Hero of the Solar Union

200hero-coverTitle: Hero of the Solar Union
Release Date: 5/3/2021
Contributors: Edmund de Wight
Genre: ,
Pages: 47

Garrett Ata found something in the darkness of the Kuiper belt that could earn him enough credit to retire and never have to deal with other people again.

It's also something that some would be willing to kill for.

A damsel in distress, gangsters, and secret government agents confront him at every turn.

Garret finds himself in a race for his life from the depths of the asteroid belt to the drowned Earth.

 

A sci-fi short story in the tradition of noir thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat

Winner of a Silver Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest.

Butterflies performed acrobatics in Garrett Ata’s stomach. He couldn’t decide if it was the zero-gee, the fact that he had not visited Ceres in three years, or because of the Thing in the cargo hold?

“Ceres Comms this is Hopper Black Bird, can you try again to patch me through to Jonas N’go? He lives in Calypso pod, berth forty-seven charlie."

Ceres Approach demanded that he park out on the ass-end of nowhere while they found a bay for him. He’d been waiting for four hours. There was absolutely nothing to do but float, read, and try, for the fifth time, to contact his broker.

Jonas knew to expect him. They had spoken three weeks ago, albeit with a two-hour delay each way, and arranged to sell the Thing. Where could he be? He might be a conniver, but it wasn’t like him to leave Garrett flapping in the wind. He had served under Garrett for a dozen years. The men were brothers-in-arms, a bond formed through combat and bloodshed that ran deeper than the bond between siblings. You don’t leave your brother hanging.

Minutes dragged by until the bored communication tech’s voice crackled from the speaker.

“There’s no response from that berth sir and his comm is not forwarding. There’s nothing I can do.”

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Flashes of Darkness Year 2

200flashescover2Title: Flashes of Darkness Year 2
Series: Flashes of Darkness #2
Release Date: December 31, 2018
Genre: ,
Pages: 184

No time to read? Bite-sized flash fiction is the prescription.

Year 2 of this collection brings you even more horrors and strange events to haunt your dreams.

Ghosts, ghouls, demons, aliens, monsters, and things that go bump in the night fill the pages of this volume. Each flash fiction story is the perfect prescription to fulfill your daily recommended quota for the strange and macabre.

If you’re in a rush, waiting in the doctor’s office, ten minutes from the next train station; this is the collection for you. Each story was written to be read in a matter of minutes, the perfect bite-size stories for our hectic, always moving world.

Flash fiction is extremely short fiction. It stands out for its brevity, often as little as a few words to as many as 1,000 words or so


Also in this series:

Temple of the Gods

Frank woke from a bizarre dream. It was the same dream again, the same dream that had haunted his nights since he turned 16. A full moon lit strange reddish brown columns of stone stretching into the distance. He wandered between the columns until a booming voice from above said, “Temple of the Gods.”

He always woke up after the voice spoke, covered in sweat and terrified. After almost two years of this nightmare, he was tired of its presence in his life; he was also sure that it was more than a dream.

“Dreaming again?” Buddy Wilson spoke from the other bed in the small room.

“Yeah, I’m really getting sick of it.”

“Look it sucks, OK, but think about this; today is your birthday. You’re eighteen man, you’re finally escaping this place.”

Frank used to dream about escaping the Burlew Ridge Orphanage with a forever family. That dream faded as he aged and now he was destined to finally leave the orphanage as an adult, rootless, without prospects, and hag ridden by a dream which he could not understand but knew he had to.

“Big whoop. All that means is I lose the roof over my head and steady meals.”

“Oh come on man, it won’t be that bad. You get to move to the halfway house in the Ridge until you get set up. Tommy said that the recruiting firm they set him up with found him a good job in no time.”

“Great, I can be another factory puke living in the Ridge until I become a toothless moron like the rest of the people stuck here.”

Buddy threw his pillow across the room smacking Frank in the face.

“Get up loser, it’s gonna be great.”

The two boys, one aged 17 and the other now officially a man at 18, got ready and ran down for breakfast and one more day in the orphanage.

At lunch, the staff and children performed the normal ceremony for a resident who was aging out. They gathered in the cafeteria, sang an off key rendition of Happy Birthday, ate sheet cake and then wished their departing member the best with a forced cheer.

Frank was driven to his new home, a halfway house operated by the local government which would house him for up to one year while he got a job, saved money, and finally moved out into the world.

“Temple of the Gods.”

