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: Just out of Reach

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.

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Just out of Reach

by

Avery Dawes

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.

“It’s got to be soldiers. Scouts, maybe.” Henry frowned. He didn’t like the thought of General Lee’s men commandeering his horses and crops, let alone taking over his house and bedroom. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Just out of Reach”

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”

Playing with Haiku

I’ve been in the mood lately to write haiku. It’s a short, but rewarding challenge. Remember, a haiku poem has three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third has five.

I am by no means a master, but the weather and my surroundings have inspired me. I also Google examples and advice for writing better haiku. Check out this site for more information.

The below haiku was written on Wednesday. It came to me as I was driving to work. I hope you like it. (The picture is mine from November 2014. I thought it was a good fit with the poem.)

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Fog in the valley

Raindrops dotting my window

Cars racing nowhere

Feel free to leave me comments and feedback! There is always room for improvement!

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 – The Newcomers

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!

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

The Newcomers

by

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”

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”

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