Friday, December 16, 2016

Bonemeal - Flash Fiction

Here's a little flash I wrote for Mash Stories


“Release your fist.”

Gladys did as Inspector 2 requested. Her fingers became pink as blood flowed back into her hand and into the government man’s vial.  

“We’re almost done for another month,” the man sighed; exchanging an empty vial for a full one. Last visit he’d been the one assigned to inspect the farm. His partner was on blood duty. She thought of them as “Inspector 1” and “Inspector 2.” Gladys knew if she got comfortable with the men and their unannounced visits she’d start chatting with them. As her breeder’s circle reminded her, being hospitable would do her in. They’d find out about the hidden room.

It was all she could do not to at least offer these amiable men something to drink.  

“Sorry to have to visit so early.” Inspector 1 silently returned from the farm. His vinyl biohazard suit still smelled of the fresh bonemeal fertilizer they’d laid on the potato field on Monday.  “These schedules they assign us are randomized.”

“Oh, I understand.” Five in the morning wasn’t too bad a time for an inspection. She was already up making coffee; a routine she kept in the two years since Jerry has passed. At least the bathrobe she’d been wearing made the blood draw easier for the men.

“We’re living in different times I s’pose,” Inspector 1 yawned. “You ‘bout done Simon?”

Dammit, now I know his name. She tried to purge the man’s name from her memory. Simon slid the needle from the crook of her elbow and replaced it with a bandage. “Got what I need till next time.” 

Then the man yawned. “Geez, Dave look what you have me doing.”

Again, Simon stifled a yawn. “Sorry, Gladys. You’re not boring, it’s just early.”

“Looks like we’ll have to stop somewhere for some coffee.”

“Oh nonsense Gary,” she instinctually said reaching for the pot of coffee she had no intention of finishing. She stopped, hoping they hadn’t caught her gesture. The chickens behind the wall knew how to keep quiet, why can’t I?

“Thanks for offering. We have time. Next farm is only about twenty minutes away.”

The men quietly packed up their equipment as Gladys poured the coffee.  “Gary, Simon do you ever miss the chickens?”

“Can’t say that I do.”

“Yea. I always thought they were nasty little animals.” Simon wrinkled his nose. “Not surprised they triggered the plague. Didn’t break my heart we had to exterminate all of them.”

“Mine either,” she lied.

“You know what I miss? Especially this time of day?” Gary asked.



“Rather be alive than eating an omelet,” Simon concluded.

“Cream?” She offered, swinging the refrigerator door open. Gladys froze. Her carton of fresh eggs were tucked into the door. A relic of pre-plague life, now prohibited by international law. Punishable by prison. Her stomach dropped.

“Ma’am, I’m gonna have to ask you to step away from those eggs,” Gary warned. “I’m afraid we can’t match your hospitality.”


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sleight of Hand - @MicrocosmsFic

I'm slowly getting back into a flash groove with Microcosms.

Sleight of Hand

“Show me.”

“I can’t.”

“Ma’am I need you to show me the place-“

“No, I can’t. Truly,” she pleaded.

Tears were welling in the woman’s eyes but Detective Brigham had press on. He pointed his pencil at the lone item on the stage of the empty theater: a large cabinet on casters. The trails in the pool of blood on the stage floor were evidence enough that the cabinet had been moved recently. “I know you’re shook up, but I need you to focus for me. Show me where the swords go.”

“If I tell you, if voids my contract with the union and I’ll never get work again.” She wiped her nose on a sequined sleeve that matched her skin tight leotard.

“And if you don’t tell me, I’ll have to assume you’re an accessory to this man’s death.”

“I’ve got a daughter at home.”

Brigham tucked his pencil behind his ear and approached the dresser where, until half an hour ago, a man’s dead body had been lying out of. A dull sword still impaled in his stomach.

“So you were having an affair with your employer?” The Detective checked his notepad again. “The Amazing Gerald?”

She nodded. He continued, “You know you weren’t the only one right?” She blinked indifferently. He’d seen that look on her face enough to know his instincts were still strong.

“You found out today didn’t you?”

A cold stare. Her tears were gone.

“That he was sleeping with all of his assistants? Not one. . . but all.”

She nodded.

“So you did it. You switched out one of the dummy swords with a real one.”

She nodded again. Brigham had seen many a death of lady’s man before. But never one that played out in front of a sold out theater.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Honorable Ink - @MicrocosmsFic

Took some time off from writing. Cleaning out the cobwebs with a new contribution to Microcosms.

