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Murmurations: Part 3

The ongoing weekly serial continues. Click here for the introduction,  here for Part 1, and here for part 2.

Murmurations, Part 1

A New Weekly Fiction Serial Begins

This is the start of a new weekly sci-fi serial running on Wednesdays

Discover A New Sci-Fi Novel in Ten Parts: Murmurations

Serial novels have a long and distinguished history.

Charles Dickens is often credited with popularizing the form, beginning with The Pickwick Papers in 1836, and many other notable authors followed in his footsteps. The Count of Monte Cristo was serialized. So was Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Heart of Darkness. Dostoyevsky wrote a serial novel. So did Tolstoy, Verne, Joyce, Hemingway, Wolfe, and King.

And now, courtesy of Liberty Island, you can add my name to the list.

New Halloween Fiction: Worst Afterlife Ever

I thought I had a good survival plan.

It seemed like such a good idea. Head out of the deathtrap dense urban Philadelphia at the first word of zombies in New York. Head into the mountains around the Shenandoah Valley, but head to the depopulated Centralia area instead of someone’s over-priced AirBnB property.

There were shrines in the area that had basic tourist amenities like bathrooms, so I could fill up with water. There were abandoned buildings for shelter. Yet it had almost no one living there because of the evacuation. Because of the fire hazard, no one else would go there.

NEW LI NOVEL: Buy Bokerah Brumley’s FIRST SHOT: Jin & Tonick Book 1

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Minutes after Tonick disappeared, I shrink back into my alley and turn my face toward the brick wall, tucking my chin behind my black leather collar as the Corp officer floats by on his hover bike. I pull the bandana a little lower over my forehead.

I have the shakes, and my heartbeat thunders in my ears. No matter how many times I swallow, my throat stays dry. I can’t let the robos see my hair. That’s the giveaway, and then GenCor would know to scoop me up, too.

The caught don’t come back.

Tonick’s words echo in my brain, and I smooth my hand over my scalp. Damn.

My starfish-hair has grown so much already. The ends are longer than the kerchief, peeking out like neon signs to anybody who wants to collect a sizeable bounty.

New Fiction for Halloween: The Grey Men

Logan casually glanced at the grey man in the corner. No one else in the room saw it, but he knew it was there. It slowly traced a path through the room, soaking up the sparks and noise the last child in the room had left. Logan looked down at his own hands. His medication was wearing off. He wouldn’t leave a scent or trail after that.

The doctor was waiting for him to give him his attention. “Logan, is there something you want to tell me?”

“No.”

“Do you know why you’re here?”

“You want to change my medication again.”

“Do you understand why we need to do that?”

 

New Dark Humor Fiction: Hitch-Hike Baby, Part Two

The Ugly

When last we visited, I had just gotten laid by way of a friendly, frisky, pre-AIDS era hitchhike hookup. It was the only time such a thing happened during my years thumbing rides, but not for lack of offers. Unfortunately, at least for a straight guy like me, all the other offers I got after getting picked up were from men.

New Fiction: Constance Dryden’s Oil

We bought the house we’re currently living in from an elderly woman–Constance Dryden–who had lost her husband ten years before. My wife Teri and I figured Constance to be in her late seventies, perhaps early eighties. On our first walk-through, and all through the sales process, she seemed vaguely ambivalent, even unwilling to part with the bungalow on Portland’s Southwest Devonshire Street. According to our agent, Sally Showwalter, her family had insisted Grandma Dryden give up the homestead when it became clear she could no longer keep it up. Her three children were worried about her living alone with the stairs to the basement, the old clawfoot tub, the considerable amount of work needed in the large yard. The oldest daughter was taking her in.

Our offer was countered, we accepted, and that was that, but returning from a run to Home Depot several days after closing we found Constance raking October leaves on the front lawn.  “You have to stay ahead of the leaves this time of year,” she said. “How do you like the place so far?”

Teri and I were friendly, but a shadow of wariness crossed our shared glance.

 

New Fiction: Their Deformed Ideology

I stand over the FNP soldier, gun pointed at his head.

The sky is dark, the field a landscape of muddy trenches. The only remaining hint of living vegetation lies some three hundred yards away, a sketchy dark outline against the ring of mountains beyond. Bright muzzle flashes pop in and out of existence across the field like a swarm of fireflies. It smells of metal, ozone, and death.

Rain streams down my gloved hands, across the matte black of my gun barrel. Droplets form and slide one-by-one down the muzzle like marching soldiers, collecting into one large drop at the tip that falls…and is quickly lost in the dozens streaming from the sky to spatter my enemy’s face. His sickly eyes squint up at me from underneath thick greenish folds, like a zombie, or an alien.

Hard to believe he’s one of my fellow countrymen.

New Humor Fiction: Hitch-Hike Baby

Part 4 In the Odyssey of Carlos Stranger…

I did a lot of hitch-hiking around Shreveport before I got my learner’s permit and was able to drive my parent’s 1962 Buick Invicta station wagon. As a consequence, I’m probably lucky to be alive. Based on my experience, I can’t recommend thumbing rides; doing so was an absolute never-ever for my own children. While hitchhiking was something we did back in the day, due to the inherent dangers it has fallen out of favor. Does anyone hitchhike anymore?

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