Author Archive

phone-booth-jhc

Dirty tile and cold walls surrounded her as she dialed the number, black phone pressed to her ear. She ignored the dirt and ash, just like she ignored the foul stench that hovered in every room like a vulture.

The phone clicked and her heart leapt.

“Who is this?”

“John,” she whispered. “I–”

“I told you not to call.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s too late for that.”

The line went dead. She stood there, cradling the phone, unable to step away.

Outside the tiny prison window, the world spread out, so close but so far beyond her reach.


Word Count: 97

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and J Hardy Carroll for the photo prompt!

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Roger sighed. He had been promised gold, but all he’d seen were enough rocks to last him a lifetime and an expanse of cold, grey-green ocean.

After hours of searching the rugged shorelines of the islands, treasure still seemed to be in short supply.

He turned to Marie, who was scrutinizing the worn fragments of map with pursed lips and furrowed brow.

“Time to turn back, I think,” he said. “Storm’s coming in.”

Marie shook her head. “No. My great-grandfather’s treasure is out here somewhere.”

“He probably spent it all on rum,” Roger said. “I know I would. My point is–”

“There!” Marie pointed. “That’s it! Raven’s Point.”

The outcrop was just like the shape on the map: a rough outline of a raven’s beak extending over the waters.

And beneath, there was a cave.

Marie smiled.

“Full speed ahead.”


Word Count: 140

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Louise for providing the photo prompt!

206-07-july-23rd-2017

Laughter echoed through the dirigible. Wine corks popped, letting foam splash into thin glasses. The band played on and the party swayed with the music.

Anna pressed her nose up against the glass, looking at the ground far below, almost lost in the wreath of clouds. She remembered looking down before, when the cityscape had spread out in a mosaic. Bright lights had shimmered amongst mile-high skyscrapers. Other dirigibles had drifted in the wind, like floating lanterns burning bright. When the third moon had risen, everything had lit up in waves of blue.

There was no light below now, only a marbled darkness beneath the churning clouds. Lightning flashed and she could almost hear the crack of thunder through the soundproofed glass.

“A toast!” her father cried, her hair hanging in disarray, his tie undone.

He climbed onto a table, tapping his glass. The dancing stopped and the music slowed as every head turned to look at him.

“A toast to our home!” He raised his glass and the blue wine shifted like an ocean tide. “To Beovorn!”

“To Beovorn!” the others echoed.

Anna watched a cascading orange cloud, moving slowly towards them, reaching out with tendrils of fire.


Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

tltweek77

In the lands by the ocean’s edge, they tell that once the jellyfish was a maiden, beautiful as the light dancing on the waters, who had a lover, sworn to fight in the queen’s service.

One day, her lover didn’t return from the war, felled by the barbed arrows of the enemy, and the maiden was so moved to despair that she cast herself from a high cliff into the churning waves.

The fates took mercy upon her and her form was changing, becoming bright and beautiful, drifting in the waters, untroubled by darkness.


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Pan Da Chuan for providing the prompt photo!

vw-in-israel-wmq

Emergency services buzzed around the car like flies around carrion. Police officers with notebooks out shouted at road safety workers, arguing about the importance of preserving the scene versus reopening the motorway.

In the end, the police conceded and the car was hauled away. There was no evidence to be gathered, nothing but the testimony of the other drivers and the distant, poorly angled CCTV video.

They handed the footage off to experts. They even showed it to a magician. The conclusion was unanimous.

In the middle of the motorway, the driver of the car had vanished from his seat.


Word Count: 100

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

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Forty days Muirdain had walked the path of All-Mother Macca through the wilderness. Her fair skin was burnt crimson and her hair was a fiery tangle of curls and thorns. Her scabbard hung empty by her side.

By the foot of a green hill, where stone steps carried on the ancient path, she met a woman, clothed in rags, her eyes milk-white and her teeth rot-brown. The woman called to her.

“Pilgrim, have you water for an old woman?”

Muirdain stepped past her.

“Spare a moment.”

Muirdain kept climbing.

“What brings you to this road?”

“Penance,” Muirdain replied. “The Queen asked that I walk the All-Mother’s path. Only then may I earn my sword again.”

“Then stop and spare me some water.”

Muirdain didn’t look back.

The All-Mother sighed. Three times she had tested the knight and three times Muirdain had failed.

She did not give fourth chances.


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and J.S. Brand for providing the prompt photo!

Welcome to Living Authors’ Society’s Doctor Who Discussions. This week, we’ve called a special discussion to deal with the fact that parts of the Internet are, metaphorically speaking, currently on fire.

