Tag Archives: Fiction

Security Meeting

White House Marine 1

Someone stuffed a coffee into the president’s hand as he entered the Situation Room.  He glanced around.  If it was a full-blown meeting of the National Security Council, there were a few people behind him, but there were also a handful of extras, mostly from the military or intelligence.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs looked as groggy as he felt.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” he said as he took his seat.  “Well, technically morning.  What was so important that you had to get me up at 3 AM?  Are we at war?”

“No sir,” the Director of National Intelligence said.   He looked over at the director of the CIA.  “Jim, can you brief the president?”

“Good morning Mr. President.  Our sources tell us that the dictator of Iritastan has been assassinated.”

“Iritastan?”  The president looked unsure.  “I guess get State to write up a nice condolence and I’ll look at it in the actual morning.  Where’s Carol?” Continue reading

Mask – #writephoto

fox

Photo by Sue Vincent

I am now up to part five of the story.  All of these are written to Sue’s #writephoto prompts.  Here is part one and here is part two and then there was part three.  Last week I posted part four.

— —

The guards ushered us into the throne room.  We were forced to our knees when we came before the king.  The king stood.  He had only been waist high when I saw him before, but he was now taller than me.  I am not gay, but I must say, he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.  Fair folk was a very fitting word.

“Rawcliph, what brings you to my domain?” the king asked.

Rawcliph stood up and a guard pushed him back down.

“Well, your excellency, I have news,” the wizard said.  “Glumoric is awake and is planning on causing strife between your people and the humans.  He would like nothing better than an all-out war.”

“Do you think I don’t know this?” the king said.  “Glumoric sent an Emissary.  He reminded me that all of our problems were caused by your meddling.  We could very easily work behind the scenes and drive the humans into an all or nothing war, not against us but against themselves.  We need do nothing but wait and the world will be ours again, not just these musty old tunnels.” Continue reading

On the Nature of Magic

OK, I’ll admit that parts of my upcoming book, The Fireborn, are a little tongue in cheek.  A big part of this is in rewriting the myths as the story goes on.  The main character, Elliot, is a bit of a storyteller.  The odd thing is, the more he changes his story the more reality changes to fit that story.

Here is an excerpt from close to the beginning where Elliot discusses magic with his older brother, William.  William does not go in for most of Elliot’s explanations and likes to stick with just the facts, thank you very much.

— — —

“Hold on right there,” William said.  “I’ve been going along with your mumbo-jumbo but I just have to put my foot down here with this mysticism, voodoo magic crap.  I mean, I’m a scientist and don’t believe in curses, the boogieman or magic.”

“Hmm, I know you’ve met my ex-wife,” Elliot answered. “I’m sure you understand curses.  As far as the Boogieman goes, when I couldn’t sleep at night, I used to go watch him play at ‘The Blue Page’ down in the Village back in New York.  By the way, thinking of good performances, have you ever seen a professional magician?”

“Of course, but that’s not what I mean,” said William.  “That’s just sleight of hand, trickery and illusion.  It’s simple once you know the secret, not ‘real’ magic.”

“I wouldn’t call some of those illusions simple, not by a stretch!” Elliot continued.  “Remember this, an audience member doesn’t know the secret.  To the lady sitting in the seventeenth row the magician is doing the impossible.  There’s no explanation of how he’s doing it.  She knows that the magician has to follow the same laws of physics as every other person who’s ever breathed, and yet her mind allows for the illusion and wants to believe he’s performing magic in much the same way that your mind allows itself to temporarily believe the Star Wars Universe is real.”

“What!” William broke in with mock surprise.  “You’re telling me Star Wars isn’t a documentary?!” Continue reading

Categorize This!

I was reading about Sub-Genre and decided to put in a comment.  Only, my comment soon took a life of it’s own.  (“It’s alive!”)  It wasn’t long before I had an entire blog post.  I hope you enjoy this little tale ;)

— — —

“Hey, what’cha doin’?”

“Reading.”

“That looks like the same book you’ve been reading for months.  Are you rereading it over and over?”

“This is the ninth book in the series, moron.  Can’t you tell the difference?”

“I’m sorry, I haven’t looked all that closely.  I really haven’t noticed any difference in the covers.  What’s up?”

“OK, if you are so blind, I’ll tell you.  The first letter in the first word of the title changes for each volume.  It’s super obvious.”

“What’s this series about, then?”

“This high school girl is a bit of an outcast.  Of course she’s super pretty, ultra-smart, has the greatest personality in the world and comes from a rich family with all of the right social values, but her classmates just don’t understand.”

“Of course not.  Poor girl.”

“She meets a mysterious boy.  At the end of the first book she realizes that he’s a werewolf.”

“Not a vampire?  Too bad.” Continue reading

Messenger – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I am now up to part four of the story.  All of these are written to Sue’s #writephoto prompts.  Here is part one and here is part two and then there was part three (last week)

— —

An ancient raven slowly beat its wings as it rose above the village.  Where was this?  I couldn’t figure it out.  For a moment I thought I saw Cate and Leo, only they were birds, not children.  It quickly grew hazy.  I heard voices and tried to make my way to them.  After a moment, I discovered that the way to the voices was as simple as opening my eyes.

