Wednesday Briefs – October 23, 2013
Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the title and name to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.
The controller swung in a vicious arc, my thumbs sliding across multiple buttons on the pad as the sounds of war echoed on either side. The end of my gun was barely visible, and the barrage of bullets erupting from the barrel gave the impression of a light saber. A sensor went off, and I bit my lip as I did a front roll to escape the slicing katana whizzing through the air a hair’s breadth above me. I spun and blasted the assassin from the packing crate, his head exploding with a satisfying splatter of gore.
We walk to the place Iria and I first met to call upon Tethy’s.
My uncle has come along with us, having asked if he could bear witness to all of these ‘unbelievable’ events. He’s never laid eyes upon a goddess or a unicorn.
Iria and I could not deny him his request. Especially, after all of the help he has given to us. We hope to at least get him to witness Iria in her birth form to appease his curiosity.
Ryan tossed a copy of the Washington Post onto the table. Pointless as it was, I did as expected and picked it up. I didn’t need to read the words to know what happened. After glancing at the headline, I put it down.
“Did you expect anything else?” I figured coffee might help relax him, so I grabbed a mug from the cabinet and slipped one his favorite cups into the machine.
A nervous flutter ran through Owen as he stood before the front door.Oh, shit.
As the night progressed, I settled on the sofa, curled up in Shane’s throw. The puppy snuffled while I fumbled with the soft-colored fabric, but didn’t wake up. Instead, it twisted into a ball and draped its fluffy tail over its back.
I caught myself staring at it. How relaxed it was. With its lips pulled back, it appeared to be smiling. Whenever I realized that, I smiled as well and jerked my gaze back to the window. My heart thumped against my ribcage and my stomach churned every time.
It had been a few weeks since Ben’s kidnapping and the arrest of Jethro Steele . Steele had been arraigned and bail had been set. Of course, the Westboro Baptist Church paid for his release, and ever since he’d been let out Tom had been keeping a close eye on Ben.
“I won’t stay locked up like some caged animal.” Ben was in the kitchen. He sat at the table, drinking a cup of coffee and having a banana muffin Tom had bought him, ‘cause he knew it was one of his favorites.
Bryan sat at the table while Daroshi served up several plates of food. They’d checked and found pork roast with mashed potatoes and green beans on the menu. Daroshi had a rather large chunk of blue meat in front of him. It reminded Bryan of a turkey leg, only much larger and the wrong color. Daroshi seemed to enjoy whatever it was from the way; he ripped the meat off the bone. He knew Daroshi’s species could go for several days without eating, but good Lord, it must have been quite a while from the way Daroshi wolfed his food down.
“While we wait for the Alchemist, I thought you might like to try out your wings.”
Birch stumbled against a small table near the fireplace. “What?”
“We’ve been ignoring them because we have bigger problems, but… you have wings, Birch. Flying is the one thing I never thought we’d share. I love the freedom of soaring through the air.”
“I-I don’t know.” Birch licked his lips. “What if I fall?”
“Wait.” Noah came to a stop, pulling back on Eli’s hand, forcing him to stop.
Damn. Eli just knew Noah was going to back out. He really wanted to try some of that sweet little man.
“I don’t want to go in there.” Noah looked towards the red-lit backroom door, his eyes full of fear and apprehension.
Eli turned Noah to face him. “I’m taking you someplace a little more private.” A sly smile spread across Eli’s face. “I don’t want anyone else to see your face when I make you come.”
The living room was in complete disarray, the coffee table pushed to the wall, the couch cushions flung haphazardly across the room, the hide-away-bed pulled out and covered in blankets and sleeping bags. A massive bowl of popcorn was balanced precariously between them, Aber frowning in concentration as she painted her best friend’s toenails.
“He likes Star Wars?” Emilie said, leaning in to inspect the cherry red paint job. “Isn’t that a little dorky?”
He scratched his head for the umpteenth time. Gods, he hoped he didn’t have lice. He’d told the men several times to keep their heads clean and to use the ointment that witch back in Hardsdael had gifted them.
“Sirens ahead, Captain.”
Rodric rolled his eyes. Now he broke the news? He’d seen the flashy tails and long locks floating in the wind about ten minutes ago. Gods, he hated being a pirate. He couldn’t wait to get back to firm land and his ol’ life but his damn friend – to which, allegedly, he owed a few favors- had asked him to come with him on his last pillage. Problem was, the bastard had gone off and gotten himself lost, killed, or kidnapped – He wasn’t sure which of the three- and now it was up to him to find him.
“Are we really going to keep ignoring it?” Trey pushed his plate back and rested his hands on the table.
“No, I guess not.” Mark stood and picked up the plates to carry them to the sink. He’d known Trey wanted to talk about his option of re-enlisting, but it wasn’t something that Mark really looked forward to. He knew what he wanted him to do, but in the end, it was Trey’s decision.
Mark dumped the plates in the sink and grabbed a couple of sodas out of the fridge. He had the feeling he was going to want a beer before all was said and done, but soda would do, for now. He walked back over and set one of the sodas in front of Trey and then reclaimed his chair.
The high walls of the Kumbh’Bhesarim fluttered with red silk to welcome the Queen’s Voice. The kumbh’s several hundred humans had worked far into the night to prepare for the day about to dawn.
Willem darted across a stone yard and entered the men’s bath house. Weak light from a single aperture in the roof revealed a pale figure standing at the base of the cleaning wall. Water spilled into the room from the aqueduct that also supplied the kumbh with drinking water. Willem’s heart pounded as he recognized Torrey. He’d come! The guard on the High House must have been light. Willem ran the length of the chamber, tossing his tunic onto a stone bench before he dashed into the shallow containment pool.
Aunt Mixy’s words echoed in Sian’s ears, “If J’dol’s with Kiry, then who’s upstairs?”
“Ian ran away. He’s gone.” Sian shivered at the memory. “The police searched everywhere – inside and out. There’s nobody here, but us.”
Purple pushed back her chair and stood. “There’s always the chance of a ghost, but I’ve never sensed one.” She turned and rummaged through Sian’s kitchen drawers. “Aha!”
Holding the rolling pin high in the air, she nodded towards the stairs. “Let’s go.”
The sun beat down upon us like a hammer upon an anvil—relentless and fierce. This heat is different than that of the jungle. Far less humid and much dustier. The dust flies about us whenever the wind rises, choking us, making conversation optional. It is a good thing that we have water, hopefully enough to reach the next watering hole, and after that civilization, such as it is.
My head is numb, although not because of the heat, but because of what has occurred. Prior to this, we were all trapped in time in a prehistoric jungle, amidst dinosaurs and other fabulous creatures never before seen by man. Then Myron used his magic to pull us forward in time, to bring us home, but something went very wrong, and things did not work out as intended. We ended up in the wrong time and place—and now my Vittorio is missing. So is Kitty. And my pennyfarthing. Much as I miss them, it is Vittorio my heart aches for, a pain that pierces my very soul and leaves my nights sleepless.