Tag Archives: free

The Harvest – Yuppies

Today’s Flash Fiction is inspired by Chuck Wendig’s challenge from last week – Another Ten Words. It’s a continuation of the story I posted for the corn related challenge a few weeks ago. I plan on adding to this story serially (cereally?) over the coming weeks. They’ll be available on my Wattpad
page as well. Wattpad is a story sharing site and everything is free. Enjoy the story!

Marcie let out an exasperated huff, for the third time on the trip back from her Mom’s funeral.

“What is it, dear?” Brad hissed through clenched teeth. He’d had about enough of her attitude. The only reason they’d gone was to hear the reading of the will. That turned out to be a colossal waste of time.

“You know damn well what it is. You were captivated by Charlene the whole time we were there, or at least by Charlene’s ass.” She turned and glared at him, bright green eyes shards of bottle glass.

He shook his head. “I was just amazed by the sheer size and roundness of it. I’ve never seen an ass like that on a white girl. I like big butts and I can not lie.” The joke fell flat, but it was at least a change of pace from the silence or the only other alternative, the screaming.

“Stop the car.” She hit him on the arm.

“What the actual hell?” It had hurt, but it hadn’t made him lose control. Lifting weights three times a week kept him buff.

“I said stop the car. Or at least stop the deceit. You’ve been lying to me about your trips out of town, haven’t you?”

This again. “Look, Marcie, I have to do a lot of traveling. You knew when I took this job that would be part of the deal. I’d have to be out of town a week a month.”

She hit him on the arm again, in the exact same god damn spot. “Stop the fucking car.”

He slowed down, looking for a place to do exactly that. He’d spaced out the last few miles. They were in the middle of nowhere. It must have rained here in the last half an hour and there was no way he was pulling the Beemer off onto a muddy shoulder. He spotted a sign up ahead, but couldn’t read it yet. “You’re so interested in me stopping, you’ll have to wait a minute.”

She turned and glared out the front window.

He could almost smell brimstone coming from her pores. He’d seen her mad before, but never anything like this. In the ten years they’d been married there had been plenty of ups and downs. Their physical relationship started off great. She still had the body that she had in high school and he had a better one. Things had cooled off in the last couple of years. The lack of any fruit from their sex life had something to do with that, he was sure. She’d been ready for a baby for the last eight years. He didn’t feel like he’d ever be ready.

He pulled onto the gravel side road and stopped. The sign he’d seen earlier read “Fresh Corn” in a brownish-red paint and pointed down the road. He could see a corn field in the distance. He turned to look at his wife. It felt like there was a canyon in between them instead of just an emergency brake. He bridged the gap with his arm. “Look, Marce…”

“Don’t you ‘Marce’ me.” She slapped his hand away and shouldered open her door. When she was out, she slammed it as hard as she could.

“Jesus Christ.” He put the car in drive and followed her. He watched her start jogging. Tan legs flashed below the hem of her jean shorts and her white sneakers bit into the rocky surface.

The road turned into driveway of sorts. When he reached the end, Marcie was leaning against an enormous oak tree. A deflated balloon hung near one of her shoulders with a manic looking clown superimposed on silver mylar. Three slashes split the clown’s face and it appeared to be staring at him in warning or accusation.

He parked the car near a battered old pickup truck and got out. A farm stand stood boarded up a dozen yards past the tree. A farm house that looked like it could use some TLC in the form of some paint or maybe a molotov cocktail sat further back from it. “Marcie, let’s not do this here. We’re likely to be less than an hour from a hotel. I’ll find us a place to stay. We’ll even get separate rooms if that’s what you want. You’re just grieving the loss of your Mom.”

She dug the toe of one shoe into the red clay near the oak’s base. “I won’t be grieving that bitch any time soon.” She looked up at him. “What I miss is what we used to have.”

He felt the anger began to build up. It’s gone because of you. He wanted to shout it until the rage disfigured his face. Instead he took a few calming breaths. “I miss it too.” He took a step towards her.

