Jimmy Turns Thirty-Five (A Gen Y Story)

Jimmy, who was “James” only on his tax documents, was looking forward to his thirty-fifth birthday. Like always, he had carefully managed his money over the year to provide for all the things he wanted and to have a bit extra to buy himself something special for his birthday. This year, it was a doozy. He had seen it coming all year and had taken extra care to stow away even more of his pizza delivery tips (which were more than usual), actively cutting back on his consumption of alcohol and pot. What had Jimmy’s mind wandering so much when…

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3 Easy Ways to Keep Short Fiction Short

This was part of a response to a free audiobook of one of my short works (about 12k) words, which you can listen to for free below. The comment was concerning how to keep short fiction short. Writing short fiction is really a different beast than writing long fiction, and the skills are a different set. If you want to limit length, here are a few easy things: 1) Limit the scope. A few locations, or one, rather than many. A few characters, or even one, rather than many. 2) Keep it to one plot. “A” story only, no sub-plots.…

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Iron and Clay: A Doomer Tale

Jim was the smartest kid in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. He aced every math exam, always tested well in science and English, and got exemplary marks in history. He was otherwise a normal, well-liked kid that played football and soccer throughout high school. Though he was never the star athlete, sports kept him active and grounded and provided him a good set of friends off the field and year-round. All of them knew he was the smartest of the group, but he never made a big deal out of it, preferring to go with the flow and help with homework only…

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Nostalgia Chronicles: Gen Y

It’s a hot day, and it isn’t helped by the thirty-five pounds of books in your backpack. You walk steadily away from the chaos that is the end of the school day; the swarms of cars and kids move steadily behind you, and the quiet of the deserted streets sets in, interrupted only by the occasional quip from one of your walking companions. One by one the friends of mutual direction peel off, and you’re by yourself, walking through the empty suburbs to your house. There’s never enough trees, and you begin to accumulate a layer of sweat under your…

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The Parable of the Wise and Lazy Farmers

There were once two grape growers, who each had plots handed down to them from their fathers. One of the farmers was a diligent, wise man, who followed the teachings of his father and was prosperous with his craft. The other man heeded little the gifts of his father, and was prone to vice and laziness. It happened that one year, as the winter was receding, the lazy farmer neglected to prune the old growth from his vines. The wise farmer, who went out to the fields with his children to prune the vines, noticed this and grumbled to himself,…

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Eyes in the Walls, chapter 2

I couldn’t shake that horrible thing from my dreams. It didn’t help that I had to go to the funeral home at least once a week. I did my best to focus on my homework, but I could never get rid of the feeling that the thing in the morgue was watching me, waiting. At night I imagined him following me home and sneaking into my house, standing at the foot of my bed in the darkness, licking his lips.

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Live in the Pod and Eat Bugs

Bob, who lived in the pod above Jake, was masturbating again. Jake peeled his eyes open. They felt like oranges that had been cut open and left in the sun. It wasn’t something out of the ordinary – watching the standard government-funded porn before getting up for work – but Bob was far too indiscreet about it. He moaned and rocked as he got off, making the old steel and fiberboard of the pod creak in time with his ugly incantations. Jake looked at the clock next to his mattress, in the single shelf that housed his personal effects. He…

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Voices of the Void, part 4

You can get the ebook for Voices of the Void right now for $0.99 on Amazon – free with kindle unlimited – or get the paperback (ebook always free with a physical purchase). Read part 1 | Read part 2 | Read part 3 He watched the lift car approach, hanging from a steel rail, arriving much sooner than Andrew anticipated. Had it really come so far in just a few minutes? He worked against an urge to check his computer, which he knew was not functioning properly, to confirm the time.  The car moved past the windows and arrived at the steel double doors. After…

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Voices of the Void, part 3

You can get the ebook for Voices of the Void right now on Amazon – free with kindle unlimited – or get the paperback (ebook always free with a physical purchase) Read part 1 | Read part 2 He turned away from the hall and ran back toward the elevators. As he did, the screaming finally stopped. The vision of the dead, forgotten child, seared into his retinas, burned into his memory forever, suddenly waned and began to disappear. By the time he reached the lift, the images had nearly evaporated, becoming a dream after waking, or a half-memory of a blurry photograph. He…

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