Honorable Ink

Repeatedly Jesus extended all of his fingers then gripped back into a claw trying to get the tremor out of his hand. He’d been tattooing for three hours at this point and his hand ached, but he knew that his canvas was in even more pain. She’s asked for a large chestpiece. Something big enough to cover the large zipper of a scar running the length of her sternum. The chest was thin skin but she was tougher than he expected an 80 year old woman to be.

“You done with your break, Jesus?” She asked. Ernestine had been fidgeting the whole time. Not from the pain of the tattoo gun, but because she’d been on the phone the whole time arguing with an electrician she was convinced was overcharging her.

“You know we can break this into multiple sessions.”

“No time for that. C’mon get back at it.”

Jesus clicked the gun back on and dipped the needle back into the watery ink. He picked up the shading of the thorny band across the sacred heart.

“Watch your outlining,” she warned.

He sighed and kept at her tattoo. At first he thought this would be a good trade-off for Ernestine turning a blind eye to the tattoo parlor he ran out of his apartment kitchen.

“Wait, this looks off.” She tapped her fingernail on the reference photo she’d brought with her. After close inspection he did see the difference on the thorn he was greying in with that in the photo of the same tattoo on her heart donor’s chest.

“How can I commemorate this man if it’s not identical?”

“Anything you say, Ernestine.” He deepened the shading until it was as dark as the photo of the man she was hoping to honor for making the ultimate donation.

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.”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#GGR Review Quotes

Made these little do-dads with some pull quotes from recent reviews. Definitely going to use them in the back of my new books. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bohemian 13

I started writing this for Microcosms, but I went off the given theme and well past the word count. Unable to reign it in for competition, I decided to love it as it is. Enjoy.

Bohemian 13

“That’s baloney.”

“I assure you it is not.”

“The fourteenth floor is just the real thirteenth floor. They just changed the buttons.”

“There is a thirteenth floor,” The elevator man yawned. Every summer the Grand Bohemian was inundated with wealthy guests, all bringing their miserable children with them.

“I heard at school that it’s unlucky, so they don’t even build one. But that makes no sense.”

“Young man, if there is not a floor you need me to drop you off at, I’m going to need you to get off my elevator.”

“I swiped a twenty from my mom’s purse this morning. It’s yours if you take me to the thirteenth floor. That’s probably more money than you make in a week.”

“Steer clear of the door,” Clive announced, simultaneously twisting the lever holding out his hand for the bribe. The nameless boy parked the twenty spot into the man’s glove.

The elevator man stopped the lift deftly between the twelfth and fourteenth floors and pushed the boy aside. The gate opened to a locked door. With a twist of the key from Clive’s ring, the thirteenth floor opened up to them.

The floor was completely unlike the others in hotel. Except for the support beams, the floor plan was completely open. Long rectangular wooden crates lay evenly across the floor like dominoes on a table. The boy cautiously stepped from the elevator while Clive remained inside.

“Wow, what is all of this?”

The hotel employee sniffed. The floor smelled sweet like fresh leather. “The Grant Bohemian was build atop an old grave site from influenza days. The only contingency the county gave us for this property was to relocate the remains. Irrationally, no other county wanted the diseased bodies. So this is our compromise. We simply moved all of them on the unused thirteenth floor.”

“That’s baloney,” the boy turned, his confidence wavering.

“Is it?” Clive shut the gate before the boy could stop him. After lowering the lift two floors he could no longer hear the brat screaming. He didn’t need the twenty dollars before, but it made it easier to walk out on this miserable job at the Grand Bohemian.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Notebook - Popular Mechanics for Young Widows

I found an old notebook today that I used to map out the stories from my debut, Guns, Gods & Robots. Amazing how much changed from first to final draft. There was a character called Jamie?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Island Life - @MicrocosmsFic

Keeping this week's Microcosms under 300 words was tough. I striped out much of the world building to preserve the human moments.

