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Category Archives: Online Fiction

The Return of Sin: A Drabble

Today’s drabble celebrates(?) the Pope’s retirement…

Gerald looked out the window, the Wall on the other side of the street looming large and forbidding. He never paid it much attention, but the night before he had read about the history of the religion gene and a world full of war, judgment and old men telling everyone else what to do.

He couldn’t sleep for the nightmares.

His mother told him not to be silly. Those whose faulty DNA made them believe in a vengeful God were safely shut away.

As he stared, nightmare became reality. The Wall bulged, then exploded.

Religion was on the loose again.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

Tech Troubles: A Drabble

When it comes to problems with technology, the phrase “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” works rather well…

When most people said that techonology hated them, they meant it figuratively. In Jill’s case it was literal. Her changeling presence made it act all contrary.

Spellcasting nanotech stolen from a unverisity lab to convert her magic into something technology wouldn’t reject was the easy part. Inserting the chips into the pads of her fingers was another.

The things fought her, making her hands slippery with blood, but despite some queasiness, she won.

She tested her built-in adaptors on her roommate’s laptop. The IT whined at her, but Jill knew her cyborg basics. She’d watched TV.

Resistence was futile.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

The Queen of the Martyrs: A Drabble

My mother knows from suffering in silence. She said nothing when Saint Sebastian showed up one night dripping blood from where the arrows pierced his skin, merely inviting him in for a drink. He came back the next night, Joan of Arc in tow.

Now, dead saints fill the house to the brim showing off whatever gruesome wound made them into such spectacular victims. Gah!

And my mother only sighs as she pours coffee and tea refills or makes another batch of homemade cookies.

I’m thinking of blowing the whole place to smithereens, but that’d only make matters worse, right?

And you think your mother is bad…

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

The Perils of A Late Night Commute: A Drabble

The headlights of another car whipped past Kevin, too fast and too close. His heart in his throat, he swerved then pulled back straight. The car, however, ground to a halt in deep gravel.

He got out and froze, gaping at the unearthly tree trunks glowing in the headlights.

“What the-?”

The scritch of claws on metal switched on his flight or fight response. He chose flight, preferring darkness to the owners of those claws.

Laughter.

The screech of burning rubber.

“Hey!”

Something tripped him and he landed face first on the side of the road, no car in sight.

Today’s story comes from the question – what would happen if will o’the wisps decided that car jacking was more profitable than drowning travellers?

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

Overdue Vacation: A Drabble

We booked our summer holidays yesterday, so in honor of that, I offer you a story about taking a long needed break.

A Vacation

“The building won’t fall down without you here, Kit.”

Kit gave her coworker a weak laugh of disbelief.

“I don’t get days off.”

“Of course you do. I can help, even. Let me take that load off your back.”

“You sure?”

“Totally.”

Before her coworker could rescind her offer, Kit transferred over her local godlet status, freeing her finally from the constant responsibility of caring for the building’s etheral and spiritual well being.

With a glance at her now gasping colleague, she skipped out of the room.

“I won’t be long. No more than a decade or two. I promise.”

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

First Love: A Drabble

Over on the Merry Go Round Blog Tour this month, contributors are talking about firsts. I thought I’d talk about some of my first attemps at crafting a story, but decided not to rehash the past.

Instead, I’d like to offer you a different kind of first – my first drabble, a one hundred word story complete with a beginning, middle and end.

And in honor of St Valentine’s Day, yesterday, I give you a love story.

First Love

When Jim’s alarm went off at six, Cheryl was gone, having taken everything with her, even other people’s memories of her. He wasn’t surprised, only confused why she let him keep his memories of their affair.

Her baby-laden reappearance seven months later answered that.

“Is it mine?”

She shook her head.

“You want me to love it?”

“Yes, she’ll need to be loved.”

He nodded and invited them in. In return for the baby, Cheryl reclaimed his memories of her.

She offered the apology of “It’ll be safer this way,” but Jim was already absorbed in his daughter’s blue eyes.

Today’s post was inspired by the “firsts” prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what theyhave to say, check out the rest of the tour!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Drabbles, Online Fiction

 

Gotta Be Starting Something

My writing career starts today.

Each year for the past three years, I’ve chosen a single word to describe the next step in the 20 year writing plan I came up with in 2007.

In 2007, although I wrote my first novel, I was on sabatical, separating myself from my prior life with its focus on things that had nothing to do with writing.

Then in 2008 and 2009, I backslid. In integrating myself once more into a daily routine, I fell back into old habits, putting too much of my energy into self-help blogging and coaching.

In 2010, I got wise. I decided that the word professional would guide me through the year. And it worked. I focused on my writing, improved my skills and most importantly cut away anything that wouldn’t help me fulfill my writing plans. Yes, I did get a day job, but it was one that I could leave at work, plus my bosses have told me a million times that my job is my job, but it should never get in the way of my writing.

In 2011, I chose consistent as my watchword. Without consistency, a writer is nothing. The only way to build up an income is by producing new work, continually. So I learned to write regulary, even when my muse didn’t feel like it or when life tried to interfere. In that year, I discovered that I need lots of time away from my writing or I resent it. Because of that year of focus on that one aspect of my writing, I’ve developed a pattern of writing that produces lots of words and yet gives me plenty of time off to enjoy time with my husband, my friends and with myself.

