Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls

It’s Wednesday, and we all know that means it’s time for some flash fiction! Woohoo!

This was another “free” week so Avery didn’t have to worry about including a prompt. Her story meets the 500-1000 word count. So, good there. Last but not least, be sure to check out flash fiction pieces from other Wednesday Brief authors. Their links are at the bottom of the page.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Now, time for Part II of Two Girls and Some Ghouls

Last week, Private Mansfield politely asked if I could find out what became of his wife and young son after the war. I sensed the emotion behind his strong façade and gave him props for not shedding any ghost tears. Using the dates and locations he provided, I thought I might have a chance at finding what had become of his family. Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing for me to help. His story had touched an unexpected nerve. He and his wife were newlyweds when he left his home outside of Staunton to fight for Virginia. They’d quickly married once she learned she was pregnant—bet that was a big oops back in the 1860s! Thankfully, the baby had been born healthy and had his mother’s beautiful blue eyes. I could tell Private Mansfield thought the world of his son, and not being able to hug and kiss him one last time before he passed was tearing him apart.

I promised Private Mansfield I’d see what I could do. I spent my two days off scouring library archives and old newspapers as well as talking with a number of knowledgeable ladies at historical societies all up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Late in the second day, I finally found the information I had been looking for. I hesitated to tell him all I had learned. While there was some good news, some of the family’s history was definitely bad. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls”

Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

It’s that time of the week . . . Wednesday Briefers time! Are you ready for some flash fiction? I sure hope so!

This is a new story start for Avery. It’s F-F paranormal with some romance. There weren’t any prompts this week so it’s a freebie! Remember, the stories have to be between 500 and 1,000 words. This is just a start for this story so you’ll have to come back next week to read the next installment!

Two Girls and Some Ghouls

by

Avery Dawes

The narrow parking space at the end of the lot was calling my name, so I swung the Jeep Wrangler into position and parked as far away from the overhead security light as possible. Getting a ticket for parking in the Battlefield’s Visitor Center lot after dark was not on my agenda. I looked through the windshield. The sun had already dipped below the mountains in the distance. The violet purples of twilight were fading to deep midnight blues. Before long, the black sky would be filled with pinpoints of white starlight.

My Jeep was filled with all the tension of a Mexican stand-off. My girlfriend had wanted to see me work—or so she said—but now that we were here . . . her crossed arms and stiff posture said otherwise. Not one to beat around the proverbial bush, I sliced through the tension with blunt honesty. “Steph, it’s fine. You don’t want to be here. No problem.” I pulled the keys from the ignition and held them out to her. “Take my keys, grab a cup of coffee, and meet me back here. I promise I won’t be angry with you.” Disappointed, sure, but I wasn’t going to share that with her. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls”

Wednesday Briefs: Fontana of Mischief

Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Briefs! This week, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to write a speculative fiction piece. I think I managed it, but you’ll have to let me know in the comments. The piece is under 1000 words so it meets the flashing criteria. It’s also set somewhere I’ve visited, making it extra-special to write. I hope you enjoy it!!

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Fontana of Mischief

by

Denise L. Wyant

I peered out the car’s windshield, anxious for my first view of the Fontana Wellness Center and the surrounding lake.

“I can’t wait to try the mineral baths,” Julie, my bestie, exclaimed. “No water’s too hot for me!”

Darcy and I laughed. Iceland was known for its geothermal springs and hot pots—what we know in the States as hot tubs—and I was pretty sure they’d be a lot toastier than the ones back home.

Feeling mischievous, I turned, facing Darcy in the backseat. “Are there rocks surrounding Fontana? If so, maybe we’ll see some elves.” I winked, knowing anything supernatural freaked out my former college roommate.

“Don’t go messing with the elves, Merrill,” she retorted. “Our guide this morning warned us about them. All the bad things that have happened to people and machines when they try to build roads through big rocks.”

I shook my head. I didn’t believe in ghosts. I sure as hell didn’t believe in elves, or huldfólk as they were known here. “There’s got to be a logical explanation that our guide failed to mention.” Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Fontana of Mischief”

Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy

This week, Avery has continued the Civil War story (part 2). The prompt she used was “to have gunshots in your story.” She also used part of the another prompt. See if you notice sleep and bandage in the story.