Island Life
Light from the bonfire in the center of the room danced across the walls as the wedding party led their partners through the ceremonial waltz; kicking off what promised to be a long night of celebration in the great hall.
“I wish the band would play a slower song,” Dorian grumbled, his eyes squinting at the flickering illumination on the chart etched into the stone wall. People were only able to enter the hall for funerals and the rare wedding. In a rare period of good fortune on the island colony, there had been no need to enter the building since he had started dating Francis.
“I found me!” Francis declared from a few feet away. She sounded excited, but her being so close made him nervous. He hadn’t found his own name yet on the island’s official record of genealogy in the five generation after the cataclysm.
“I found you too,” Francis exclaimed.
He darted over to her and traced the line up. Past his mother and father then up two more generations. Francis did the same. Their fingers ended up inches apart but on different names. There were only five families on the island when they were cut off from the world. This chart dictated which islanders could and could not couple.
He looked over at his love. Francis was crying, relieved. He felt the same and hugged her.
“I suppose we should have mapped this out earlier,” she admitted. Francis moved his hand from her shoulder past her breast and rest it on her belly. Dorian felt the small rise there for the first time. His heart swelled. They’d have to notify their parents and the elder. Not that they were confirmed not to be relatives, they would need to carve a new entry into the wall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Remix - @MicrocosmsFic

A very late entry for Microcosmos this week.


After six months on tour, DJing by night and eating at the best international spots, Kwon-Ace wasn’t looking forward to a meal at his Mom’s restaurant. The Brooklyn locals all liked the cheap little Chinese take-out at Hunan IV, but he’d build his image on authenticity and Mom’s General Tso’s mystery meat were anything but.

He still went though. He had to give his mom some love. But he made sure to dress down in case anyone saw him set food in the grungy dive.

“What the-?” Kwon-Ace stopped dead. The line for Hunan IV was around the block. His heart dropped when he looked up at the new neon sign above the same tired entrance of the storefront. KWON-ACE ‘S CRATE SPACE.

Elbowing his way in the door, he gasped. His treasure trove of vinyl records, laboriously curated, and scraped and scrimped to purchase lined every free square inch of the tiny dining space.

“You like?” Mom’s voice was as small as she was.

“Ma, my records. Those’re mint.”

“They’re doing no good sitting in your room. “ She squeezed him and he remembered to hug her back.


“Wait. Order up,” Mom interrupted.

She approached the order window and lifted up piled high with some sort of rice, fried pork and nondescript glaze coating the entire dish. He recognized she wasn’t serving the food on the classic Styrofoam plates of his youth. “My vinyl!”

“Don’t worry I wash them.”

“It’s not that, I need those.”

She pushed the food away from the records label to see its title. “You aren’t even going to listen to Ali and His Gang Fight Mr. Tooth Decay.”

“Geez. I may pull a sample from there.”

“Just stream it.”

He stood. Torn. He’d have to choose between the two loves of his life.

300 words
DJ/Chinese Restaurant/Romance

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stone Quarry - @TamaraShoemaker, @EmilyJuneStreet

There was a one Flash Challenge this week! An entry appears!

Stone Quarry
The crone’s face was purple. If Roin had been two more day slow in tracking her, it would have likely been black. She was only newly dead, likely so after realizing the mystical stone in her possession had been the quarry for the prairieland’s most storied treasure hunter. He removed his glove so he could better trace the line of her esophagus, feeling for the hard lump. He felt none. He’d have to remove his treasure from her stomach. He unsheathed his dagger ready to reclaim his birthright from the witch that has stolen it from his father’s coffin.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Street Meat - @MicrocosmsFic

It's been a few weeks, but I've contributed to Microcosms this week. Yes, I included this in the Guns, Gods & Robots universe.

Street Meat

“Oi! Chicken.” Shruk!

“Oi! Lamb.” Shruk!

“Oi! Beef.” Shruk!

The line moved fast. Each customer queued up, shouted their order and slid their credit cards through the payment slot. Five minutes later the Tyson.2’s arm thrust out of the autocart service window with the kebobs ready for each patron. It was efficient, perfect and most importantly: cheap. All of the food carts had followed the restaurant automation trend that had in turn followed the robotics revolution over the last decade after Farage’s Folley.

The one piece that couldn’t be automated was trash. Legally.  Sanitation careers were one of the government’s preserved job types saved for people to make their career. Winston stood outside of the autocart waiting for customers to throw their skewers and napkins onto the ground. Even though the trash bin was five meters away, customers preferred to discard their debris on the pavement. The emergence of mass-sloth was another unexpected consequence of a fully automated society.

“Oi!, Chicken.” Shruk!

Winston twisted his spine. The vertebrae popped. His back ached every day from bending over for the trash. Despite the misery of his job, he kept at it. One day he would afford his own Tyson.2. Never on his trashman’s wage, but through a bigger plot he’d been hatching since he’d the Department of Livelihoods been assigned to serve the autocart.

