Friday Short Fiction Club | Punishment

Swamp
CC0 Public Domain

Today I’ve read Punishment by jackblankshs and it left me with a Ha! and a shudder.

There is something living in the swamp, several somethings, and at night the Xaphan comes visit…unless he’s locked out. He bites and drinks the blood of the boy in the house, and he feasts on guilty conscience. The dad is the one letting the Xaphan in, it was let in when he was a boy too – it’s just the way it is. Certain things need to be done to keep the creatures in the swamp, it’s just the way it is…

This is a really creepy story. It’s told both from the boy’s and the father’s POV so the reader knows things the boy doesn’t but that doesn’t make the story much cheerier. If you’re a horror fan check it out, it’s perfect for a coffee break.

May Release: A Perfect Murder by A.M. Alley

My May story is out! I didn’t actually publish it on the last day of the month – it’s been out for a whopping three days – but I didn’t have time to write a blog post until now. Since I started working I can’t seem to get anything done, I can’t find a few minutes to write a teeny tiny blogpost. But never mind that now, A Perfect Murder (Murder Games #4) is available through KU.

In this story Vanessa finds herself in a bit of a jam, her game pieces aren’t acting according to plan, and their murders lack the artistic feel she is looking for. There is nothing left for her to do other than showing the guys how a perfect murder is supposed to be staged and executed.

Just like with the previous three tales in this short story series I had a laugh writing it, really, few thing amuse me as much as writing deranged characters. Next month I’m planning on continuing the series with another murder.

If you want to start the series from the beginning (I recommend you do) you’ll find info about Picture-Perfect Murder (Murder Games #1) here.


What to do when your game pieces aren’t performing as you’d planned?

Vanessa Hope deserves the world, people not realising that drives her mad. When she put together a group of players to act out the murders she wanted to see she thought they’d at least appreciate her brilliance. Turns out they’re bunch of useless men who don’t have a clue how to whip up a perfect murder.

It is like they say, if you want something done well, you have to do it yourself. She’ll show them how a real murder is supposed to be executed, and she’ll do it without littering the ground with stray corpses or getting caught.

Friday Short Fiction Club | Naked on the Train

CC0 Public Domain

I just got home from work, dead on my feet, and read Naked on the Train by Tom O’Brien – it made me smile.

It’s just a short short flash that showed up in my twitter feed, doesn’t take more than a minute to read, but it’s a well invested minute.

A man is watching a woman on the train, she is naked underneath her clothes, but he keeps on watching her anyway.

Friday Short Fiction Club | The Undead

I hardly ever read zombie stories, I can probably count the ones I’ve read on my fingers, but this week I stumbled across The Undread by Austin Sirkin. I was trying to get my little one to sleep and was googling horror short stories on my phone. When ‘A Free Steampunk Horror Short Story’ showed up in the search result I started to read – my little girl did not fall asleep during the time it took me to read it.

Richard Darby has his dead mother in a wheelbarrow. Luckily, for him, he doesn’t need to have her there for long. There is some wait but soon he’s let in to see Dr Nebo, a doctor who has discovered how to bring back people from the dead. Richard is a bit hesitant, the Bishop swears no good will come of going against God’s will, but he does want his mother back.

Diana, Richards wife, is less than thrilled to have the Mother back in the house. They have few awkward days and then things really are getting complicated.

I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. I like gore and gruesome, I like steampunk, I’m not that great a fan of zombie apocalypses but this story made me forget that.

 

 

Friday Short Fiction Club | The Call of The Doll: A song rises from a forgotten underground

I just finished The Call of the Doll: A song rises from a forgotten underground by Ryphna St-John.  It was the cover that made me download it and I’ll admit to not having read the blurb until now when I started writing this post. I liked the story but the blurb is far more informative than the story in itself is.

Akazia and Henry are following a call leading them through corridors lined with dolls. They’re there to repair one of them but when they reach their goal things aren’t what Henry thought they were.

I had a few moments of confusion when there was a switch in point of views and then we have my favourite pet peeve – epithets. So when the when the young woman cracked a smile to the apprentice I took a second to wince (yes, I’m a bit crazy when it comes to that) but I liked the plot a lot. I was a bit surprised by the blurb because the tale described there wasn’t the one playing out in my head, but who cares. And the cover is awesome!

