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.
Sal’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.
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!
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?”
He looked up from the table, his face scrunching. “But you have a dart board in your apartment. I’ve seen it.”
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.
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.
I’m going to be a witch this Halloween. I’ve got the hat and the black dress, and I just need to figure out my makeup.
Witches have always been one my favorite paranormal beings. Maybe it’s the spells and potions or the feminist undertones. It could also be a side-effect of growing up reading Harry Potter. Or maybe it’s just the aesthetic.
Addison found the box one Sunday afternoon when her mom asked her to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom. It was a dusty old cardboard thing, and inside, she found a few notebooks with her late grandma’s name on the front and a beautiful silver necklace with a jeweled rose pendant.
“Look what I found,” she said, bringing the box to her mom.
Her mom turned from her computer, and her eyes widened. “I remember that. I kept it just in case…”
“In case what?”
Addison pestered (She was good at pestering) until her mom heaved a sigh and sat her down for a Serious Talk.
Dave set their suitcases on the dresser and stretched, still stiff from the flight. He surveyed the cozy bedroom, taking a moment to appreciate the view of the mountains out the window.
“This is nice,” he said to Val.
“I need to have it redecorated,” she called back from the bathroom, where she was touching up her make-up before their dinner reservation. “Everything’s horribly out of date—which I guess I should’ve expected. I haven’t used this place in years.”
Dave was just happy to visit one of her properties on a vacation and not as a safehouse to hide in while someone was trying to kill them. He pulled off his watch, wanting to wear a nicer one for dinner, and opened the top draw of the nightstand to put it in.
Ever wonder how the wise old mentor character puts up with the whiny, annoying hero he’s training? Then have I got the tale for you.
My short story, A Magical Education, follows a group of aging mentors drinking mead and venting about the next generation of heroes they’re trying to educate. It’s a humorous fantasy short, and you can find it in Issue 81 of Swords and Sorcery Magazinehere or by clicking the image below.
Check out the magazine’s archives while you’re there. It’s full of entertaining and adventurous sword and sorcery fiction. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any short fiction on my blog, so here’s a little something from The White Knight & Black Valentine Series. Enjoy!
How to Stop Trains (A Guide for Superheroes)
An excerpt from White Knight’s lecture at the Academy on April 15, 2002.
Remember the acronym TAD: Time and Distance. You may be strong enough to stop a runaway train in a split second, but if you bring a train moving a hundred miles per hour to a sudden stop, the passengers are going to keep moving forward at a hundred miles per hour. They’d have a better chance of survival if you threw them headfirst into a brick wall. Continue reading Short Story: How to Stop Trains (A Guide for Superheroes)
It’s that time again: time for another edition of the best superhero short fiction from around the web. Here are four free short stories to kick off your week with (and if you like these, catch up on my first and second lists).
La Gorda and the City of Silver
Written by Sabrina Vourvoulias and narrated by Sandra Espinoza, La Gorda and the City of Silver is a brilliant story about luchador vigilantes in Guatemala. Though it ventures into some dark territory, it’s heart-warming and uplifting overall, and there’s a lot of humor in the main character’s voice. You can read it at Podcastle, but I recommend listening to the audio version in the podcast on the same page, because the narrator is absolutely perfect. This is one of those stories that stayed with me after finishing it, so I whole-heartedly recommend giving it a try.
Last Stand for Lucifer’s Legion
Last Stand for Lucifer’s Legion by D.K. Latta is about superheroes in WWII and feels like it was ripped straight from an old pulp magazine. I liked the mix of American and Canadian superheroes on the team, and overall, it’s just a good action/adventure story. Fans of golden age comics should definitely check it out at Crimson Streets.
Lazarus and the Amazing Kid Phoenix
This story by Jennifer Giesbrecht features people getting superpowers after near-death experiences (or after dying and coming back, depending on your interpretation). It’s well-written and poignant, and the POV is so excellent that you can hear the main character talking even if you don’t listen to the audio version. It’s not a feel-good story, though, and it left me with a melancholy feeling at the end. But it does this really cool thing interspacing comic scripts between the main story and addresses a lot of deep questions and themes. You can find it in Issue 86 of Apex Magazine.
When the Devil Drives
Written by Melinda Snodgrass (and edited by George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame), When the Devil Drives is set in the Wild Cards universe, which means it automatically has amazing world-building and a wealth of cool concepts to play with. A mystery where the protagonist has to clear his own name when he’s suspected of murder, it stars a morally gray main character who stays likable through his dry humor and relationship with his family. The whole thing can be read at Tor.com.