Pre-order links for Eleanor Merry Presents Dark Valentine: Holiday Flash Fiction Anthology (US)
And there’s more:
As you know if you’re a regular reader, three of my stories were accepted in the Dark Valentine Holiday Horror Collection: A Flash Fiction Anthology. What you don’t know is that it’s available for pre-order right now, with auto-delivery to your kindle device on February 1, 2020.
The link above is universal to Amazon, but here’s more:
“Been coming here to Cloverdale for a while now, Taklishim.” Alan Tupper stood in front of the abandoned general store, almost all that was left of the ghost town in southern New Mexico.
“You have been my good friend since you were a boy.”
“I’m twenty-six now and getting ready to get out of the service.”
“I thought you liked the Army.”
“Talking to you every year since that last reunion changed me.”
“You have never taken life unjustly.”
“But ol’ Captain Tupper did.”
Juan’s flight from his native Briviesca to Asunción in Paraguay was grueling, especially after two layovers. He was grateful to find a cab to take him the sixteen miles into the city.
“Senor wants to be taken to the river? No particular place?” What passed for Spanish in this country seemed almost barbaric to Juan.
“Yes, it doesn’t matter.”
The cab driver thought it odd that the Spaniard had no luggage, but Juan wasn’t planning a lengthy stay, or not one the cabbie would understand. As his mind and existence was cast backward, the cab, the buildings, the city itself became increasingly alien.
Tomoe Gozen led her legion of female samurai across the wastelands south toward Edo Bay. It was there she heard of the slaughter that took place of the populations of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture by the hated American Commodore Matthew Perry.
The great houses had been destroyed by so called “gunboat diplomacy.” She and her companions of long acquaintance were well aware of the “Unequal Treaties” that had been imposed upon China in the previous ten years since the Opium War. This would not happen in Nippon, or if it did, then she and her company, a thousand strong, would be dead and never witness the atrocity.
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?
“Bored, bored, bored.” Atlan manipulated the energy projecting into the boiler, cooling the steam. His partner Narangerel stood behind him in the locomotive’s cabin dilating time and slowing matter as they approached Sükhbaatar’s Trans-Mongolian station.
The eighteen-year-old girl looked at the back of her lover’s head. “You always say that, Atlan, but we are still apprentice elemental guides learning our craft.”
“I know.” The water cooled, he turned to her. “I’d just like a little excitement.”
As Narangerel released time and fixed the wheels of the stopped train, she looked out and up. “Atlan!”
From over the Russian border it appeared in the air, lit by the first rays of the sun. It was a man on a dragon, but the wings were made from massive brass rods and gears.
Atlan stared over Narangerel’s shoulder as the gleaming clockwork dragon and the dead engineer began the greatest adventure of their lives.
It wrote this wee missive for the What Pegman Saw challenge. The idea is to use the photograph/location presented by the Pegman as the prompt for crafting a tale no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.
Today, the Pegman takes us to Sükhbaatar, Mongolia.
I admit that it’s been a long time since I participated in one of these challenges. Truth to tell, the steam has run out of me. I’ve encountered a number of personal and professional reverses and it’s left me tired and bored.
It’s true that so far in 2019, eleven of my short stories have been chosen for publication, but as the deadline looms for several more, I feel empty.
The story above is set in the universe I’d like to write my next story in (though it never occurred to me to set it in Mongolia) where people can naturally manipulate the elements as that world’s form of technology. The “clockwork dragon” and his dead (resurrected) rider, the engineer, are actually the beginning of the story, but I don’t have the heart to dive in.
So I created my 150 word introduction, if you will, as an attempt to jump start my creativity. So far it’s not working.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.
As you can see, my copy of Zombie Pirate Publishing‘s latest anthology “Flash Fiction Addiction” arrived, which features my short story “Growing Flowers,” a little steampunkish piece I originally crafted for an online writing challenge. I just found out today that for a limited time only. Amazon is offering US customers 20% discount on paperback copies of FFA, so get ’em while they last.
A terrified Sandoval Carson treaded across rough, ancient stones paralleled by pitted archways and shrouded by overgrown vegetation. The cloister was just ahead, and so, he hoped, his salvation.
Once he had stepped through the dark mirror that had once been a patio window, he was young again, though, he suspected, only here. He had to find the one who could help him correct all his life mistakes.
“Hello, Sandoval.” The voice was behind him.
“Can you help me?” Carson pivoted and then faced himself.
Dark Carson lunged at him screaming, “I’ve always hated you.”
“Me too,” he gurgled, dying.
It’s been a while, but this morning, I decided to contribute to Rochelle Wisoff-Field‘s weekly photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.
The color adjustment of the photo made me feel apprehensive, as if I were looking at a horror film, one where the hero was about to be pounced upon by the monster at any moment. In this case, the monster is himself.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
EDIT: Forgot to add a title and to mention that this is just one of many “Dark Mirror” tales I’ve written over the past few years. Usually, they take a person to their greatest desire or need. It obviously meant something grim in Sandoval’s case.