Tag Archives: Short Fiction

Fantasy Island

shell

Day 4

At last, a few minutes to sit and write!  What a freaking nightmare it has been.  I guess I need to start at the beginning, just in case I don’t make it, so people know what happened.

I was on a flight from LAX to Seoul to join up with the rest of the cast. I’ll admit that I was excited to be starring in an action film based in Asia.  I mean, when I was a kid, women were the victims in this type of film, and yet, here I was…  Anyway, the flight didn’t go well.

OK, just a few flashes on what occurred on the flight.

We kept diverting south because of a major storm.  And then the turbulence.  I once experienced sever turbulence, the scariest half of an hour in my life.

This was worse.

Yeah. Nightmare.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to say more.  It is too soon.

I came to on a beach.

Every inch of my body hurt, yet, after checking myself, I only had a few minor injuries.

About an hour later I saw something floating towards shore.  OK, I had seen a few other pieces of wreckage wash up, but this was larger and as it got closer, I realized that there was person on it. Continue reading

Cascade #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“We have come to an impasse.  As you are well aware, the farther we move from the shore and into the mountains, the more often we have come across small falls, rapids or other discontinuities.  We have found a way to overcome all, until now.  A cascade which, though small, is surrounded by sheer cliffs, now stands between us and our goal.  It is impossible to portage our craft and provisions around this wild water and no clear trail can be found.

“We are now setting up a small fort, where we plan to winter. Come Spring, we will either find an alternative route or call off our quest.

“At this time, all forward motion has come to an end.”

Reg read the note from his forward captain, Dwight Pashey, three times over.

This could be a disaster to the mission.

He glanced down at the note again. Continue reading

Together #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

The water was smooth, tranquil, barely a ripple.  It was as if the mighty ocean had turned to glass.

Michael smiled at the quiet irony.

It had been a turbulent few days.  Wave after wave after wave had thrashed at them, ever since the news had broken. Chaos reigned supreme.

Funny that the sea was so still.

He felt the familiar, warm squeeze on his hand and squeezed back. Margret was looking off into the distance, but he knew her thoughts mirrored his, as the still waters mirrored the placid sky.

After all of these years, they almost thought as one. Continue reading

Presence – Of Wind and Wings

stones-old-presence

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this story fit’s in with my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings.  I’m not sure where it fits, but it will find a place ;)

*

Ed hesitated at the doorway.  He had been told that he had free reign of the house, yet he still felt a little uncomfortable, as if he were intruding on Liza’s privacy.  No matter how often she had protested that he was welcome to make himself totally at home, he had confined himself mostly to the kitchen and his bedroom.

Elisa was sitting in a comfortable chair with her back to the door.  She hadn’t stirred and Ed wasn’t sure if she were aware that he was standing there.  He fanned himself briefly with the photo in his hand as he watched her in his indecision. He stopped and frowned at the photo.  It was as if that old bit of paper were trying to make its presence known, to remind Ed why he was there.

That did it.

Ed straightened his back and walked into the room and stopped, looking down at his hostess.

Liza put her book to the side and smiled up at him.

“Yes?”

“I was wondering if you knew where this was taken.” He held up the photo.  “It was mixed in with my great-uncle’s papers and I just found it as I was reading through the notes.”

Liza jumped back as soon as she took the photo.  She blanched and her eyes grew wide.

“Ah, so you do know it,” Ed said, trying to make light of her reaction.

Liza took a moment to regain composure, and then handed the faded photograph back to Ed with a smile.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I can’t help you.”

Ed studied the photo for a moment.  A row of standing stones lined a path through a field full of wild flowers.  It would seem to be a noteworthy location.

He shrugged.

“Oh well, I guess I’ll just take it in and have Mr. Brown look at it.  I’m sure he’d recognize it…”

“What? Who?” Liza seemed to be even more distressed than before.

“You know, the historian…”

“Of course I know who Mr. Brown is, I’m just asking why you mentioned that man, is all.”

“He does know the local geography as well as the history.  Or perhaps The Grubb could help.”

“Yeah, ask the Grubb.”

Liza picked up her book and began to read.  Obviously the conversation was over.

Back in his room Ed continued to study the photo, trying to take in every detail.  There was something there, just at the edge of his perception.  He felt stupid for not being able to see it.

Perhaps not something, but someone.

Ed closed his eyes, still seeing the path and stones, but now in full color and stretching to the edges of his peripheral vision and beyond.

He could feel their presence before he saw them.

The couple had passed this way thousands of years before.

No, it was a different couple, hundreds of years before, ancestors that Ed had read about in his great-uncles papers.

No, that wasn’t right.  He could see them now.  It was his great-uncle and Liza’s mother.  They were walking hand and hand, smiling at each other.

No, no that wasn’t right either.

