into the soda section. As I turned back to my work, another stranger walked into the store/gas station. This one wore a grey top coat, long pants that had a dark blue color, sun glasses, a black hat, and a gun pointed right at me.

Now I’m not into guns, so I have no idea what type he had. But that didn’t stop the fact that all guns could easily kill.

The man wiped the water off his sunglasses with a cloth (I don’t know how he did it without taking them off) and smiled. Two of his top teeth were missing, and all the rest were a sick yellow that made me think he hadn’t brushed his teeth in weeks.

“Would you please be so kind as to give me all your money?” the man asked, still smirking.

Without thinking, I quickly reached into the cash register, pulled out a ten dollar bill, gave it to the man, and said “Here, this is all I have.”

Like I said, I did it without thinking. The gunman immediately burst out laughing.

John came around the corner, walked up to the counter, and asked, “Sir, how much are the A&W Cream Sodas? They don’t have a price.”

The gunman, upon seeing John, shouted, “Any other customers get out here or I’ll shoot the teller!” I rolled my eyes and told him that there weren’t any others.

Just to make sure, the gunman started snooping around the store.

John leaned over the counter and whispered, “It seems you’re in a bit of trouble, Mr. Sir.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Really, I never noticed,” I said, “Oh, and my name’s Luke.”

The gunman had reached the candy aisle and was currently chewing on some jelly beans.

“Hey, are you going to pay for those?” I called across the room. Startled, the gunman put back the bag, tried resealing it with some type of glue or something, then raced back to the counter. “Alright, all your money,” he said.

John immediately turned to the gunman. “Now wait a minute,” he said, “Why do you want to rob this place? It doesn’t have very much money.”

I looked at John as if he’d gone insane. What was he talking about? This gas station had more cash in the register than most others in the city combined! He winked at me, so I relaxed.

“This place only has about a thousand dollars,” John said. I immediately started to object to his ignorance, but decided against it.

John continued, “I could pay you ten thousand if you leave this place alone.” I stared at him. Was this his ‘great plan’?

The gunman thought a bit then smiled. “I guess I could take it,” he said, “Considering it’s ten times what you have here.”

John got out his check book and started to write a check.

“HOLD IT!” the gunman yelled, “I’m not going to sign a check so that the police can find my identity!” John looked hurt. “Then how can I pay you?” he asked.

The gunman shifted the gun so that it was pointed at me again. “Go to the bank and get the money,” he said, “and if you don’t come back, or if you call the police, I’ll shoot the pretty little teller.” Then he smiled.

I felt offended. He called me pretty. Pretty, for Pete’s sake! Couldn’t he see that I was male?

John just shrugged and walked out.

An hour later he walked back in with ten one-thousand dollar bills. He handed them to the gunman, who ran out of the building right after getting the money.

I turned to John and said, “Thanks, but why did you do this for me? I don’t even know you!”

John smiled and said, “Well, I guess it would pay for the gas I stole.”

I immediately jumped up. “You stole gas?” I asked quickly.

“More like recycled it,” the man said.

I was confused. “What do you mean by recycled?” I asked.

John’s smile grew broader. “Well, I took most of the gas out of the gunman’s car and put it in mine.”

I burst out laughing. Why hadn’t I thought of that before? What the gunman hadn’t known was that the bank was right across the street. “No wonder it took you an hour to get the money!”

John laughed too. “During the time I also got his license plate number and a really good description of his car. Now it’ll be easy for the police to find him. They just need to look for a dude in a blue Chevy that is out of gas!”

With that last sentence I stopped laughing. I just stared at him. When he noticed I stopped, he stopped too and asked me why I was staring.

“Did you just say a blue Chevy?” I asked. When John said yes, and told me what the plate number was, I rolled my eyes and chuckled.

I finally told him, “John, you didn’t get a description of his car; you got a description of my car!”

John immediately froze and started looking embarrassed. I laughed and eventually he joined in. This was one really weird gas station.


I haven't told anyone before, but the character John was named after my deceased grandfather, J. Alton Horst, may he rest in peace.

Feedback, please!


The Silver Branch

The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff, is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Roman Britain at the end of the third century.

Much like it's prequel, The Eagle of the Ninth (film coming out in 2011, titled The Eagle), it is hard to read, but is a great story for any who enjoy epic stories. It is packed with plot twists and overall story changes. If you look at the story at the end, compared to how it was at the beginning, you'd see how much it changed.

The main protagonists are two cousins, Justin and Flavius, who are descendants of Marcus Aquila, the protagonist of The Eagle of the Ninth. They are thrown into a treasonous plot against the Roman-British Emperor, Carausius, which they are unable to stop. The adventure they partake in is long, and sacrifices must be made along the way.

I can say that The Silver Branch is a great book, but if you can't stand hard reading, this might not be for you. It took me one and a half to two hours to read the last two chapters, and afterward it almost completely took away my appetite for reading. I'll recover, of course, but the great writing ability of Sutcliff and the awesome story are what stopped me from quitting in the middle.

See ya around,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Welcome, World!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Reuben Horst, aka Arkatox. I'm 14 years old, and a Christian. I was home-schooled through 8th grade, and I now go to a private high school. People at my school praise me for my writing and editing skills, and some people call me a genius (though I'm not). This happens to be my fourth personal blog. Yes, there is a reason for that.

My very first personal blog was at A while later I realized that Arkie's Blog was a piece of junk, so I made a new blog, which was at That one lasted the longest, but alas, Changjy announced that they would be closing down and merging with their sister site, So I quickly copied all of the posts I wanted to keep, quite a few, actually, to a new blog I created,

That worked really well . . . until Choseit went offline for several months. When it came back, somehow my Blog was deleted, and the 'Contact' section on their site didn't work, so I couldn't tell them.

So now I've lost almost all of my blog data, so I'll have to restart with almost nothing. The reason I chose to use BlogSpot this time is because, from what I've heard, it's a reliable host. I can't say the same for Changjy/Choseit/whatever their other sister site was.

Here is a list of books and games that I reviewed on my past blogs, as far as I can remember:

The Martyr's Song
Invitation to the Game
The Da Vinci Code

An Untitled Story
Castle of Elite
Super Mario Galaxy 2


Q. Why is this your fourth blog?
A. If you'd read what I've written above, you'd know.

Q. Why are you using Blogger/BlogSpot this time?
A. As I stated above, the past hosts that I've used have been unreliable. From what I've heard, this host is.

Q. Why is your new URL rjhorst, when in the past it was just rhorst?
A. Because there is already a blog at

Q. Are you planning on reposting the short stories you've written?
A. Yes, and the other two short stories by other people that I posted on my other blogs.

Q. Where do you live? What's your phone number? What's you e-mail address?
A. Go away, you stalker!

So yes, that's all for now. See ya around!