I hope you enjoy the story! When your done, be sure to check out the links at the bottom.

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Angel of Mercy

by

Avery Dawes

Henry left the injured soldier resting against the tree. He wanted to turn, look back at Emory, but didn’t want to appear desperate. Focus on the man’s health and well-being, not his physical attributes.

Henry jogged the last hundred yards to his farmhouse. Taking the stairs two at a time, he reached the armoire in the hallway outside his bedroom. He pushed aside an extra quilt to locate his first aid supplies, and grabbed some linen fabric strips. These would suffice as bandages. He then took an unopened jar of salve off the shelf. He’d been lucky of late—no serious farming injuries. He paused to think . . . when had the last one been? That’s right. On that unseasonably warm day this past March. He’d been working to repair damage to the barn from a hard snowstorm. The saw jumped, knocked him off balance, shredding part of his left forearm. He winced recalling the blood. He still had deep scars from the incident. Enough reminiscing, Henry! Get back on track!

He needed a bag to carry these supplies. Probably wouldn’t hurt to take a knife along. Henry would have to expose the wound before he could treat it. Soap, too, to clean the wound.

Upon returning to the mudroom off the porch, he located a canvas bag. Perfect! He added a knife and a bar of soap to his supplies. As an afterthought, he took two ripe peaches from the bowl on his kitchen table. Emory might enjoy them. The crop had been very juicy this summer. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy”

A Holiday Wednesday Briefs

Okay, I admit, I’m a day late for the Fourth of July. Regardless, I wanted to write a flash that would coincide with the Fourth and with the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. The prompt that I used for my story this week was “have a Civil War soldier in your story.” Remember, too, I was limited to 500-1000 words so there will be more to come. I hope you like the guys and the story!

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Friend or Foe?

by

Avery Dawes

Last week of June, 1863

Henry trudged down to the stream. Two empty buckets dangled from his calloused fingers. These hot, humid summer days would be the death of him. Despite the weather, chores on his farmette didn’t cease.

He crossed the last bit of farmland, taking a well-worn path through the trees to the stream. As he entered the shade, he breathed a sigh of relief. Henry dropped the buckets before he plopped on the ground. He shucked his shoes and socks then rolled up his pant legs. Sliding closer to the stream, he dangled his feet in the cool water. Ah, heaven!

 Closing his eyes, Henry lay back on the cool ground, his feet lazily kicking the cool water. He crossed his arms comfortably over his stomach. A short nap was in order. Mable and Marshall, his two horses, would survive until he returned with fresh water for their trough.

Sleep had nearly overtaken him when a rustling in the bushes startled him awake. Bolting upright, Henry jumped to his feet and waited. The noise came again, louder this time. The sound had come from off to his left. Henry tried to calm his racing heart. This was his land, after all, and whoever was out there was trespassing. “Announce yourself! Who’s there?”

His surprisingly forceful command was met by silence. Henry took a couple of steps toward the shrubs that lined the stream bank. A great crash broke the stillness, followed by muffled curses. “Gosh dern rocks! What’s with all these here briars?” Continue reading “A Holiday Wednesday Briefs”

Wednesday Briefs: I’m back!

It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the time and desire to write creatively. With grad school over for now, I’m getting back to flashing and Wednesday Briefs. Woohoo!

As a refresh, Wednesday brief stories are based on a prompt and must range from 500 to 1000 words. Several authors take part…be sure to check out the links to their stories.

My story this week is based on a picture of a road, shrouded in fog. I’d like to start writing a new novella based on the location and characters in this week’s story. I hope you like the peek into Blue Crab Cove, Maryland.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Honoring Tradition 

(**Note: I wrote this story the weekend before Memorial Day so it’s just a bit late…please forgive me.)

My patrol car gleamed in the morning sunlight. I’d gotten up early to wash and polish every possible surface. Today, I was the lead car in Blue Crab Cove’s annual Memorial Day parade. This was an honor I didn’t take lightly. My father had served in the Navy prior to joining the Oregon State Police. Thinking of him, I paused in mid-swipe, allowing myself a short prayer. Dad had been killed in the line of duty almost five years ago. Holidays like these were still tough for me, but I was determined to pay my respects to all who’d served and paid the ultimate price.

