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!!
Fontana of Mischief
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.”
It’s another flash in Avery’s Civil War series. Are you ready for more Henry and Emory? This week’s prompt was to use the words deer, spice, and bedroom in the story. Avery fit them all in nicely.
I hope you enjoy the next chapter in this series! Oh, a quick note before you start reading… this piece is borderline NSFW and is appropriate for those 16 and over.
Just out of Reach
Another loud crash. This one closer. Okay, not musket fire. Maybe not human. He wouldn’t bet on the human part, though. Henry met Emory’s eyes. “Do you think it’s soldiers?” he whispered. He hoped speaking the words wouldn’t make them true.
Emory shrugged. “Suppose it’s possible. But most regiments make a lot of noise when they march. Skirmishers not as much.”
Henry knelt, facing Emory. “Well, we shouldn’t wait to find out. Let’s get moving.”
Three deer—two does and one fawn—barreled through the clearing, running east. The trio never slowed their pace as they passed the two men.
“What’s got them so spooked?” Emory muttered, using his rifle as a cane.
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.
Angel of Mercy
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”→
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!
Friend or Foe?
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”→
It’s Wednesday Briefs time and another look into quaint little Blue Crab Cove, Maryland. This time I used “tornado” as a prompt for the story. And yes, it falls nicely within the word count.
I hope you enjoy Officer Lindsey Anderson’s latest adventure!
Denise L. Wyant
Lighting cracked like a ringmaster’s whip, the strike much too close to my house. I couldn’t help but jump as the lights flickered. This was going to be a miserable evening for anything, but especially work. The rain pounded down in dense sheets. I knew I’d be drenched before I even got into my police car. My poor orange tabby, Murph, was hiding under my bed, wedged between boxes. That cat had the best ears of any feline I’d ever had. He ran for shelter at the first hint of a thunderstorm. With the way today’s storm raged outside, I’d rather be in hiding, too. At least I didn’t have to worry about a tornado. We didn’t get too many of them in Maryland.
Suck it up, Anderson. Police work—and crime—don’t stop just because of a bad storm. And, unfortunately, my sergeant wanted to meet with me promptly at three. No dilly-dallying around the house for me. Not today. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs – The Newcomers”→
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.
(**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.
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.
Now You See It
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”→
This week Avery is piggy-backing on a flash fiction piece she wrote on Monday. This week’s Wednesday Briefs piece is titled Close Call and features Daniel and Ian. If you read Swiss Delight, this story is set a couple of days after that one.
Don’t worry, we’ll catch-up with Det. Henry LaSalle and his nightmares soon, but this week we’ll be in Switzerland with the boys.
The writing prompt in this story was the use of: Nature, First, and Wish. See if you can spot them in the story. Remember, too, the story has to be 500-1000 words.
Don’t forget to check out stories from the rest of this week’s Wednesday Briefs crew (you’ll find their links below).
Daniel glanced at the clock before shutting down his computer. It was half past six. Technically his work day ended at five o’clock sharp. Swiss bankers were dedicated—at least in theory—so he’d agreed to stay late at his boss’s request. What a long ass day! He shook his head and donned his wool overcoat. Hopefully Ian would be in the mood to go for a beer tonight. Daniel was in desperate need of several.
The security guard nodded as Daniel pushed through the outer door and onto the bustling sidewalk of Route de Verbier Station. Lovely. His walk home would be filled with wealthy European skiers on holiday. With any luck, he could avoid being whacked by a pair of snow-covered skis.
He skillfully rounded a group of French women who were well on their way to inebriation. Taking in his coat, tie, and worn leather briefcase, they pointed and giggled, smiling flirtatiously. Not going to happen. You don’t have any parts that interest me. At least their bright parkas made them easy to spot—and avoid.
The crowds never relented as he turned onto Rue de Médran. Only a couple more blocks until I’m home. Not that Daniel enjoyed calling the shabby studio home. However, it was all he and Ian could afford in the pricey resort town.
When they’d spoken of moving to Switzerland, Daniel had envisioned a modest chalet on a green meadow, surrounded by nature and the bucolic sound of tolling cow bells. Ian, though, had other wishes. He liked being in the heart of the action—both skiing and nightlife. Daniel relented when Credit Suisse offered him a nice signing bonus. Between his salary and Ian’s, they could afford to live just outside Place Centrale.Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Close Call”→
Thanks to Jonas and the copious amounts of snow received, Avery had time to write a story for this week.
