Monthly Archives: August 2015

Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – August 30, 2015

Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group for writers I’ve been privileged enough to have been accepted into.

From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”

This week’s snippet picks up where last week’s left off. Jake has arrived at a house purported to be Marisa’s and found that someone has broken and entered before him…

I considered going to find a phone to call the police, then went inside instead. I pulled the door shut behind me, after a fashion.

The window dressings were the only sign of human habitation in the room. The flashlight’s beam bounced off the ugly linoleum floor and settled on wallpaper that had gone out of style around the same time as the Truman administration.

There was nothing else to intercept the light, unless you counted dust.

The air smelled musty, cut by an undertone of sourness.

A second look at the floor revealed what remained of a set of dried muddy shoe prints. They were oriented straight ahead, through and beyond the doorless entryway that led to rest of the house.

I swept the empty room with the flashlight once more, then followed the tracks.

The entryway let out into the kitchen.

An old gas range rested against the back wall, next to the counter and sink. The refrigerator, rust-stained and dented, stood guard in the right-hand corner, by the mouth of a hallway. The fridge did not hum.

The kitchen had the same linoleum flooring as the previous room and sported more of the same lovely wallpaper. Gray, vaguely rectangular splotches indicated where cabinets had been removed.

A breakfast nook that should have housed a table and chairs completed the room.

The sour smell was stronger in the kitchen. It was a smell I recognized, even though it was stale and mixed with the distinctive scent of a mouse infestation.

I tightened my grip on the heavy flashlight, then found where the shoe prints picked up and followed them down the hallway.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work, and thanks for any feedback you feel so inclined to leave.

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Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.13

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 13.

This is a flash fiction challenge. The prompt is a song. You are not required to write about or even mention the song. It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan. If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;
500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.
Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST. IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!.

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday. You read that right. Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt features the pagan folk stylings of Omnia.

The tune is, “Call Me Satan”.  Here’s a link; https://youtu.be/S3-Yh-nrTps

This week’s Judge is… Me. Again. We’re barely holding on here at the MWBB, getting fewer and fewer entries as the weeks go by. I’m going to keep on Judging until we begin to attract a respectable number of entrants.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday August 28th.

Now… Go Write!!!  Please?!?

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.12 WINNERS

So… with only three entries (again) for Week 3.12, I’ve made the following command decision;

Everyone’s a Winner! All three entries were terrific.

Huzzah for all of you.

Here’s a Badge;

bbster

Thanks to our writers and readers…

See you on Tuesday. I hope a few more of you will show up to write with us!!!

Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – August 23, 2015

Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group for writers I’ve been privileged enough to have been accepted into.

From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”

This week’s snippet picks up where last week’s left off. Jake is at Marisa’s house… or is he?

The racket made by the local cricket and cicada populations covered whatever noise I made stumbling around in the dark.

I switched on my flashlight and had a quick look around the backyard.

Aside from a small patio near the house, and grass high enough to conceal a lost brigade of Japanese soldiers, the yard was empty, just like the driveway had been. No grill, no lawn furniture, not even a trash can. That should have told me all I needed to know about what I’d find in the house.

Should have.

I shined the flashlight on the back of the house. The narrow beam could not get through the blinds on the other side of the long, rectangular window set to the right of the back door. I didn’t do any better at the smaller window to the left of the door.

The door itself felt sturdy enough, even if it didn’t hang straight on its hinges. A closer look revealed cracks in the wood and damage to the jamb.

The doorknob fell out when I tried it. Metal hit the floor inside.

I gave the door a gentle push. It swung open with a creak. The top hinge came away from the frame.

Whoever had broken and entered before me did a lousy job of re-hanging the door on their way out.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work, and thanks for any feedback you feel inclined to leave.

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.12

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 12.

This is a flash fiction challenge. The prompt is a song. You are not required to write about or even mention the song. It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan. If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;
500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.
Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST. IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!.

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday. You read that right. Pacific Time.

***Except… since I fell asleep before posting the MWBB last night we’re going to extend the deadline to MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on SATURDAY***

This week’s tune comes to us from the glorious 1980s. It’s a happy little tune called… “The Bitterest Pill (I Had to Swallow) by The Jam.

Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/aNzPsEAXYPw

This week’s Judge is… me.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT on SATURDAY AUGUST 22nd.

Now… Go Write!!!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.11 WINNER

I was fully prepared to declare Week 3.11 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster yet another null week with only three entries submitted.

Judge Ruth Long would have none of it. She went ahead and picked a Winner!

So speaketh Judge Ruth;

Given the number of entries, I decided to pick one winner. 🙂

Each one of these stories was filled with tension and angst but the devil was in the details. Nick Johns story was slick, polished, and filled with fresh crisp details that stuck in my head like good song lyrics. In short, it’s has a great noir feel that left me wanting more –  much more!

Mazel tov, Nick.

Here’s a Winner’s Badge for you;

bbster

Thanks to all of our writers and readers, and thanks to Judge Ruth Long for making lemonade.

See you all… whenever I get around to posting this week’s challenge.

Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – August 16, 2015

Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group for writers I’ve been privileged enough to have been accepted into.

From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”

In this week’s snippet Jake sets out to find the missing Marisa…

Three of the eight streetlights on Ocean View Court were on duty, blanketing the area with stripes of dirty yellow light and pitch darkness.

I parked at the dark end of the street and found the house on foot.

There was no ocean to be viewed from Ocean View Court.

