According to Russell Newquist, here’s generally what we can expect from Superversive Fiction:
From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker
I can’t believe that kid Artemus knew all about this. Of course, because he’s a vampire, he may be a lot older than he looks, so “kid” might not be accurate.
We spotted each other about the same time in a public library branch in Las Vegas. I was browsing the stacks while he was surfing the web on one of the library’s public access computers.
Spotted might not be the right word, since appearance isn’t a very good indicator of our kind. It was like there was something in the air, more like a vibration than a scent. The last time I had this feeling was when I was in the presence of Moshe Cohen, the vampire who had created me. I didn’t know what that feeling was at the time, but the second I locked eyes with Artemus, I knew. So did he.
I was shocked and just stood there staring, but he got up and walked right up to me.
“Hey, brother. Why don’t we step outside and have a chat.”
“What the recipient of alms does for the donor is greater than what the donor does for the recipient.”
–Vayikra Rabbah 34:8
Less than a year ago, Eddie Scholl had been living on the streets. When he saw the old man in the torn olive green coat and rainbow stocking cap standing on the street corner on a freezing November morning, holding a sign saying “Anything helps”, he reached for his wallet.
His last five dollar bill. He could use it to buy breakfast. Instead, he gave it to the old grey beard.
“Bless you, brother. Bless you.”
“Glad to do it, friend. Take care.”
Eddie walked on with the old gent still calling after him, “Bless you, brother. May God bless you.”
“Admit it. You voted for Donald Trump. I know you did.”
These were the first words Colton heard as he woke up. Angelique was pointing a .45 caliber handgun at his face.
“Wait. What? What are you talking about?”
Angelique and Colton lived in a four bedroom flat on the second floor of a building in San Francisco’s Richmond District along with two other “flatmates.” The election was a week ago. It seemed like the City, Oakland, and several other Bay Area communities, along with major population centers across America, were burning figuratively and literally with hate and fear over a Donald Trump win and what everyone thought it would mean.
“God damn you, Colton, how could you? I thought we were friends.”
Colton’s head had cleared thanks to the sight of the firearm pointing at him from less than three feet away. “What the hell are you doing with that thing, Ang?”
Adam and Sarah Hartley cautiously began their descent into the tomb. The illumination from their flashlights revealed the ancient stone steps leading down into the darkness and into history. They also believed they were being led downward into the ultimate enlightenment.
The Hartleys were the world’s most famous married Biblical Archeology team. Well regarded by both other archeologists and Christian researchers, they were credited with several important finds between 2020 and 2045, including the true burial-place of the Apostle Mark. It was long supposed that his body was stolen from Alexandria in a barrel of pork and was put to rest in the city of Venice, but the Hartleys discovered a codex that revealed this to be a ruse. The following year, they located the remains of Mark in his original tomb on the outskirts of the modern Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Now, Adam and Sarah are in Egypt again, this time investigating what could be the most important find of their careers. If the scroll they had discovered and translated last year was right, it would be the most significant discovery of the last two-thousand years: the true final resting place of Jesus Christ.
Ed left church just as the service ended and headed to the nearest liquor store. He didn’t wait until the ushers came along to release people row by row. He didn’t wait until the Pastor was ready at the door to shake hands with each parishioner as they left. He just left. He needed a drink.
Ed Tillman, 44 years old, divorced, behind in his child support, absentee Daddy to 16-year-old Tiffany and 12-year-old Johnny. Yeah, his life was messy, really messy. One of the other Postal Carriers he worked with said he needed to find God. His friend Mark told him God could be found in church.
Ed was desperate enough and dumb enough to believe him.
As Ed pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall off of Meridian Road, he was still trying to figure out if God ever went to that church.
Oh, the people were polite, they were descent, they all got along. They went to the same picnics, attended the same Wednesday night Bible studies, and some even went on vacations together.
They were all so nice and squeaky clean. Ed wasn’t anything close to that. If God requires that you put on a suit, shake hands and introduce yourself to the people around you in your pew, and sing a bunch of really boring songs, then maybe God didn’t want Ed to find Him.
Standing in front of the display of the different brands of Vodka, Ed opened his wallet and checked how much cash he had left. Just barely enough. He’d memorized the price of a cheap 750 millimeter bottle including sales tax.
“How’s it going, buddy.” The guy behind the counter must have been about Ed’s age, maybe a little older. Long, dirty blond hair, ragged beard, tattoos on both forearms disappearing under his shirt sleeves, definitely not squeaky clean.
“Not bad.” Ed looked around. “Business is slow.”
“Yeah, no shit. You’re my first customer.”
So I was on the writing subreddit and I found a link to something called 404 Words which all short story writers should start paying attention to, especially if you are looking to get published with the possibility of winning $200.00 USD.
They are accepting fiction story submissions until September 1st (I know, not much time left). All accepted stories will be published on their site, and the author of the top submission wins $200.00.
The contest is international so anyone in the world can enter, however all stories must be submitted in English.
The other trick is all submissions must have a word count of no more than (you guessed it) 404 words including the title. Click the link I provided above for the rest of the details.