“Oi! Lamb.” Shruk!

Like he had every day for the last month, Winston feigned dropping one of the skewers so it rolled under the cart. Once under, he’d stab the break line just once. At the end of his shift he’d lay down, out of sight of the driving system’s cameras, and hope for a mistake. Maybe today he’d have his legs run over. Maybe today he’d earn his workers comp and a better future.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Port of Call - @LadyHazmat

Writing military things, isn't quite my forte, but giving it a shot for this week's Angry Hourglass.

Port of Call

She wanted to enjoy her last chance for the fresh air in ten months, but Gena’s lungs refused to fill. She’d been short of breath for the last half hour as she hurriedly tried to find Derricks in the crowd of white Navy uniforms. She had to find him and come up with some kind of plan before they both embarked for the Arctic Circle on the USS John Warner. “Shit.” Her watch told her she only had eight more minute to board the nuclear submarine.

Derricks wouldn’t want to be seen with her, but this was an emergency. Even if Gena did find him, he wouldn’t care even though this was as much his fault as hers.

A smoldering stench caught her nose and she turned to see a clutch of men enjoying one final cigar before shipping out. She stepped toward them and they all stopped and saluted. She remembered to do the same then dismissed them, “At ease. Have you seen Petty Officer Derricks?”

“Lieutenant, he’s probably on board stashing that hoard of Danish snuff he picked up here,” P.O. Greer snorted from behind the wed stub of a cigar clenched in his teeth.

“Or giving whatever port lizard one last go round,” P.O. Yancy added. The men all laughed.

“Better hope Medical restocked the clap cream,” she added turning back toward the sub., maybe she could still find Derricks on the platform.

“Lieutenant, you know we got toothbrushes on board. Right?,” Yancy said, pointing to plastic device in her hand.

Gena snapped the plastic in half and threw it into the sea. She’d been clenching the pregnancy test since she’d taken it, wanting to show it to Derricks. Wanting to figure out what action to take since it’s been three months since their moment of indiscretion at the bottom of the ocean.

The two minute klaxon rang and all the remaining crew approached the boarding ramp. She’d have to figure this out later, with or without Derricks. Gena’s lungs found the will to fully take in one last measure of air before she boarded the submarine.

350 words

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Anti-Social - @200WordTuesdays

Trying out a new flash prompt site: 200 Word Tuesdays. This month's prompts are nostalgia and empty fields.


The lines were blurring. Save for a few naps, he’d been at the terminal for a week straight, hunched over and massaging the coding to make certain it was perfect. The last time Clip-12 hustled this hard was when he was working on mastering his debut album for StyleStrong records.

At the time they called it a hungry album; the work of a young man making a name for himself. The rumors of his debauched, party-addled hot tub lifestyle grew as large as his album sales. He loved it despite it mostly living in the imaginations of his fans.

Young artists, like his son, coming up today had to actually live legendary lifestyles on social media to even have enough street cred to sell albums. He surrounded his station with magazine cutouts of rappers, like his son, that had died chasing that same notoriety online. It kept him motivated.

In the void left by his son Clip-12 dedicated himself to learn coding. Matching his passion for that first album he’d devoted himself to writing an HTML string that would effectively command the internet to delete itself. It was time. He kissed the cross on his neck and tipped his ball cap to the faces on his wall before striking the enter key. The field, and eventually the whole screen emptied. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tactile Wins Every Time - @openbookscom

I've lapsed lately , but contributed a short blog entry over at Click for a little insight into the process I took to make physical copies of Guns, Gods & Robots.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Firebug - @LadyHazmat

It's been a while since I've participated in Angry Hourglass. Here's this week's entry.


Pine ash smelled the best. In the quiet hours after his parents were asleep, Elliot would reach up under his bed and remove his glass vials, examining each one.

He imagined himself in a movie of his life:  twisting the lids off of each and sniffing the trophies within. His eyes would roll back in his head with the smell of the sooty remains of each conquest. That’s how villains were depicted and he didn’t disagree with the portrayal.

He took his pen out and re-labeled one of the vials that had smeared after months of handling. The masking tape on each was clearly noted with the date he’d set each fire. Some fizzled out after he’d fled the scene, but most got the job done. The land was cleared and progress could be made. It was much easier, and cheaper to clear burnt trees from the land with a bulldozer than pay a whole team of loggers to do the same. The feds were less inclined to fight to keep the burnt remains of their preserves.

