Friday, July 30, 2010

Wedding Jitters

Leisha affixed the boutonniere to her eldest son’s jacket while he fidgeted nervously and looked pale. “Does that look right?” she called over her shoulder to her huband, hoping that some conversation would help to calm them all down.

“I can’t tell if you don’t get your fat butt out of the way.”

The corner of Leisha’s mouth quirked. She and Larry were definitely a case of East meets West. Boston and Houston in their case. “Let’s not discuss my avoirdupois, shall we?”

“Heck, girl, you had much more of it when we got married and I woulda needed a cowcatcher to haul you over the threshold.”

Leisha gave him her best quelling look, which just made him grin wider.

Austin, their youngest, came tearing into the room with lapels and cuffs flapping.

Leisha raised an amused brow. “Our darling arrives, in medias res, as it were, to tell us what?”

“Great-grandpa is in your office. He says he’s looking for his gramophone!”

Larry sighed. “Aw, hell. He break anything yet?”

“Not yet. What’s a gramophone?”

"Wedding Jitters" was a ficlet for the Stovohobo Challenge originally published at 12:47AM on Sunday, October 28, 2007. Thanks to the ficlet memorial I was able to find it again. Memorial story link.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Hop, Baby, Blog Hop!

Hey there! Welcome to one of the stops on the Life Fantastic blog hop! Check out Tessa's blog post for the full description of the hop. While you're here feel free to check out some of my fiction. There are short pieces tagged with Fantasy and there are samples from longer works up on the tabs like Dark Waters (an upcoming Merfolk tale).

The Rules:
  1. Add yourself to the list if you think you fit the topic of the week
  2. Get the code and post it on your blog. This is essential - if you don't, people won't be able to hop on from there. That's just plain rude and a major annoyance. It will also land you on many people's blacklist of blogs-never-to-visit-again.
  3. If you like, do a post on your blog introducing yourself to your visitors. 
  4. Each list will be up for a week or so...or at least it will be accessible for that long.
This week's theme:

The Life Fantastic
Do you write fantasy stories/novels (any subgenre welcome)? 
Do you read/review fantasy books? 
Maybe you create fantasy art? 
Join the list and meet other like-minded creatures of the web!
(this week's linky list features a thumbnail picture of you)

Friday, July 23, 2010

What a Doll

Lara dropped a stack of papers on her boss’s desk and quirked her blonde eyebrow at him. “Gotten any further on the Cobs case yet, Mr. Michaels?” Her voice sounded like satin sheets and champagne on a dark night.

Jack Michaels mumbled something and held up a finger while scratching notes in his journal. Without looking up he said, “Hey, Doll, how about a drink?”

Lara was already setting the tumblers down. “Way ahead of you, Michaels.” She poured the Scotch and settled on the edge of his desk while she took a sip. He gave her a wry smile.

Lara Hanegan had walked into his office last year and asked for the job of secretary. He had explained that he couldn’t afford one and she had said he didn’t need to pay her. It had taken a month for him to get past her blonde bombshell looks and figure out why she wanted to work for a down on his luck gumshoe. What she hid behind that high society veneer was a mind and instincts sharper than any cops. And he was the only one who had ever given her the chance to use them.

"What a Doll" was a ficlet originally published at 12:17AM on Sunday, October 28, 2007 as part of the Gumshoe Challenge. Thanks to the ficlet memorial I was able to find it again. Memorial story link.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Best Part of Waking Up...

Excerpt from "A Grave Mistake" for the Blogfest of Death (mwahahahahahahaha).

