Short Stories

  1. Short Story Structure

    A companion piece to my last entry. Some time ago there was a thread about short story structure where many of us posted links to some great info. It's a shame for it to be lost in the WF vaults, so here's a link to it: Need Help to Write My Fist Short Story
  2. Beauty In The Night

    1972 It was late Friday evening. I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local steel mill. My thoughts were only on the pizza I was carrying, a couple of cold beers, and the warm bed I would soon be sharing with my wife. I don’t remember where she got the idea, but it was close to Halloween so I shoulda known she’d be doing something witchy. As soon as I sat down on the couch she came out of the kitchen carrying a shopping bag and sat down beside me, “Hi babe”, she...
  3. Return of the Mother Goddess

    Archaeologist Latonya Coleman is on a mission to return a stolen idol to an ancient temple deep in the Ivory Coast of West Africa. She must contend with not only the local wildlife, but an old nemesis as well.
  4. Neverending (Part 2)

    Somehow this went missing, so I'm adding it back to my blog) Link back to part 1 ----------------------------------- He didn’t see much of her for the next three days. Then it was time to outfit the Barge for the next set of field measurements. Thomas and his team of technicians would be accompanying Dr. Vandermeer on the mobile test platform. The test apparatus was expected to create an energy field that would distort local space in accordance with the Vandermeer Theory. Past experiments...
  5. Table Talk - A Dialogue Exercise

    The point of this exercise (in truth, it was a Short Story Competition entry) was to tell a short story solely in dialogue (beats were permitted). I chose to have more than two participants to make it more interesting. Table Talk “I’m starving,” said Ken. “It’s been a day from hell.” “That it has.” Laura stared at the menu. “Can I have pork chops?” asked Jack. “No, Dad, they don’t serve that here.” Jack waved down a waiter. “I like a good chop,” sulked Jack. “They don’t serve chops...
  6. Idle Hands

    This is in response to another challenge, that it would be impossible to write an interesting story about a man walking down the street twiddling his thumbs. **** Despite its name, Broadway at half-past nine on a Tuesday morning closes in on you. Matt paid the vendor for his breakfast, a foot long hot dog with onions, mustard, and sauerkraut, and took his first bite. Around him, people hurried past in nearly every possible direction. Even with the density of the crowd, there was...
  7. The Courier

    Malcolm folded the papers and sealed them in the envelope. He looked at the clock. The pickup would take place in the next thirty minutes. If he were late, all his preparations would be for naught. But he had to be careful. They were watching him, he was sure of it. They had a tap on his phone line, and he had seen watchers in the neighborhood. The surveillance wasn’t continuous, though, and he felt sure he could slip through their net. They were overconfident, and they didn’t know...
  8. Bitter Fruit

    This is a short piece I wrote in March, 2008. My goal was to write a scene in third person without any direct reference to what the main character was thinking, but still try to clearly convey his thoughts and feelings. I'm posting this not because I think it's a great piece of writing, but because it illustrates the difficulties of a third person objective narrative voice. Bitter Fruit Steven clicked the Submit Payment button, then set aside the power bill and picked up the next...
  9. The Killing Jar

    (This is a short story I am putting together around a character I created for one or the RPGs on the site. I wanted to give a glimpse of him to those who weren't around when the RPG was taking place) The Killing Jar Mack Grundy smiled. No one saw the smile, so no one was chilled by it. Down here, among the dregs of a dozen worlds, he was the Hammer of God, chosen to break them and render them harmless. He was looking forward to breaking the new prisoner. Not yet positively...
  10. Cold Vengeance

    This is a revision of my winning entry in Short Story Competition 22, the theme of which was a Chase. Virgil Lambreaux was a dead man, and he knew it. He had nearly a sixteen hour lead, but there was no possibility of escape. His fate was sealed the moment he walked into the Icarus Base transport bay and recognized the brunette near the cargo lockers. “Rissa! What brings you down here of all places?” He hurried toward her, but his grin faltered at the cold glare she gave him as she...
  11. A Day In The Death

    This was my non-winning entry in the Short Story Competition for A day in the life of the Grim Reaper. He had a feeling in his bones that this would be one of those days. There were no fiery letters in the sky, nor whispers from the hollow dark; but a degree of prescience was part of the job description. Unfolding himself from the comfort of his cold, dank crypt, he wrapped himself in one of his identical hooded black cloaks, and selected a scythe from the stand next to the entrance....
  12. Neverending

    Neverending Nothing lasts forever. Stars are born of coalescing dust and gases, compressed under their own weight until they burst into nuclear brilliance. They blaze for millions, billions, or even trillions of years, and then they burn low and die, or explode in a last blast of glory. Even the universe itself has a beginning, and will someday wind down like a worn out clock. His lifetime is as evanescent as a wing beat of a gnat by comparison. He was born in what men call the dawn of...
  13. Blue

    Brakes screamed, and the world spun. Metal slammed and roared, and glass exploded. Moira’s shattered and bloodied face expanded before Kyle’s eyes as it flew toward him accusingly. He woke quaking, his heart pounding, and his bed sheets soaked with sour sweat. Kyle climbed out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. He splashed cold water on his face and tried to slow his breathing. In his recurring nightmare, he was the drunk driver who had split Moira’s car in half and stolen her life....
  14. Forever in a Heartbeat

    Todd Rizzo could not keep his eyes off the gun. Once again he lifted it from the coffee table to feel its cold weight in his hand. The Smith and Wesson .22 caliber pistol weighed 33 ounces, a little over two pounds. He was surprised how easy it had been to buy it through his friend Barry. The faint smell of steel and gun oil made him feel both nervous and somewhat excited. What the hell am I doing he thought for a moment. Annoyed at his weakness, he firmly set the gun back down on the...
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