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.

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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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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Friday Short Fiction Club | Stovall Building

After having put my oldest on the school bus this morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to read Stovall Building by Jesse Letterman.

This is a creepy flash about two boys sneaking into an abandoned building filled with dead birds. Every day there are new dead birds…and a few alive ones flying against the windows. I really enjoyed the way the story built. I’m not a fan of birds, all that flapping about and never knowing where they’ll land, so when the boys sneaked around with torches in the dark I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

When the climax came I was a bit disappointed. All that creepiness and then nothing, but maybe that’s just me. If you’re a fan of dried up bird bones crunching under your feet, give it a go!


Book Cover Stovall Building by Jesse LettermanTwo boys explore a second-story abandoned building, which appears to be nothing but a cemetery for dead pigeons. Their excitement keeps leading them back to the place, and then something happens that sends them fleeing for their lives. Do they make their escape?

Stovall Building is a short story from the collection of childhood mystery short stories. Be sure to check out the other ones from this collection as well as the inspirational short story collection.

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Friday Short Fiction Read | Giggles in the Park

Today I’ve been reading Giggles in the Park by Sabrina Childress. It’s just a few pages, flash fiction I would say, but it was interesting. I read ‘social experiment’ in the blurb and thought I should read it, and I did.

Terry is sitting in the park, smiling at people, but no one smiles back. When a boy does, the experiment begins, and he hands the boy a note.

It’s a study in human cruelty.

I loved the idea behind this story, it’s dark and gritty, but I wish the author had slowed down a little. I definitely enjoyed it, but I was a bit confused near the end. Still, an interesting read.


Book Cover Giggles in the Park by Sabrina ChildressWith a raised brow, Terry smiled at himself because this day his social experiment would begin. Will human nature disappoint? What happens when man uses himself as a pawn in his own game?
The questions of what these characteristics are, how fixed they are, and what causes them are amongst the oldest and most important questions in western philosophy.