My word for 2012 was preparation. It wasn’t an easy year and I wrote very little, but that wasn’t my focus, so it was okay. My preparation included becoming debt-free so that I can save to indie-publish without going into further debt. I balanced my need and desire to write with the other parts of my life. And I read, a lot. I used to run my own business back in my other life and so spent 2012 learning how to apply the principles of running a small business to being a writer in the new publishing paradigm.

The year my word is an active one – the verb start. In 2013, I will publish a short story each month (including a few in Spanish), and one short story collection. I will also prepare two novels for publishing in 2014 and build up the queue of short stories for 2014. I don’t expect instant success, or any success at all. In fact, I expect to fail, over and over. This year is only the beginning. No one can expect to achieve everything at the beginning. Success is something that’ll come in the future.

This year I only need to worry about taking the first steps on the journey to success. I know where I’m headed, but my focus needs to be on the road in front of me, choosing the smoothest, clearest path possible.

And why does that journey start today?

Because today, my first short story of the year is available – in English and Spanish.

They are available in print and electronically at all the usual puchase points:

Bait (ebook):
Amazon: US & India; UK; Germany; Spain
Kobo
Smashwords

Bait (print):
Amazon: US & India; UK; Germany; Spain

El Cebo (ebook):
Amazon: US & India; UK; Germany; Spain

El Cebo (print):
Amazon: US & India; UK; Germany; Spain

And to whet your appetite, here’s the intro to the English version. Enjoy!

It took less than a day for Daniel to fall in love with the city of San Sebastian, and by the end of the third day he never wanted to leave. How his mother had been able to trade this jewel on the sea for dirty, damp northern England, he had no idea. Nor could he figure out why she’d never brought him here for a visit. No matter, though. He was here now and not going anywhere any time soon.

He stretched his arms above his head and sat up, marveling at the view spread out around him. From his towel, he could take in everything beautiful about the city in one sweeping glance, from the rich houses that crept up the side of Mount Igeldo off to the left, to the island Santa Clara in the middle of the bay, which when lit up at night looked like a railroad model, to the Old Part scrunched up against Mount Urgull protected from the worst of the winter storms.

Of course, the selection of mostly naked tanned people enjoying the late September sun also made the view more enjoyable. His own Yorkshire pale skin had just begun to get a hint of the color his mother’s genes had bestowed upon him. With luck, he could rid himself of his near-death pallor before winter settled in.

His eyes settled on a topless old woman whose skin had turned to leather from far too many years of lying on the beach and suppressed a shudder. Mental note: too much sun was a bad thing. The image wasn’t helped by the fact that she’d pushed her deflated breasts to either side as she leaned back in her chair. Did she move them around so as not to leave tan lines? He looked up and realized that she’d caught him staring. Blushing, he looked over at her companion, another old lady who sat fully dressed under a large parasol, her stern gaze on a book that she held out at arm’s length. Daniel smiled. His father had done that until giving in and getting reading glasses.

“It’s my favorite view as well,” the leathery woman said in a British accent that rivaled the Queen for formality.

Daniel’s eyebrows rose in surprise. What were they? A pair of eccentric duchesses taking their holidays here? Set the stern one on the beach a century ago and she would have fit in perfectly.

“Do you come to the city often?” he asked and made an effort to keep his eyes off the leathery woman’s divided cleavage.

She laughed and slapped her companion’s leg. The stern woman responded by turning the page of her book.

“He wants to know if we come to the city often, Rowena.”

The reading woman grunted.

“Young man,” the leathery woman continued, “we came once a long time ago and never left. The city enchanted us. Just like it has you.”

“Never leave? I’m only booked into my hostel for a week.”

Never mind that he’d already decided that he would do whatever necessary to stay. These women didn’t need to know that.

Rowena lowered her book to give Daniel a thorough inspection. He wanted to blush again and look away, but her gaze captured him and wouldn’t let him go. After an eternity, she released him.

“Philomona is correct. You are a part of this city now. It will not give you up easily.”

The surety in her voice gave him the chills despite the heat of the sun and sand.

“How old are you?” Philomona asked out of the blue.

“Twenty-one,” Daniel said, then bit his tongue. What business was it of theirs?

“No girlfriend with you or back home waiting for you?”

This time he did manage to refrain from answering. They were getting too personal.
Philomona laughed.

“You must excuse an old woman’s curiosity. We sometimes forget we are no longer as young as we once were.”

She’d been trying to flirt with him? It took all his control to keep his jaw from falling open. They had to be at least a hundred years old, if not more. Beginning to feel a bit creeped out, he pushed himself to his feet.

“Time to cool off a bit.” He jerked his head in the direction of the water.

“Enjoy,” Philomona said.

He nodded and wandered down to the edge of the waves. As he walked away, he thought he heard Rowena say something along the lines of him being a perfect mix, but he dismissed it as his imagination. A mix of what? And perfect for what? He swam out to one of the rafts that floated in the middle of the bay, and after diving off of it a few times, swam back to the beach. The old women were gone by the time he got there, so he lay down for a nap and a bit more tanning before the sun dropped down behind the mountains off to the west.