On the Run – Part 1

House Sparrow coming in

Note – I wrote three 100 word stories for Friday Fictioneer that interconnected, making the opening of an adventure series. (First story)  I decided to pull it out and make it a more long-form short story.  After 2000+ words, I have finally incorporated all three micro-fiction stories.  There is no end in sight.  Sigh.  Oh well, I guess this will be multi-part as well!  I hope that you enjoy!

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I heaved my bag up onto the pier and then climbed up out of the small boat.  I turned and dropped a few coins into the man’s outstretched hand.  I didn’t need to do the math.  Together with the few coins I’d given him before we started, he was lucky if he came out a dollar richer.  He gave me a quick once over with his eyes, shook his head, laughing, and then pulled away from the pier.  In a few seconds his little motor boat, dodging in and out of the much larger traffic, disappeared.

I was sure he expected a small woman like myself to be eaten alive in this back-jungle town.  It’s always nice to be underestimated. Continue reading


Dusk – #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

I hated to do it, but I had to get up and stretch.  After sitting for hours I was getting pretty stiff.  I was afraid, though I knew he’d forgive me if I missed him.  My sister, Martha, gave me a look that was both questioning and understanding.  It had been a very long day.

The sky was just beginning to catch the evening fire as I walked out of the back door.  I went to the edge of the yard, stopped and watched as the sun dipped towards the lake.

I had forgotten how beautiful it was around Mom and Dad’s house.

Memories of my childhood came back.  Playing in the fields just behind my parent’s house.  Swims in the lake.  Hikes in the hills.  I remembered the forts in the woods I made and lazy rainy days watching out of the window.

Dad and I had a major falling out when I was in my early 20s.  It was funny, I couldn’t ever remember exactly what it was about, but the resentments lingered.  As his sunset years approached, I reached out, tentatively at first.  We started to meet over at Martha’s house and last summer he had stayed with me. Continue reading



PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

We entered the house, me in front, followed by Ben, who I knew held the gun.  He couldn’t see my smile.

My partner, Rose, would be out of sight and be able to strike Ben before he knew she was there.

Walking into the kitchen with confidence, I noticed the note.

“Finish the job or I nip this flower in the bud.”

“Rose?” I called out.

“Mr. Ng arrived first,” Ben said.

I turned to him.

“It’s you or her.”  He smiled.  “Partner.”  It wasn’t a nice smile.

I saw the dead flowers as we left and thought of Rose.

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo provided by © Marie Gail Stratford.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

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The Haley Branch Blurb Take 2

The Hamlet Symphny - Alt Image

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of draft blurbs for The Halley Branch.  Since then, I have sat on them, not trying to think of them at all.  This weekend I decided to have another go at the blurb.  Here is what I came up with:

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories force him to reevaluate everything. Is his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Is the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Is there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realizes that he is being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and fears that everyone around him has already been ensnared.  Who can he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knows not to trust is the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s are the ones who are welcoming him with open, if dead, arms. Continue reading

What Was That? – Something I Saw

I was walking the dogs late Friday evening.  This is a small residential area on the shore of Swan Pond and, though we were walking after dark, it was well lit.  The walk goes around a short loop, with the total walk being a little less than a half of a mile, maybe closer to a third.

At one point on the walk, the street we were walking on dead ends at a T-intersection.  There is a totally empty lot (no house) on the corner and it is wooded behind the houses across the street from the “vertical” of the “T”, along the “straight”.

Idiana was sniffing around some bushes on the open lot, when Firyeo suddenly pulled like he wanted to chase something.  He stopped and watched, knowing he couldn’t catch whatever it was.  I looked up as soon as I felt the pull.  I saw something white at the edge of the road across from us, but it was moving very rapidly.  It disappeared behind the houses into the woods in less than a second.  Far less than a second – it was like a flash.  I did not hear or see it cross the road, but from Fiyero’s reaction and the position I first saw it, it had to have crossed the road.

What was it?

My first impulse was that it was a white plastic bag blowing in the wind.  A few problems, though.  yes, it was windy, very windy, but I could feel very little where we were.  Also, the roofs were not being ripped off of the houses.  If a bag was traveling that fast, I would expect there to be some wind damage.

It was too fast and too high up to be a rabbit.  Also, rabbits usually run in short spurts and then hide, not for long distances.

My next thought was a deer.  That is a strong possibility, but I can’t understand how it would have crossed the road without me hearing it.  Also, I have seen deer sprint away from me, and they do not move this fast.  I guess it is possible.  A white tail deer can reach a maximum of 30 mph.  That is still pretty darned fast, but this was far, far faster than a car on that road.  I also didn’t see a body, just the white, which, if a deer, would be the tail and hind quarters.  Odd.