His parents used to fight. Now they didn’t. Elliott solved that. They were an odd couple that the local press loved to profile. The Park Ranger who fell for the land developer. The better they got at their jobs and the more promotions they received, the more obligated they were defend their employers positions at work and ultimately at home too. Dad used to take his work home with him, complaining  that mother’s company was pushing too hard to cede too much from the preserves. Mother fought back that he had more than enough land to share. Every night ended in a yelling match even after Elliott retreated to his room.

Take your children to work day changed everything for Elliott. In seeing each of his parent’s work first hand, he’d come up with the solution: Fire. If he noticed their tensions flare up he’d sneak out and make a solution.

The pit in his stomach ached, so Elliott sniffed the vials again easing the pain. He’d practiced his story again and again with his parents for tomorrow’s deposition with the fire marshal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Guns, Gods & Robots now in Paperback

Guns, Gods & Robots now in Paperback

Guns, Gods & Robots: Now Available in Paperback

My sci-fi and horror collection, Guns, Gods & Robots, has reached the next stage of evolution: paperback! If you can't get to your favorite indie bookstores in NYC, you can order direct from Amazon and other online retailers. GGR is always available for your eReader at the online bookstore of your choice.

Order Guns, Gods & Robots from Amazon.

". . . mind-bending, intelligent, and enjoyable; each story is multi-faceted and brilliantly written."

-Charity Rowell-Stansbury,


Time: Flash Dogs Vol. 3

I have three new, unpublished stories in the third volume of the FlashDogs anthology: Time. 100% of proceeds go to charity, so not only do you get some new horror, sci-fi and crime writing from me, but you also get to support giving children access to books in developing countries through The Book Bus.

Download FlashDogs Volume 3: Time here.


Flash Vol. 1

In between my bigger publications I'm always writing Flash fiction to stay sharp. I've compiled a year's worth of my flash fiction into a free collection for NoiseTrade and OpenBooks. 

"If you like Monty Python, you might really like this book."

-Ula Zarosa



What were Broadway tv commercials like before stedicams were able to run all around the bellowing characters on stage?

Via Twitter on 05.09.2016

Bezoars! @sawbones must
know about my facination
with them after visiting

Via Twitter on 05.12.2016

True story: By virtue of
circumstance I got to
talk space elevators
with NASA talent today.
So exciting!

Via Twitter on 05.13.2016

On track for Flash Vol 2
to be even larger than
#1. Here's the free
1st collection on

Via Twitter on 05.14.2016

New short stories, flash fiction, writing notes and more!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Let's Get Physical: GGR is Now Available in Paperback

Selling books on eReaders is fun and all, but nothing beats seeing your work at the bookstore. I'm pleased to announce that Guns, Gods & Robots is now available in paperback at select indie bookstores in NYC as well as online at Amazon.

The perfect gift for all the little creepies in your life!

Wait till you all see how justified the text is!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Featured Exhibits - @microcosmsFic

This week's Microcosms was hard to cut down from 130 words to 100.

Featured Exhibits
It was bad enough Marla had to sneak chicken nuggets at the school cafeteria, now she had to look at the elephant with no trunk. The other exhibits at the zoo were as depressing: the fox looked like it’d crawled from under a running lawnmower, the lions had three eyes between them and someone had flipped the alligators on their backs.
“Isn’t this beautiful?” Dad asked.
“Sure,” Marla sulked, looking at what had become of her college fund.
“At least smile for the cameras.”
She refused. He’d replaced every zoo animals he’d liberated with taxidermies from bankrupt museums; an obsession to become the leading vegan activist on the talk show circuit.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On Floating Bodies - @MicrocosmsFic

The final story/component for this week's Microcosms prompt.

On Floating Bodies

Archimedes danced in her head as the ocean surface rose above her. In these last moments, she only wanted her daughter, not the man whose laws were sending down into oblivion.

The density of the escape pod wasn’t enough to counter the water weight it had taken on in the downpour overhead. Captain Darla fought against her safety harness. Amidst the chaos, an old pain formed in the astronaut’s knees.

Eureka. A memory knocked out by the violent impact returned. Reaching between her knees she pulled the secondary release. The chair uncoupled sending away from Archimedes and toward the surface, rescue and ultimately her daughter.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Space Launch Complex - @MicrocosmsFic

After the first story on this week's Microcosms, I thought it would be fun to see if I could write four independent stories that could also be strung together to become something bigger. Here is #3 this week.