The Call of The Doll is a free read.


Book cover The Call of the DollA song rises from a forgotten underground. Two Manikin Engineers are sent to investigate and find the Doll responsible before the call lure innocent bystanders.

The first of my concept Steampunk short stories, The Call Of The Doll is an introduction to the life of the Dolls and the Manikin Engineers.

Created over 50yrs ago by an engineering genius, the original Dolls are a race of mechanical humanoids that can often be mistaken for humans. After creating over a hundred of them, their Creator died mysteriously, leaving his secrets to two apprentices who disappeared quickly thereafter. With the science behind creating living Dolls lost, a group of engineers created the Manikin guild with the mandate to find, repair and study the original Dolls hoping it would lead to discovering their secret.

If you like my concept short story, visit my website www.ryphna.com for more! Or join my newsletter to participate in polls and tell me which of my storyline you’d like to know more about!

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Friday Short Fiction Club | The Detail Man

Today, I’ve read The Detail Man by A.A. Jordan. I downloaded it from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and figured it was a good story to go with my morning coffee.

The main character sells drugs, so did his friend Bay, but sometimes when you sell drugs things go wrong. The MC knows how to keep his mouth shut, Bay did not.

I liked how I was fed information little by little as the story went on. It’s not easy not to give away the end game too soon when it’s such a short story, ten pages, but I think the author did it well. A perfect little read if you just want to be entertained for a few minutes.


Bok Cover The Detail Man by A.A. JordanI sell drugs. So did Bay Reed. The difference between Bay and me: I know how to keep secrets…

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Friday Short Fiction Club | Mud and Brass

I need to read more steampunk, I really do. This week I’ve read Mud and Brass by Andrew Knighton and I really liked how the story unfolded.

Thomas Niggle grew up poor and spent a lot of time hunting for scraps on the river bank. His mechanic skills have helped him advance a little in life but he’s mostly driven by other forces than success. I love how I didn’t know what he was about to do or why before he did it.

I haven’t read anything by Andrew Knighton before and I wouldn’t have read this one either if I hadn’t happened to stumble over it on Amazon. I’m glad I did, I really enjoyed it.


Book Cover Mud and Brass by Andrew KnightonHow far would you go for love, or for justice, or for the perfect gearwheel?

Thomas Niggle grew up a mudlark, hunting for scrap on the polluted banks of the River Burr. One of the countless poor living in the shadows of Mercer Shackleton’s vast factories, he has dragged himself out of poverty using his mechanical skills. An encounter with Gloria Shackleton, the Mercer’s daughter, offers Niggle the possibility of love, but it also offers something else, deep in the heart of the Mercer’s domain.

What hope can the future hold for a boy raised amidst the mud and brass?

A steampunk story of romance, vengeance and twisted technology.

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Friday Short Fiction Club | Oberon Asked

Today, I’ve read Oberon Asked – A Short Story by G. R. Pellio. I’m not normally someone who reads about fairies, there are so many creatures one can read about and fairies comes a fairly long way on my list over preferred monsters/creatures…normally at least. But the cover looked…interesting (LOL) and what was there to lose, really? Nothing.

This is an entertaining, and sometimes a little confusing (at least to me ) (it was all the parenthesis that did it ;)) read about a fairy who has been banished by his uncle. For years he lives next to the damned water heater and steals futures, abilities, and dreams from people he grants a wish. He builds himself up until he’s ready to face his uncle again.

I haven’t read anything by G. R. Pellio before and I couldn’t find any information about them. There is no ‘about the author section’ in the book, no author page on Amazon, and I couldn’t find them on Goodreads either. I wouldn’t mind reading more stories by them but unless I missed some somewhere this is the only one out. It was published on the 16th of April, though, so it’s brand new. Maybe there will be more in the future – I hope so.


Book Cover Oberon Asked by G.R. PellioWhat happens when a fairy makes its nest in a utility closet just off the lobby of a huge corporation? Find out in this short story. Here’s a hint – wishes are granted, but Oberon asks for quite a bit in return.

