Free Fiction Thursday – After

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I don’t know about you, but this has been a busy week for this writer person. I’m getting ready to head out for two back-to-back workshops. I don’t travel a whole lot, so each trip out of town is like a mini-adventure. This one should be fun. Lots of friends and writing and business talk (yes, that’s fun when it’s about the business of writing), with some imaginary characters thrown in here and there for good measure.

A few years ago I went on another adventure with a friend — a trip to a beautiful mountain lake. One day we stopped for a late lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake. It was the middle of the week, not yet the tourist season, and we were the only customers in the place. We sat outside on a second-story deck and ate pizza in the shade of huge pine trees and just enjoyed the heck out of ourselves. A few months later, this week’s story was born. I hope you enjoy “After,” the story of an artist with one foot in the real world and one foot in a world that only exists in her imagination.

After_cover

 

After

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2013 by Annie Reed

The older Belle Creedy gets, the more she wonders about what happens.  After.

In the mornings, when dawn’s just a lick of peach in the eastern sky and she’s so far into the world of her art she only knows the sun’s coming up because the racket from the birds roosting in the thick pines around her house intrudes on her thoughts, she stops whatever she’s working on and pads out onto the deck on the second story of her place.  She watches ripples on the surface of the clear mountain lake just across the road take on the color of the pre-dawn sky, and she considers just how many coincidences go into making a world like this.  Are they really coincidences after all?  Or is there something more?

It’s quiet this morning, so early in the day the birds have barely started their chatter.  So early that Gary Weeds, another old-timer like herself, isn’t even on the lake yet.  Gary lives halfway up the mountain.  He fishes every day he can, and since he retired in 1989, he can fish almost every day the weather lets him.   He crunches down the one-lane dirt road that snakes up through the pines, rod and tackle box in his hand, and shoves off in his rowboat.  Sits out on the lake half the day, the damn fool.  One of these days she’s gonna catch Gary peeing over the edge of his boat.  Man has a cast iron bladder, but even a cast iron bladder can’t stand against the ravages of time.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – The Galaxy’s Most Wanted

Happy Thursday, everyone! How’s your day going so far?

Last weekend a lot of my buddies were in Chicago for Worldcon. Me? I went to SacAnime with my daughter. Had a lot of fun people-watching while standing in really long lines, met a couple of cool artists, and enjoyed the cosplayers even when I didn’t know what character they were playing.

This week’s story is about a different kind of cosplayer — a guy who pretends to be someone he’s not just so he can make time with the ladies. All well and good, until he tries his patter on the wrong woman. I hope you enjoy “The Galaxy’s Most Wanted.”

 

The Galaxy’s Most Wanted

Annie Reed

Copyright © 2012 Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Cover and layout Copyright © 2012 Thunder Valley Press

Last time I counted, I had two hundred fifty-seven wives and four hundred thirteen children.  Five hundred forty-one nieces and nephews.  A couple hundred pistol toting fathers-in-law.  And a dog.

I’m also wanted on seventeen planets in sixteen different systems.  That’s not counting all the outstanding interstellar warrants against me for child abandonment, failure to support, and back alimony.

Yeah, I used to be something, all right.  I don’t look like much, not anymore.  At least not compared to the pretty woman who brought me out tonight.  Yeah, that’s her.  The brunette.  Curves in all the right places.  She’s sitting on the bar stool to my right, flirting with the hunky bartender, he of the bulging muscles and piercing blue eyes, full head of blond hair, and easy smile.  If I had looked like Mr. What Can I Get A Pretty Little Thing Like You To Drink Tonight, I wouldn’t be in this mess.  Guys like me, we have to try harder.

That’s how the whole mess I’m in started, trying to get women to pay attention to me.  A little lie here, an embellishment there.  What’s the harm?  So I don’t actually own a star cruiser (I am – or was – the third assistant to the second shift lead maintenance tech on the refuse recycling scow that ran between Omicron and Zeta Sawh, but who’s quibbling?) and I’m not the man who ran a high quality bootlegging outfit on New Marris Prime (although I never said no to a decent alcoholic beverage), but a guy like me’s got to have a little edge, you know?  Something to get a girl to look past the receding hairline and paunchy belly, and the fact that I’m a little short.  Okay, a lot short.  But I do come up to at least shoulder height on most humanoid women.  Not all that bad from my perspective, if you think about it.

That’s my problem, you see.  I just always liked women more than they liked me.

Even the ones I shouldn’t have.  Like the pretty brunette on the bar stool next to me.

The first time I saw her I’d just walked into a dark, dingy bar at the end of a long, uneventful recycling trip.  I mean really – how much trouble can a guy get into on a ship full of recycled garbage?  Bored and more than a little bit lonely for some female companionship, I cleaned myself up, spritzed on my favorite deodorizing aftershave, charged up my tally card with the money I’d earned on the trip, and went looking to get laid.

I found Brina.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – After

Happy Thursday, everyone!  How are we doing this day-after-SOPA-protests, otherwise known as The Big Bang Theory’s 100th episode day?

It’s also time for a new Free Fiction Thursday story on my blog.  This week’s story is “After” which was inspired by a trip I took to Northern Idaho a few years ago.  Enjoy!

After
Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

The older Belle Creedy gets, the more she wonders about what happens. After.

In the mornings, when dawn’s just a lick of peach in the eastern sky and she’s so far into the world of her art she only knows the sun’s coming up because the racket from the birds roosting in the thick pines around her house intrudes on her thoughts, she stops whatever she’s working on and pads out onto the deck on the second story of her place. She watches ripples on the surface of the clear mountain lake just across the road take on the color of the pre-dawn sky, and she considers just how many coincidences go into making a world like this.

Are they really coincidences after all? Or is there something more?

It’s quiet this morning, so early in the day the birds have barely started their chatter. So early that Gary Weeds, another old-timer like herself, isn’t even on the lake yet. Gary lives halfway up the mountain. He fishes every day he can, and since he retired in 1989, he can fish almost every day the weather lets him. He crunches down the one-lane dirt road that snakes up through the pines, rod and tackle box in his hand, and shoves off in his rowboat. Sits out on the lake half the day, the damn fool. One of these days she’s gonna catch Gary peeing over the edge of his boat. Man has a cast iron bladder, but even a cast iron bladder can’t stand against the ravages of time.

(read the rest of the story here)