In the summer there are falcons in the area, which are the fastest animals on Earth.  But at night?  In the winter?  And I heard no flapping.  The speed, though, made me think in this direction.  If it traveled 50 feet in a quarter of a second, that would put it at over 120 mph.  Falcon speed.  But being a falcon is very improbable.

My next thought was an owl.  There are several owls in the area.  I have heard them and seen some.  Several different species.  Owls can fly very silent and very fast.  A great horned owl, which can be found around here, can travel at over 40 mph/65 kph.    If it was an owl, it must have already had some momentum when it passed us.  Even 40 seems slow.  There have been a few times that I spooked an owl and watched it fly off.  This was much, much faster.  Still, in my opinion this is the most likely “suspect”.

But what if it were not a natural being?  Or at least not an Earthly being?  Perhaps it was a space alien.  How about a spirit?  Some supernatural being?  It could have been a magical creature.  As I said, the 40 mph of an owl seems slow.

What do you think I saw?

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The photo at the top is Swan Pond earlier in the winter when it was frozen over.  It was not frozen this weekend.  In fact, I went kayaking on Saturday…

If We Were Having Coffee on the 17th of February, 2018

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll grab you a large mug of a very strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea (black, white, green or herbal), a mug of hot cocoa or other warm beverage.  It is a little chilly out there and the wind is awful.  Were are we?  Some of you may recognize those Beatles’ mugs as living at the cottage on Cape Cod, and you would be right!

On Tuesday we had a big group get-together at the region office.  Although I’ve never worked out of the region (I used to visit often), because everyone teleworks these days, they decided to have one day quarter for everyone in IT to spend a day together at the RO to have some face to face time.  Funny, I work with nobody from the RO these days and have never met the people i do work with!  Oh well, it was still a nice day.  The thing is, since I was about a third of the way to The Cape, I decided to continue down after work and telecommute from here the rest of the week. Continue reading

Between – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I had no idea where we were.  Sami, who was our impromptu navigator, said we were someplace southwest of Paris.  We had avoided the big cities.  Actually, we even avoided the villages.  We were afraid we would be sent back, sent back to death.

We had passed through field after field of yellow flowers.  Rasha told us that they were rapeseed.  She is the smartest of us and had been a Uni professor when the University was still in session, before it had been made into a rebel base and bombed.

A little dirt access road ran between two rapeseed fields.  The sun was high and there wasn’t a soul in sight.  We decided to take a break and have lunch.

It was a beautiful place, so full of peace.  I said that I wished we could stop here and live in these fields forever.  Everyone laughed. Continue reading


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

I stared down the barrel of Ben’s pistol.  Why wasn’t I dead?

“Where is it?” He jabbed with the gun.

So, Ben was double-crossing Mr. Ng.

“It’s in Canada.”

“Canada?  That’s an awfully big country.”

I smiled.  “That’s why you need me.  Partners?”  I held out a hand.

“Partners.”  Ben shook my hand.

I reached for my gun.  “No, you stay unarmed.”  I shrugged.  He needed me.

48 hours later we landed at Mirabel.  We hit the suburbs by midnight.

It was snowing; from sweating to shivering in 2 days.

The house contained my real partner, not the attaché case.

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo provided by © Dale Rogerson.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

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Note – This is a continuation of last week’s story, On the Run.  Come on Rochelle, why did you have to make it so hard with this choice of photos? ;)

Note 2 – I used to be an Air Traffic Controller and handed planes off to Montreal.  At that time, we called the airport Mirabel.  When I looked it up, the name had changed!  OK, so I still call DCA “National” and will never call it “Reagan”, so I will always call Montreal “Mirabel”…

Practical Editing….



When you are done, you’re done, right?  When I post something on my blog, once I click publish, it is a done deal.  If I go back and find 10,000 typos?  Oh well, too bad.  OK, I do sometimes go back and correct things, but usually not after the first day or two.

I spent a good chunk of time the last few weeks before I published The Fireborn reading over it to catch errors and typos.  I also had two people go over it for me.  Between the two of them, they caught a dozen or so things that I had missed and had a handful of subjective ideas.  So when I clicked Publish, it was a done deal.  I had done my work.

A couple of months later I heard some complaints that there were a lot of typos.  I knew I would have to go back and fix them, but I didn’t want to.  When you are done, you’re done!  Last week I finally broke down and faced the inevitable.  I had to fix it. Continue reading