Posts Tagged ‘short fiction’

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There were two ways to win a dirigible race. One was to be the fastest. The other was to always have a sharp object handy.

The Baron–simply the Baron, name and adjective-less to admirers and competitors alike–preferred the second way. He was quite thankful for the accident that took his left hand. Nobody tried to take your hook from you.

He smiled as his dirigible rose and Stevenson’s did not. Stevenson shook a fist in the air, but the rest of him remained on the ground and out of the race.

Only one remained. The Baron set his eyes on Bellerose, floating ahead of him, a golden telescope pressed to her eye. She was looking ahead. Her first and last mistake. She should have been looking behind.

He adjusted the gas and his dirigible crept slowly ahead, closer to hers. His hook reached for the control to activate his needle-sharp ram.

She should have left her craft unguarded, like that fool Stevenson did. The fall would have been gentler.

Bellerose put down the telescope, turned her head, and smiled. Her eyes shone with fire.

The Baron realized he had entirely underestimated his competition. It was his last realization.


Word Count: 200

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #33. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!

tltweek183

The crash left him gasping burning air, his head aching, scrabbling to tear himself free of the chair. Above, silhouettes gathered, their faces hidden in shadows.

A flag waved overhead, but with the light behind it, he could not tell whether it was theirs or the enemy’s.


This is for Three Line Tales, Week 183. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Marcus Wallis for providing the prompt photo!

ted-strutz-plane

Mr. Ulysses seemed an ordinary man pushing the far end of his fifties. He waved to his neighbours on his way to the grocer’s, read his newspaper on the porch in the mornings, and fished in the afternoons.

You could almost overlook the bullet holes in the door of the seaplane if you didn’t know they were there. The guns in the library and the cultural artifacts–Egyptian, Mayan, Mesopotamian–lining the halls seemed the harmless trinkets of a collector.

But on dark autumn nights, when he told his stories, everyone remembered that Mr. Ulysses was far from ordinary.


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

Word Count: 99

clock

This close he can hear the clock ticking. He checks his rifle, glances at the hotel below. The target will be outside soon, off to sell secrets. His Employer doesn’t want that.

Any minute now.

Behind him, he hears his name. His real name. He turns.

He didn’t expect to see the most wanted woman in the world, smoking an e-cig.

“Don’t bother calling it in,” she says. “None of your equipment will work.”

He aims the rifle. “This will.”

“You won’t fire.”

“Why not?”

“You want to know what I’ll say.”

“Either you’re here to save him, or to kill me.”

“I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter.” She shrugs. “He lives, your Employer runs a story about corporate spies, the  need for vigilance. He dies, the Competition runs one on the ruthlessness of your Employer.” Her breath is a cloud against the blue sky. “You know the only way to be sure to win a game? Play both sides.”

She’s lying. He knows she’s lying. But if she isn’t–

The target exits the hotel.

He watches through the sights, finger on the trigger.

He might pull it. He might not.

It might make no difference at all.


Word Count: 200

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week 30. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!

tltweek181

As a child she had nightmares of the man in the moon, a face twisting slowly in cold and distant rock, and she would wake screaming. Her parents bought her books, showed her documentaries, tried to tell her there was nothing there, just stone and dust and flags held up with wire, frozen in a windless sky, but they were never enough to stop the nightmares.

Only years later, when she stood on that dusty grey ground gazing at the Earth below, did the nightmares finally end.


This is for Three Line Tales Week 181. Thanks as always to Sonya for running the challenge and apologies for all the weeks I’ve missed! Photo taken by Neil Armstrong. 

Trying to get back into the habit of doing these – and of actually posting stuff on here. 

spoonerla-sign_of_the_rose-revised

Hey everyone! Sorry for being gone so long – I’m going to try to get back on top of posting – but I return with exciting news! My short story, “Sign of the Rose,” has been published by Crimson Streets, who also published “The Lazarus Riddle.” It’s a Victorian-era murder mystery which I’m quite proud of.

They have also provided the above gorgeous illustration by L.A. Spooner that I cannot praise enough. It captures the gothic mood of the story perfectly and I would not have chosen any other scene to depict.

Please take the time to check the story out if you have a minute!

“Someone’s coming for us,” Calvin said as he sat down opposite Algernon Brook’s padded brown armchair, searching the shadows behind the looming bookcases in the study as though they might hide paper-thin assassins. “They killed Cameron and we’re next.”

Read Sign of the Rose here!

piano-anshu

There was a tree that grew music.

In spring, it sprouted symphonies. March overtures became triumphant swellings by May. On a mild April day, the melodies shamed the birds to silence.

In summer, the music continued, but it seemed to most that it was dimmer, paler. Not a patch on its earlier stuff, most people said.

In fall, it was nearly bare. A couple crisp, drying notes still clung to the branches. The birds sang over them and they shriveled in silence.

Come winter, there was no music left.

But spring would come again soon enough.


Word Count: 96

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

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