“You ready to go, Lindsey?” My sergeant, Ken Wakefield, walked toward me. “The mayor just arrived. They want to kick things off soon.”

I scanned my car one last time— grateful for my sunglasses. I turned to face my sergeant. “Yep, I’m good.”

He clapped me lightly on the shoulder. “Your car looks great.” He paused, cleared his throat with meaning. “Your dad would be proud.”

I nodded. Tears pricked my eyes, and I didn’t trust my voice to come out sure and strong.

An obnoxious horn blared, interrupting the moment. Thank goodness. My sergeant rolled his eyes. “He sure has a way of making an entrance.” Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: I’m back!”

New Anthology Release: Flight

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Blurb:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Anthology Info:

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Author: Various

Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May

Length: 33.6 K

Format: ebook, print

Release Date: General release 9/21/16

Pairing: LGBTIQA

Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, $24.99 print color*

*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.

Excerpt:

To Have and To Harm by Avery Dawes

I wouldn’t cry. No tears. No matter what. “You know it’s going to happen… I’m going to die and… ” I couldn’t finish the thought. My future: one of the living dead. “

Look, you never know… maybe the bite wasn’t that deep? Maybe those tough Italian genes can beat this.”

***

About the Authors:

In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”. Continue reading “New Anthology Release: Flight”

Free Flash Fiction

My muse took a break from vacation to write a short flash fiction piece (it wasn’t allowed to be longer than 500 words). It’s based on 3 words: pizza, selfie, and corruption. You might even notice a shout-out to Grimm *wink* I hope you enjoy the story…maybe even have a laugh or two while reading it! Enjoy!

Meet the Candidate

by

Avery Dawes

“Dan, I don’t know why you’re being so stubborn about this,” Joe huffed. “The public loves you. Not even a hint of scandal in your past. Hell, you were volunteering at the homeless shelter when the Willis corruption case broke.”

Senator Dan Carlson closed his eyes. Have patience. Dan couldn’t risk his secret getting out. Once he announced his presidential bid, all bets would be off. His Maine constituents didn’t care what he did during the full moon, but the Washington media would love to know he and Grimm’s Monroe shared more than a love of watches. For now, how to explain it to his persistent best friend and advisor?

“The kids are too young for that kind of spotlight. Besides, the ex-wife will throw me under a bus the first chance she gets.”

“Fine.” Joe shook his head, “Come on, let’s hit Grover’s Alehouse. Maybe pizza and beer will change your mind.”  Continue reading “Free Flash Fiction”

Wednesday Briefs: Now You See It

Avery is back this week with a standalone story. After reminiscing with a friend, she had a good story idea that fit with one of the picture prompts.

Before we get to that, remember that the stories need to be 500-1000 words and use a prompt. This week’s story inspiration came from a story when Avery was in Colorado watching a meteor shower. The picture prompt was a UFO spacecraft. You know, a basic silver flying orb, not the fancy mega-ship from Independence Day. I should note, too, that the story is set in the Midwest, and not in Colorado.

Be sure to check in with the other Briefers! Their links are found after the story.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Now You See It

by

Avery Dawes

Brilliant oranges and vivid yellows filled the sky as the sun began its descent below the horizon. Jeff couldn’t believe his luck. A comfortable makeshift love nest in the bed of his pick-up truck, gorgeous scenery in a secluded location, and the most handsome man snuggled in his arms.

“This is the best idea! I’ve never watched a meteor shower in such a romantic place.” Liam nuzzled Jeff’s neck, nipping lightly at the skin.

Jeff tilted his head to the left, giving his hottie better access. “Mm, babe…you keep doing that and you’re going to get a meteor shower of a different kind.”

“Well, since I really want to see the Perseids, maybe I’ll have to slow down my teasing.” After a wink, and one last, lingering nip, Liam wiggled out of Jeff’s arms and sat up. “I think I’m ready for a drink. Where’d you hide the vodka?”

The sight before him was a supreme distraction. Because of the warm August air, the guys had shed their shirts soon after Jeff had parked. The man who now sat facing the sunset was nothing but sinewy muscle and tanned skin. His jet black shoulder-length hair had escaped its tie and now ruffled in the light breeze. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Now You See It”