The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 3)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, the ghost began to remember more of her past, and she and Bea went to the library to research what happened to the ghost’s husband. Though they were interrupted by a creepy guy who seemed way too interested in Bea’s research, they eventually found an obituary…

Chapter 3

I couldn’t turn my gaze from those small words wedged between two other obituaries. We’d found him. The pride of accomplishment should have surged through me, but I felt vaguely sick. Was this all that remained of Nate? He deserved so much more than a snippet of text in an old newspaper.

He’d been merely twenty-eight years old according to this. Grief scraped my soul like gravel against skin, an old and familiar pain. I’d wanted to grow old with him, to raise a family. Our life together had been just beginning. It wasn’t fair. We should’ve had more time.

And had his death truly been an accident? It didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t remember…

“You okay?”

Bea’s gaze was gentle and full of concern. I couldn’t bear it.

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 3)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 2)

First time reading? Start with Part 1 here.

Recap: Last time, our ghostly protagonist’s monotonous afterlife was interrupted when the old woman she’s haunting calls an exorcist. But instead of moving on, the ghost talks the exorcist into helping her track down the soul of her lost husband.

Chapter 2

“Here we go. Nathaniel Breen, 1847 to 1902. Banker from California. Died of tuberculosis.”

Bea was lying in a bunk in the back of her van, staring at a small device with a rectangular face that lit up and showed pictures and text. (I remembered the old woman in my house using something similar.) We’d spent the night at a campground, and the new scenery had both mesmerized and invigorated me. The only one more excited was the cat, who darted among the trees all night in exploration.

“Nate wasn’t a banker,” I said. “And he certainly wasn’t from California.”

“What was he, then?”

“A factory worker. And I don’t think he ever left Ohio.”

“Hm.” She stretched. “Well, I don’t see any other Nathaniel Breens on here.”

“You should try a library.” I sniffed. “There are still libraries around these days, aren’t there?”

“Yeah, let me look up the closest one.”

Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 2)

The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 1)

It’s October! Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, so to celebrate, I want to share a free urban fantasy short story. I’ll be serializing The Memory of Ghosts all through October, so expect updates every Thursday this month. Check it out if you like:

  • Ghost librarians
  • Haunted Graveyards
  • Grumpy paranormal investigators
  • FRIENDSHIP

I hope it helps you get into the Halloween spirit. Happy reading!

The Memory of Ghosts Cover

*To be on the safe side, I’m adding a content warning for a brief instance of animal cruelty in this chapter.

Chapter 1

I hated the woman who lived in my house.

She’d made it as slovenly as a pigeon coop. Unwashed dishes were always piled high in the sink, attracting a swarm of flies and other crawly things. Crumbs and crumpled paper bags covered the couch, and half-empty cups grew moldy on the end tables. Soiled clothes littered the floor in the master bedroom, and the less said about the washroom, the better.

I could forgive her untidiness if she were a pleasant person, but she wasn’t. When her husband cooked dinner, she’d spend the whole meal talking about how it tasted like garbage. If her kids spoke more loudly than a whisper, she shrieked at them to shut up and do their homework. Her favorite words were “stupid,” “worthless,” and “don’t know why I put up with you.” Continue reading The Memory of Ghosts: A Halloween Urban Fantasy Serial (Part 1)

Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

Find the Others…before they find you.

Looking for an urban fantasy short story with lots of action and a bit of creepiness? Finished reading Poison and Honey and want more of the characters and world? You’ll probably enjoy Strange Hunt.

Just make sure you read Part 1 first, or else you’ll probably be pretty lost.

Strange Hunt CoverSal’s magic compass took them down a back road, bringing them to a dilapidated house. Woods covered most of the large property, and a sign at the end of the dirt driveway warned about trespassing and how the building was condemned. It was legible thanks to a nearby streetlamp, but as they crept down the driveway, the trees blocked the light, and the thin sliver of moon shrouded in clouds overhead was no help.

Leigh couldn’t see exactly how rundown the house was, but she was glad it was abandoned. If a family had still lived there, the Others would have taken them all. Continue reading Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

4 More Sensational Superhero Short Stories

We’re not getting our usual selection of superhero blockbusters in theaters this summer for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to be deprived of good superhero stories. One way to get them is by supporting your local comic book shop, and another is by searching the internet.