I just thought I’d throw this out there in case any authors visiting my blog have a short fiction story 404 words or less ready, or you can put one together very quickly (actually, they’ll accept up to 3 submissions per person).
Just spreading the love. I submitted one story already and I’ve got five more days to decide if I want to write one or two more.
Cheers, and if you submit a story or stories to them, good luck.
And he prayed to the Lord and said, “Please, O Lord, was this not my contention while I was still on my land? For this reason I had hastened to flee to Tarshish, for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, with much kindness, and relenting of evil.
And now, O Lord, take now my soul from me, for my death is better than my life.” And the Lord said: Are you deeply grieved?
And Jonah had gone out of the city, and had stationed himself on the east of the city, and there he made himself a hut and sat under it in the shade until he would see what would happen in the city.
Now the Lord God appointed a kikayon, and it grew up over Jonah to be shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort, and Jonah was overjoyed with the kikayon.
Now God appointed a worm at the rise of dawn on the morrow, and the worm attacked the kikayon, and it withered.
Now it came to pass when the sun shone, that God appointed a stilling east wind, and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, and he fainted, and he begged to die, and he said, “My death is better than my life.”
And God said to Jonah; Are you very grieved about the kikayon? And he said, “I am very grieved even to death.”
And the Lord said: You took pity on the kikayon, for which you did not toil nor did you make it grow, which one night came into being and the next night perished.
Now should I not take pity on Nineveh, the great city, in which there are many more than one hundred twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and many beasts as well?
-from Jonah chapter 4
And Jonah replied to the Lord, “Did the kikayon sin against you and against your people Israel as did the people of Nineveh? Their sin was very great and yet you forgave them and they live. What did the kikayon do to live one day and then die?”
And God said to Jonah; “Consider the words of my servant Job: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Are you greater than my servant Job who suffered severely at the hands of the Satan and yet did not lose his trust in Me?”
“I see you received excellent marks on your overall training evaluation, Mr. Collins.”
“Yes Ma’am. Thank you.” Brad Collins was standing in front of his section chief’s desk on what he hoped was his first official day on the job. She had a reputation for being strict and pulling no punches, so needless to say, he was a bit nervous. But he needed this job. Actually, he’d wanted this job ever since he was a little kid. Being here was the culmination of a 20-year-long dream. Now if only the dream would come true.
“You can address me as ‘Ms. Nash’ or ‘Chief Nash,’ Mr. Collins.” Nash’s expression was stern as she stared at him through the thick lenses of her glasses. It was rumored that her expression almost never changed, at least during work hours.
“Yes, Ms. Nash.” He stood ramrod straight in front of her desk as she carefully turned the pages in his final evaluation report.
“You signed your loyalty statement this morning, I see.” Nash didn’t bother to look up when she addressed him.
“Yes, Ma…Yes, Ms. Nash.” The loyalty test was one of the most challenging examinations to pass, not because of any physical or intellectual difficulty, but because it was so hard for most people to purge all possible tendencies toward disloyalty. Duffy, Brad’s first instructor, told him that most applicants were denied employment because of this, even if they passed all of the other exams.
“Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence[.]”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson on twitter
The sting was a part of a statewide effort from the Washington State Patrol and local law agencies around the state. Detectives posted an ad on craigslist titled “New to Spokane. Young fam fun.”
“We used a number of different personas in ways where we went out and talked to people who wanted to do bad things to kids,” said Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez of the Washington State Patrol.
In all, detectives said they got more than 1,000 replies to the ad. One of those that allegedly applied was Robert Dahms.
Court documents allege Dahms replied “I love young, I don’t care how young,” to what he allegedly thought was a mother offering her six and 11-year-old girls and her nearly 13-year-old son.
“Child sex sting arrests ‘terrifying’ to Spokane parents”
“Dr. Olsen, you are a board certified expert in the areas of sexual orientation and sexual identity, is that correct?”
Deputy Public Defender Sheila Grey Allen slowly walked toward the witness-box as she casually referred to her notes. Her manner was practiced and even to the casual eye, she gave the impression that she knew the answer to every question she asked, which, in fact, she did.
“Yes, that’s correct.” Benjamin Olsen, Ph.D in Psychology, was a professional expert witness who traveled all over the country at the request of various legal offices, in order to render his testimony, however, this case promised to be a landmark if the jury could be swayed to look at the evidence in a certain way. The talk show circuit would beckon Dr. Olsen, and lucrative book deals were most assuredly waiting in the wings.
“Have you had an opportunity to examine my client,” Allen subtly indicated the man with the receding hairline dressed in the yellow jailhouse jump suit seated at the defense table behind her, “Jesse Martine?”
“Yes I have,” Olsen responded calmly belying his internal excitement. “I issued my report last week.”
“Note that Dr. Olsen’s report was admitted into evidence yesterday afternoon,” Allen addressed the bench.
“So noted,” the bench replied.
“On what evidence do you base your report’s conclusion, Dr. Olson?”