A screen door banged shut just past the tree. “We’re not receiving visitors right now.” The voice was strong, deep and masculine.

Brad moved to one side to see who was speaking. The oak was no weeping willow. It was eight feet across if it was an inch. “Sorry. We just had some car trouble.”

The owner of the voice, a youngish man with a mop of red hair, was dressed in coveralls and heavy work boots. “Really? Sorry to hear that. Won’t start at all?”

Something in the man’s eyes made Brad want to run. That was ridiculous. He had at least fifty pounds and three inches on Farmer Brown. “I’m sure it will. We just wanted to let the engine cool down a bit.” He looked back at Marcie. “We need to go, honey. They’re expecting us back home.”

She looked at him in confusion. “Who are you talking about? There’s no one…” She stopped as Brad nodded towards the farmer.

“Maybe I can help you get where you’re going.” The farmer’s voice was muffled now.

Brad looked back and saw that the man was wearing a bag over his head. His mind went blank as he saw the hand scythe gripped in one of the farmer’s work hardened fists. He couldn’t move, not even when Marcie’s head tumbled to the ground at his feet. It was like an atomic bomb had gone off in his brain, wiping out all cognition. He didn’t even feel the pain when the man’s weapon bit deep into his neck.

Had to use:











I saw a post on Facebook this morning that made me want to spew my guts in a rant. I’ll try and keep it dialed down, since I don’t know all of the details, but suffice it to say that apparently a “fan” gave a podcaster some degree of grief for not giving away all of their stuff for free.

I got into podcasting for a few reasons. The first and foremost was that I was inspired by the likes of Mur Lafferty, JC Hutchins, Scott Sigler, and a whole host of the first generation podcast fiction writers. They were getting their words in front of people in a new way. It helped them build an audience and a community of support. Their generosity (and taking the untold hours to create the audio after taking the hours to write is beyond generous) was inspiring. I wanted to do that. So, I did.

There’s a problem though. In some circles it seems that this generosity has created a sense of entitlement. I’ll admit to falling prey to that a time or two. When Hutch stepped down from podcasting his fiction my gut reaction was somewhat negative. He owed his fans, didn’t he? Eventually I realized the bullshit behind my anger. I cheered him on and he’s doing some awesome things.

Here’s how you respond to the generosity that podcasters are displaying, when/if they decide to put down the microphone (or even before then). Buy their stuff if they have stuff for sale. If they don’t, and not all podcasters are fiction writers who put their works out there in e-book/dead tree formats, or if you can’t (hey, times are tough and we don’t all have ducats to spare), there are other options. Review their podcasts on iTunes and the other venues set up for that. Blog about them. Use social media to spread the word.

To that end, I give my heartfelt thanks to Mur, Scott, and JC. There are more people than that though.

Currently in my iPod I’m pleased to be listening to:

Dan Absalonson
Decoder Ring Theatre
Every Photo Tells
Flash Pulp
The Functional Nerds
HG World
How To Disappear Completely
Mike Plested
Jen And Dave
John Mierau
Living Proof
Keith Hughes
Clay Dugger
The Roundtable Podcast
Paul Cooley
Supervillain Corner
Timothy C Ward

And that doesn’t count the dozens of podcasters, bloggers, and other folks that have given me years of FREE CONTENT since I’ve been traveling the intertubes. You people are all awesome. Please keep it coming and let me know how I can help you!

Fetch and KDP Select

Last week I used the five days of freeness that Amazon gives you to give away your e-book. I blew it all at once and it was awesome to see my book in the top teens for Occult Horror and in the thirties for straight horror.

It’s too early to tell I guess if it will provide me with any benefits other than six hundred and eleven more copies of it floating in the wild.

Right now it’s still available for free if you’re an Amazon Prime member. If not, it’s $1.49. It’s one of my better received stories and for those of you who have it, whether you paid for it or not, I sincerely hope that you enjoy it!