It was Liza and Mr. Brown, only they were young, perhaps in their teens or early twenties.

But no, it wasn’t them, it was Ed himself.

Who was he with?

The woman was shadowy, yet he could feel her presence, as he had in his dreams and visions.

He opened his eyes.

Was this his imagination running wild on his great-uncle’s words combined with Liza’s reactions, or was he seeing images of the past.  He shivered.  And the future.

He looked down at the photo again.

No.  It was just an old keepsake, something his great-uncle had taken in one of his many trips to England.  As far as Ed knew, it wasn’t even in the area but could be on the other side of the country.

He soon went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. He didn’t dream about the photo or the stones, as far as he could tell, and yet through the entire night he felt the presence of those other people he had imagined.

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge.  The photo prompt is at the top of the post and this week’s key word is “Presence“.

The story this week is based on my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings

Glow – #writephoto

frosty-dawn--glow

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Ouch! Damn…”

I could feel the warm glow on my cheek where the twig had slapped me.  I rubbed it. Was I going to get a welt?

Wiping away that unbidden tear – I was sure it was from the pain of the slap not something else – I continued on my way.

“Damn” was right. In fact, it felt too weak for the turmoil surging through my brain.

I pushed another leafless branch out of my way, but was careful this time that it didn’t slip and smack me as the last one had.

I was going to my little private spot on the ridge. “Private”, though it was the worst kept secret in the village.

Perhaps even worse than my love for Anita. Continue reading

Final Battle

I enter a corridor. It is a trap. I know it is, and they know that I know.

A quick scan revels nothing. There are no obvious explosives, no beams or triggers, nothing. Innocent.

I move slow, slow and methodical.

There is a book that talks about moving to blend in with nature so your footsteps cannot be detected, to mimic the wind across the sand. What can I mimic as I feel my way down the giant spaceship’s most important corridor? And yet I know my movements stay below that ½ decibel over background that is so important.

A door. Closed. Locked.

I know I can enter, but at what cost?  I would lose time and make a racket.

I scan as well as possible, yet I can’t tell if the room behind is occupied, there isn’t enough data.

I think for a tenth of a nanosecond and move on. I wouldn’t forget that the door was there, a potential enemy, a menace. Continue reading

Midnight Adventure #tanka #tankastory

well-2

Midnight adventure
To exhume the ancient crypt
But we are too late
The slab is already moved
The dead has unearthed himself

Did we delve too deep
Awaken that which should sleep
Release the terror?
We run from the open tomb
But once more we are too late

The crunch of a twig
Silver shadow from the moon
He is following
A hand grabs me from behind
Sharp nails gouge into my flesh

Leave the dead alone
Sleeping under the cold ground
Peaceful undisturbed
It is a lesson I learned
Only when it was too late

***

This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge.  She gives us two key words, but we must use synonyms.  This week’s words were Dig and Grave.  (I so much wanted to find a way to say “Dig this” or “Do you dig” ;) ).  I did a tanka these week. OK, I wrote a story made from four connected tankas this week :)

Murmur #writephoto

murmuration

Photo by Sue Vincent

The people murmured as a new star appeared in the daylight sky. It grew brighter and larger. And grew. And grew.

Not a star, but a gargantuan ship from a people far away.

An alien invasion!

The monstrous craft descended, slowly growing larger, filling the sky. Lightning bolts of energy crackled from the underside, destroying all below. The sky glowed red and orange as the cities turned to a burning plasma! Continue reading

Welcome Home

Byron?”

Byron Davis continued to walk, eyes forward, mental blinders on.  If he ever thought about it, he would have called it his “urban defensive mode”.  He saw obstacles to avoid and heard noises as warnings, just the bare minimum needed to navigate without running into things.  He didn’t see or hear individual people above the static.  A person was a distraction.  They were “things”.  It was his way to survive the crowds.

“Byron Davis!  It is you.”

The half familiar voice cut through his defenses, his name being recognized and thus the voice flagged as “important”, or at least “something over the background din”.

A young man approached him.  The man was dirty.

“Do I know you?”  Byron curled his nose, drawing his mouth into a slight snare.

“Are you telling me that you don’t recognize your own brother?” The man half laughed.

Byron frowned.

“I don’t have a brother.”

He turned to walk away, but a hand come down on his shoulder, stopping him.

“Sure you do.  Derrick.  Remember?”

Byron turned, his face burning.  Who was this idiot, disturbing him like this?

“Derrick died almost 30 years ago.  Quit bothering me.  I won’t give you any money or whatever in Hell it is that you want.” Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 1

“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred.  “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks.  Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine.  But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”

I was home for Spring Break.  My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on.  They were all like Matt.  All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey.  His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.

I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away.  I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old.  “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.

I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.

Old number 345, yeah, what a house.

Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading