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!

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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”

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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”

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: 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”

Wednesday Briefs: Coming Home

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.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Coming Home

by

Avery Dawes

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.”

to be continued…

Be sure to check out stories from these Briefers!

Wednesday Briefs: Bear to Bear, Chapter 2

This week it’s back to Trooper Jared Kingsley and the shapeshifter he managed to hit. Are you reading for the next chapter?? Avery sure hopes so!

This week’s prompt was “Just hold me, please.” I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble spotting it. And, yes, my flash comes in below the 1000 word limit. Yay!

Without further delay…

Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Bear to Bear, Chapter 2

by

Avery Dawes

Coal Carter groaned long and low as his mind slowly returned to consciousness. He lay there—wherever there might be—eyes closed, not wanting to face the drama which awaited him.

Last thing he remembered was being chased by a mountain lion. Normally, whenever he ran across a big cat, they avoided each other. This time, though, the female lion was pissed about something and decided to take her aggravation out on Coal—in his bear form. Damn women.

Rain splashed against his naked body, rousing him further. Guess I’m back in human form. But what’s with all this pain?

“What in the hell…” an unknown tenor voice asked. “Fuck…how am I supposed to call this in?”

Footsteps sounded close to Coal’s head.

He cracked his eyelids. After a moment he was able to take in the sight of wet pavement and black boots. His eyes followed those boots to dark green trousers, fitted snuggly against muscular thighs. Quit checking him out! Tilting his head, his eyes continued their journey. Skip the package, Coal, now’s not the time. Gun belt with an empty holster. Rut roh. He checked the man’s hands. Yep, there it was—a pistol gripped securely in the man’s left hand. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Bear to Bear, Chapter 2”

Wednesday Briefs: Bear to Bear

This week Avery’s back in business…so to speak. She’s finally made time to work on a piece of flash fiction. It is slightly—very slightly—inspired by real world events and a prompt. It will hopefully be a longer series…keep your fingers crossed! Her muse has been hit or miss of late.

This week’s prompt was making an Ozzy Osbourne reference. I’m sure you’ll spot it with no problem.

Remember these flashes have to be under 1000 words.

Bear to Bear

by

Avery Dawes

Rain fell harder as Trooper Jared Kingsley jogged to his patrol car. Nothing like a busy, rainy first day of early shift. Jared despised the dreaded six-to-four, made worse today by bad thunderstorms which tripped several residential alarms, necessitating a police response.

“If I get one more friggin alarm,” Jared grumbled from his dry car. He punched the clearance code into his mobile computer before allowing his head to thunk against the headrest. Nothing like being soaking wet after only two hours of work. He raked a hand through his now-flattened hair.

He’d hit the snooze button one too many times to eat breakfast before he left home. Now he was paying for it—his stomach rumbled loudly, making even the squawk of the radio seem quiet. Jared queried the pending calls for service. “Thank God,” he breathed. Nothing in his area of the county.

No sense in jinxing myself. Jared put the car in gear and turned the wipers on high. He’d head to The Grind, his favorite coffee shop, while the going was good.

As the police radio chatter subsided, Jared decided he needed some good music to help him get through this miserable day and began punching buttons. By the third station, he found some classic rock. Now Ozzy Osbourne was something he could get into. Unless…Jared pounded the steering wheel. Why did it have to be ‘Crazy Train’? That could only be a sign of bad things to come.

Three days ago, Jared had worked night shift. He’d never dealt with so many crazy people in his life. It seemed like the calls for suicidal and mental subjects kept coming, one right after the next. Maybe, he told himself, you shouldn’t be complaining about running alarms in the rain. At least you don’t have to talk to anyone, and you definitely don’t have to pretend wearing a foil helmet works to keep aliens at bay.

He had to chuckle at that. He’d been dispatched to a man wielding a shotgun, who claimed aliens had just landed in his backyard. When the dispatcher asked for details, the man quoted several lines from Men in Black. While Jared had enjoyed that movie, it wasn’t one he watched over and over. When he turned into the driveway, he hoped the man wasn’t wearing an Edgar suit—and that he’d put down the shotgun. He got lucky in one respect—the man was buck-ass naked, with the exception of his foil helmet and his shotgun. It took several minutes before Jared could convince the man to put down his weapon. Once he did, Jared didn’t waste any time. He placed him in handcuffs and helped him into the back of the ambulance for his ride to the hospital.

“What a loon.” He chuckled again.

His computer beeped—he had a message. He kept one hand on the wheel and typed with the other, dividing his attention between the road and the text. Thankfully, this backroad was fairly empty given the bad weather and the fact rush hour had come and gone. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Bear to Bear”