Friday, November 29, 2013

"New Dreams" by Annie Turner (Novelette)

Genre:  Western

Type of Short Story:  Novelette

Summary:  Book 3 of the Nathaniel Porter trilogy.

Nate Porter thinks his luck might have finally changed when a mysterious woman decides to buy some of his mustangs. In an effort to learn more about his beautiful benefactor Nate discovers that they have mutual acquaintances... none of them good. Nate realizes that he must face the demons of his past in order to save his future and the woman he loves.


Consciousness slowly peeked into the dream. Nate squeezed his eyes shut and tried to capture just a few more moments with his wife. He missed her so much it hurt sometimes. And he hated the fact that she was becoming more and more of a foggy memory. He remembered the essence of her more than specific details.

Even more acute than missing his wife was an unending sense of loneliness. He had his friends with him to help run his ranch but he was still their boss. An invisible barrier always lay between them to maintain order. Nate hoped he was never put in the situation, but if he had to he would make decisions based on the good of his business. More than one livelihood was at stake.

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Loving Scarlet" by Fritz Douglass (Flash Fiction)

Genre:  Drama

Type of Short Story:  Flash Fiction

Complete Story:

The island on the far side of the passage was thickly wooded and dark in the night save the glow in the windows of the houses along the shoreline. It was late in August. There was a light westerly wind and the clouds that had plagued the day were long gone. Beside him on the balcony overlooking the water the girl kept her hands tucked under her arms. He said to her, “See how the sun shines on the moon and then from the moon on the water?” and he took a long sip of wine thinking You fool. Why must you always teach?

“Yes,” she said, “on the ripples. How many do you think there are?”


“Yes, that we can see.”


“Not billions?”

“Probably billions.” He looked at her wineglass on the balustrade. The glass looked in danger in the wind. You have no idea, he said to himself. You don’t talk to her in how many years and now you are with her and there is an uneasiness and you think it is something. He looked over at her not moving his head and it suddenly struck him she was a woman of nearly thirty years and not the girl of sixteen. He saw her eyes were on the water and the play of the rippled light was on her eyes. He said quietly, “Scarlet.”


“I thought about you, all these years. I think about you.”

“I’ve thought about you too,” she said lightheartedly and her eyes stayed on the water.


“Please don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Say things that are not true,” and her eyes had not moved. But it is true, he thought. I never embellish. The only lies I tell are understatements. He said, “Your birthday is April first. Your favorite color is yellow, because it reminds you of summer.”

She laughed. “How do you remember that?”

“I just do. I remember a lot.”

“Your birthday is November …”

“December fifteenth,” he said and wondered if this meant she did not love him.

“December fifteenth,” she repeated passively. She was standing to his right and she turned to the right and looking inside at the party said, “I’m pretty chilly.”

Alone on the balcony he peered down at the wide river of water moving through the passage. The moon glimmer on the water acted as a charm and he saw Scarlet spread across the water as he had seen her spread across his bed on a night years ago. When you were eighteen, sixteen seemed old enough, he told himself. Now you see her out there as a girl and you feel ashamed looking at her. But you will die with this. He took up the wineglass she had abandoned on the balustrade and he tilted it to his mouth and tasted the cool glass and bitter drops.

What is it, man?” said an old friend. They were at the table with the food and the punch and the bottles of wine. James kept peeking at Scarlet on the far side of the room. The man she was talking with touched her elbow. She was smiling. “I’m sorry,” James said.

“You look lost,” his friend said.

“I think I am.”

“You know it happens all the time.”

“What’s that?” asked James.

“I mean, it’s boring—you not being over Scarlet. How long were you guys a couple, like two months or something?”

“Excuse me.” James got up. In the bathroom he washed his hands and then dabbed his face. Scarlet was at the door when he opened it. Their eyes met for a blink. “I have to go,” she said. “It was nice to see you.”

“You too.”

“Walk me to my car?”

Out by her car she said, “I should be in bed and asleep. My flight leaves really early.”

“I'm sorry.”

“It’s my fault. It was good to see everyone.” He went to open her door. She touched his hand. “James, if what you said is true, if you’ve really thought about me over the years, what have you thought?”

“That I wished I knew you," he said. "Every day I regret what did not happen between us.”

“You took my virginity. What else did you want?”

I love you, he thought. I love you. Let me kiss you. Let me tell you.

“Goodnight,” she said and opened the door. She got in. He stood there feeling a calm like still air.

The long driveway was narrow and tunnel-dark under the tall evergreen trees that leaned over it. She drove fast up it and onto the road. You are a liar, she thought. Have I thought about you? Of course. Ten thousand times. But you hurt me once. No man will ever hurt me more than that. Who are you, James? She wanted to go back and ask. Yet she had to get to bed. Her flight departed incredibly early. “And we never really knew each other,” she said softly to herself. “What I feel cannot be love.”  

Read more by this author on his blog.

Friday, November 15, 2013

" The Collector" by Terri Wallace (Short Story)

Genre:  Horror, Southern Gothic

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  When ten year old Junie Rae Campbell wakes up in the parking lot of a seedy motel, and her mother is found dead inside, she has no choice but to go with the social worker who comes to collect her and take her to the tiny, sun-baked Oklahoma town of Crankston’s Landing to live with Granny Enid. But when lies and lechery threaten Junie and the people she has latched onto, secrets are exposed, untapped abilities reemerge…and a weapon for vengeance is born.


I started collectin' secrets when I was just ten years old. The summer I went to live with Granny Enid, I collected a lot of secrets. Been collectin’ them ever since. It took me a while to learn the power of secrets. Not havin’ secrets yourself, of course, but knowin' someone else's. It's like carvin' out a piece of their soul and carryin’ it around with you. You can either choose to keep it safe, or you can tear it to pieces and scatter it to the winds—your choice.

The first few secrets, I kept. But some secrets are too big to keep; they spill out no matter how hard you hang on to 'em. One of these took hold of my Mama--that's why they sent me to live with Granny Enid. The secret took root inside her and devoured her. When it was finally through with her, she was dead in a motel in Memphis, and I was found asleep outside in her idling car.

Granny Enid didn't want to take me in at first. I’d never met her before, and the social worker really had to work at her to get her to agree to it. I thought it was me—maybe she thought I was bad luck or jinxed or somethin.' But it wasn't me; it was just one of those secrets that I didn't know about until much later. Granny was right, though. It would've been better if I had never came to stay with her.

Buy this story on Amazon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"The Cabbie" by Kirstyn (Short Story)

Genre:  Supernatural, Suspense

Type of Short Story:  Short Story


"You ask too many questions. I'm not what you need to worry about right now. Listen, in about 5 minutes, a man is going to come out of that Mexican restaurant across the street and I want you to follow him. Take these cothes and put them on, and follow him on foot. And whatever you do, do not take your hand off your gun. One mistake, and it's your life."

Read the entire story here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Deception" by Brad Maynes (Short Story)

Genre:  Fiction

Type of Short Story:  Short Story


He closed his eyes and concentrated on the one fact he couldn't ignore. The darkness. The darkness that is Connor Brice, or Simon would say. Something inside of Peter was yelling out to him and that voice urged Peter to take drastic action soon.
Check out more work by this author on his blog and website.