The Stomach Abides

As my stomach recovered from the last few days of pure and unadulterated gluttony, I felt like Mr. Creosote.

Then I started to drift off to sleep and was thankful that no only was I able to provide the feast, I was able to share it with my family. This leads me to the Lost Children. As described on its website:

30 powerful stories from around the world to benefit two children’s charities: PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children (www.protect.org) and Children 1st Scotland (www.children1st.org.uk).

Stories by David Ackley, Kevin Aldrich, David Barber, Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy, Paul D. Brazill, Sif Dal, James Lloyd Davis, Roberto C. Garcia, Susan Gibb, Nancy A. Hansen, K.V. Hardy, Gill Hoffs, Fiona “McDroll” Johnson, J.F. Juzwik, MaryAnne Kolton, Benoit Lelievre, Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw, Vinod Narayan, Paula Pahnke, Ron Earl Phillips, Thomas Pluck, Sam Rasnake, JP Reese, Chad Rohrbacher, Susan Tepper, Luca Veste, Michael Webb, Nicolette Wong and Erin Zulkoski.

It began as a flash fiction challenge when Fiona Johnson and Thomas Pluck donated $5 to PROTECT and £5 to Children 1st for every story at Ron Earl Phillips’ Flash Fiction Friday and Fictionaut. Now we have collected the 30 best stories to benefit these two charities.
Join us and make a difference while you read 30 great stories genres by writers from the U.S.A., Poland, Hong Kong, Portugal, India, Scotland, England, Canada, and one told by a Lost Boy of the Sudan to his teacher.

Approximately $2 per e-book sale and $4 per print book sale, depending on retailer, are donated for each sale. The full royalty paid by the retailer goes to these causes (50% to each). Ordering from Createspace gives the greatest donation of $5.49, and Barnes & Noble the least, $1.94. The first week of each month, detailed sales and donation reports will be posted here.

The anthology is now available in trade paperback at Amazon and Createspace for $9.99

Available for $2.99 in e-book form, for: iPad in the Apple iBookstore Amazon Kindle (read it on your computer with Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader, or on your phone with the Amazon Kindle App) Nook at Barnes & Noble Kobo, Sony e-reader and download as PDF, epub, mobi or Viewable Online at Smashwords

If you don’t have an e-reader: you can download the Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac app, the Nook for PC App, Nook for Mac App or view it online at Smashwords, or download it as an Adobe PDF file. You can also read epubs on the Adobe Digital Editions reader for PC and Mac.

Truly a good cause and great stocking stuffers.

Lookie Lookie

Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising, invited me over to his place then hurt my brain — see what we talked about here.

Look what the devil brought in, a hardboiled, noir, crime flash fiction site with the sweetest name evah: Shotgun Honey. Daniel B. O’Shea is the first up and he does not disappoint.

I can’t wait to see this issue of Mystery Scene, Spring Issue #119  (out late April). There is a review of Needle Magazine coming out and here’s a taste:

“Issue #3 of Needle magazine has been out for a while now. I’ve read several of the stories, all of them lowdown and gritty, especially Anthony Neil Smith’s “Minnesodom.” You might need a bath after reading that one.”

So you like Needle? Go vote for it in Spinetingler Awards.

On a different note, I learned something recently: I hate nerves. Yes, nerves. Not all nerves are bad. If a person finally get up the nerve to ask someone out, or a person afraid of heights gets up the nerve to climb up stairs, that’s great. Pinched nerves, on the other hand, completely and utterly suck.

I went to chiropractor on Friday, best one I’ve ever been to, and they figured out why I had serious pain in neck and arm and, more importantly, why my hand was turning purple. Seriously. Purple. Barney Purple.

Long story short is I have neck muscles that are pulling everything out of whack. This pinches the nerve and constricts the “clump” of blood vessels in my chest/shoulder area making my hand change colors.

So we will try that dreaded “E” word (exercise) and drugs and hope surgery isn’t needed. Sigh.

Rock on

Many of you may remember that for a long time I was doing a story and song on the blog. Yes it was a simple idea by a simple man: connect a great story with a great song. I even met the enigmatic Matthew J McBride doing it. Great times.

Storychord had the same idea but with a different audience in mind.

So, I found a few things that just seemed to fit together so nicely that I had to bring them together in one spot.

First is the story Terry Yaki and while you’re reading enjoy RJD2, The Horror.

I also want to share the F3 series to you. A community of writers and readers sharing creative work and impressions of their creations. A lot of really good authors are putting up fantastic stories. Best thing, it’s open to everyone.

 

Of Note

Dark Valentine Magazine is doing a special promo — so I thought I’d share a note from one of the editors:

We’re promoting Scott J Laurange’s serial story “A Knight’s Tale” all this month. The story, part of Scott’s CANTERBURY GOTH project, will run in 11 parts, posted Monday, Wednesday and Friday all through the month. The last chapter will run on September 29.

