Fourteen-year-old Jerry Craft had shoved his mask deep into the back pocket of his dusty stained jeans five-hundred miles ago. He’d scurried into a boxcar at Denver and the inspectors hadn’t found him when they stopped in Salt Lake. Now somewhere in Nevada, August heat scorching him clean, he felt free. “No COVID’s gonna get me.” He suddenly coughed, doubling over and nearly falling from his perch just above the car coupling. Sitting down, his inner demon quieted and let him speak once more. “With Ma and Pa already dead, ain’t gonna let COVID get me before the cancer does.”
I’ve been downloading a lot of digital books that are being offered cost free as promotions lately. It’s a great way to read new material and it’s easy on my meager budget, especially since the libraries have closed (sounds dystopian, doesn’t it?).
Somewhere on Facebook (probably), I found a link to the Eerie River Publishing anthology Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend. Although I’ve written a drabble or two in my time, and have had them published in various anthologies, I’ve never read a drabble anthology cover to cover.
I guess the concept never really appealed to me (ducks as objects by drabble authors are thrown at my head).
And that was how I started reading “Forgotten Ones”. I quickly picked up on each author’s source material in mythology and theology, but they just didn’t seem to float my boat. At heart, I’m a short story to novella writer. I thrive on character development, painting a scene with broad strokes, and then highlighting it with subtle pens and pencils. A 100-word drabble just doesn’t allow for that.
The 48 hour promotional offer of Dark X-Mas Holiday Drabbles: 100 Word Holiday Horror Stories is about to end, and I thought I’d do some checking.
Seems the anthology, which features two of my Christmas horror drabbles, has garnered a whole 10 reviews, 9 of them five stars. The 10th is a one star by someone I suspect doesn’t understand the nature of microfiction, but that’s neither here nor there.
Not the news I had hoped to deliver by now, but I just found out that “Eleanor Merry Presents: Dark X-Mas is now available to pre-order both at Amazon US and Canada for delivery on your Kindle device December 1, 2019.
Here’s the “blurbs” again for the two drabbles I have featured within its virtual pages:
For centuries, the innocent belief of children breathed life into Santa Claus, bringing him into the homes of millions every December 24th, laden with gifts for precious cherubs. But the world changed and children changed, and finally there was too little faith left to keep the old elf going and he expired.
But this year, Santa’s chief servant Alabaster found ten wee ones he could spirit away from their cozy beds at the stroke of midnight in order to supplicate themselves at the grave of St. Nicholas. These children desperately want Santa back, but what horrible sacrifice will they be expected to make to resurrect a very different Santa from what the world has ever known?
Yes, it’s here and I offer photographic proof. I received the book in several digital formats and installed “Unravel” via email this morning. I did get a strange email from Amazon asking me if I wanted to do this and giving my 48 hours to respond. That’s never happened before. Of course, I approved it and BAM! I have another book.
My “drabble” or exactly 100 word short tale “Death Visits Mexico” was just published by Black Hare Press and is available in Unravel: A Crime Microfiction Anthology on Amazon. The theme for the “Unravel” anthology was dark, criminal mysteries, and so I took a tale I’d crafted a few years back and re-edited it to meet the publishing requirements. It’s historical fiction set in 1947 where Jewish private detective Moshe Katz is about to deliver justice to a war criminal in a particularly dramatic way.
Okay, I just received word from the editor that I can now talk about my most recently accepted for publication story. It’s a Drabble, which is a short story of exactly 100 words (no more and no less, and believe me, it’s a tough target to hit).
My wee tale is called “Death Visits Mexico” for Black Hare Press for their Dark Drabbles #5 anthology called “Unravel.” I wrote a somewhat different version of this a few years back, but even though it was short, I still had to re-edit it to make the word count work.
The theme of “Unravel” is dark crime stories, or what I think of as crime noir. Although they would accept up to five drabbles from the same author, I only submitted one due to my recent time constraints. You can expect to see both digital and print versions of the book available this year on September 2019.
You can also find out about Black Hare Press on Facebook.
Time to update my Publications again.