Free Fiction Thursday – Lady of the Deep

Happy beginning of summer, everyone!

I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but here in Northern Nevada it’s supposed to be hot this weekend.  Like record-setting hot.  Like hang out by a cool lake in the shade with a tall glass of iced tea and a good book, or maybe just park yourself next to the air conditioning.  With a good book.  Are you sensing a pattern? 😉

This week’s story features a hot day, a lake, and a legend that’s about to turn one guy’s fun day in the sun into something dark and dangerous.  I hope you enjoy “Lady of the Deep.”

Lady deep ebook 2013 small

 

Lady of the Deep

 Annie Reed

Copyright © 2011, 2013 by Annie Reed

A sandcastle competition.  At a man-made lake where the sand had to be carted in on dump trucks because the lake used to be a rock quarry, and the last thing those beaches had was any natural sand.  Greg had never heard of anything sillier, except maybe the fact that Sylvia wanted to watch the competition.

“It’s a hundred degrees out there,” Greg said.  “And you want to stand around and watch grown men play in the dirt.”

The two of them were sitting in Sylvia’s battered old Honda.  The parking lot at the public entrance to the lake was only half-full even though it was the second Saturday in July and the swimming was free, which meant the place should have been swarming with kids.  Even little kids had sense enough to stay inside out of the sun.

“Aw, c’mon,” Sylvia said.  “It’ll be fun.  We have sunscreen and an umbrella and a blanket in the back, and I bet they’re selling beer and hotdogs.  It’ll be just like a picnic.  Didn’t you ever go on a picnic?”

“No.”

Well, that wasn’t quite true, but Sylvia wouldn’t know that.  They’d only been dating a few weeks.  Sylvia was great in bed and easy to look at, even if she wasn’t exactly what Greg would call pretty, but she had this thing about being outdoors.  She liked to just sit outside and watch the world go by.  Sometimes she liked to go on walks.  Like on the concrete path around the outside of this particular lake.

“You need the fresh air,” she said.

Okay, sure, he worked in a cubicle farm all day, and left on his own, he’d play video games all night, but was that any reason to make him bake in the sun on the hottest day of the year?

“And if you’ve never been on a picnic…”  Sylvia let the thought hang in the air, like she wanted him to finish it.  When he didn’t, she said, “Well, we really need to go on a little picnic of our own, then.”  She leaned over the center console and kissed him.  “You can rub sunscreen all over me.”  She arched one eyebrow and kissed him again.  “And I can rub sunscreen all over you.”

Greg had a vision of Sylvia naked.  She did look pretty good with her clothes off.  And rubbing on sunscreen was a legitimate way of touching her in public without anyone raising a fuss.

“Then you can rub me more, later,” she said, her mouth up by his ear.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C

Good morning, Internets!

This week’s Free Fiction Thursday story is a fun one I wrote for an anthology called SWORDPLAY. When I got the assignment, I knew nothing about swords — except that Aragorn used one in the Lord of the Rings movies and he looked pretty cool. *g* Then I found a legend about a particular sword, which triggered an idea, and off I went writing about The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C. Hope you enjoy it!

The Warrior Women of Apartment 3-C

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

 

Pre-wedding jitters drive the best of people temporarily insane.  My roommate, Wendell, wasn’t the most tightly-wrapped person to begin with.  When he showed me the sword he bought for his wedding ceremony, I thanked my lucky stars my room had a solid door and a working lock.  Just in case.

“You bought a sword,” I said, somewhat unnecessarily since the thing was right there on my couch in all its tarnished, ornate glory.

“Yeah, off eBay,” he said.  “Isn’t it cool?”

Wendell was deep in battle mode.  Again. In Wendell’s case, that meant blowing video game bad guys to smithereens from the comfort of his battered recliner.  A beer sat on the floor at his feet next to a bag of half-eaten microwave popcorn.  Wendell had moved his recliner to the exact middle of the living room, just far enough away from the television that I’d have to high jump over the controller cord if I wanted to cross in front of him to get to the kitchen.  Considering I didn’t jump — or skip or hop, for that matter — this pretty much guaranteed I wouldn’t be interrupting his game.

I was never very good at video games.  Wendell said that was because I was a girl.  As if.  I just didn’t care enough to spend hours and hours learning how to destroy things that didn’t really exist anyway.

Wendell, on the other hand, lived for video games.  Even so, ever since he and his girlfriend, Clara, had set their official wedding date, he’d been outdoing himself.  I guess he needed to stockpile time with his inner game geek before he moved out of my apartment and into Clara’s.  From what I’d seen, dear old Clara didn’t look like the type to put up with hours and hours of gaming every night.  That was the nice thing about being roommates.  I didn’t care how long Wendell zoned out in his computerized never-never land.  I had a television in my bedroom, so it wasn’t like he was hogging our only one.

I leaned over the couch and peered at the sword.  It was a pretty hefty thing, thick blade with some sort of design etched on the tarnished cutting edges and a deeper design carved into a dirty white hilt.  It looked old.  Really old.

What was he planning?  Wendell, and especially Clara, weren’t the type to dress up in medieval costumes for their wedding.  As far as I knew, their wedding attire would be boringly traditional all the way, complete with black tux, lacy white wedding dress, and bridesmaid outfits a drag queen wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” I said.  “But how could you afford this?”  Wendell wasn’t living with me just because I was such a stellar roommate.

“Got it cheap.  It’s just a replica.  Cost me more for shipping than it did to buy it.”

Cheap, huh?  That sounded like something that would attract Wendell.  But why would someone want to unload a sword so bad they’d eat everything except the shipping charges?  The sword didn’t exactly look like a replica.  Did replicas tarnish?  And what was that reddish-brown stuff in the deeper crevices of the hilt?  Could that actually be dried blood?

“So,” I said, drawing the word out.  “How are you going to… incorporate… this thing into the ceremony?”  It was probably wishful thinking to hope that Wendell planned to use the sword on Clara right before she said, “I do,” but a girl can dream.

(read the rest of the story here)