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

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

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

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: Close Call

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.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

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).

Close Call

by

Avey Dawes

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

Monday Flash: Swiss Delight

It’s been a while since Avery’s participated in the Monday Flash Fics group. However, the photo prompt this week was too much to pass up!

To avoid violating copyright, I’ll describe the picture and include a link to the group (where you can check out the picture). Here ya go! Link

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The photo is a very attractive dark-haired man standing in front of a tiny stove. He is dressed only in  a shirt and flipflops. There is a pug standing behind the man. There is window to his left and a wooden cabinet to his right.

Oh, the story has to be under 500 words. Think that’s all… Hope you enjoy the story! Oh, I should mention it is NSFW and appropriate for those over 18. You’ve been warned!

Swiss Delight

by

Avery Dawes

Daniel crept quietly from their bed in the loft, avoiding the large beam that supported the chalet’s roof. He really despised the dated studio apartment, but it was all he and Ian could afford in the popular resort town of Verbier.

After climbing down the ladder and visiting the bathroom, he decided to start breakfast. Ian didn’t have to work until later, but Daniel’s job at Credit Suisse required him to maintain banker’s hours.

Monte, their runt of a pug, waddled over, begging Daniel for chow. Bending down, he pet the dog before rummaging in the cupboard for Monte’s food. “What do you think? Am I being an ungrateful prick, jealous of Ian and his ski instructor job?”

He dumped several morsels of kibble in Monte’s bowl. Pushing back the lace curtain, he checked the weather. Sunny. Of course. He’d be stuck inside while Ian would be playing on the slopes.

“It is what it is,” he grumbled, letting the curtain fall back into place. Their hole-in-the wall didn’t have a terrace, or a nice southwestern view. “You wanted to live in Verbier, so get over it.”

Monte barked, apparently in agreement. Daniel shook his head and went back to assembling the ingredients for their breakfast.

When the pug licked his bare leg, Daniel turned. “Oh no, you’ll just have to hold it.” When he’d crawled out of bed, he grabbed a shirt but no pants. His feet couldn’t stand the chilly floor,so he’d slipped on a pair of flipflops.

Monte whined before trotting to the door. He sat down, looked at the door then back at Daniel. “I know you want to go out. You’ll just have to wait.” Daniel returned to prepping the pan for eggs.

A short yap intruded. Monte began scraping the door with his paw. “Geez, you pain in the ass.” Daniel grabbed Ian’s ski parka and held it over his privates. He opened the door and watched as Monte scurried down the sidewalk to relieve himself on a shrub weighted down by snow. Continue reading

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!