Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Beyond What’s Beyond #writephoto

beyond

Photo by Sue Vincent

Jed took the shortcut through the trees.  He had to reach the little village beyond or there would be hell to pay.

“Just my luck,” he muttered as he stumbled over a root.

Even without the leaves it was just too dark to keep up his pace.  Cursing again he slowed down a bit.

A blinding white light shot through the trees throwing everything into a sharp relief.   It grew brighter, so everything was a stark black of shadows or white of light.

And then it all began to burn.

The last thought that ran through Jed’s mind was, “I’m too late.  Nuclear Armageddon.”

*

“What are you doing?” the professor asked. Continue reading

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After the Brief, Hot Summer Comes the Long Cold Winter

winter-street-dale

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Ours was an out of the way town.  We never learned to “duck and cover” knowing nobody would be so silly as to bomb us.

You know what? they were right.

I remember the night when over 4,000 fireballs, each hotter than the sun, grew over most of the northern hemisphere’s cities and military instillation with an equivalent of over four billion tons of TNT.

But our town was spared.  Not a kiloton exploded within 100 miles.

A few weeks of hiding in the cellar when the sky rained death, and everything looked fine.

Until the snow came in July.

***

Yes, a nice, happy little tale ;)  I recently watched “The Day After” and “Threads”.  I read an article that the danger of an accidental nuclear war is now higher than it has ever been, even during the cold war.  When people talk nuclear weapons, they talk about the 60 kt bombs used in WWII, not the 1 or 2 mt thermonuclear devices that would hit our cities.  Anyway, with that cheerful thought…

***

Word count = 100

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

Eternity Defined….

cloister-roger-b

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

My 25-year vow of silence should have ended.  I listened to the preacher drone on.  My sentence was doubled to 50 years!

The wood pew was hard.  I moved to let circulation back into my butt.  Dad elbowed me and frowned.

This was worse than the Uranium mines on Pluto, aka elementary school!

The sermon entered its 4th, and, I hoped, final, decade.  I yawned.

After ten more years of hanging by my thumbs, everyone said “Amen”.  I shouted it.

Free at last!

I would call Josh and we’d play in the woods.

It was raining outside.

I hate Sundays!

***

Sorry, but I had to double dip.  I was not satisfied with my first post.  This is based on a character I’ve used a few dozen times, most notable in the story cycle Seasons of Imagination.

***

Word count = 100

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

Answered!

cloister-roger-b

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

It was one of the Big Questions, perhaps the biggest.  Brother Francis took it upon himself, walking the cloisters in deep meditation searching for the answer.  At his funeral the joke was that he was so dedicated, the heart attack didn’t stop his pondering.

The plaque made me smile.

The ancient monastery breathed memories, it was like I was stepping back in time, or into a dream.

I entered the cloister.  An old monk, dressed as they had for over a thousand years, walked, head bowed.

He stopped, pointed up, and said, “Eureka!”  He vanished.

Francis finally found his answer!

***

Word count = 100

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

Threshold – #writephoto

threshold

Photo by Sue Vincent

Morning light seeped in, illuminating the threshold, but not digging its way any deeper.  With the dawn came the salt-tinged breeze.  The surf continued, as it always had and always would, a constant background murmur and throb.  It was relaxing, kept the job at hand out of mind.

I peeked out from the entrance of the cave.  Nothing was moving.  I slipped back into the shadow.  They’d be here.  I knew.

*

“Come in.”

I opened the door and took a step, but then froze at the threshold.

“I’m sure you know all of these people.  Please come closer.”

The Commander continued to smile, but I knew something was up, something unpleasant.  I took two steps into the room.  The door was closed behind me. Continue reading

The Truth is Out There

trees-ronda-del-boccio

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Yes?

We have another alien abduction story.

‘Don’t say…

Same as the others.

Coincidence….

Tromping through the woods late at night, an eerie green glow with a strange hum followed by a blinding light.  Then pitch black.

Yep.

Now I know a man needs security…

With all these nut jobs you’re describing, damn right!

And I’ve seen your system…

Cost me a pretty penny….

The florescence glowing green, the hum as the generator kicks in, that 10,000 lumen search light and all…

Keeps ‘em out…

Can you change it before every UFO believer in the country descend on the town?

***

Word count = 100

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

Bright – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is a story based on the Seasons of Imagination cycle of stories plus the several later stories in the series.

I was awakened by a bright, blinding light.  A strange, off-key hum filled the air.  Was my spaceship damaged?

I sat up.

Queen Shimá, humming up a storm, turned from the window.  She had just opened the curtains, allowing my archenemy, the starry Sol, to send his death beams into my room!

“Good morning, sleepyhead.  You finally awake?”

“What time is it?” I asked.  I yawned.

“It’s pretty late, Sweetie, almost 8.”

8?  8AM?  That was early! Was I going to be sent to the uranium mines on Pluto, aka, the John Adams Elementary School, JAES, pronounced “Jazz”, after all?  But it was Saturday!

“I’ve done two loads of your laundry while you slept in,” Queen Shimá said. She pointed to a laundry basket. “You need to put them away.  And please fold them this time, and don’t just shove them in your drawers, OK?”

“Sure, Mom,” I said.  I’d say anything to appease the evil Queen, but I was not going to do her nefarious bidding!  Fold the clothes indeed, as if I were servant.  I mean, it was just Wednesday night that she made me take the trash out! Continue reading

2 AM on a School Night

sandras-loom

PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

Mom frowned at me, arms crossed.

I began again, trying to remember what I said before to keep my narrative consistent.  No use contradicting myself!

Mom tapped her toe.  She leaned back slightly.

I lost track of where I was.  I fumbled, the words bumbling out.  I stopped talking, stared at my toe.

Clap.

I looked up at Mom.

Her expression was unchanged, but she clapped her hands about once every two seconds.

“Bravo,” she said. “A master weaver on the world’s largest loom couldn’t handle as many threads as that. Perhaps the truth now?”

Oh-oh.  I am so grounded.

***

Word count = 100

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

 

Free Kindle Book – Get The Halley Branch!

 The Promotion is now over…

I am running a promotion on The Halley Branch this weekend into early next week.  It starts Friday, March 22, at midnight Pacific time (what, 7 AM GMT?).  It ends on Tuesday, March 26, at Midnight Pacific time (OK, 11:59 PM or 6:59 AM Wednesday GMT).

*

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 a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

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

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could 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 knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

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

** Continue reading

Rift – #writephoto

rift

Photo by Sue Vincent

Jeg walked deeper into the woods.  His footsteps went almost at random for his mind was not on his path nor his surroundings.

It wasn’t just Dalph, though the rift that had sprung up between them bothered him. Just one misplaced word, one misinterpretation, and thousands of years of bad blood between his people, the Marishny, and hers, the Iniya, came bubbling to the surface.  They needed to work as one against their common enemy, and now a gaping chasm had opened up. The entire alliance was at risk.

Jeg walked on, head bowed.  He had long ago left familiar territory, but he didn’t notice.

Actually, it was Dalph.  The Iniya were so unapproachable.  They were breathtakingly beautiful, with a holy light always surrounding them.  There was something of the angelic with them for although they were as fallible as the Marishny, they could not knowingly do evil.  Jeg’s own people, though aspiring to good, seemed to fall into the pitfall of evil all too often.  The Iniya were slim and tall, a head taller than the average Marishny, and exceedingly strong. They could work minor magic.  No, not work magic, they were magic. The Marishny were closer to animals while the Iniya closer to the heavenly Atonee. Continue reading