New Short Story – Winters Past

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The sun-tanned door creaked against the weight of his body pressed against it. Trayan reveled in the sight of Mar Denan’s nervous sweat popping out from his forehead; Mar’s eyes bulged as Trayan’s hand found purchase around his throat.

“Didn’t want to die in a desert, did you?” Trayan crooned, her voice low and sulfurous. “Didn’t want to die at all, I imagine. Too much trust in your little talent.”

Mar stared into her eyes, gurgling incoherent nonsense through a compressed throat. The summer sun burned down on them, their shadows pooling around their feet on the crackec clay steps. Trayan leaned in, not bothering to mitigate the pressure of her hand. Tessi filled her thoughts, the little girl from a week ago. The girl who was gone, now. Continue reading

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New Short Story – Ghosts

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As he stood on the porch and waited, the teasing breeze played with leaves overhead and underfoot. Absent in his thoughts, he reached up and rubbed his bare arms as goosebumps prickled his skin. The hint of chill entombed him, drawing contours in the hair on his arms and ruffling the thick brown mop on his head. He stared, distant, his clear blue eyes seeming prophecies of the impending season. A familiar hollowness lay within him, aching, settling.

Another puff of wind, as though something impish were playing with the air. He blinked, and when he opened his eyes again she was there. Continue reading

New Short Story – All Those Yesterdays

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To keep things a little fresh around here while I continue work on Seeds of Doubt, here’s an older short story that I wrote back in 2011. It is part of the Golden Days collection.

All she needed to do was be friendly, that night two years ago. He knew that it was an easy threshold to cross, and she did. Over the course of an hour at a house party, she was perfectly amiable, and stole his heart.

Lee didn’t remember that night every day, but it popped into his head often and unfailingly. Even now, twenty-six months later, he still thought about it at least once a week. He was devoted, heart, mind, and soul, to the girl sitting across the table from him.

Jenna returned his silent smile and sipped at the glass of white wine next to her plate of fish. She brushed back a lock of dark blonde hair, but it only slid back over her eyes after a moment. He covered his amusement by taking a bite of the pasta in front of him.

It was a routine night for them: classy restaurant, nothing too expensive, but certainly nothing that the proletariat would frequent. They were both dressed appropriately; he wore a button-up shirt and a vest over it, with freshly-pressed jeans, and she was in a petite dress of a startling blue. Cloth-of-gold was sewn sparingly through it, throwing off the occasional glint from the lights above and making for a perfect complement to her light hair and crystal blue eyes. Continue reading

A Golden Day – Revised

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In celebration of the news that “A Golden Day” is going to be published this spring in the Greyrock Review, here’s the newest revised version! Enjoy…

 

Days like that were hard to come by. The September air was warm, but held just a hint of autumn’s crispness as it breezed through the multi-hued leaves on trees lining the street. Clouds dominated the sky, but enough sun broke through to illuminate the burnished reds and golds fluttering above.

Mark Yoren could not hold back a smile as he walked down the main road through campus. The weather was perfect, he thought, and did little except remind him of good times, both past and present. The future was all that troubled him, that day.

His senior year was upon him, the first test of the semester was looming, monstrous, scheduled for the next Monday. He and Andrew walked, side by side, and were silent despite the beneficent glow seeping through the husky greys and blooming whites of the cloud cover.

They were thinking about the same thing, Mark knew. Some of the best times they’d had since becoming friends happened on fall days like that. Days back in high school, five and six years ago, sneaking beers into their parents’ basements and drinking, or coming up with the most immature games they could think of. He missed the superficiality of it all. Continue reading

New Short Story – Solitaire

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This story came out of nowhere two days ago. Wasn’t happy with the original title, but I like the new one; the story is inspired by the song “The Islander” by Nightwish. If you don’t know the song or the band, check it out. They’re brilliant.

Grey spray exploded on grey rocks under the grey sky. Drops of sea mist descended, sprinkling through the low mist and tickling the Watcher’s leathery face. Early morning condensation dripped from his full grey beard and hung like tears from the brim of his somber brown hat. He blinked, once, as was his wont and turned away from that never-ending bleakness of salt and foam. It was not the first time he had done so; indeed, it was not the thousandth, nor ten thousandth. This existence tugged at him, hushed whispers present every morning reminding him of lives long past. Reminiscences of true sunrises and warm twilights reared their heads upon waking every morning, drawing him the long miles out to the lighthouse at the edge of the world. It was his to remember, his to regret, and his to watch for whatever might come from over those steely waves. Continue reading

New Short Story – A Golden Day

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This story was a tough one for me to write, for a couple reasons. The first is that, as you might have noticed from the title, it’s one of the central stories to my upcoming collection, Golden Days, Silver Nights. There was a bit more pressure than usual for me to get this one to fit together. The second reason was that I struggled with the theme of it, waffling between a straight nostalgia theme and a more personal one. Thanks to the advice of a man in my hometown, I went with the latter, even though I felt out of my comfort zone trying to write it. It is at his request that I post this story here.

 

                Days like that were hard to come by. The September air was warm, but held just a hint of autumn’s crispness as it breezed through the multi-hued leaves on trees lining the street. Clouds dominated the sky, but enough sun broke through to illuminate the burnished reds and golds fluttering above.

                Mark Yoren could not hold back a smile as he walked down the main road through campus. The weather was perfect, he thought, and did little except remind him of good times, both past and present. The future was all that troubled him, that day. Continue reading

Short Story – Unsweetened

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She wasn’t there, today. I felt the slightest of droops in my mood. I glanced back over my shoulder, through the glass of the door, hoping that I would see her hurrying across the street to get her coffee before rushing to wherever she worked. But no.

I let out a small sigh and got in line, fishing money from my pocket to purchase my own morning cup of Joe. It was Tuesday, after all, and I hated Tuesdays more than I hated Mondays, even. There was nothing like sitting at a desk for seven hours on the second day of the week, hunched over a keyboard, slowly acquiring Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during countless games of Solitaire. Continue reading