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A Special Easter Gift | Flash Fiction by A.M. Alley

Coffee and chocolateWhat did you get in your Easter egg? In Sweden we’re celebrating today so the kids have already been on an egg hunt – luckily, for them, there was only candy in their eggs.

While hiding some eggs yesterday evening I got a rather disturbing thought. What if the pieces looking like candy weren’t candy at all? Poor Mike in this flash is in for a nasty surprise.


A Special Easter Gift

With a frustrated groan, Alice dropped the knife on the cutting board. The shape of her squares was all wrong. She’d cut them perfectly, but the texture was off. As soon as she let them rest a little, they lost their sharp edges and looked like they were about to melt. The sides were bulging out, and the bottom grew wider.

She grabbed one between her thumb and forefinger and pressed a little, making it bloat on the top. When she let go, it sagged again. With clenched jaws, she wiped her sticky fingers on her apron.

Chocolate truffles didn’t lose their form so her cubes couldn’t either. If they didn’t look like chocolate, the whole wrapping would be ruined. Checking to make sure her fingers wouldn’t leave smears, she reached for the large vintage papier-mâché Easter egg. She’d bought yellow wrapping tissue paper to put inside along with the cubes.

Glaring at the dices, she wondered what she should do to make them look like chocolate. Maybe she could fry them. If she turned them around and let them get a little roasting surface on each side… No, she’d probably burn them and then it would look like she wanted to invite him over for dinner—she did not want to invite him to dinner.

All she wanted was to give him a surprise.

She tapped her lip, a coppery smell finding its way into her nostrils as she considered her options. The best way to make it look like chocolate was, of course, to dip the squares in chocolate.

While she boiled some water to melt the chocolate over, she started to clean away the pieces she couldn’t use. Where she would hide the carcase, she didn’t know, but she’d think of something. She couldn’t risk the police finding a body with carved out bits anywhere nearby. Smartest would, of course, be to grind it all and get rid of the mince but it was too much work. She’d dump it in the river during the night.

Smiling, she dipped the cubes in the melted chocolate and set them out to cool. It would look lovely. Mike would be so surprised. After last week he probably hadn’t thought he’d see her again, but everyone deserved an Easter treat—he more than most.

She put the woman’s head in a plastic bag. Maybe she should wrap it for him too? No, then he would know. It was better he ended up with meat truffles and then was left wondering where his favourite waitress had gone.

He shouldn’t have given her that tip, shouldn’t have smiled more to her than he did Alice. No, Alice was a woman who deserved all the attention of her dates, and if Mike thought he could take her to a restaurant only to flirt with the waitress, he was wrong.

She’d told him so already.

He might not deserve her, but he did deserve a special gift. While arranging the cubes on the yellow tissue paper, she started to hum. What a great idea dipping them in chocolate had been, they looked perfect!

She scattered some Easter egg and bunnies sprinkles over the chocolate coated cubes before putting on the lid.

It really was pretty, almost as pretty as the waitress had been.

 

Friday Short Fiction Club | Mime

Today I’ve read Mime by J.D. Brink. It was the cover, I saw it and had to read the story. There is something about a white-painted face that makes me think of painful, gory deaths and this story didn’t disappoint on that point. I haven’t read anything by J.D. Brink before but I enjoyed this little nugget. The ending might have been a bit rushed but this is flash fiction, you have to keep the word count down :).

I haven’t read anything by J.D. Brink before but I enjoyed this little nugget. The ending might have been a bit rushed but this is flash fiction, you have to keep the word count down :).

Two mafia-employed men see a mime by their place late at night and think it’s strange he’s there. The mime swears he knows nothing and isn’t there to spy on them but the men don’t believe him. Things happen, then the bloody end comes, and you got to love a mime.

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to read this story but I found it just right as a treat to go along with my morning coffee. It’s free so you have nothing to lose.


Book Cover Mime by J.D. BrinkCrime-noir meets ghost-horror in this flash fiction story. Mobster thugs Pauli and Mouse come across a street clown late at night who seems to know more than he’s telling; maybe too much. But you know the best thing about killing a mime? No one hears him scream. Then again, by the time this story is over, it won’t be him screaming.

This free short-short also includes an eerie new look at the author and a teaser sample from the up-coming book, A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley.

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