Remember a few days ago when I announced that one of my short stories was going to be published in Zombie Pirate Publishing’s anthology World War Four? The accompanying graphic stated that there would be a “Special Guest” author’s work included in the project.
Late yesterday (in my time zone), Adam and Sam at ZPP posted a brief video on Facebook (it should play in a new window or tab when you click the link, even if you aren’t logged into Facebook) announcing the author.
It was actually sort of encouraging:
Thank you for submitting “The Demon in the Mask” to *****. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite meet the needs of our *****.
It’s an engaging story, with a satisfying arc, but we feel that it falls more within the realm of Fantasy than Horror.
Thanks for submitting, and best wishes for you and your work.
Still getting that “always the bridesmaid” feeling.
I’m not sure if you can read the image above (click on it to make it bigger), but it came as quite a surprise to me.
I just sent in yet another piece of fiction to a periodical using the Submittable website. Some publishers use this app for receiving stories, while others allow potential authors to send in their tales as email attachment.
I decided to look at my list of other submissions. One was rejected, as I’ve written about before, two are pending, and then there’s this one. In the weeks after I sent in my 404 word story to them, I scoured their Facebook page, but didn’t see any sign that they had published my wee missive. After a while, I gave up.
In fact, I’d forgotten all about Submittable until I had to use it again to send in my now twice rejected short story. At that point, it didn’t occur to me to check past submissions, so I uploaded my file and called it good.
Today, I got curious. When I saw the “Accepted”message next to the title, I was shocked. But when I went looking for 404 Words, they seem to have folded. I found them on Facebook and twitter, but their website is dead, and so is my published story. Everything came to a stop in the Spring of 2017.
“Come on, lover. Don’t be shy. We’ve got the room for an hour. Let’s have fun.”
The money had already changed hands and Angel was lying on the bed with her blouse open and her jeans tossed on the floor.
“Can’t say I’m shy, Baby.” He pulled off his shirt and got on top of her. He’d seen her on a street corner just off of Fremont Street and they settled on a price. She thought he was a dope because he didn’t haggle, but then it wasn’t just money that she wanted, and she certainly wasn’t doing it for the sex.
“Just a little bit closer. Come on. I don’t bite.” She almost laughed because she was lying through her teeth.
It was late when Mikiko Kojima checked into the Four Seasons Hotel at 900 N. Michigan in Chicago.
The building was known as Bloomingdale’s given the shopping establishment’s significant presence, including its name on the structure. It contained some of the most upscale stores in the nation and the rather luxurious hotel in which Mikiko had been booked occupied the 30th through the 46th floors of the building.
There had been a sudden mix up in reservations at the last-minute once unknown government agencies requested that a room be made available for Ms. Kojima’s stay. Accommodations for at least one guest had to be made elsewhere with certain financial incentives added in order for Mikiko to have room 3014 open to her at two hours notice.
Her suitcase had been sent ahead of her, although it wasn’t actually her luggage. A large Louis Vuitton case had been purchased and clothing in Mikiko’s size was bought, packed, and then sent to the Four Seasons and placed in her room. She would seem a more legitimate guest this way since she had left England only with a small handbag and a carry on.
He’d been climbing for hours. Fortunately, he’d trained for it. Seth Minstrel was the first to get this far. He could see the tops of the jagged peaks just above him.
“I’m going to make it. I’m going to be free.”
The air was hot and humid in the valley below, the valley Seth had lived in all his life. It was the valley where generations of his people had toiled as slaves to the ruling MacGregor clan. The people grew the food, and the MacGregor’s and their thugs took half. But without the MacGregors, water wouldn’t fall down the cliffs to the south, allowing their arid valley to produce and sustain life.
The MacGregors said they should be grateful.
“Yeah, right. Grateful. You MacGregor’s have freedom and steal our food, barely allowing my people enough to eat.”
A Martin Fields Time Travel Story
“That was exhausting,” he said in English. “I can’t believe I let you convince me to come here. It’s worse than Disneyland.”
Martin Fields sat heavily on his chair at their table. It was June in Paris and the weather was very pleasant as the sun receded into the west.
“It’s not all that bad, Martin.” NaCumbea sat lightly in her seat as if totally unaffected by the past nine hours they’d spent touring the vast number of stunning exhibits at the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts.
It’s been over forty years and I can still remember her. She’s probably forgotten about me completely, and I don’t blame her. I didn’t make much of an impression.
“What do you think of it, Jeff?” Diane showed me her completed art project. “Think she’ll get first prize in the Senior Art Fair?”
It was our Senior Year in High School. I’d been taking art classes there since I was a Freshman, and she’d transferred from Tucson at the beginning of the year.
“I think it’s great. Is it a self-portrait?”
Sean Becker was working on his third cup of coffee sitting at the counter in the town’s only all-night diner. He thought it would help kill the taste, but so far nothing really helped.
“Want a refill?” The waitress looked tired and bored. The only other patrons in this dump were a couple of truckers pulling an all-nighter.
“Yes. Thanks.” He was careful not to smile too widely at her. She poured more of the bitter brown liquid into his cup.
“Sure you don’t want something to eat? It’ll be morning soon. We serve a good breakfast.” He could tell she really didn’t care. She was flying on auto-pilot.
“Actually I just ate not long ago. I came in here for something to wash it down with.” He started smiling again and then remembered what would happen if she saw too much.
“Suit yourself.” She walked away without another word.
He took another sip. He used to love coffee, even the poor quality java served in greasy spoons like this one. It was finally starting to kill the taste of his meal, but only by a little.