Spire

satellites

Image: BusinessNews.com.au

From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod

“Spire destroys four small satellites from Cygnus.”

Normally, I wouldn’t care about headlines like this at all. Spire is a small band (probably) of rebels and revolutionaries who not only dislike the Consortium, but actively fight against them, usually by sabotaging their holdings in the Outer Regions. Cygnus is a subsidiary of the Consortium that produces and distributes automated spacecraft for colony worlds or planets newly joining the Outer Region.

Thanks for joining me. I’m Camdon Rod, the owner and operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. My co-pilot and engineer is the original Ginger, who just also happens to be the ship. No, she’s not AI. About fifty years ago or so, she was caught EVA outside the Regret when it spontaneously jumped through hyperspace.

Ginger’s flesh and blood body didn’t survive, but everything else important about her fused with the freighter. Although she can manifest as a warm-blooded woman for certain periods of time, she is the heart, soul, and personality of the ship.

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Excerpt from “The Dancer: A Time Travel Thriller”

I wrote The Woman Who Fell Into Time as the prologue to an as yet untitled novel or novella that would include as the first chapter the contents of The Day I Discovered Time Travel.

Since then, I expanded “Discovered” and changed the title of the chapter/short story to “When Jason Was Three.” I’ve also written a draft of Chapter Two called “The Dancer” and I have a story idea for a third chapter tentatively called “The Sins of Their Fathers.”

Additionally, I’ve written a short epilogue, which you don’t get to see because of the plot twist it introduces.

However, I thought I’d post an excerpt of the Chapter Two draft just for giggles. Happy time traveling.

the dancer

Image: Stock Photo – Colourbox

Bennie Williams was called the Dancer for two simple reasons. The first is that he was famous at all the local clubs as the best couples dancer to emerge for the last twenty-five years, a fact that made him a few bucks and very popular with the ladies. The other is that Bennie had been “dancing” in and out of trouble, managing to avoid most of it for that same twenty-five years.

But the Dancer was getting old and slowing down and trouble was catching up.

Bennie was a con man, a hustler, a cheat, and a thief. It’s really amazing he’s gotten this far, but that was the thrill of being the Dancer, taking the risks and getting away with it most of the time. Tonight, he’s about to discover that the Dancer only has a few steps left, especially if Johnnie B’s enforcers catch him before he can dodge away.

“Down the alley.” Bennie was out of breath. At forty-seven, he couldn’t run as long as he used to. The alley was dark and it was a dead-end, a lot like how most people saw Bennie’s life. He’d had a good run. He liked the money that came with cheating the cheaters, and liked it more that, up until now, they couldn’t pin anything on him.

But the Dancer’s luck had finally run out. He could hear them coming. He wasn’t going to get away with being roughed up this time. “Damnit!” Bennie tried the first door he came to. Locked.

So was the next one.

“Give it up, Dancer.” They weren’t bothering to run after him now. Tito and Little Mike (six-foot, three and over 300 pounds of Little Mike) knew they had him. “Let’s just take it easy. All Johnnie wants is his money back.”

“Like hell.” Bennie tried another door. It didn’t give. Just one more a few yards further down on the other side.

“C’mon, Dancer.” Little Mike sounded like a cross between a chainsaw and the grim reaper, and the Dancer knew the grim reaper part had a double meaning. “Make it easy on yourself.”

“Easy my ass.” Fourth and last door, locked, but…

Tito and Little Mike thought the Dancer had hidden himself in the shadows but when they got to the doorway he’d been standing in…

“Gone.” They tried the door. Locked. No way he could have gotten in or run farther down the alley without them seeing him. He should have been backed into the dead-end. He couldn’t have doubled back. He’d have to have run right past them. “How the hell?” Tito was suddenly a lot more worried about himself than he was about what had happened to the Dancer.

Excerpt from “When Jason Was Three: A Time Travel Thriller”

I wrote The Woman Who Fell Into Time as the prologue to a novel or novella that would include as the first chapter the contents of The Day I Discovered Time Travel.

Since then, I expanded “Discovered” and changed the title of the chapter/short story to “When Jason Was Three.” I’ve also written a draft of Chapter Two called “The Dancer” and I have a story idea for a third chapter tentatively called “The Sins of Their Fathers.”

Additionally, I’ve written a short epilogue, which you don’t get to see because of the plot twist it introduces.

However, I thought I’d post an excerpt of the Chapter One draft, a part you haven’t read before, just for giggles. Happy time traveling.

the well

The well

He climbed down the well again, but where and when he ended up wouldn’t be an accident and it wouldn’t be random. It wouldn’t be well planned either.

Three-year-old Jason was trying to be sneaky, but he didn’t have to be. His brother Mark was totally absorbed in watching some show on Cartoon Network. Now was Jason’s chance to go get Dad’s gun and show it to Marky.

He tiptoed into Dad’s bedroom. It was kind of scary because it was so dark. Jason walked up to the night stand and opened it. Yep. There was Dad’s gun.

Jason was surprised at how heavy it was. He could barely lift it and point it. Then he turned around and saw the man.

Twenty-two-year-old Jason wasn’t at the bottom of the well anymore. He was in Dad’s dark, dreary bedroom and little Jason was turning in his direction. He saw the little boy barely had a grip on the handgun. “Put that thing down, kid” were the first words out of adult Jason’s mouth. They were also his last.

Little Jason yelled at the stranger who was suddenly in front of him. The gun went off. Jason dropped it as the man grabbed his tummy. There was blood everywhere!

Kindle Book Review: “Spectrum, A Sci Fi Thriller”

spectrumI just finished reading Aidan J. Reid’s new short story Spectrum, a Sci Fi Thriller (you can find out more about it at his blog).

While it advertises itself as a thriller, from the very first sentence, I got the feeling I was reading a horror story (spoiler alerts throughout–you have been warned). A mysterious medical outfit is offering the homeless money and opulent living conditions in exchange for them volunteering for human experimentation of different products.

We never learn out protagonist’s name. Just that she’s a 26-year-old homeless woman with an alcohol addition. Apparently she, along with others off the street, qualify as test subjects for rather ill-defined experiments, ill-defined until the “treatments” are actually applied.

The majority of the story is a set up to the actual procedure and aftermath on her eyes. From what she describes, the reader will have a fair idea of what was done with her, but to her, it was still a mystery.

I was engaged in the story to nearly the very end. Her eyes had been changed. True, she’d been alienated from most of the other patients except for Tyler, but she was hopeful not only that her sight was restored, but that the people who used her as a test animal, BioLuminary, were to actually give her a job, not requiring that she undergo any more medical procedures.

For her, everything seemed as if it were looking up. For the reader, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And drop it does. In fact, it’s so abrupt that I was shocked right out of my involvement in the narrative. Wait a minute. What happened?

Only vague references to “reptiles” and the poor woman’s all too sudden suicide.

Aiden really had me going up to this point. By page count, I could tell the story was about to end, but it ended in a way that left several points completely unresolved.

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