Very Short Stories

The Sweet Smell of Rotting Flesh

Hot breath touched her neck and she sidestepped left running hard until the sweet smell of rotting flesh faded. She landed in a hole and pulled leaves over her. She waited. The sweet smell drifted again to her nose. She stopped breathing and listened. Warm drool fell on her head. She drew into the hole and stifled a scream. Now the sweet smell was gone. She sat listening. No sounds. She waited still before peeking…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 12

The Coin Castle King All the discarded neon from the hotels, motels, clubs, and casinos of Las Vegas ended up in the boneyard. Once shiny and bright, signs now waited here to die. Tucked behind a sign company, the boneyard only took visitors by appointment. It made a kitschy place to meet. Todd preferred this spot to any other place in Las Vegas. It wrapped up all of the glitter, glamour, and glitz into one…

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My Craft Stories

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part Two

From his knapsack, Xabier retrieved a crust of sourdough bread and a jar of jelly made from some red berries that reminded him of pomegranate seeds. The jelly reminded him of the taste of Earth apples. He thought about his mother making jelly. Long dead, he presumed. He didn’t understand the reason why, but when he signed up for this job he was told time took on a different meaning here. Although he aged barely…

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Conversations My Craft

Plan for World Domination

A Conversation “That’s interesting.” “What is?” “This video on stem cells.” “How so?” “It says we can convert fat cells into stem cells and rebuild our bodies.” “Figures.” “You sound like you already knew this.” “No. But it all makes sense now.” “How so?” “The plan for world domination. It all started in the 50s with Americans eating too much.” “Okay. I still don’t follow.” “Fatten up the populace until they can’t walk and then…

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My Craft Stories

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part One

Tin, ting, tin, tang rang the bells of Cantata Nº 208. The boy rubbed sleep from his eyes and covered them to block the dancing sunlight streaming through a slit. He slipped on boots, a filter, and gloves.  The red sun inched across the sky and it would be half a Earth-month before nightfall. Without the chimes, he might have missed feeding time. Small frame, calloused hands, a full head of sandy-brown hair, he looked…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 11

Neon Boneyard Cindy slept in a grey REO Speedwagon shirt on the overstuffed couch in Wallace’s office. A gauze bandage covered the hole in her arm and she crammed her bare toes into the cushion for comfort. The day had been a whole lot of trouble. Wallace gave her the t-shirt and some jeans from a bag his daughter stashed under his desk. Laying on the couch, Wallace realized how much Cindy reminded him of…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving: Chapter 10

He Like a Good Steak Todd Loudin owned a lot of places and people in Sin City. The people owed him favors; the places owed him nothing. The people usually ended up hurt; the places were infamous. He liked a good steak and no place proved better than the Golden Steer. Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack ate here, the King of Rock and Roll held court, and Natalie Wood bought her own velvet touch.…

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My Craft On Writing

Book Review – The Ultimate Hero’s Journey: 195 Essential Plot Stages Found in the Best Novels & Movies

Well, that’s a mouthful and they had to use an ampersand to make it all fit. However, Neal Soloponte provides 195 plot stages to consider in shaping a novel so the title needs some heft. The Ultimate Hero’s Journey: 195 Essential Plot Stages Found in the Best Novels & Movies delivers so many plot stages that I fell into the rabbit hole Soloponte took in writing this book. Like my favorite, Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys…

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