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Flash Fiction Friday Number 12: The Unwanted

Hey guys. Welcome to another edition of Flash Fiction Friday.

This week’s offering is something a little different. I’ve never written much in the way of westerns. With the exception of the Lonesome Dove series, I haven’t even read much. Still, I thought I’d challenge myself by writing a story in an unfamiliar genre. So, without further ado, I call this one…

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The Unwanted

The flaming twig briefly illuminated the bounty hunter’s craggy face as he used it to light his cigarette. Once again the bound figure sitting across the fire from him begged for his freedom.

“Please, you don’t have to do this. My family has money. I can pay you whatever you want.”

“You know what it says on your wanted poster?”

“How the hell should I know? I didn’t even know I was wanted ’til you showed up and arrested me. You could have at least waited and let me get my money’s worth from that girl.”

“It says dead or alive.” The bounty hunter said, ignoring his captive’s complaint.

“So?” The prisoner said, sulking.

“So if you don’t shut up, I may just decide to take the quieter option.”

The prisoner stayed quiet for about a minute before he resumed his begging.

“I ain’t even done nothin’ wrong.”

“Ain’t for me to decide. That’s the jury’s job.”

“I don’t stand no kind of chance with a jury. Soon as they find out I rode with them boys, even for a little bit, they’re gonna’ be callin’ for my head.”

“Then I reckon you made your bed when you started ridin’ with ’em.”

“Hell, I didn’t know who they was at the time. Once I figured it out, I got away soon as I could.”

“Well, maybe if you tell the jury that, they’ll let you go if you testify against ’em.”

“Ain’t no way I’m doin’ that. The jury might hang me, but that ain’t nothin’ compared to what they’ll do to me.”

The sound of approaching hoofbeats drifted across the prairie and the prisoner jumped up and tried to run. The bounty hunter yanked on the rope attached to his legs and he fell on his face in the dirt.

“Now where do you think you’re goin’?”

“Please. You gotta’ let me go. That’s them comin’ for me. I’d know the sound of that gimpy horse of Dave’s anywhere.”

“You sure about that kid?” The bounty hunter asked as he stood up and brushed the dust from his trousers. Without waiting for an answer, he checked the loads in his pistol.

“Yes! Let me go or they’ll kill me.”

“Just lay there in the dirt and let me take care of this.” The bounty hunter said, holstering his pistol.

As he did, three figures on horseback emerged from the darkness. Their faces half-covered with black handkerchiefs turned brown with dust..

“Evening boys.” The bounty hunter said. “Coffee’s fresh if you want a cup.”

“We ain’t here for coffee, Old Man.”

“Well then, I don’t know what else I might be able to help you with.”

“We’re here for him.” The leader said, pointing to the whimpering lump on the ground.”

“‘Fraid he ain’t for sale.”

“I didn’t say nothing about buying him. We’re just gonna take him.”

“Well, son. I got a bit of a problem with that.”

“I don’t give a da…” The outlaw started to yell before he was cut off by three loud gunshots followed by three thuds as the outlaws fell from third mounts.

The prisoner slowly looked up from the dirt only to see the bounty hunter standing there with his pistol still smoking in his hand. As he watched, the old man, suddenly not looking so old any more, holstered his pistol and drew his huge Bowie knife. He turned toward his prisoner.

“Well, I guess I don’t need you anymore.” The bounty hunter said menacingly.

“No. Please. I promise I won’t talk no more. Take me in. I’ll go happily.”

The bounty hunter leaned in low with the knife. The prisoner tensed, waiting for the killing blow. Instead, he suddenly felt his hands and feet free. He lay there in the dirt, trying to process what had happened. By the time he realized he was being set free and had gotten to his feet, the bounty hunter had tied the dead outlaws to the backs of two of their mounts. He held the reins of the third, Dave’s gimpy nag, out to the prisoner. The prisoner gave him a questioning look.

“You’d best get on out of here.” The bounty hunter said.

“You mean you’re not gonna’ take me in?”

