ORLANDO — This year, the novel Bloody Rabbit celebrates its 10-year-anniversary.
“It was pouring out when R.T. Robeson jumped on the bus that would carry him from downtown Orlando to the building in an older, somewhat less fashionable section of the city. He had never visited the building before, but a Miss Gardenia was expecting him …”
So begins author Michael W. Freeman’s disturbing novel Bloody Rabbit. The unsettling story of a man and his doppelganger, available on Amazon and as a Kindle eBook, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2023. Are you ready to get the Rabbit?
In his book “Horror: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Literature and Film,” author Leonard Wolf writes that “Horror literature can do more than frighten us in a safe place. At its best, it provides us with images that speak to our subconscious because they resonate with myth …. horror literature touches the nerve of paranoia that many of us cherish by confirming our suspicion that there is a ‘they’ or an ‘it’ or a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ that is out to get us.”
Welcome to the world of Bloody Rabbit, a novel that takes readers on a brooding, dark — and darkly comic — journey into a long nightmare for R.T. Robeson — right up to the blood-freezing ending.
It starts in a world familiar to us all: the struggle to cope during an economic downturn. The book slow builds to an even more terrifying situation: the vicious persecution of those who become an angry society’s scapegoats.
What is the story behind the book Bloody Rabbit?
Set in Orlando and loosely based on the author’s own experiences after being downsized in 2011 and his slow climb back up the economic ladder, Bloody Rabbit is a tense, haunting and sometimes grotesquely funny look at how quickly social norms crumble when times get tough.
The grim and macabre tale sends readers into a surreal world where people are desperately struggling to find stability, as they cope with a harsh and lingering economic anxiety. Bloody Rabbit becomes a blurring of dream and harsh reality, simultaneously mixing the horrific and the comical.
The book follows R.T. Robeson, a middle-aged man who thought he had it all — a good job, a home, a car — then loses everything. He finally finds a new, much lower-paying job, then to his immense relief discovers a tiny apartment available that he can afford on his modest income. He quickly agrees to rent the cramped unit — even though it has a violent and unsavory history.
If it seems like Robeson has finally landed back on his feet, he’s startled when complete strangers repeatedly and angrily confront him, insisting that he just did something crude and offensive. Robeson is baffled and can’t figure out who all these people are mistaking him for. These intrusive strangers chop away at his peace of mind, leaving him feeling disoriented and almost paranoid. An air of dread begins to suffocate the hapless Robeson.
His problems get worse — much worse — when he starts being stalked by a virulent anti-Semite who has somehow mistaken Robeson for the banker that foreclosed on his brother’s home. Robeson finds himself increasingly constricted, quietly brooding alone, afraid to venture outside and potentially see that stalker waiting for him. He feels isolated, and endangered.
He stares obliquely out the window to see what’s haunting him on the city streets. Cracks appear in the texture of his existence. Robeson feels like he has reluctantly, and against his will, gone into hiding. He’s in solitary confinement.
Who Published the book Blood Rabbit?
“This is a book for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider,” Freeman says. “If you’ve ever sat in your cubbyhole, staring at the knob on your front door and been afraid to turn it and step aside — because it just feels too overwhelming to be exposed out there — you’ll relate instantly to R.T. Robeson’s struggles.”
Who is the Author of Bloody Rabbit?
Michael Freeman was born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, where he lived for 38 years before relocating to his current home in Orlando, Florida. Michael knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer, influenced by the many comic books that he voraciously collected, as well as movies and his vast collection of paperback novels.
His writing career started in 1988, when he landed his first job as a news reporter for a weekly newspaper in Massachusetts. In 1991, Michael became a political reporter and film critic for his hometown newspaper, The Fall River Herald News, and the rest is history.
Michael has since worked as a reporter and editor for some of Florida’s top newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel, The Sun Sentinel, The Lakeland Ledger and The Jewish Journal, the nation’s largest Jewish weekly.
Michael has also written for online publications and been a content writer for numerous businesses, including his own company, Freeline Productions.
Playwriting has been another passion of his. His first play, Hooked, premiered at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in May 2009; his most recent play, Breakfast With Andy, was performed at Orlando Fringe in May 2022.
Michael’s previous novels have included Koby’s New Home, Of Cats And Wolves, Sharp Pieces Of Glass and A Christmas Eve Story, which are macabre, ghoulish, often horrific, and sometimes funny.
Today, Michael lives with his husband Mel and two cats in sunny Orlando.
Contact Freeline Media at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.