Archive for the ‘Published’ Category

Since I saw the r/FreeEBOOKS subreddit had made it to the frontpage on Reddit and wanted to jump on that bandwagon ASAP, I thought I’d add  a blog post on all the different ways that my short story ‘Less Of Her’ can be read online or downloaded for FREE!

LESS-OF-HER-240x340

Blurb: For Claudia, Lumi is an exciting new obsession; extroverted, exotic and equally fascinated with Claudia. They have much in common but their secrets will tear them apart. (Science Fiction)

Tags: Science-Fiction, Short-Story, Cybernetics, Body-Modification

Available to read online at:

Wattpad

Smashwords

Or in ebook formats to download from:

iTunes – for Apple Devices.

Barnes & Noble – for the Nook

WHSmiths / Kobo

Smashwords – in Epub or Kindle format

I love feedback and comments, please give generously.

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The Last Communion

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Flash, Published, Stories

 

Written for the Santarium Magazine  weekly 500-word flash competition on Google+, which it won by a tie-breaking vote!. The only prompt for the competition was the word ‘Moon’. This flash fiction is also available to read on Wattpad.

He marvels at the moonlight, cold, blue-silver, as it washes over the congregation below him. The Reverend sways drunkenly, leaning out to look down upon his flock as they swarm around the cathedral’s mighty buttress. The half-full bottle of wine he grasps, clinks loudly against the stonework, drawing a groan of unearthly longing from below. A vile stink pushes him back from the edge. Instead, he sits on the lead roof and stares at the moon, so dead, so barren and yet so beautiful.

 ~~~

The cathedral had never been so full, his congregation swelled as fear of the contagion spread. When medicine and science failed to explain, when the authorities, police and army had failed to stop the spread, the people turned to faith, to him. The irony was, this apocalypse had caused him to lose his own.

Revelations, that’s all they wanted to hear. Now he finally had the audience he had yearned for, how could he refuse?

“The sea gave up the dead who were in it,” his voice echoed over those below him, the pews filled to overflowing, “and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.”

Shouts broke through his words, a commotion near the back. At first, from his elevated position in the pulpit, he thought the old lady was having a seizure or fit. Then he saw her rise up, those unfortunate to be nearby reeling back in horror. He saw the blood running down her chin, her face locked in a lunatic grimace and her hands hooked into claws as she reached for those around her. The plague had found them, even in the house of the Lord, it had found them.

His flock, fled. Pews fell, bodies tumbled, many were crushed in the stampede.

In their time of need, he abandoned them and escaped through the vestry door. It’s heavy oak planks and iron bolts would hold back an invasion but they couldn’t stop the screams, the fists banging with urgency and desperation.

As the screams intensified, the knocking faltered and stopped.

~~~

He’d watched the city die from the cathedral roof. At first the riots and sirens, then the fires, conflagrations that spread and polluted the sky with black smoke, bringing ash rain and blotting out the sun. A vision of hell.