Frank sat up in his new room; the three snoring roommates in the bunk beds around him were oblivious to his distress.

Unlike the orphanage he was free to come and go as he pleased so he dressed and slipped from the building to walk the streets of Burlew Ridge and clear his mind.

Burlew Ridge, or the Ridge as residents called it, was a mountain town nestled between four peaks. There was only one road in or out and the locals preferred to live simply; that meant most nights were pitch black without the presence of street lights which the locals were loathe to install, unlike their big city brethren. One or two random house lights lit the sidewalk allowing him to see. A few blocks from the halfway house the night became as bright as day. Frank looked up to see the lone cloud in the sky move away from the full moon which shone like the sun through the darkness. He shuddered; it reminded him too much of the dream he had just escaped.

He increased his pace and in a matter of a few minutes he found himself at the edge of town facing one of the many trails leading into the mountains.

“What the hell, why not,” he said and started up the dirt path.

He knew that hiking into the mountains in the dark was potentially suicidal. Hikers fell off cliffs or were injured by rock slides even during the day, at night he would never see danger coming. The night was so bright though, he knew he was smarter than those hikers; he’d be fine. Besides, he felt an urge to climb, like he was being pulled by a magnet. Any time he looked back toward the receding town he felt a tug, deep in his gut, telling him he needed to press onward.

The moon was high overhead, it must have been near midnight and Frank had turned so many times and climbed over so many peaks that he no longer knew where he was in relation to the Ridge.

“Great, eighteen years, and on my first day out I get lost in the mountains. Way to go butt head, you’re gonna die as a statistic.”

Still the urge to press on pulled him. Just one more peak, maybe then he’d be able to see one of the roads running past the town.

Frank came over a ridgeline and froze. Below him was a small hollow, shaped like a bowl in the center of the towering mountain tops. In the center of this area stood dozens of stones. They weren’t just stones, they were columns. Two rows of them, stretching almost the width of the bowl valley. They appeared the color of dried blood in the moonlight but Frank knew they would be a rusty brown. He was shocked to find that he was moving forward again, almost running downhill to reach the columns.

“This can’t be real. This can’t be real.” He chanted it like a mantra as he moved.

The columns were very real. He touched each as he walked among them. The stone was warm and he swore he could feel a vibration in each as if it were a tuning fork vibrating a note he could not hear.

Frank pinched himself, hard. The pain and line of blood now trickling down his arm assured him that he was actually awake.

“Welcome to the Temple of the Gods.”

A voice boomed above him. Frank yelped and spun in circles looking for the source of the voice but he was alone in the valley.

“Who are you?”

“We are the Gods. We are your family.”

Frank’s knees buckled and he landed hard on his ass.

“Say what? I have no family; my mother died when I was born.”

A glowing shape appeared above the columns. It shifted and changed as Frank watched. It was like a cloud caught in conflicting winds which tried to give it form and then pulled it apart again. Frank was uneasily reminded of a writhing pile of worms.

“When the forces of the multiverse are aligned, one of us may enter your realm and cause a female to be with child. It is how we reproduce. The females never live beyond the birth of our child as the energies of the Outside are more than their bodies can withstand. Now, you are matured in your human form and it is time to embrace your true self.”

Frank wanted a family; had dreamed of it all his life, but this was too much. This writhing light in the sky was too terrifying, too alien to comprehend.

“No, I want to go home.”

“You are home,” a chorus of voices echoed among the columns.

A thread of light lashed out from the writhing mass above him and penetrated Frank from head to toe. He screamed in pain and ecstasy as every emotion, every sensation, every stimulus he had ever experienced recurred at once, amplified a thousand fold. His body glowed. He stared at his hand in wonder and then cried out when it became transparent. His entire body became ethereal and then stretched out until it became a tendril of light like those above.

Frank felt everything in the world. He could feel the children at the Orphanage. He felt the lives of adults in the Ridge and even the city far beyond. He knew the feelings of the burrowing animals throughout the mountains. The magnetic field of the Earth was a caressing wind and cosmic rays racing through space tickled his mind. He was one of the Gods. He laughed with his power. He knew his destiny. His destiny to make more like himself until the Gods were so numerous and powerful that they could finally rip through the barrier between their Outside universe and this one and consume it, making all reality part of themselves until they alone existed in bliss and harmony. Frank laughed with the other Gods as the light faded from the sky and darkness reclaimed the mountainside.

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