Free Fiction Thursday – Bluesman

Good morning, everyone!

This has been a pretty cool week so far.  Fiction River #1 – Unnatural Worlds – released this week with my brand new Diz & Dee story “Here, Kitty Kitty.”  I always love getting contributor copies.  There’s just something about holding the book in my hands — I don’t think I’ll ever get past the awesomeness of that. *g* If you’d like your very own copy, it’s available at Amazon in both ebook and paperback, and also from Ella Distribution.

I also have a new release from Thunder Valley Press.  “Bluesman” takes me back to the days when I actually played guitar– in front of an audience, no less — only thank goodness, I never had an experience like the blues guitarist in this story.  Enjoy!

Bluesman ebook cover small

Bluesman

 Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright © 2013 by Annie Reed

Cover art Copyright © Depositphotos | InConcert

Johnny ripped the wrapping paper off what he knew had to be another lame-ass inspirational poster as his momma belted out the last off-key strains of “Happy Birthday.”

He’d put her call on speaker so he could hear her sing while he opened her present.  There for a minute, she’d actually made his cell phone rattle around the metal top of the battered TV tray he used for a table in the low-rent motel room where he lived.

She didn’t have the greatest singing voice, his momma.  She used to tell him he yanked whatever musicality she had right on out of her when he was born and took it all for himself.

What she lacked in skill, she more than made up for with enthusiasm and volume.  Every year she insisted on singing to him on his birthday whether they were together or not.  This year found him in Vegas trying to get a gig.  She was still back home in Mississippi.  As far as Johnny knew, she’d never left the delta, not in her entire life.

“Happy birthday, baby!” she said when she was done singing.  “How you like my present?”

For once, Johnny didn’t know what to say.

The posters his momma sent always had sayings like Soar With The Eagles or Believe In Yourself coupled with photographs of high mountain peaks covered in snow or beautiful, sandy beaches, the sun setting low over the water.

She was a great believer in the power of positive thinking.  Life had pretty much sucked the positive out of him, but every year he still thanked her for her gift and said something nice about it because she was his momma and she loved him, and it was only polite.

This year he couldn’t quite bring himself to say “Cool picture, momma,” or “You’re so good to me, thinking about me like that,” like he did usually did, even though he always threw the poster away as soon as he got off the phone.

“You got me dead rock stars?” he said instead.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – Hunters

Happy Thursday, everyone!  And happy first week of October.

Somehow it doesn’t quite feel like October yet.  The weather’s been too warm, the trees haven’t really started losing their leaves yet, and hubby’s still mowing the lawn.  The days are getting shorter, though; this morning it was still dark when I got up.  Pretty soon we’ll be putting up Halloween decorations — at least those that don’t stay out all year — and watching scary movies now that I’ve finally been able to satisfy my Avengers craving. *g*

So to get us all in the mood for the scary season, how about a little supernatural horror story?  I hope you enjoy “Hunters.”

Hunters

Annie Reed

 Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2010 by Annie Reed

Cover art Konradbak | Dreamstime.com

The first time Shelly knew she dreamed in technicolor was when she saw her own blood splatter across a rough brick wall.  The blood was deep maroon, each drop as big as her thumb, glistening and wet and oh so much of it.

Too much to lose and survive, even for her.

Maroon blood.  Grey brick. The stone cold certainty that she was about to die.  Over the years the nightmare had become familiar, if not welcome.  At least she no longer woke up screaming.

When Collin touched her shoulder to wake her, Shelly sat bolt upright with her hands to her chest, heart pounding.  Tonight the dream had been so real.  More than any other night?  She didn’t know, but she thought so.  She half-expected her fingers to smear her tee-shirt with that dark maroon red.

“You had the dream again,” Collin said.  It wasn’t a question.  He had been with her too long.  He knew her too well.

Collin brushed Shelly’s hair away from her forehead, leaned in and pressed his lips lightly against her pale skin.  Collin was good to her, watched out for her, but he couldn’t understand.  He didn’t dream.

“We’ve got a gig tonight,” Collin said.  “You gonna be okay with that?”

Thigh-high boots, leather skirt and a baby-doll, all in black.  Her stage costume.  So different from the faded, oversized, Reality Bites tee-shirt she wore when she slept.  Shelly tried to remember if she had been wearing the costume in her dream, but the details were elusive.  Rough grey walls, dank, musty dirt under her feet, the heavy pounding tread of something chasing her — that’s all she remembered.

That, and the taste of dying.  The dying part had been very clear.

(read the rest of the story here)