Free Fiction

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…fantasy?

“Tell me what you are,” Ruby said, and the blade of the longsword, streaked with warm vermilion, did not shake.

A fresh sweat broke out on the Verani captain’s forehead, welling up through a pate that already gleamed in the beating sun. It must have stung the cut that still sluggishly bled into his hair. The twitch of his hands said he was considering lying to her, asking what she meant. “What I—?”

“Save your honor and do not make me ask again,” Ruby said, deepening her voice like Mother’s when her commands were questioned.

It was all the man needed. His hands fell to the deck where he knelt and his chin dropped. He was silent for two long heartbeats, long enough for Ruby to wonder what it must be like, a captain from the land empires knowing now that his only immortality would be the emblem she, his last enemy, would carry on her skin, a living memory of pain. “I am wind over the sea,” he whispered, and this time the words were thick with a truth, his last; “a cold nor’wester before morning, clouds chased by the sun.” Though his voice did quaver, he did not weep; as he surrendered his spirit’s secret shape, the form of his unique humanity, Ruby swallowed an unexpected rush of pity and admiration.

Reviews:

  • “Great use of language, great imagery.” –Adam Dunsby
  • “Intense, arresting, vivid… fabulous story.” –Tea
  • “There is a lot of fresh and original stuff here, the gryphons and the sea magic, and the descriptions are well-crafted. At the heart of the story is Ruby’s inner conflict between piracy—making her mother proud—and her inner magic, which involves a strong empathy for her victims.” –Lois Tilton

Read the rest of “Stormchaser, Stormshaper” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.


…cyberpunk?

The alley was dark and redolent, old dirt and new steel, rain-swept asphalt and acrid ozone. Kali’s footsteps spread halos of dryness where the ground gave before her. Two streets away something hollow and metallic hit the ground with a clang, and every muscle in Kali’s body screamed sudden tautness, a rush of adrenaline sending a wave of shadow across her vision.

Being out of JH’s range made her twitchy.

Reviews:

  • “I fell in love with this story when I copy-edited it. When asked why, I had to think hard; it was a little like explaining why dark chocolate is my favorite, really — because it suits my taste. Although perhaps the key word there is dark…” –Anne Zanoni
  • “Then things get really strange in another story well worth reading. Erin Hoffman gives us a story about love in “Darkest Amber”. Kali is very attached to her old-fashioned gasoline powered vehicle that she calls JH. JH is intelligent and has a personality.” –Sam Tomaino
  • “Oddest thing, here’s this electric (sorry!) story about a gal & her car & I loved it. Don’t know, don’t care about cars, engines at all, personally, but the urgency, style and sheer zip carried me along.” –Brenda Anderson
  • “Weird. Cool. Brilliant.” –wendigomt
  • “Fine job. I’m not sure that everyone here appreciates–or recognizes–a fully-restored, re-chromed ’57 Bel Air decked out with 50 coats of fine-sprayed, hand-rubbed, cherry red lacquer fully-flamed and topped off with three coats of pure carnauba. Don’t let anyone turn this into an Edsel.” –Robert Conary

Read the rest of “Darkest Amber” at Electric Velocipede.


More coming soon!

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