Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

The Summit – #writephoto

summit

Photo by Sue Vincent

I trod the ancient path towards the summit.  Each step on the well-worn flagstones was an effort.  An effort that we both had to make to meet here alone to talk, to discuss our differences.

She would be following a similar path up the other side of the hill.  She would also see the crenellated walls of the mighty fortress ahead and above.  She too would study the overgrown road in front of her.  She too would find it a labor to crest this mountain and meet in the castle at its peak.

I stopped just beneath the grey stone wall at the summit and turned to look out across the landscape.  Grey clouds were rushing in, almost scraping the structure above me.  Was the dark a story of the past or a foretelling of the future?

It was the past that stretched out to the horizon.  Every injury I had suffered.  Every slight she had given. Continue reading

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Routine (I Knew the Word)

dawn-in-montreal

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Our neighbors to the right were so close you couldn’t change your mind but they’d know.  The ones on the left were closer.”

I nodded.  Pops could get nostalgic.

“Up at dawn, off to work or school.  Dinner at 6.  Routine.  That’s what I miss.”

I knew the word.  It was for people who were comfortable, knew where the next meal was coming from.  People who assumed they would be alive at the end of the day.

“This could’ve been home.”

“Come Pops,” I said, taking one last look at the burned-out city, “it’s dangerous here.  Time to move on.”

— —

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“.

Pre-Order Kindle version of The Halley Branch!

The Halley Branch is available for pre-order on Amazon!  Well, at least the Kindle version is ready.  The book will be released on July 24, 2018 – 11 days from now.  At that time the paperback version will be available and all Kindle pre-orders will be “shipped”.

Here are a few places you can pre-order:

US
UK
France
Canada
Australia

If you want to try from another country, just go to Amazon and search my name “Trent McDonald” or the title “The Halley Branch”.  Hint, using the title will bring it up as the number one choice. Continue reading

Wishes – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Are you the Wish Master?”

The man in front of Yashri was in the finest silks and covered in the most expensive jewels.  “Yes,” he answered.

“Good, then you will fulfill my wishes,” the jeweled man said.

“I am sorry sir, but there are proper procedures and protocols to go through.”

The jeweled man’s face turned red.  “No!  You will grant my wish now!  Look over there.”  He pointed to a haze on the horizon.  “I have 10,000 soldiers.  If you do not grant my wish, I will send them in to kill all in this village.”

Yashri frowned.  “What is your wish?”

“To conquer the world.” Continue reading

Caught!

caged-liz

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Dreaming of a handsome dead man she called.  I am sorry, but there are no handsome dead men, so I answered instead.

I listened to her pleas.  She adored glittering vampires.  “They are so romantic…” ha!  She had no idea.

Of course she saw what she wanted to see.  I, of course, saw dinner.  Dinner for months.  I could easily stretch it out.

But then her father caught me.

I think he really believed I go “poof!” when the sunlight struck.  The ultraviolet light will eventually un-animate me, but not for a while.  I will escape.

I am the Nosferatu!

— —

Word count = 100

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

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The guy in the photo reminded me of Nosferatu and all of the vampires since then that have been based on that original take.

Destroy All Evidence

leg-up-jhc

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

It was a great invention and I stole it fair and square.  I just had a few things I had to do.

The first was to find a buyer.  I thought about one of the big three, the US, Russia or China, but perhaps a smaller player like Israel or a surprise buyer like Pakistan would be better.

The second was to test the prototype.

The third was to get rid or the real inventor, Dave.

I could combine those last two.

Luckily it worked as advertised, disintegrating all organic material.  Unluckily there was more to Dave than organic material.

— —

Word count = 100

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

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist doing a second one.  Also sorry that the story only works with the photo.  I often forget to add descriptions to photos for vision impaired people.  I need to get into a habit of doing it…. I hope you enjoy.

Crossing – #writephoto

crossing

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the fifteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

A little after noon Merla called Silriend over.

“I want you to make our army invisible,” she said.

“What!” said the king of the little people.

“I know they won’t be invisible, but I want it so our enemies ignore them and only see each other.  I know you can do that with others, for you make Warph disappear all of the time.  This time, however, I want you to stay visible with me and Lorunce.”

“That might be impossible.”

“If you notice, I have asked them to hide.  Or at least stay out of sight.  I want them to be prepared for an attack, but I want them to not be seen.” Continue reading

When I Was Your Age… (R-E-S-P-E-C-T)

leg-up-jhc

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Get outta the way, old man.”

“Go around me.”

“But I want to walk there.  They should shoot old people like you.”

Henry stopped.  The 20-something stopped as well instead of stepping around him.

“When I was your age…”

“Well, you’re not.  Now go off and die somewhere else.”

Henry reached down, took off his left leg and then stood balanced on his right.

The young man paused only a second before trying to kick Henry’s good leg.

The kick didn’t land, but Henry’s foot did.

“When I was your age, I was shot,” Henry said as he walked away.

— —

Word count = 100

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

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As I was rereading this before posting, a song went through my mind, so I changed the title, adding that last tag line.  Yeah, Aretha was asking for some respect for other reasons, but still, we all do want just a little bit, don’t we?

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

The Halley Branch – Launch Date!

The Halley Branch Cover

I am pleased to announce a launch date for The Halley Branch!  Unless something changes, it will be published on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.  That is exactly three weeks from today!

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.

 

Wave – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the fifteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

We had walked a just a couple of dozen yards and I glanced back over my shoulder.  The queen saw me and waved.  Without thinking I waved back.  Merla hit me.

“What?” I asked.

“You need to keep your attention on what is to come.”

“I will.”  I glanced back.  I could still see the queen.

“No, you don’t understand, it is super important.  Here, let’s go over here for a minute so I can brief you.  I checked this out last night and it is impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on us here.”

She pointed to an open area filled with make-shift soldiers milling about.  I gave her a questioning look.

“You’ll see.  There are patterns in the fabric of space around here, waves in reality.”

I knew better than to argue. Continue reading