Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls

The last installment of Two Girls & Some Ghouls. I apologize for making you wait an extra week, but I think you will find the wait was worth it. My story is more polished now. It’s a definite improvement from my draft!

The writing prompt Avery used for this week was to have a ghost in your story. I think Julie was helping me out with that one!! The story meets the word count; it’s over 500 words (but nowhere near the 1000 word limit).

I hope you enjoy what happens between Private Mansfield and Alex! Check out the links below for the other Wednesday Briefers!

wedbriefsmed
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Two Girls & Some Ghouls (Part III)

by

Avery Dawes

Private Mansfield grew quiet, as if he was letting what he’d heard stew in his mind for a bit prior to making any additional inquiries. “And my wife? Is there anything good which you can tell me regarding her life?”

I looked to Steph. Truth be told, his wife had remarried when the war ended. Maybe five or six years after that, she’d died while giving birth to her fourth child, who then passed a couple of days later. Death and more death. Poor Private Mansfield. I definitely wouldn’t be sharing those particular tidbits with him.

Steph shrugged her shoulders, as if to say “I’ve got nothing.” Okay, so this was all me. Hmm, maybe there was some way I could spin it that wouldn’t be so painful. “She missed you very much after you passed in battle, and she made sure to take very good care of your son.” Technically what I told him wasn’t a lie, but definitely an oversimplification of his late wife’s timeline, leaving out the happily ever after (well, happily for a couple of years!) with another man.

The private nodded solemnly, then proceeded to scratch his thin beard. I wondered if he believed me. Was it possible that he saw through my thinly veiled omission? “Very well then,” he said at last. “What about my grandchildren? Can you tell me anything of them? Were you able to find anything about their lives?” Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls”

Advertisements

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.

wedbriefsmed
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

wedbriefsmed
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”

New Release: Earning his Trust

Title: Earning His TrustEarningHisTrust_600x900

Author: Alicia Nordwell

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Sept. 6th

Price: $4.99

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 38,718

Blurb:

Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.

Excerpt:

The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.

Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.

He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.

“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.

Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”

Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.

But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.

Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.

Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.

Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.

In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.

“Teething.”

EarningHisTrust_headerbanner.jpg

Purchase Links:

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/earning-his-trust-by-alicia-nordwell-8830-b

Universal Amazon Link: http://mybook.to/earninghistrust

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/earning-his-trust-alicia-nordwell/1126959085?ean=2940158790324

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/earning-his-trust Continue reading “New Release: Earning his Trust”

Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest

  • Publisher: Mischief Corner Bookscover-discovery
  • Author: Various
  • Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
  • Length: 32K
  • Format: eBook, Paperback
  • Release Date: 7/10
  • Price: 3.99, TBA

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.

The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.

The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.

One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.

At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!

fb-banner-discovery

Excerpt:

Self-Actuating Jenn Burke

“The electrical anomaly did not damage me,” I report. “Operations are within expected parameters.”

“Glad to hear it, Davey.” Through my bridge cameras, I see Captain Landon’s smile. He pats my console. I am sure he knows I cannot feel it, but I understand it is a gesture of camaraderie.

Landon leaves the bridge. Every time we encounter danger or other stress, he retreats to his cabin to indulge in May. She is always ready, naked, legs spread, eager, just as she is programmed to be. I have watched Landon copulate before, but tonight it is…strangely familiar. The flex of buttocks, the rhythm—I know it.

I knew it? I run my diagnostics again, but a moan captures my attention and…

Hands cupping firm buttocks, fingers spearing flesh. Hardness moving inside of me, wringing from me more pleasure than I should know. A beloved, masculine face hovers over mine. A hand encircles my own erection and—

Oh, God, I remember. Continue reading “Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest”