The fire was the only light left in the cold, black night.  The last star had flickered out, the sky an endless mass of shadow.

An old man sat in the firelight and thought of worlds that had been, lives lost, the stories there was nobody left to remember. The night closed in around him. There would be no dawn.

“Is it over?” the Voice asked.

“Almost,” the old man replied.

“A shame. But nothing lasts forever.”

“A good universe. Still. There’s always the next one.”

The fire went out and there was only night.

Word count: 95

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Anshu Bhojnagarwala for providing the prompt photo!



The three watched the teepee like owls watching a rabbit hole.

“Very authentic,” said the first, skin like wrinkled paper, glasses perched on a thin nose. “A splendid recreation.”

“I love the little campfire,” said the second, bluing hair in unnatural curls. “So primitive.”

The third, splotched red with sunburn, snorted, making his mustache tremble. “Fire’s nice. But where’s the Injun? They promised me an Injun.”

Inside the inauthentic teepee, Biashan checked his bank app. The money had gone through.

Time to entertain a few more white fools, he thought and pulled on a headdress he’d bought from the Halloween store.

Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Renee Heath for providing the prompt photo!


Verity hangs in the air, gravity tugging, orange curls flaring behind her, the deep water so far below and she remembers what her mother said: “Never jump unless you know you’ll land on your feet.”

But the rocks were placed so perfectly, one after the next, each just a little further, the waters between them a little darker, until at last she jumped and knew she wouldn’t make it.

The waters give way, tearing like silk, and she falls on, down into another sky, strange wind on her face, song in her ears, and a kaleidoscope of stars in her eyes.

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Nattu Adnan for providing the prompt photo!


The sky was strange in the Cursed Land that day. The people shielded their eyes and asked the hero Petromir to sort it out. Petromir was a hero in the traditional sense, which meant he had more swords than braincells and solved his problems by hitting them, which worked well when your problems were monsters but not when they were strange things in the sky.

Petromir sought out the wisest woman he knew and after knocking down her door so people didn’t think he’d gone soft, he asked if she knew what the thing in the sky was.

“It’s called the Sun,” she replied.

“And the colour?”

“Skies are supposed to be blue. You just can’t normally see it with all the ominous cloud in the way.”

“What does it portend?”

“We’re having a patch of good weather. I wouldn’t worry. Give it five minutes and the rain’ll be back.”

Word Count: 150

This is for FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Jodi McKinney for providing the prompt photo!

My short story, “The Lazarus Riddle,” was published on Crimson Streets earlier this week. You can check it out here

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of activity over the past month. A combination of work, lack of energy, and writer’s block led to the least productive writing month of my life. Hopefully I can get things back on track for the New Year.

Secondly, I’m excited to announce the publication of a short mystery called “The Lazarus Riddle.” You can read it for free on Crimson Streets complete with a brilliant illustration by the talented Tim Soekkha!

“The Lazarus Riddle” by J.A. Prentice, featuring art by Time Soekkha. Riddle me this…How does a self-proclaim messiah get shot point-blank in the chest in front of multiple witnesses, be pronounced dead by the medical examiner, and laid in-state, suddenly get over his death? Is Cavan Bishop really the Messiah resurrected? The woman who shot him swears she shot him “proper”, yet he’s appeared in flesh and blood once again. It was up to PC Tara Connor and the mysterious consultant Victoria Burton to crack the seemingly impossible case. Whatever you think the answer is, you won’t be right.

Thanks to all my incredible followers. Wishing you all an excellent New Year and hoping to have some more content for you soon!


The line moves in spasms, little fits of stopping and starting. All around: coughing, grumbling, the whining and crying of children, the barks of irritated adults. He is adrift in a river of misery, drawn slowly on towards the little booths with their tired attendants and thumping stamps.

He clutches his passport, making sure he has it close. He won’t need it for another ten minutes – perhaps twenty – but he wants to be ready. Announcements echo: last calls for flights to cities he has never heard of, messages to people he does not know. He tugs his suitcase closer, trying to make space for the couple behind, shoving forward like all this is for them and everyone else is an inconvenience.

A traveller and her family are pulled aside. He’s not sure if they’re being giving a pass to the front or an interrogation, but she follows the attendant with dignity, even with two children tugging at her legs.

He tries not to pay attention to security guards with their guns in their holsters and their stern faces as the crowd surges again. An anxious voice tells him something’s gone wrong.

He checks his watch. It’s only been three minutes.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Susan for running the challenge!


The river woman feels the weight of the bridges upon her back. Her waters lash the spans of wood and iron, rushing between pillars as trains rush overhead.

She does not mind the trains at first. They are a pleasant distraction, a new thing after centuries of ducks and fish and leaves. But they keep coming, trundling over the bridge, groaning steel and belching smoke.

She asks her mother what to do, but mother laughs her slow laugh. The trains will go, mother says. The people will go.

People are no more than biting gnats. Oceans are forever.

Word Count: 98

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Dawn M. Miller for providing the photo prompt!