“For what? You never was wanted for anything but to give testimony on these three. I don’t guess they’ll need you for that no more.” The old man chuckled.

“But then why… You were using me for bait.”

“Sorry ’bout that.” The old man said, flipping him a silver dollar. “The next girl’s on me.”

“You son of a…”

“Don’t finish that sentence, boy. I could still bring you in and say I caught you ridin’ with ’em. Now git.”

The man gave the bounty hunter one last dirty look before mounting Dave’s old horse, and riding for town.

So that’s it. Like I said, I’ve never done a western before. How did I do? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on my social pages.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

On Goodreads

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 11: Haunted

Hey guys. Welcome to another Flash Fiction Friday. I don’t really have much to say in the way of prologue this week, so let’s just get to it, shall we? I call this one, Haunted.

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Haunted

I squeezed my already closed eyes even tighter, doing my best impersonation of a sleeping human being. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I at least had to try.

“Hey. Are you awake?” He asked, his whisper nearly a hiss.

I felt his cold, clammy hand on the back of my neck and unsuccessfully tried to suppress a shudder. It wasn’t that I was afraid. I just knew how hard the residue left by his touch would be to clean off.

He wasn’t a bad sort, for a ghost. In fact, other than a little moaning in the night and the occasional rattling of chains, he was a nearly perfect roommate. Sure, the noises in the night took some getting used to and I had to clean up the occasional ectoplasm stain, but I never had to worry about my house being broken into when I was away and he never ate my food. Or any, for that matter. Besides, I’d known the house was haunted when I signed the lease. How else was someone supposed to get a place in the heart of the city on my salary.

Still, I’d thought we’d gotten past the whole waking me in the middle of the night thing.

“Mortal. Please wake up.”

“I told you, my name is Jason, and I have to work in the morning.” I said into the pillow.

“But you have to do something.”

“All I have to do is get old and die. Then I can stay up all night with you and we can have a chain rattling party, or whatever you guys like to do, but as long as I need money to eat and pay rent, I need my job. So let me sleep.”

“Can… can I at least sleep with you?”

“What? No! You’d get your slime all over my sheets and I’d never get it out.”

“But I’m scared!”

This gave me pause. I’d heard him moan before, but never with this particular pleading tone. I rolled over and sat up.

“What could you, a ghost who has been dead for years, possibly have to be afraid of?” I asked, looking him in the sockets where his eyes should have been.

He lifted a slightly glowing hand and pointed to my bedroom door.

“Him.” Was all he said.

I looked toward the door and saw, in the deep darkness beyond the jamb, a pair of glowing red eyes staring back at me.

 

And that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll have another one for you next Friday.

Until then, be sure to stalk me online.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

On Goodreads

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I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 10: Playing The Game

Happy Flash Fiction Friday, everyone. This week’s offering is a little weird. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Part of me thinks it’s silly. Another part of me feels like it should be expanded into a longer story. Let me know what you think.

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Playing The Game

He sat on the bench, staring down at his feet. He kicked at one of the balls of wispy, white fluff that littered the ground. He didn’t have to look up to know he was no longer alone. He could sense his friend’s energy settling onto the bench next to him.

“So what’s with you?” His friend asked.

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh please. You’re sitting here brooding and your best friend isn’t supposed to notice? Spill it. What’s eating you?”

“It’s nothing. Really.”

He could feel his friend staring at him.

“It’s just that… Doesn’t this place ever get to you?” He finally continued.

“What? Of course not. We have absolutely everything we could ever want here. If there’s something we want that isn’t here, all we have to do is ask the man and we get it. This place is perfect.”

“That’s the problem. It’s too perfect. Everyone’s always so damned polite and happy all the time. And god, if I hear one more rendition of In The Garden Of Eden played on the harp, I’m going to punch one of those flying babies in the face!”

“Woah. Calm down. That kind of talk could get you kicked out of here.” His friend said, looking around nervously.

“I wasn’t serious.”

They sat in silence for a long time.

“You’re thinking about going back into the game. Aren’t you?” His friend said, finally.

“What if I am?”

“Nothing. I think it’s a great idea. I mean, that’s what the game was designed for, wasn’t it? So where were you thinking about going this time?”

He didn’t have to answer.

“Seriously? Again? Why are you so obsessed with that little blue marble? Why don’t you shake things up and try someplace else? I hear there’s even a new one.”

“Yeah. I looked at that one just out of curiosity. The only avatar you can choose is an amoeba.”

“So Earth, huh?”

He nodded.

“Well, it sounds like your mind’s made up. So what’s stopping you?”

He hung his head. He didn’t want to admit why he was hesitant. His friend waited patiently.

“I kind of used up all my karma points last time.” He admitted finally.

“Oh no. What did you do?”

“Well, before the game started, I used some of my points to choose the rich advantage. I figured I could earn them back by using my money for good while I was in game.”

“But it didn’t work out that way.” His friend said.

“No.”

“It rarely does.”

“I used up the rest of my points in game by being a general asshole. With no starting perks this time around, who knows what I’ll end up as?”

“Well, hey. You could always be a dog. They earn tons of KPs. It’s a much shorter game too.”

“Yeah.” He said. “Well, I guess I should go accept my fate. I’ll see you in a hundred years or so. Unless you want to come too.”

“No thanks. I think I’m going to stay here and enjoy having my every desire fulfilled. You have fun.”

He waved to his friend and made his way to the arcade.

 

So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed it and didn’t think it was too blasphemous. It’s kind of loosely based on my idea of heaven and how I reconcile both an afterlife and reincarnation. Two opposing ideas that I believe in. The idea of life being a game just came to me last night, though.

Anyway, that’s all for this week. I’ll hopefully see you on Monday with an update on what I’m reading.

As always, don’t forget to stalk me online.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

On Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Up… Thursday?: A Day Late And A Dollar Short

What’s up guys? How has your week been? Mine has been absolutely insane.

Last Friday was my mom’s birthday. I won’t tell you which one, because I’d prefer to make it to my next one. On her birthday, we took her out to a nice dinner and gave her our gifts. I got her an action camera like the one I’ve used to record a couple of videos on my YouTube channel. Shannon got her a ticket to go see Home Free this October. If you don’t know, they’re a great country acapella group. I don’t even like much country, but these guys are awesome.

On Saturday, Shannon, my Mom, and I  took a ride on the 1880 Train from Hill City, SD to Keystone, SD and back. It was a lot of fun and something Shannon and I have been wanting to do for years, but never found the time. It was great being to be able to step back in time as we entered vintage rail cars being pulled by an actual steam engine. I took a video and posted it on my YouTube channel here. Warning, it’s close to a two hour video, but I think it’s a reasonably soothing watch. You wouldn’t think riding in a convertible and then a train would wear you out so much, but we were both beat by the time we got home.

Of course, Sunday was back to the grind. What I wasn’t prepared for was the hotel being nearly or completely sold out every night. Some nights, even when we’re sold out, I still have most of the night to myself. Not so this week. It seemed like every five minutes or so, somebody needed something. I was hoping to get some writing done, but to tell the truth, this blog post is all the writing at work I’ve been able to do all week. I would try to get something on the page, but it always seemed that as soon as I would start to type, either the phone would ring, or someone would magically appear at my desk. Finally I gave up and cued up the next episode of Black Sails and dreamed of running away and turning pirate myself.

Of course, one full night was devoted to editing the aforementioned two hour YouTube video. I’m getting better with my editing skills. I’m even considering getting a green screen so I can replace the ugly background when I shoot vlogs at work. Now I just need to work on my on-screen presence.

The good news is that during my time at home I’ve been fairly productive. The bad news is, what I’ve been productive at is procrastination. Yes, my office is spotless so that when I do finally sit down to write, I shouldn’t have any distractions, but I’ve yet to test this theory by actually sitting down to write. Oh well, this weekend is supposed to be ridiculously hot and Shannon has a lot of homework to do for her masters in English, so I plan on giving her space and working on my own homework. I’m hoping to even get some serious reading time in over the weekend as we hide from Mister Heat Miser.

I guess that’s about it. It may not sound like much to some of you who actually work for a living, but it’s really frustrating to not be able to get work done when you actually want to.

I do have a good idea for this week’s Flash Fiction Friday, but I’m a little afraid it’ll end up turning into a full-fledged short story that I’ll want to try to submit somewhere, in which case, I won’t be posting it here. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t turn out as good as I think it might. 😀

Anyway, I guess that’s about this week. I will post something tomorrow, I promise.

As always, you can find me all these places online.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And YouTube I finally hit 100 subscribers. Thank you everyone for your help. The new custom URL is https://www.youtube.com/justinmkellywriter

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

I’m even on Pinterest

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 9: The Problem

Okay folks. I’m back with another flash fiction Friday. Today’s story is a little different. It’s not sci-fi, or horror. It’s just two people sitting down for a drink and trying to catch up. Before we start, I would like to say that I wish I had a little more time to work on this one and I will probably refine it, but here it is in all its raw glory. I call it…

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The Problem

Todd sat across the table from her, unsure of what to say. He never had this kind of trouble talking to women. Not any more at least. Then again, she wasn’t just any woman. This was Sabrina. This was the girl he’d pined for night after night back in high-school. This was the girl who’d never noticed him back then. At least he’d thought she hadn’t noticed him. Which is why it had been so strange when he’d heard her voice calling to him as he’d walked down the street. Even after all this time, he would recognize her voice anywhere.

He raised his glass of scotch to his lips, the ice tinkling against the glass from his shaking hand.

“So how have you been?” She asked.

“Oh, you know. Not bad. My company’s really starting to take off.”

Sabrina laughed loudly and he immediately felt like an idiot. Saying his company was taking off was like saying the bible was a reasonably popular book. In fact, he was seriously considering an offer to sell his company which would make him the world’s youngest billionaire.

“I had the biggest crush on you back in school.” He blurted, regretting it instantly.

“You? Really? I never would have guessed.”

“You knew?” He said, shocked.

“Everybody knew. It’s not like you actually needed my science notes.”

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

“Why didn’t you?” She countered.

Todd found himself at a loss for words. There were dozens of reasons that he couldn’t bring himself to voice. Finally, he picked the truest one.

“Because I never would have stood a chance with you.”

“What makes you think that?”

“I was just a science geek. You were pretty and popular.” He said, realizing how pathetic that made him sound.

“And yet you asked me out today. What’s changed? Am I not pretty any more?” She asked, tossing her long blonde hair teasingly.

“No. I mean you’re gorgeous.”

“So what’s changed?”

“I wasn’t rich back then.”

He’d meant it as a joke, but immediately regretted it, realizing how it sounded. She stared back at him as if he’d slapped her. After a long silence, she stood up from her chair.

“No. Please. Don’t go. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I’m not some gold digger. As a matter of fact, your money couldn’t interest me less. I liked you because you were a genuinely nice guy. Do you want to know the reason we never went out? Because you never asked.” She said, her voice trembling like she was on the verge of tears.

Her speech finished, she turned and was gone.

Todd sat back still unsure what had just happened. There were so many things to process. Had she really liked him? Or had she just said that to hurt him after he had suggested she was after his money?

Todd felt the strange urge to put the retainer he hadn’t worn in years into his mouth. He was suddenly the lonely nerd he had been back in school.

The waiter appeared at his elbow with a fresh glass of scotch.

“I didn’t order this.” He said, absently.

“No sir. The lady bought it for you before she left. She asked me to serve it on this napkin.” The waiter said, placing the glass of very expensive whiskey in front of him and disappearing.

Todd picked up the glass of liquid amber and downed half of it, enjoying the mellow burn as it made its way down his throat and spread through his chest and stomach out to his limbs, bathing him in a warm glow.

It was then that he realized the waiter had said something odd about the napkin. He grabbed it and stared at it.

Written on the thin paper was a fairly complex looking equation along with the words, “Call me when you figure this out.”

“Smart. I forgot that. She’s smart too.” Todd said, pulling out his expensive fountain pen and getting to work.

 

 

Like I said, it’s still a little rough. I’d like to play a little more with the characters.

I would like to say that some inspiration for this story was taken from my own life. No, I’m not a billionaire. Nor am I a brilliant math geek. I was however, very shy when it came to girls. Since high-school, I have discovered that several girls I thought I didn’t have a shot with would have said yes if I had just mustered up the courage to ask them out.

Of course I didn’t find any of this out until it was way too late. Oh well, good to know for the next life, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s about it for today. I may see you on Monday, but it all depends if I finish the book I’m currently reading by then.

Your questions and comments are always welcome. If there’s a topic you’d like to see me address in my blog or my vlog, send me a message at any of these sites.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

On Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

Don’t forget, I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Monday’s are a rundown of what I’m reading. Wednesday’s are my general writing blog, and of course, there’s Flash Fiction Friday.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 4: Reymir’s Savior

Welcome to another Flash Fiction Friday. On a Saturday. Apologies. The time got away from me yesterday. So since we’re already running late, let’s get into it. Shall we?

What I have for you today is actually a prequel to my Children Of Pyrelia series. So far, Bloodmoon is the only published part, but it will soon be followed by Daughters of the Flame.

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Reymir’s Savior

Reymir wandered down the dirt road that ran through his village, dwelling on his misfortunes. There were almost too many to count. He had always been the fat kid. Other kids made fun of him mercilessly. Girls were out of the question. His father was an abusive addict, but nevertheless was a village elder, so nobody would speak out against him. And then there was Bearok.

“Hey fat boy. Do you have to take up the whole road?” A voice came from behind him.

“What?” He said, turning around. He had been so engrossed in his myriad miseries that the surprise of being torn from them made it come out sounding more angry than he had intended. As if summoned by Reymir’s mere thoughts, he found himself face to face with Bearok, his constant tormentor.

Bearok’s face registered surprise for a flash of a moment before returning to his default sneer as Reymir cowered before him.

“I said you’re in my way, fat ass.” Bearok said, pushing him to the ground.

Reymir curled into a ball on the ground, covering his head in anticipation of the beating to come. His years of experience with his father’s temper had trained him for this. He squeezed his eyes shut and prayed for his mother to come and rescue him. An odd thing for him to do since she had died giving birth to him. His father had implied on numerous occasions that it was his size, even then,  that had killed her.

Reymir waited for the first punch to land, but it never did. He felt a hand on his shoulder and flinched. The hand didn’t hurt. It gently squeezed his shoulder. He cautiously opened his eye, just in case it was some sort of trick.

It wasn’t Bearok at all. It was Terek, the son of the chieftain. He extended a hand to help Reymir up from the dirt. Reymir looked around and saw Bearok standing a few feet away, holding his nose and hate burning in his eyes. As Reymir watched, blood began to seep between his fingers.

Bearok mumbled something unintelligible but clearly threatening before running away. Terek helped Reymir to his feet.

“You okay?” Terek asked, genuine concern on his face.

“Yeah. He just pushed me.”

“Well if he ever touches you again, come get me. I’ll handle him.”

Reymir nodded and immediately made himself a promise. If Terek were ever in trouble, he’d make sure he was nearby to help. He owed his savior that much.

.     .     .

And that’s it. I wrote this story in part to satisfy a friend who wanted a little more backstory on Terek and Reymir. I hope you enjoyed it. As I said earlier, part two in the series is coming soon.

I’ll see you on Monday with an update on what I’m reading.

As always, be sure to stalk me online. Also, I hate to beg, but I’m really trying to reach 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, so please check it out and, if you like what you see, subscribe.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 3: Excerpt from Shadows Of Influence

Happy Flash Fiction Friday.

In honor of the fact that it’s St. Paddy’s day, I’ve decided that it’s your lucky day. Today I’m going to change things up a bit and share a short, but pivotal scene from my work in progress;

Shadows of Influence

Stephanie felt the gel slipping from her face and she opened her eyes. This time there was no disorientation. She knew exactly where she was. She had just completed her test.

The past few days had just been part of the simulation. All the pain, the abject terror, the heartbreak, had been a lie. She should have felt anger, but she was too exhausted for that. Her muscles felt like jelly, but she willed herself not to fall.

Christopher looked at her impassively as he waited his turn. She craned her neck to see the large screen above the machine as it  printed out the words “Stephanie Williams: CLASSIFIED!”.

All lethargy left her  body as she began to panic. She had heard what happened to people  whose results came back as classified. They disappeared, never to be  seen again. She tried to bolt, but the guards were already there to  catch her and haul her toward the doors.

They didn’t take her through the large double doors. Instead, at the last second, they veered left. One of the guards placed his hand against the wall and a small, hidden door opened.  As they dragged her through it, she tried to struggle free, but one of  the guards pressed a small metal object against her neck and then everything went black.

 

Want to know what happens next? You’ll just have to wait and see. With any luck, the book should be out later this year.

I’ll see you on Monday with an update on what I’m reading.

As always, be sure to stalk me online. Also, I hate to beg, but I’m really trying to reach 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, so please check it out and, if you like what you see, subscribe.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

 

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Flash Fiction Friday Number Two: Stranded

It’s Flash Fiction Friday!!!

This week’s offering is a little sci-fi story I like to call,

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Stranded

The lone astronaut cowered under the tall trees of the oasis as the alien ship came into view. As usual, he’d heard the hum of its engines long before he could see it. He knew hiding wouldn’t do him any good. Any minute now, the ship would begin bombarding the trees to drive him out.

“Please god. If you exist, just give me the strength to wait it out this time. Better yet, let one of the bombs hit me and end this once and for all.”

He knew the latter part of his prayer was pointless. More than once, he’d run directly into the path of one of the falling bombs, only to have it veer off suddenly and explode in another part of the small forest. In the years since he’d first woken up on this desolate little asteroid, he’d tried every way he could think of to escape one way or another. Every time, some sort of automated countermeasure had stopped him.

He covered his ears as the first of the explosives detonated behind him, but it did no good. The very air around him flexed with the force of the blast. Still he squeezed his eyes shut as the bombs fell all around him. Knowing that he was safe from the blasts did nothing to allay the terror he felt. Finally, his lizard brain kicked in and through no will of his own, he felt his legs pumping for all they were worth toward the safety of the open desert.

The moment he was in the open, he heard the telltale whirring of the protective doors that covered the glass belly of the ship. He could see the various odd silhouettes of the creatures inside for a moment before hundreds of flashes of light blinded him. He lay down in the cool sand, his eyes squeezed shut until he heard the doors close again.

Once again the engines began to hum and he stood up. As the ship began to glide forward, a huge metal cube slid silently from the back of the ship. His supplies. Enough to last him the months until the next tour group came by. It must weigh hundreds, maybe even thousands of pounds, he thought.

Sudden inspiration hit and he ran toward the falling cube. He skidded to a stop, and watched the shrinking lights of the ship’s afterburners as it hurried off to what he assumed was the next exhibit. He looked up, all he could see was the underside of the massive supply crate.

He closed his eyes.

“Please.” He prayed. “Please let this work.”

 

And that’s it for this week. If you want more of my writing, (I promise, it’s not all so dark) you can check me out in these places.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

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Announcing Flash Fiction Friday. This Week: Water’s Edge

So I will post more on my trip to NYC tomorrow, but today, I’m introducing a new weekly feature I like to call Flash Fiction Friday. These will be very short pieces just to give you guys a taste of my writing in hopes you’ll want more. Consider it an appetizer. Just a little something to whet your appetite for something more substantial.

Or for you more cynical types, consider it that free sample the drug dealer gives you to get you hooked so you start jonesing for more.

This week’s story is not for the kiddies. Or maybe it is. I happen to think kids can handle a lot more than adults give them credit for.