At the end of the month, we’ll be giving away a copy of MOCKINGJAY, just published last Tuesday and already in its second printing. If you enjoyed HUNGER GAMES and its sequel CATCHING FIRE, you’ll want to know how the story ends. And really, isn’t the triangle of Kat, Gale and Peeta more interesting than Edward, Jacob and Bella?

To enter the drawing, you need to come to the site at any time during the month and comment on the chapter that’s up. (Feel free to come back for each chapter, which we’ll be archiving.) You’ll get our thanks and good karma just for showing up. But what gets entries into the drawing is spreading the word. Talk us up on your social networks, tweet a link, you know the drill. You’ll also get an extra five (5) entries if you bring us new members of our Facebook group.

The drawing will be done on September 30. The winner will receive a copy of MOCKINGJAY, the conclusion of Suzanne Collins’ HUNGER GAMES trilogy.

Thanks for taking a look at the story.

Katherine

Via My Little Corner: Thrillers, Killers and Chillers has posted an announcement that they’re looking for Halloween and Christmas themed stories to take us through the dark days that are coming. You can find all the details athttp://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.com/2010/09/darkness-falls.html

And look here, Ron Earl Phillips gets in on some of Cormac Brown’s FFF fun. Check out his entry, “Out the Door”.

Of course, I have to pair it with a song so…

Mr. Phillips is also hosting a great little contest, so get in and enter for a chance to win a Needle Mag. If you haven’t poked around and been pricked by Needle yet, what’s wrong with you? This contest would be a good chance for you to get creative juices going and win a quality mag.

FFF is baaaack

Friday Flash Fiction #40 edition. It has been some time since I entered into the foray. It’s run by Cormac Brown and he says:

THIS IS A BLOG WHERE A STARTER SENTENCE IS GIVEN EVERY FRIDAY@12PM PST. YOU WILL THEN HAVE UNTIL THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY@9AM PST TO COME UP WITH SHORT STORY OR POEM. I ONLY ASK THAT YOU KEEP IT; FAIRLY NON-POLITICAL, THAT THE VIOLENCE IS NON-GRATUITOUS, THE SEX IS FAIRLY TASTEFUL, AND THAT YOU ARE RESPECTFUL OF THE OTHER WRITERS THAT POST HERE. ENJOY! IF YOU ARE STILL CONFUSED, PLEASE CLICK THIS HEADER FOR THE RULES.

Now before I get to my story, I think you should head over to Twist of Noir and check out Hilary Davidson’s story. Very, very good.

You want a song too? Ok. Mmmm.

Now my story — please feel free to share your comments.

Karma Backlash

“I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys.”

I heard an engine; I heard my dog’s collar rattle as she trotted off; I heard the exhale of smoke.

It had to end like this. Always had to end like this.

Not to get philosophical or anything, but screw it. All I know is I had dreams. Most nights I’d wake up with a metallic taste in my mouth and sweat on my upper lip. Even a corner preacher who sported a thick beard and dark coveralls told me the end was near.

That night, after hearing his words, I knew it to be true. I lost my appetite. I even had to throw my damn Gyro away, but some stupid mutt was sniffing around the trash so I gave it to her instead. Stupid four-legged creature stayed by my side ever since.

I should amend that; she stayed by my side until the very moment that I found myself lying in the gutter’s embrace, my side aching, feeding the metal grate my hemoglobin and plasma.

She was a good dog. As good as I always imagined a dog to be. This is according to the fact I never actually “owned” one myself. What a piss poor thing to say anyway. “Owning”. As if we can ever “own” a living, breathing thing.

Like, let’s say there is a God or whatever. Does God own us? If so, are we getting trained? A big cosmic newspaper to our ass in the form of a hurricane flooding our community or a fire burning down some  kid’s house? If we ain’t owned, and we can wander on down the road without ever looking back, which is fine by me, what the hell we need God for? To wear some collar that proclaims us his?

It’s strange what a man thinks when he’s about to be done with thinking forever.

I ain’t got no regrets. The life I had was fine by me. I had a good sense of intuition that saved my ass more than once. I had some girls. I finally got a dog to walk.

I knew this was coming so I settled into my routine, and gave structure to the skittish bitch. The boys knew right away I had had enough. I never had a routine, and then to have such a regimented clock, well, I think they were relieved. At the bar, I’m sure they said I was a real man. A stand up guy. Braver than most.

I heard the shoes scrape the pavement close to my head. I heard the hammer pull back. I heard a scream and a growl, or a growl and a scream, and an explosion of noise as the bullet pinged off the curb. I turned just in time to see Earl shoot my dog. The bullet entered the chest, but the blood and bone matter exited the back. My dog, she didn’t whine. She didn’t whimper. It took a few second for her to realize she was dead and to release Earl’s forearm from her mandibles.

It was just a mutt, not some fancy German Sheppard or Rottweiler or Pit Bull. It wasn’t supposed to come back. It wasn’t supposed to lay a rotten fang into human flesh, let alone the man sent to kill me.

The next shot entered below Earl’s chin, but the blood and bone matter escaped from the top of his head.

Nobody hurts my dog.