   The body, the creature, began to make a soft keening sound. Its movements became more pronounced and deliberate. Jennifer Graves hurried to load film into her camera again. She snapped the film door shut and the head turned as though looking in their direction. Dr. Harker pushed her to start moving around the examining table and towards the door, grabbing a scalpel from a nearby tray. The creature sat up with jerking, tortured movements, slowly turning its ugly charred head from side to side, tracking them.
   Footsteps came from the hallway. "Hey, Graves, I brought you some coffee." The creature’s head turned towards the sound of the voice as Emerson came through the door. The guard stopped cold.
   "What in the hell is that?"
   The creature slid to the floor in a low, feral crouch. Its head was still moving, scenting, listening. Emerson dropped the paper coffee cups and reached for his gun.
   To Jennifer that moment seemed to last forever. Everything slowed down, like the time she had slid her Jeep off the road. Long after Emerson let them go, the cups fell and hit the tiles. Coffee splashed out onto the white and black squares, onto Emerson’s pant leg and shiny shoe. One cup of black and one cup with sugar and cream, just the way she liked it. The sound of the gun holster unsnapping popped like a shot in the silence. Emerson’s arm came up and aimed as the creature leaped towards him. Jennifer heard two shots. Then the creature had clasped Emerson close and buried its head at his neck. Jennifer heard the guard’s gurgled cry as his gun slipped from his fingers. Harker sprinted forward with his scalpel and slashed at the creature. One burned arm grabbed his lab coat and tossed him away like a rag toy, slamming him into the far wall. Jennifer started snapping pictures again. The creature's body healed from charred to bright pink splotches before her eyes.
   Jennifer heard the soft squeak of tennis shoes in the hallway. Eric. Why hadn’t she ever noticed the different sounds that shoes make before? Jennifer tried to say something, to yell, to scream, but nothing came out. She looked down at her camera. She needed to load film again. Eric turned the corner of the door, nearly running into Mike Emerson’s back.
   "Christ," he yelled, and launched back against the opposite side of the hallway. The creature released Emerson and the guard's body slumped to the ground. Eric cringed. The creature was breathing heavily and staring out at the assistant with it’s back to Jennifer. She tried to shake off the numbness that she felt and looked around. A metal tray was near her, filled with medical instruments. She grabbed it and flung it as hard as she could at the creature, the tray rebounding with a clang and the instruments streaming down on the floor like metallic rain. The healing head turned to look at her over a shoulder. Dark eyes, black as the midnight outside, stared at her. The face was covered in thick red blood, running in gorey rivulets down to drip from its chin. The creature turned more fully toward Jennifer and she could see the blood running down its naked torso. Its movements had become more fluid, graceful. One hand reached out towards her as though asking for a dance and the eyes….the eyes.
   Jennifer felt a hand pushing her backwards as Harker lunged in front of her again. "No," he said loudly. He held an old wooden cross by a leather thong. The creature hissed at him and looked back at the assistant.
   Jennifer started forward, "Eric!" Harker grabbed her arm and kept the cross aloft in front of them. The creature hissed again and spread its arms out. The body dissolved into a white mist and dissipated as though nothing had been there at all. Jennifer looked down at the floor. Emerson’s blood ran together with coffee across the patterned tiles. Eric stepped gingerly around Emerson and looked nervously around the room. Harker put the cross around his neck and dropped to his knees to check the security guard. The doctor’s expression confirmed what they all knew had to be true. Emerson was dead. And the creature was gone.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Her keening sob settled into a watery, bleary dullness. She couldn’t feel anything. She wasn’t sure if it was spiritual death or a kind of peace. Her eyes were drawn back to the bedroom. That warm, yellow bedroom. Harry’s unabashed favorite color.

“Really? You want to paint the bedroom...” Rita peered at the tiny print below the color, “Duckling?”

Standing behind her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and lowered his chin to her shoulder. “That way, when it’s all cold and dark and nasty outside we can be snug and warm in the sunshine. It can be spring any day of the year in our bedroom.”

That had been her Harry. His brother had nicknamed him Sunny Side Up. Never unrealistic, never saintly by any means, but always with an aptitude for finding the bright side. Or making one. He had given her that so many times when she had needed it.

She let out a deep breath, stood up, and pulled a dress from the crowded rod. Soft yellow with pale spring flowers. Why observe his death when she could love his life?

"Yellow" was a ficlet originally published at 11:52PM on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Thanks to the ficlet memorial I was able to find it again. Memorial story link.