Anyway, this week’s offering is a nasty little story I call

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Water’s Edge

She knelt down at the edge of the hidden lake, hoping to see her reflection in the crystal water so she might check her hair. Billy would be there soon and she wanted it to be perfect. She gazed deeply into her makeshift mirror and nearly screamed. Looking back at her was not the freckled, yet blemish-free face she had seen a million times in her bedroom mirror. Gone were the perfect button nose and brown eyes flecked with gold.

Instead she saw something green. Something scaly. Something with gills and row after row of razor teeth. It stared back at her with eyes like black holes. Before she could scream, a green hand, the fingers webbed together, shot out of the water and grabbed her by the throat. She could feel warm blood trickling down her neck as the claws at the end of its fingers dug into her perfect skin. There was a sharp crack as the immensely powerful fingers crushed her windpipe, silencing the scream that might have been as she was dragged beneath the water.

Moments later, Billy stepped out of the forest. He looked around, expecting to see her waiting for him, but was greeted with nothing more than the wind blowing through the tall pines and making ripples on the otherwise glassy surface of the lake. “Girls” he thought, as he stripped his clothes off. He stopped at his underwear for a moment, wondering if he should leave them on, but then decided it would just be the two of them. Besides, that would mean walking home with wet skivvies. He quickly shed them and ran as fast as he could toward the water. As the dirt of the forest floor turned to sand at the water’s edge, he leapt high into the air executing a perfect dive in hopes she might be watching from the trees. He barely made a splash as he broke the surface.

.   .   .

So there you have it. I don’t write a lot of horror, but this idea came to me as I was trying to fall asleep the other day. I grabbed my phone and typed most of it right there before the story could get away from me.

If you’d like more, check out my links below. There are more short stories on the way as well as a couple of novels. Check back here regularly for updates.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

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I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

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Filed under Flash Fiction Friday, Writing

Doesn’t That Just Figure?

Hello again my adoring fans. Also, hello to those of you who hate me and the ones who have no idea who I am.

It appears I lied to you again when I said in my last post that I would see you the following week. Fortunately, I posted that on April 1st, so… uh… April Fools? Anyway, you should all know that I’m less than reliable when it comes to regular posts by now.

Anyway, here’s the good news. I have a story ready to ship. So far, everyone I’ve shown it to seems to really like it. Better yet, I really like it. I feel I’ve finally progressed to the point with my writing that I can start submitting it. (If you ask my girlfriend, she’d say I’ve been at that point for a while. I’ve just been a chicken.) I have a publisher in mind for the story. Yes, they are one of the better paying publishers, but that’s a secondary consideration compared to the prestige of having a story accepted by said publisher. I realize it’s probably a long shot, me being an unpublished writer, but why not shoot for the moon, right? Besides, they say they love discovering new writers. Hopefully I will catch their eye.

Now for the bad news. I was all ready to send it out. I had everything formatted properly. I had checked my spelling and punctuation several times (although I’m sure I still missed a typo or two.) I went to their website and… they aren’t accepting submissions until May 1st. I realize this is only a couple weeks away, but I’m hoping I still have confidence in my writing by then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to send it out. I just have confidence issues.

Writing is still progressing, although I really have to learn to do an outline. At least a rudimentary one that I can refer to when I get stuck. I dropped one story because it wasn’t going anywhere, only to jump right into another which is now having the same problem. Once upon a time, I was able to just jump into the proverbial story car and see where I ended up. Nowadays, I need at least a simple road map. Of course, i have to remember that back when I could just go, the destination wasn’t always somewhere I wanted to be.

I am also considering submitting a few things to some writing competitions. I still hate the thought of paying an entry fee to get read, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes at this point. Wish me luck.

Well, that’s about it for now. I will try to post again next week, but I won’t promise because we’ve all seen how reliable I am.

As always, follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Also, check out my website. I’m hoping to update it when I get a chance, but I’m trying to make writing my priority, so who knows when that will be?

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Filed under Career, Future, Writing