Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Festival

Fall Festival

“Hersh to the day when we don’t neeed this stinkin’ festival anymore!”

Like the clapping crowd, Mayor Billingsly was already drunk from the tub gin Amos Walton had been making all Summer long. Dolly was happy her boss didn’t mess up his first duty for the day, but she needed to make sure he made his way through the rest of the day’s obligations. He still had to hand out the trophy at the zombie chuckin’ competition, put the first rubber band around the undead man’s head at the “How many till it pops?” tent and the one he was most looking forward to, hosting the Miss Post-Apocalypse McKohn County pageant.

“You need so slow it down sir,” she said, pulling him off the platform.

“Nonsense,” he countered. “Gotta make this last festival one we all remember.”

“Sir, there will be another on next Fall.” November was the perfect time for the event. It was right before the welcome of winter where the remaining zombies would freeze and give the survivors some respite.

“Not for me.” He rolled up his sleeve, revealing a yellowing bite on his forearm. Her stomach dropped. “C’mon Dolly let’s make this one for the ages. Just promise me one thing.”

“Anything sir.”

“When I turn zombie. Make sure I don’t end up in Amos Walton’s goddam catapult.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

Playlist - @200WordTuesdays

One of August's themes for 200 Word Tuesday's was Strange Songs. Here's' what I got:


Glenna thrived on finding new music, but anticipating Mondays was starting to ruin her weekends. The pit in her stomach soured with each week that she received her updated YourTracks Weekly playlist on Sounder; Thirty songs the service curated based on her listening history.

A month ago she got hooked on the new song “Greener Things” by The Fireflies and favorited the track. Looking the band up on Twitter later that week, she saw that the bassist died the prior day from undisclosed causes. Her heart broke a little and made her love the song even more.

Three weeks ago, two band members from two new favorites died later in the week. It continued with each passing Monday. More recommendations, Glenna favoriting more songs and more undisclosed causes.

Despite sharing an account and password with her friends, Glenna couldn’t tell them about the pattern. They’d think she was crazy. Should I contact Sounder? The police? What if I don’t even listen to the playlist? Or favorite the track?

Glenna’s phone chimed. A new notification. YourTracks Weekly was ready for her. She hovered her thumb over the Sounder app fighting the impulse to discover a new favorite. Maybe this was week the pattern will change.

#CoverReveal: Flash! Vol. 2

In what I hope to become an annual event, I'm publishing Flash! Vol. 2 this November at pay-what-you-like sites NoiseTrade and OpenBooks. In between my longer pieces and novels, I like to write flash fiction and short stories to shake out the cobwebs and try out different formats and story approaches. As you'll see soon, some of these stories evolve into longer tales that I flesh out further for other publications. 

For those of you who prefer your e-reader's book stores, I'll also be making this available at Amazon and elsewhere later in the month. 

More soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Epilogue from Missing Justice: Inside the Rose Murder Trial - @MicrocosmsFic

Here's another Microcosms entry from this week.

Epilogue from Missing Justice: Inside the Rose Murder Trial

Life after the Rose verdict was as you could imagine. Nobody trusted me anymore. My wife left and took the kid with her. The bowling team dissolved. I found myself assigned to the worst details the force had to offer. Some loyalty, huh?

Seeing as how Rose walked because of me losing my service weapon, Chief only let me carry a Taser. That didn’t slow me down though. I led the precinct in collars till the day I retired. You can look that up. I also unofficially led the precinct in Tasings. With guns they count every shot you make, every bullet gets inventoried. With the Taser though, you can go hog wild with the thing and no Internal Affairs pencil pusher is the wiser.

And I suppose you read this whole tell-all wondering if I’d ever mention the incident at the Duval County Renaissance Faire? I know you’re here for the main course: finding out how an obviously guilty Wallace Rose walked free. You really want to know about me getting my comeuppance at that festival. Right?

I hate to disappoint, but everything you want to know is already in that police report. You can find it on the internet with all of the videos of the day. Yes, there was a riot when those two princesses were fist fighting over the last turkey leg. And yes I got kicked in the teeth by the donkey that the wizard guy was riding. But here’s what I’ll say that wasn’t in the report: I Tased that donkey to the point where he threw that wizard off and then relieved himself on that dopey pointy hat he had on. Probably the most rewarding day on the force in my life. Who’s laughing now? Hope you your money’s worth from my book.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Post Bellum Praxis - @microcosmsfic

Thought it was be impossible to use Microcosms default prompts of double decker bus and children without it turning into Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban.

Post Bellum Praxis

“Does it actually drive?

“How do you think we got it here?”

Rollie hadn’t seen a wheeled vehicle much less a double decker bus outside of a museum in his short lifetime. 

“Now sit still.” The nurse pressed Rollie’s arm against the padded bar. The bus was full of ten year-olds with June birthdays going through the same procedure. Even though the Faceless arrived on Earth with the gift of anti-gravity technology, they didn’t bring a better way to inject tracking chips into their subjects. The syringe bores were as large as the straws used to puncture their allotted calorie bags.

“Hold your breath.” The bus was supposed to keep the children’s mind off of the anxiety of this process, but only made it worse. Rollie would rather go through this alone than in front a dozen other crying children. 

Pain shot up his arm before he noticed the nurse make her move. The small chip was in his arm now. Tracking his movements. Making the Faceless more comfortable at home in their latest planetary conquest.

 “You’ll get used to it. The rest of your birthdays are much easier.”

The small metal probe under his skin felt like a grain of rice. She was right, his other birthdays would be better. Eleven: aptitude screenings. Twelve: career assignments. Thirteen thru sixteen: mind sync regimen . Seventeen: mate designation. And so on.

“You’re blessed to not know of life before the Faceless. The war, the strife, the overwhelming weight of it all.” She placed the bandage on the wound. “I saw your little brother outside. I tell him you were brave and didn’t even cry.” 

Rollie and the nurse placed two fingers over their hearts reciting the Earth’s new credo, completing the new tradition. “By giving up all we gain all.”