As days passed, his congregation returned. The dead raised their faces up to him with longing as he delivered sermons of hellfire and damnation. They were beyond that.

~~~

The moon; so barren, so beautiful, so dead. Was that such a terrible thing?

The wine bottle is empty, he casts it away, over the edge, and hears it shatter, probably on the upturned face of one of his flock below.

He moves to the edge, vertigo turns the wine in his belly to vinegar. A sigh moves through his congregation, a low growl of hunger and need. How can he deny them?

He steps forward. It feels like flying.

The End

The Cinderella Deception

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Published, Stories

Cinderella-Deception-Cover-SmallI’ve read a bit of Steampunk but I’ve never had a crack at writing any before.

As part of my adventures on Wattpad, I am taking part in the Science Fiction Smack Down (SFSD 6.0). Round 1 requires a 2000 to 5000 word Steampunk fairy tale.

I plumped for Cinderella (obviously) and, I have to say, I am quite pleased with the result.

It should of been a simple shakedown but when Charming’s thugs trashed the Carnival and destroyed Cinders’ beloved carousel she swore revenge. But what’s a girl to do? With only the help of her Godmother and her ugly stepsisters, Cinderella will have to rely on her wits, her engineering skills and her assets

The Cinderella Deception

Legacy

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Published, Stories

durga_indian_goddess

Published in the April 2013 issue of the Aphelion-Webzine.

After millenia living as a cyborg, with only a couple of kilograms of brain tissue remaining of her original body, Meera was tired. She chose to have her consciousness transferred into a flesh-and-blood — and mortal — body so she could return home and die. But even the plans of immortals can go wrong…

Legacy

 

A Digital Orange

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Flash, Published, Stories

orange

Quantum Muse let me get away with it again, this time with a short flash fiction story that I originally entered into the Aphelion-Webzine November 2012 Flash Challenge.

A Digital Orange

The story of a monster and the guilt of performing monstrous deeds.

Paradoxical

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Published, Stories

quantum_babe

Quantum Muse, a webzine  for sci-fi. fantasy and alternative stories, as well as artwork, has published one of my stories in their December edition. QM have an innovative slush-pile system. Writers must review other’s work, three reviews  earns the credit to submit one story. The highest scored stories each month will get read by the editors for publication. I found the feedback I got on my story really excellent.

What is stranger, the notes Jack finds tucked inside his library books, or that he takes their messages very seriously?

Paradoxical

Never Let Go

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Flash, Published, Stories

The October Flash Challenge on the Aphelion-Webzine was very unpleasant.

The challenge was to write a about a capable, likeable character coming up against their worst fear and losing. No Happy ending, no riding off into the sunset. 

My story ‘Never Let Go’ won the challenge but left a bad taste in my mouth. So, I wrote a follow-up story to right the wrongs, or at least to allow revenge. Is this was American’s call Closure.

Never Let Go

Dean swims up to consciousness like a drowning man through murky water. Opening his eyes takes all he’s got, brings him nausea and pain. His head feels sticky against the headrest. He sees the street lights flash by through a rain streaked window, blurred and doubled. Kayleigh is crying in the back-seat.

“Shut that little bitch up!” A man’s voice, unfamiliar, angry.

Dean tries to turn his head but the movement pushes him back under.

###

The doorbell rang just as Dean took his coffee mug to the sink. Susan was beside Kayleigh at the table, breakfast half eaten in front of them as Susan tested Kayleigh on her spelling words.

“I’ll get it,” said Dean.

The hallway was bright with the morning sun. Dean could see a female figure, blurred through the frosted glass of the front door.

“Wendy?” Said Dean, surprised to see his new co-worker at his home.

Wendy’s blue eyes had dark circles, she seemed nervous. She opened her mouth to speak, eyes darting to the left. A figure, unkempt hair, a beard, swung around from his hiding place beside the door and hit Dean between the eyes with the butt of a gun.

###

“You got it?”

Dean couldn’t look at the guy’s face. All he could see was the gun, the cavernous, gaping hole where the bullet would come.

“Create the loans, transfer them to the business accounts. Transfer the money from those accounts to the offshore accounts. Delete the transaction history,” said Dean, repeating back the instructions. Kayleigh sobbed loudly as Susan tried to comfort her, wrapping their daughter in her arms and hugging her close. Susan’s own face was red and puffy, her eyes wet

“Remember, if Wendy so much as thinks you’re trying something, they’re dead,” said the Goon, waving the gun at Dean’s wife and child

Dean nodded and picked up his briefcase.

###

Dean completed the last transfer, hands shaking. Wendy watched beside him as the completion message came up on the screen.

“If he so much as touches-”

“Shut-up!” Said Wendy, her voice a terse hiss. It was the most she had said to him all morning. “Now the transaction histories.”

Dean opened a new form and rubbed his forehead.

“That’s a humdinger!” Said Ericsson from Savings as he passed their desk, pointing at the growing bruise Dean was massaging.

“Walked into a door,” Dean said, his eyes pleading the man to stop, to make conversation, ask questions, anything.

“We’re kind of busy here,” said Wendy, her hand on Dean’s shoulder, fingers squeezing painfully hard.

“Sure, sure,” said Ericsson with a conciliatory shrug. “Be more careful next time, man.”

Dean nodded as Ericsson turned and walked away. Wendy’s painful grip relaxed.

“The transaction histories,” she prompted.

###

The shakes got bad again as they turned into the drive. Dean tried to stifle a sob, stifle the fear. “If he’s hurt them-”

Wendy gave him a hard look. “It’s nearly over. Keep it together.”

Dean could hear Kayleigh’s whimpers as soon as he opened the front door, audible over the TV noise of cartoons. He followed them to the family room. The Goon had his arm around Kayleigh as she sat beside him on the couch. Susan was slumped across the other side. Her nose a bloody mess, her bruised eyes swollen shut and her clothes torn.

Dean was barely aware of the growl building from inside as he lunged forward. The Goon was faster, more practised at violence. The gun hit Dean in the guts, took away his breath. He fell to his knees and tried desperately to suck air back into his lungs. Kayleigh screamed just as the gun crashed down on the back of his skull.

###

Noise reaches him through the static. Tires on a rain slicked road and wind-shield wipers. He’s so tired, almost slips back under again but he hears voices and knows they’re important even though he doesn’t remember why.

“You said, we’d let them go,” says Wendy

“You dumb-. They’ve seen my face. They know you’re with me.”

“You said no one would get hurt.”

“Hey, newsflash, I lied. Now shut-up!”

Road noise turns to the crunch of gravel, the ride gets bumpy, rocks Dean’s head. Black static takes him again.

###

There’s cold air against his face through the open window, the smell of water. Dean tries to open his eyes as the car rocks, someone getting out.

Incoherent words, arguing, a piercing scream and a meaty thump. Then the car rocks again. Dean turns his head, blinks away the red smear in his eyes. The Goon is pushing Wendy’s limp body into the driver’s seat beside him. Blood is running down the side of her face.

“Murder, suicide,” the Goon says, his voice quiet. He’s singing it, over and over. “Murder, suicide. Murder, Suicide,” and the man is grinning like a lunatic.

The door slams, the car moves, tires on gravel, accelerating. A jolt throws Dean against the seat belt, water splashes his face through the window. The shock of cold as the car fills up revives him. Dean raises his head, vision is clearing, thoughts are coherent. If he can get the seatbelt undone he can get out, escape, make it to shore.

There’s a sob from the back-seat.

Kayleigh sits there, her mother slumped by her side unmoving, the water is already around her little waist and it’s freezing. She can’t swim, she’ll never make it. It’s over.

Dean stops trying to undo the seat belt and reaches back instead, takes his daughter’s hand.

“Close your eyes, baby,” he says. “ I’m here.”

The black water is rushing in now, sucking the car down, he sees the panic in her face just before it rises over her.

Down in the dark, Dean can feel them sinking deeper and deeper. The cold makes him numb but he can still feel Kayleigh’s hand in his own. He will never let go.

THE END