At first I didn’t recognize my surroundings, but I soon realized that I was in the old underground cell, a prisoner of the dwarves.  I must have fallen asleep and had been dreaming.  And yet, I knew that Cate and Leo had been turned into birds and had escaped our prison to find help.

I glanced over at my companion, which was the source of the voices and did a double take.  The wizard was now twins.  Twins?  I looked closer and realized that the little man to the right was the magician I had been talking to, Whindell, while the other one was someone else. Continue reading

Ancient Magic

janet-webb-french-still-life

PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

I had collected it all, quicksilver lightning captured in a jar and a candle made of the wax from Cleopatra’s bees.  Only the purest color yellow distilled from the sunlight in my window would do.  The bit of our star must illuminate a painting representing my heart’s desire.

“Why don’t you do it the old-fashioned way?”

I jumped.  I hadn’t heard Mom come in.

“What?”

“Just talk to her.  Girls like that, you know.”

“But Mom, the ancient magic spell will ensure it.”

“I’m sorry, the magic she used is much older than that.”  Mom winked.

I’ll never understand girls.

— — —

Word count = 100

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

Peace – #writephoto

couch

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is part three of the story.  All of these are written to Sue’s #writephoto prompts.  Here is part one and here is part two (last week)

— —

I was sitting in the corner of the little prison waiting for the kids, my mind racing but getting nowhere, when I heard a cough.  I looked over and saw the old magician studying me.

“What do you know about the human-dwarf wars?” he asked.

“Dwarves are fiction,” I said.  I’m afraid I was a little irritable at the time.

He laughed.  “So those people who took you prisoner are fictional?  No, they are real and have been around even longer than humans.  Humans have known about them and call them many different names, some not so nice.  There are elves, leprechauns, wee people, gnomes, fairies, oh, a thousand more names, but they are all the same.  Different people see them different.  These particular folks, the ones holding us, just happen to be bearded, so you call them dwarfs or dwarves.” Continue reading

Efficiency – Friday Fictioneers

claire-sheldon

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

I had been doing it for twenty-five years and was an expert.  File comes in, take the staple out, highlight the pertinent data, send it to the accountant.  I no longer answered phones.  The accountants liked to do it themselves.  They’ve done their own typing since the late 1990s.  With the new tools, it was more efficient.

The boss came in, fumbled with my stuffed toys and accidentally spilled the cup full of used staples.

“I’m sorry Sue,” he finally said.  “The new system is set up and everything is 100% electronic.”

“I’m so efficient, though.”

“Not to a computer.”

— — — — Continue reading

Another Ball – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  To Kill a Ghost.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

The steps up to the third floor of the Goode Mansion seemed longer than ever.  I could hear the music drifting down the stairs, the murmur of people.  Each step was harder than the last.  It wasn’t just the pain.  Yes, there was still a bit of pain left over from the four broken ribs, the broken right arm, bruises and a bruised bone on the left arm, bruises and a bruised bone on my left leg and, well all of those other injuries from being struck several times by a heavy iron bar.  For the most part, they had healed, but there was still a bit of pain and tightness when I pushed it.  But, no, it wasn’t just the pain.

It was as much the fear.

Fear?  OK, maybe nervousness would be a better word.

I stopped at the landing on the third floor and took a few deep breaths, ignoring my complaining ribs.  In some ways this took more courage than entering the carriage house on that dark April night.

The ballroom was filled with people.  I walked to the front, the area were Abigail kept court, and turned.  I smiled at my parents, who were up from their retirement home in Arizona.  I nodded to my sister and a few friends.  I noticed Kunhal and other work colleagues. Continue reading

Flight – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part two of the story I started with last weeks #writephoto prompt (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

When I awoke, I was in a small rock chamber.  Wondering where the light was coming from, I realized that the walls were glowing.

“Come with us, human,” a dwarf said.  I was surrounded by dwarves.

I followed two of them out into a hall.  It was much bigger than the tunnel I had entered and I could actually walk normally.  I had a guard of a dozen of the tiny people.  The four in front of my all were carrying battle axes while the eight behind had long spears.  Well, they were long for them, being perhaps four and a half foot long.

We hadn’t been walking long when we entered a huge chamber.  It glowed a soft gold, which reminded me of a warm evening on a beautiful summer day.  At the front of the chamber sat a king.  His throne was elevated so that when I reached it, he was at eye level.

“Dad, Dad!”  I turned towards the familiar voices.  Cate and Leo were being escorted up to me as I stood in front of the king.

“Silence,” the king said.  He studied us for a moment.  “Humans.  The lookouts weren’t wrong.”

A dwarf standing behind the king whispered in his ear.

The king said, “You were caught trespassing in our domain.  What say you?”

“Trespassing?”  I asked.  “We were on my property.”

“Trespassing,” the king said.  “You had no right to enter the tunnel.  In fact, it is forbidden by the treaty of 3427 that any human should enter Dwarf sacred territory.  In return, no dwarf will enter a human structure.” Continue reading