Free Fiction Thursday – Reunion

Good morning, everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is actually going up before I head off to bed after a long evening of writing, since I plan to be cooking stuffing for the turkey around the time I normally post my Thursday stories. I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving has a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and laughter, and that you manage to get your geek on a little sometime during the day. *g* Me — I’m thrilled there will be a Castle marathon tomorrow. I’m looking forward to Castle and Beckett and the gang keeping me company in the kitchen. In years past I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinners accompanied by X-Files and Buffy marathons. Of course, back in those days I knew the names of all the episodes, and even made note of the fan favorites. Now I just enjoy the show. My geek has apparently mellowed with the years.

This week’s story is a contemporary fantasy about a celebration dinner of a whole different sort, and probably with more food than a normal Thanksgiving Day feast. I hope you enjoy “Reunion.”

Reunion

Annie Reed

Copyright © 2012 Annie Reed

 Published by Thunder Valley Press

Cover art © Shawn Hempel | Dreamstime.com

Beth started cooking three days before Jesse showed up.

She didn’t know he was coming.  She didn’t even know him, for that matter, or any of the others who came.  She didn’t like to cook all that much to begin with, but for some reason, late one Wednesday afternoon while she was in the middle of a customer service call with an elderly man who couldn’t navigate his way through her company’s online banking system, Beth felt a sudden need to bake bread.

Banana bread.  Pumpkin bread.  Zucchini bread.  Sourdough and whole wheat and cinnamon raisin.  She wanted to shove her hands into a huge ball of dough and knead the stuff until it had just the right measure of elasticity while the heady aroma of yeast filled her kitchen.

And that wasn’t all.

She wanted to cook a turkey.  And a ham, a huge one, all bristling with pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries skewered on toothpicks.  Roast beef.  Brisket.  Barbequed ribs slathered with homemade sauce, heavy on the brown sugar and light on the vinegar.  Roast pork with applesauce.

The thought of all that food seriously derailed her train of thought.  She couldn’t get the old man off the phone quick enough.  She was afraid he’d hear her stomach rumble through her headset.  She could practically smell all that food, and it was making her mouth water.

Once the call ended, Beth took herself out of the queue of in-coming calls.  She stood up and leaned over the top of the half-wall that separated her cubicle from Sherrie’s.

“You have any crackers left?” Beth asked.  “Gummy bears?  Pretzel sticks?”

Sherrie always had food.  She was the one person in Beth’s eight-person department who made it her duty to look out for everyone else, even though Sherrie was the youngest of them all.

“You pregnant, girl?” Sherrie asked as she handed over a bag of potato chips.  “You don’t normally get the afternoon munchies.”

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – They Lie

Good morning, everyone! How’s Thursday treating you this week?

Can you believe August is almost over? This weekend is Labor Day here in the States, a three-day weekend that marks the traditional end of summer, then it’s September and the new TV season. Yay! I’m seriously looking forward to Castle and The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead; I’m already enjoying the new season of Grimm. Before I know it, October will be here, which leads me up to one of my favorite holidays — Halloween.

This week’s story fits right in with that scary season. Imagine you’re driving down a lonely country road at night, the window in your car rolled down to catch the last warmth of the summer evening. You stop at a traffic light, fiddle with the volume on the radio, then you’re pulled out the window by something out of a nightmare. That’s only the beginning of “They Lie.” Enjoy!

 

They Lie

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

Cover Art Copyright Tomislav Pinter | Dreamstime.com

They lie.

The writers of books like Twilight, of television shows like Buffy and Angel and Forever Knight.

There’s no romance.  No love.  No quests for redemption or pining for companionship or longing to become human again, and no damn sparkling in the sun.  There’s only darkness and fear and an all-consuming hunger that obliterates whatever’s left of your poor, screaming soul.

If you let it.

My maker pulled me out the open window of my car when I stopped for a light on a lonely country road late one night.  I’d spent most of that night watching chick flicks with my best friend, Chelsea.  I haven’t seen her since.  It’s a struggle.  I don’t need to be invited in, and I know the way back to her house.  Even if I didn’t, I could still find her.  I know her scent.

I’m not sure why I stopped at that light.  Chelsea lives out in the sticks.  Nothing but flat farmland for miles.  I could see enough of the road to know that no cars were coming in the other direction.  No cars at all, but I’ve always been a good girl.  A rule follower.  So I stopped and checked for headlights.  Unbuckled my seatbelt for a moment to straighten out a twist while I listened to some inane pop song on my radio.

Then I died.

It wasn’t a quick death.  Imagine being ripped apart by a wild animal, but staying awake for the whole thing.  My maker was ancient and rotted, and he smelled like an open sewer pit.  He chewed at my neck and my arms, and when I tried to run away, he pounced on my back and bit into my spine.

No one came to save me when I shrieked.  No one at all.

(read the rest of the story here)