Or you can let me search the internet for you and collect a bunch of free-to-read superhero short stories into one nice list. 😉

Sojourner: Forsaken by Will Casel Brown

It is my hope and expectation that Sojourner: Forsaken will eventually grow too long to be considered a “short story,” but I’ll keep it on this list forever anyway because I love it.

The story follows Sojourner, an alien sent to Earth to study superhumans, but who crash-lands and ends up getting involved with the resistance. The main villain is the Enforcer, a costumed superhuman who is definitely not a hero and whom I just hate SO MUCH. Much of the action involves fighting him or escaping from him, and it’s wild how much adventure is packed into the current four chapters. Continue reading 4 More Sensational Superhero Short Stories

Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Did you finish reading Poison and Honey already? You may have noticed the afterward where I promised a free prequel short story on my website.

Strange Hunt is a look at how Leigh and her team fought the Others before going to Otherworld. It’ll give you a bit more insight into the world and characters of the series–plus a fun story about friendship and monster-hunting. Read and enjoy!

Strange Hunt Cover

The cue ball struck the five-ball with a crack, sending it rolling into the corner pocket. Leigh Morgan straightened up, pushing back her long hair. Not a bad shot, considering she was only half paying attention to the game.

“Nice.” Garrett strolled around the pool table, surveying his options. “Too bad I’m about to win. You want to play darts next? You’re good at that, right?”

“No.”

He looked up from the table, his face scrunching. “But you have a dart board in your apartment. I’ve seen it.”

“That’s not for darts.”

His head tilted.

“It’s for knives,” she said. “Why would I practice throwing darts? They’re not gonna hurt the Others.” Continue reading Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Flash Fiction: Marigold and Saffron

Marigold pushed the blankets off herself, careful not to make a sound. Slowly, she sat up in bed and put her bare feet on the rough wooden floor. Then she stood, wincing as the floorboard creaked under her weight. She froze, and her heart pounded as she waited to see if the sound had woken her stepsister sleeping in the bed next to hers.

Nothing. All Marigold heard was the hooting of an owl and the sound of the wind rustling the trees outside. Her stepsister, Saffron, hadn’t stirred.

Relaxing, Marigold dressed clumsily in the darkness and groped under her bed until she found the bag she’d packed earlier in the day. Food, water, matches, rope—she hoped she hadn’t forgotten anything, but she didn’t have the first clue what was needed to rescue a prince from an evil wizard. Probably, she’d fail no matter she brought.

But she had to try. She couldn’t forget him and move on, no matter what anyone else said.

She crept to the window and was about to climb out when she heard the squeak of a mattress. “What do you think you’re doing?” Continue reading Flash Fiction: Marigold and Saffron

Flash Fiction: The Lunch Date

The glass case over the pastry display was shattered, a masked goon moaning on the floor in front of it. Half the tables in the small cafe were overturned, broken plates and smashed sandwiches scattered across the tile. The rest of the customers had fled, and a terrified barista peeked out from behind the counter.

Oh, and the salad bar was still on fire.

Surveying the destruction, Dave would have sighed if he wasn’t still catching his breath. He glanced at Val, who was checking her reflection in a handheld mirror, another masked goon lying at her feet.

“Sorry about that,” Dave said. Continue reading Flash Fiction: The Lunch Date

Try Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12

Space cops! Ray-gun fights! Space fashion! Alien divas!

I love all these things, which is why they ended up in a short story I wrote recently called Starstruck. It’s a retro sci-fi adventure that ticks off a couple boxes from my 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes list and is inspired by old science fiction and pulp comics.

That’s probably why it’s such a good fit for Broadswords and Blasters, a “pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” Their latest issue, number 12, came out yesterday, and you can read over a dozen awesome pulp stories in it. I’m super excited that Starstruck is included in their number.

Space Cadet Duke Rayburn just wants to go one day without getting criticized by his impossible-to-please superior. But when he’s assigned to protect a galactic celebrity who’s being stalked and threatened, he’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep her safe–and worry about the consequences if he survives.

Broadswords and Blasters 12 Cover Continue reading Try Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12

Short Story: The Monster with Many Eyes

We all have our monsters. Sometimes, we feel ashamed by them, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from asking for help fighting them.

That’s the concept behind The Monster with Many Eyes, which is also a story about two girls beating the crap out of a monster. It appears in the Winter 2019 issue of the speculative fiction magazine The Colored Lens, and you can read it now by clicking this link or the image below.

The Monster with Many Eyes Cover

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading. ❤