This is a new set of characters so I hope you enjoy them! Thanks to Julie for helping with edits and coming up with a title.
Shh…the story doesn’t include a prompt but does fall within the word count of 500-1000 words.
Detective Henry LaSalle pushed through the squad room doors. Exhaustion etched the deep lines of his normally youthful face while his meticulously pressed suit sported a number of wrinkles as well as several smudges of unknown origin.
A round of applause arose from the remaining officers and investigators. Shouts of “good job” and “way to go” greeted LaSalle’s now reddened ears.
He ducked his head, throwing up his hand in a wave of thanks. LaSalle was never comfortable with being the center of attention, even in situations where praise was more than warranted.
The yearlong investigation had culminated less than an hour ago with LaSalle cuffing the alleged murderer and stuffing him into the back seat of a black and white. However, LaSalle’s job wasn’t finished just because the perp was in lock-up. He pulled out his desk chair and sank heavily into the worn black leather. He tugged at his already loosened tie, waiting for his computer to start up.
“Henry, why don’t you just head home? Get some sleep?” Lt. Anson Denton gently pushed a perfectly aligned pile of file folders to the side and made himself comfortable on the corner of LaSalle’s desk. “That paperwork will still be here in the morning.”
LaSalle leaned back in his chair and scrubbed his hands over his eyes. “I suppose you’re right.” He sat forward, staring hard into his supervisor’s face. “Fact is, I couldn’t tell you when I last slept.”
“It’s been what? Over thirty-six hours since you got that tip?” Denton leaned closer to LaSalle and lowered his voice. “Go home and snuggle up next to Jerrod.”
LaSalle sighed, contemplating just how much energy it would take to make that happen. But the thought of Jerrod…being able to touch him and be held by him…was enough to motivate his weary bones. LaSalle punched the power button on his computer and pushed to his feet.
He nodded at Denton. “You know what? I think that’s a great idea. I’ll see you in the morning—but it won’t be first thing.”
His boss chuckled. “Let’s say nine. I think you deserve to sleep in.”
“You’re too gracious, Lieutenant.” With that, LaSalle headed toward the door.
* * * *
Henry sent a quick text, alerting Jerrod that he was finally on his way home. His unmarked car rumbled to life, and before he knew it, Henry was on autopilot to the quiet rowhouse they shared. As he passed his third fast food restaurant, the smell of grilled burgers filtered into his car. His stomach suddenly remembered it was hungry—as in ravenous. Jerrod would kill him for bringing home a burger and fries, but he was always up for trying to bribe his man. It didn’t hurt that Jerrod had a soft spot for strawberry milkshakes.
He shoveled fries into his mouth as he drove. He even managed to polish the burger off before opening the front door of his home. Henry quickly brushed off his shirt. No visible evidence…although, Jerrod would know. He always did. That ridiculous sixth sense of his.
“Babe, you’re home.” Jerrod rushed in for a hug and a kiss, but stopped short when he saw the plastic cup in Henry’s outstretched hand.. “And you have a strawberry milkshake. What did you do?”
“Nothing, darling. I figured since I haven’t been around much, the least I could do—”
Jerrod pressed a finger to Henry’s lips, halting his excuse. “I know how tough that case was for you. I’m so glad you were able to solve it and bring in the bad guy.” He took the cup out of Henry’s hand. “Why don’t you grab a shower while I enjoy my shake? Then, I’ll meet you in bed.”
“Jer, I’m not going to be worth anything tonight. I just…”
“Hey, it’s okay.” Jerrod wrapped his arms around Henry. He pressed a soft kiss to Henry’s neck. “Change in plans. I’ll draw a bath for you, get you cleaned up, and then tuck you into bed.”
A small smile appeared on Henry’s mouth. “I like the sound of that much better.” He gave Jerrod a squeeze before whispering, “And you’ll hold me when the nightmares come, right?”
Hearing his tough detective’s voice sound so shaky and unsure nearly broke Jerrod’s heart. “Of course, babe. You didn’t need to ask.”