Marisa’s neighborhood sat on the wrong side of the long spit of land that made up Maryland’s eastern extremities to see the Atlantic. The closest body of water was the Chesapeake Bay, seven blocks due west. I couldn’t have seen that from the street either.

Seventeen Ocean View Court was a split-level ranch with brick and stucco exteriors and large bay windows. It occupied a quarter-acre lot in a cul-de-sac.

I padded up the empty driveway, through the open gate, and worked my way around the the back of the house.

Neither light nor sound came from within. It felt like it had been that way for some time.

Thanks for stopping by to read my work, and thanks for any feedback you feel inclined to leave.

Please be sure to drop by the other Snippet Sunday authors’ blogs as well.

“Dead Rain” – a Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream Writing Contest Entry

“Dead Rain” 

A Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream Writing Contest Entry

***

“I don’t believe in any of it,” growled Cragg.

“Sure you don’t,” replied the Bogey. “That’s why you’re on the mountain, at midnight, in the worst lightning storm this summer.”

Said lightning showed over the treetops and for half a second he saw the Bogey– a small, flitting shadow– by his shoulder.

Cragg’s grumbling faded into a smile. He hadn’t realized how much he’d missed the mountain. He hadn’t been since… well, since.

The smile died.

“Why are we here again? In the rain?”

“You’ll see,” it answered. “This is a Dead Rain. Very rare.”

“A what?”

“You’ll see.”

They made it to a clearing near the top of the mountain. The rain slackened and the wind stirred the clouds enough to admit moonlight.

Drops of rainwater fell from the trees, landing with exaggerated crashes in the underbrush.

“Look!” shouted the Bogey.

A gray, shrouded form appeared in the clearing.

“It’s just a damned haint!” he groused.

Things went quiet for a bit, then the damned haint spoke.

“Just a damned haint?” it demanded.

That voice. Her voice. How?

“Delia?” he choked out.

“Who else did you expect?”

He blinked the rain out of his eyes and took a good look at the haint that spoke with his dead wife’s voice.

“I didn’t expect… anything,” he said.

“Well, hmmph,” it answered.

“Delia,” he said. “It’s really you.”

He felt the bogey’s presence nearby.

“It’s really her,” he told it.

He tried to rush words out of his mouth, words he never thought he’d have the chance to say again.

“Shut it, Cragg,” hollered Delia. “Save it for the next time you see me.”

He shut it.

“I’m dead,” she said, “not you. Quit livin’ like a corpse and move on! Have fun. Fall in love. Whatever. I won’t mind.”

“Oh, Delia,” he said, trembling. “You don’t know…”

“Yes I do,” she shot back, “and seein’ you alive and happy makes it easier. That’s what love’s all about.”

The clouds moved back in front of the moon.

“We’ll be together soon enough,” she continued. “Until then? You gotta live, Cragg!

And then she was gone.

Thunder shook the mountain but it was her words that rang in his ears.

Rain fell anew, washing the tears from his cheeks.

“Ready to go home?” asked the Bogey.

“Not just yet,” he said. “I do love it up here, even in a Dead Rain.”

(400 words)

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.11

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 11.

This is a flash fiction challenge. The prompt is a song. You are not required to write about or even mention the song. It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan. If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;
500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.
Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST. IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!.

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday. You read that right. Pacific Time.

We’re going to pick it up a little bit with this week’s song prompt here at the MWBB.

The tune is… “Don’t Worry Baby”, by Los Lobos.

Here’s the link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tao8rbrnfbc  ***Wordpress is being stupid right now and won’t let the link post as an actual working link. You’ll have to copy & paste it into your browser.***

I hope it works internationally.

This week’s Judge is none other than our own Mortuary Mama… Ruth Long!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday August 14th.

Now… Go Write!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.10 WINNERS

Week 3.10 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is in the books.

Judge Angie Trafford had five great entries to work with.

Here are her decisions;

Boyd Miles – I love the darkness of this one. Even though the darkness was hidden until the final paragraph. It was a very clever story, the managed to hold the interest of the reader.

@ParklandDavid – invitation – this is a very clever piece of writing that leaves you guessing until the very end. I do enjoy a tale that goes on the different direction from the one that you would expect at the beginning of it. Very well done.

@KarenG4ry – shadow dance – I found this one very interesting because I just did not know where it was going to go. At first I thought that it was a story of somebody who had deserted their lover, but then she is told that their husband wants her back. A clever piece of writing that leaves you guessing.

@PattyannMc – the road only bends for the mountain – this is a story that leaves you wondering what exactly happened to the protagonist. All that is left behind are the thoughts of what could have been. When the road finally bends she finds that she has been forgiven. I absolutely love this story, very well done.

@MissBliss – unwise love – we have all been guilty of this kind of emotion. And I am pretty sure that many of us have actually called people up when we know that we really should do nothing of that sort. I really enjoyed the story because it actually spoke to me.

@PurpleQueenNL – this is story about somebody trying to explain why they’d left a marriage and children. This is aimed towards telling a friend, but it turns out the friend already knew what the issues were. (And don’t worry about missed out words, it happens to everybody!) I like this tale, it is very well written.

And so now I have to pick a winner which is actually a very tough choice. However, I think that I am going to go with @PattyannMc because I absolutely loved this tale. The award for second place would go to @MissBliss.

Mazel tov to our Winners!

Pattyann – here’s a Winner’s Badge for you;

bbster

Thanks to all of our writers and readers, and thanks to Judge Angie Trafford as well.

See you on Tuesday!