Space Launch Complex

“Do I have to call you Captain here?”

“No, you just call me Mom.”

Darla’s knees hurt against the steel grid of the launch pad flooring. Her flight suit wasn’t made for saying good bye to five year olds. She stood back up and gave her husband a final kiss in the cheek. They’d said their goodbyes last night.

Her daughter pointed at the thunderhead forming in the distance.

“If it storms, can you still stay with me and Dad?”

Darla bent and kissed her on the head one final time. It would need to last her a whole year.

“Don’t worry, we’re going to beat the rain.”

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Fluid Mechanics of Rain in Zero Gravity - @MicrocosmsFic

Going for 2 at this week's Microcosms.

The Fluid Mechanics of Rain in Zero Gravity
The spheres were perfect floating in front of the crew’s faces. Other astronauts looked to the stars for proof of a higher power. Captain Darla found her creator in the flawlessness in these translucent orbs.
Water had gone everywhere. Larger globules were the result of a friendly water fight celebrating their return to Earth after a grueling year in orbit. The smallest spheres: her tears in knowing she was never returning to space.
The water shifted unnaturally, then accelerated uniformly toward her.
“We’re gaining gravity!” She didn’t know who screamed, but someone seized her and threw her into the nearest escape pod as an electrical fire lit through the cabin.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nautilus: Above and Below - @MicrosocmsFic

Got one in a little earlier than normal for Microcosms.

Nautilus: Above and Below

In her last video log for her daughter, Captain Darla remarked how cumulus clouds looked just like mashed potatoes from her vantage point on the space station. Underneath, bobbing on the ocean waves strapped into her emergency capsule, the clouds looked heavy; threatening  to fall and crush her.

She struggled against her harness, certain her femur had shattered with the impact. The captain felt what she most feared hit her cheek: a raindrop. The sprinkle accelerated into a downpour. Her safety belt was jammed. Panicked, Darla redoubled her efforts to escape from the safety device before the pod filled with water and dragged her to the bottom of the Pacific.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Overcoming Patience - @MicrocosmsFic

This week at Microcosms the default prompt included SteamPunk. I just can't do that to myself again, so I re-rolled.

Overcoming Patience

Amos was still blocks away from the table where the kindly old woman at the front of the bread line would hand him a stale loaf. It was barely fit for ducks.

The Depression hardened his little heart almost as much as his parents abandoning him at the church. It was time to test the treasure he’d found in the burnt crater behind St. Germain’s this morning. Amos held up the glass disc and pressed the protruding button. A green arc of light struck the hunched man in front of him. The man evaporated, leaving a pile of dingy clothes.  Amos stepped forward and waited for the device to recharge.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Guest Blog: It's For The Best. . . Abandoning Your Messy Story - @openbookscom

Another week, another blog for This week I talk about my strategies for walking away from a story that's just not working out.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Target Practice - @MicrocosmsFic

Another week of Microcosms Flash Fiction. A reminder that I need to pick up the pacing on my own short run flash fiction comp. I have the sites all lined up. I just need some art and and some automation and we're good to go. This week's prompt included steam-punk BTW. It's my Kryptonite. Seems like Batman v. Superman is also Superman's Kryptonite. Zing!?

Target Practice
The long range copper scope on the carbine had done the trick again. The zeppelin was a grand way for any modern dandy thief to make his escape, but it was as wide as a barn and no match for his rifle. Having led his men to the fairgrounds to investigate the heist at the mummy exhibit, Captain Phipps treated his men to a large puff of cotton candy as their quarry drifted back to earth in their punctured escape vehicle. His dessert burst from pink to red, followed by a pain in his chest. The mummy burglars had a rifle of their own and weren’t being captured alive.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Water Wings - @MicroocosmsFic

I happened to be up at midnight when Microcosms posted this week's prompt.

Water Wings

Expecting a hostile boarding, Admiral Graham was instead greeted by a pirate vessel manned by a five corpses and no clue how the criminals came to find themselves dead.

“Sir!” Lieutenant Harold called, holding out a small note and a wide-mouthed glass bottle.

You took is from our home.
Prisoned us in glass
You tortured my dear wife
Your deaths will not be fast
You thought that we had gold
This voyage is your last

“There’s this too.” Graham looked up from the note to Harold’s open palm where there were two long iridescent wings, bloodied at the ends where they’d been ripped off their fairy’s back.