Averie

woman in red

© Anka Zhuravleva

Averie lived in her own little world. I mean, a lot of people are introspective and seem to exist in their personal bubbles, but for Averie, it was the literal truth.

Everyone could see her, but the ordinary human brain couldn’t process her specialness, so they didn’t notice her that much. Averie didn’t often notice other people because, well…they were ordinary.

She didn’t really need a bicycle to get around, but occasionally she indulged herself. A bicycle here, the underground there, a bus, a trolley, it was all the same to her.

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The Loneliness Disease

grandpa

From the March/April 2014 issue of Discern – No photo credit provided

Charles felt his forehead calescent and damp. Struggling to free himself from the comfort of his bed sheets, he staggered to the window. Pulling open the blinds, he unlatched and then lifted the frame, letting the cool morning breeze into his bedroom.

A violent paroxysm of tremors accompanied by dizziness seized him, forcing the older man to kneel on the carpet, resting his head on the window sill.

After a few minutes, he felt his temperature go down a bit, and he risked trying to stand. Hesitantly, he made his way into the kitchen and put the tea kettle on. As the water heated, he opened his back door and several more windows attempting to cool his stiflingly warm house.

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Adventures of a Pantser (no, it’s not like that)

I came across this on twitter:

p-vs-p

screenshot taken from twitter

Yeah, that pretty much describes me, or more specifically, this does:

meme

Indiana Jones meme

It’s come back to bite me in the butt more than once.

Okay, here’s the deal. I have the first draft of one novel fully finished, I’m stalled in the middle of the first draft of the second, and several others are in a quasi-state of existence (and I’m terrified of actually beginning the novel editing).

After about the first five chapters of my fantasy novel, I started using the Thursday #writephoto prompts on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo as the motivation to complete one chapter a week. It worked pretty well, and I actually got to the end with the story being semi-internally consistent.

It still needs a lot of work.

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The Tale of Ellie Westcott

outlaw

Mugshot and wanted poster for the outlaw Laura Bullion – found at owlcation.com

Ellie was working on her third glass of Cactus Wine when the stranger walked into Billy Bob’s Saloon. His six-shooter and holster hung low on his left hip as he swaggered up to the bar, but his spurs had lost their jingle. Through the haze in her brain, she figured he was the sort of outlaw or gunslinger who thought he’d tamed the frontier west.

Sam was serving hooch that afternoon and he bustled up to the newcomer next to Ellie.

“What’ll ya have?”

“Whiskey. You got any vittles in this joint?” His attitude was churlish, like the sneer on his lips.

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The First Woman President of the United States

chelsea clinton

Chelsea Clinton introduces her mother, Hillary Clinton, on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (A. Shaker/VOA) )

“You see, Hillary? It worked this time.”

“It should have worked last time, George. Then, I’d have been re-elected by now and have had a second term in the White House.”

“Don’t complain so. Your health is none too good as it is. The strain of the Presidency would have probably earned you a stroke or heart attack years ago, and then Kaine would be President.”

“Even running against Trump, he’d hand him his ass.”

“Don’t be crude. You’ve just become the mother of the President-elect, and all thanks to my behind-the-scenes work.”

“At least Putin couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat a second time and get Trump re-elected.”

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Victorious

summit

© Sue Vincent

Casworon stood at the summit, his booted feet planted on the flagstone, his back, torn crimson cape over tarnished and broken chain mail, pressed against the ancient wall. The battle had been won, but at a terrible cost. The field below was littered with the dead of his foe, Jusveer, King of Zedrov, but so was it with his own dead, except for Arabel. His beloved Queen and wife had been taken during the conflict, by agents of Asluitania who were supposedly neutral.

Now that he had won the right to Jusveer’s lands and retained possession of his own, they would likely hold Arabel to random. No, Asluitania would not be interested in ruling these lands, but they would demand a yearly tribute in gold, oil, and spices. Casworon would have to sign a binding decree to pay annually after his Queen’s return. Plus, even if they had mistreated her, he could seek no vengeance against their ruler, Erembour, the sinister Shadowmaster, such was the nature of agreements with evil.

The Warrior King gazed out over the vastness of the western ocean, pining for his love as the distant barge, just at the horizon, carried her away to dark lands.

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The Last Hunt: A Short Story Review

to be men

Cover image of the soon to be published book “To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity.”

I’m in the process of reading for review the Superversive Press anthology To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity. I plan on writing both an Amazon review and a much more detailed one on this blog when I finish.

But I can’t wait. I’m going to create a wee preview highlighting one of the short stories enshrined therein.

But first things first. Why an anthology about “celebrating masculinity” when so much of what has been traditionally defined as masculine (for good or for ill) has been deemed toxic, not the least of which by third wave feminists and progressives?

Here’s an answer I found in the descriptive “blurb” for the book on Amazon:

Tired of stories about men as bumbling idiots? Of fathers as incompetents? Of masculinity as “toxic”? Tired of misandry? Ready for some real masculine role models? Stories about heroes and men who do the right thing? Stories about real men? The kind that provide for their families, love their wives and children, and make sacrifices. And save the world. A collection of seventeen stories and two essays, To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity pays homage to men and masculinity. Fun. Action-packed. Thought-provoking. Whatever your tastes, you will find enjoyment in these pages.

In other words, as I wrote about here almost a year ago, Not All #menaretrash.

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The Amazing Adventures of Clayton and Julia

hanger

Empty aircraft hangar in Algiers, Algeria – Photo credit unavailable.

“The hangar lacks any conventional aircraft, but then, we didn’t come here for conventional aircraft, did we?”

“Clayton, you’re out of your mind. You don’t even know if it will fly.”

“My dearest Julia, it’s been sitting in this rust trap for over half a century, but I’ll bet my right family jewel this thing will take us to the stars.”

“Don’t call me dearest. I’m your co-pilot, not your girlfriend.”

“Figure of speech, love. Figure of speech.

He liked the way she complained when he teased her, but then his manners with women had always been lax.

“How did you find this again?”

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The Beelzebub

beel

Beelzebub – Found at weebly, pinterest, and multiple other sources – no available image credit

Lethargy had come upon five-year-old Zooey so suddenly that she was hardly able to stand, and the mouse Sapplehenning was unconscious and barely breathing. Mandy was holding her sister close to her, as the elves of Direhaven finished constructing the enormous flatbed cart with which they would transport the disabled dragon Shay.

“I must say Jake, that your dreams are very creative, and I mean that in more than one manner.” The Vizier Wynjeon, consort to Janellize, the Queen of their people clapped a hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“When I found out that Shay couldn’t walk, I thought the wagon would just, well, happen. When it didn’t, I drew a picture in the dirt of what I’d dreamed.”

A hundred sturdy soldiers brave and hardy struggled mightily to assist the great golden dragon onto the hastily manufactured conveyance, as Mandy murmured into Zooey’s ear. “I should never have permitted you to stay, and I’m not waiting anymore. We’re leaving with some of the soldiers and going to Vovin right now.”

“No. I want to stay with Shay.”

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One Child’s Life

rahab

Rahab and the Two Spies – Found at Seeds of Faith website and Pinterest

The strangers with her on the rooftop paused in unison. Before Rahab laid them under stalks of flax in order to hide them from the soldiers of the King, she said, “I know that Hashem has given you the Land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the Land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Reed Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

“When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for Hashem your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, please swear to me by Hashem, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, especially our little children, and deliver our lives from death.”

So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the Land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you. We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the Land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father, and your mother, and your brothers, and the little children, and all your father’s household.”

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