Jaden: Emergency the Doctor is a woman discussion?
JA: I mean, I don’t know how much I have to say.
Jaden: You mean this casting didn’t literally ruin 54 years of history for you and signal the demise of the franchise?
Jaden: yeah but this time it’s different
the doctor has boobs
JA: Sweet Omega, you’re right. I can take the Doctor being old, young, Scottish, northern, but having boobs is the last line.
It’s like the Doctor’s whole body changed during regeneration or something.
Jaden: Although I am a little bit afraid they are gonna Supergirl it
JA: This would be my one fear.
But bad writing occurs regardless of the Doctor’s genitals, so I’m not too bothered.
Jaden: But bad Doctor Who is often uniquely bad, in a way no other show can be bad,
There’s no other show on earth where you can say an episode was terrible because a moon was an egg, or a woman suggests leaving children to die so they dont miss their mothers during a crisis of sentient trees
JA: Because there’s no other show willing to engage in stories that mad and wild. Doctor Who is bold and bright and beautiful and it always aims beyond its reach. This means, of course, that it often misses more spectacularly than any other show, but I’ll take Love and Monsters if I can get Blink and I’ll take In the Forest of the Night if I can get Listen.
Jaden: So please dear Chibnall don’t be lame and make this a “the universe learns a GIRL can save the world too” series arc.
JA: I second this. I think that this is an area where showing not telling really applies.
Just give us women being awesome. You don’t need to tell us how awesome they are.
Jaden: Moffat, for all the praise I heap on him, was guilty of that sometimes.
JA: Very occasionally, I think.
There were a lot of men being rubbish jokes, which aren’t quite the same thing.
Although I could have done with less of them.
Jaden: Well whatserface and lizard lady wound up saying “look, we’re GAY” every five minutes despite good setup
JA: True.
But they were so awesome I didn’t care.
Jaden: Don’t give whatshisface any excuses
I’ve been up since 5, I’m too tired to remember names
JA: I don’t intend on giving Chibnall any excuses.
But today, for once, I’m not annoyed with him. lol
Jaden: Do you think there should be any sort of explanation for the female incarnation?
JA: No.
Say that it’s rarer, maybe, but otherwise, just leave it as a regeneration.
I would assume that Time Lords tend to stay closer to their “baseline” form, but some regenerations cause more major differences.
Jaden: yeah I agree.
Just basically I hope they dont treat it as all that different
JA: Same.
An idea I can’t take credit for because I found it on the Internet:
The Doctor suddenly freaks out about the regeneration and tries to find a mirror. She looks at it and says “It’s been a while since I was blonde.”
Jaden: I’ll be waiting for a “ohhhh and STILL not ginger”
though when is the last time we had a blonde doctor?
JA: Colin Baker?
I think.
Yeah, Colin Baker.
Who has been pretty amazing on Twitter today.
Jaden: is his childhood ruined?
JA: 
20158126_791032761073239_1025136780_n
Jaden: I’m sure he’s just hiding his devastation
JA: Clearly. After, how could a former Doctor be OK with the DEATH OF THE SHOW?
Jaden: “I’m not the worst thing to happen to the show anymore?”
JA: Hey. It wasn’t his fault.
He wanted a black costume. They gave him an outfit in every color except black.
colin-baker1
Jaden: btw I just made the entirely reasonable decision to check the youtube comments for this announcement. Top one: “I’m not mad because it’s a female doctor. I’m mad because the only reason they did it was political correctness.”
I facepalmed so hard i think i have a concussion
JA: See, here’s the thing. And this goes into a lot of this “I’m not racist/sexist/homophobic, but…” BS.
A white man is not neutral.
You’re still making a statement.
Choosing to cast a male Doctor over a female would be just as much of a biased choice made for political reasons.
Also, don’t read YouTube comments. lol
Jaden: I don’t really think casting the doctor is/should be a statement. It’s whoever fits the vision for the moment. Like, had Tennant not been the doctor maybe Chibnall would’ve picked him for the same reasons (I’m assuming) they picked her. Talented actor not too big a name who has worked with him before.
JA: I think Chibnall said he wanted a female Doctor. Which I will defend, because we’ve had 12/13 male Doctors. It’s well past time for something else.
Jaden: Yeah the “it’s been male for 54 years” thing works both ways
Like the Doctor amirite
JA: Yeah, the only question for is whether Jodie Whittaker is the right choice, not whether a female Doctor is the right choice.
And I think she is.
Jaden: Shes got intense eyes. The only physical trait that is a must
jodie-whittaker-doctor-who-reveal-portrait-300x450
JA: This clip sold me:
That’s some quality Doctor-esque speechmaking.
And you are spot on about the eyes.
Jaden: The Doctor sounds weird with an english accent
JA: I really hope she keeps her natural accent.
Jaden: is that it?
JA: In the clip? Yes.
She’s done different accents in other things.
Jaden: yeah i can imagine that working. just as long as the monologue is less preachy than an episode of cosmos
JA: There are few things more preachy than Cosmos.
Jaden: I think I’ve seen sermons less preachy than Cosmos
Do you see sermons?
Attend?
JA: I do.
Most are less preachy than Cosmos.
Jaden: So it sounds like Chibnall has literally one job now. Putting odds 2:5 on him screwing up Supergirl style
JA: I keep getting all excited about the Doctor and then remembering it’s Chibnall and getting hesitant again.
Please, Chibnall, prove me wrong about you.
Jaden: I should watch more than the first episode of broadchurch
JA: Broadchurch is actually really good for the first series.
And then series two is so boring.
So I don’t know what to think.
Jaden: So iZombie?
JA: More than iZombie.
Jaden: I’m trying to remember my other question I was interested in hearing your thoughts on
JA: The problem of evil? Is the cat alive or dead?
How much do I hate Hemmingway?
Jaden: Why are there no fish in the fish pond?
JA: Ducks.
Jaden: whatever.
JA: Apparently they filmed an explanation and it was cut. I assume it was the cracks.
Jaden: the doctors a girl now the shows dead anyway
JA: Very true.
RIP the show
Jaden: at least we still have ghostbusters
JA: Oh, yes, that time Hollywood tried to get people to see a crappy remake by saying it was feminist.
Jaden: 9 and 13 talking about democracy or something
I like how people are saying her being a woman is the only reason she got the role. Not having worked with two doctors and the showrunner before
I’m on the Whittaker hype train. The only brakes are Chibnall
JA: I would like a ticket for that train.
Let’s hope a mummy doesn’t kill us.
Jaden: lol good a line to end on as any. though im trying to think of a shoehorned twilight zone reference
And yet he never did. Join us for our discussion of the Christmas Special, when we’ll see Peter Capaldi bow out, Jodie Whittaker step in, and the ghost of William Hartnell just hang out.