Have I got a deal for you! If you like short fiction go and buy Caveat Veritatem from Smashwords. It’s full of well crafted shorts, (according to Chris Miller of The Secret Lair). At the end of it you’ll find a little Easter Egg, a coupon for All Our Tomorrows by Ryan Hill.

What’s that? It’s a collection of 18 pieces of flash fiction, covering a range of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, and mundane life, and each from 100 to 1000 words long.

As if that weren’t enough, when you get your FREE copy of Ryan’s story, you will find a coupon for Far and Away, my collection of fantasy stories. That’s twenty seven stories for just two bucks! I think that’s a hard deal to pass up.

Or, alternately, you could by all three collections for about five bucks. I reckon it’s a win-win for everyone involved! Of course if you’ve already purchased Caveat Veritatem, just go to your Smashwords page and download the most recent one.

Win A Whole Library

I’ve decided to take 52 Weeks of Indie up a notch. Giving away fifty-two books isn’t enough. I’m going to give away a hundred and three! How does that math work out? At the end of the year I’m going to take all of the winners, put them in a hat, and draw a name. The person who wins will get the other fifty-one books they didn’t win. Fifty-two plus fifty-one equals one hundred three! So you can win a whole virtual library.

I’ve got some great books lined up down the pipe too. Some are authors you know and love. There will be a number you don’t know, but that’s part of the fun.

As always I encourage you to go and drop a buck or three on as many of these as you can, though. Win or not these authors are worth supporting. So get cracking and help me spread the word!

Podcasters – Here’s a promo for you to play on your podcast! Let me know if you do!

Free Fiction Fridays

Last Friday I decided to try an experiment. I gave away a Smashwords coupon to my mini-“anthology” consisting of two stories; “Piercing the Veil” and “Vicious Cycle”. I’m the kind of person that does things like that a little impulsively and right after I released the coupon I did some thinking.

My first question was, “What am I trying to accomplish?”. I want to get more eyes on my stories at this point. I’m fighting some degree of obscurity (for large values of obscurity), and if giving some stuff away helps overcome that then I’m all for it. However, I know that there are people out there who believe in my and want to support my work financially. So I give them ample opportunity to do that by offering my works for sale at as many venues as possible.

When I tweeted last night that I was going to do another Free Fiction Friday today and wanted to know what people wanted me to give away, I got some push back. The objection seemed to boil down to, “if I buy your work and three days later you’re giving it away, I’ll feel cheated”. There was also the notion that if someone knew I was going to do this every week they’d just wait and get what I had for free.

I understand both sets of feelings. My own thoughts on the matter are this though, if I’m supporting an author financially and they decide to put something on sale or give it away then I should respect that. They, no doubt, have reasons for doing what they’re doing. I pay money for stories because I want that person to continue being able to make stories and because I believe in them. Sometimes I even buy things that I’m not otherwise interested in, simply to enable someone to make something cool. Case in point, JR Blackwell’s LARP game Shelter in Place. I’m unlikely to ever play it. I like zombies, but I’m not a LARPer. I backed her Kickstarter campaign anyway.

If someone wants to wait until I put something out for free, for whatever reason, to download it, that doesn’t hurt my feelings. Their reasons are their own, and I made the conscious decision to give it away so they’re not pirating and my being put out would be silly. The only thing that bothers me is the notion that someone wouldn’t buy one of my stories (that presumably they were going to buy at some point) simply because I want to try using a loss leader to bring in more eyes.

So, if you think this is a dumb idea or that ultimately it’s going to hurt me more than help me, I really am interested in hearing what you have to say in more detail than Twitter will allow. I plan on doing giveaways of my short fiction only on Fridays for the next couple of weeks at least, maybe longer if it turns out to be helpful. But if there’s sound logic that I’m overlooking then I’m game to listen.

A Story for a Tweet

I’m always eager to try something new, so I’m making a story available for even cheaper than a song. You get this one for a tweet! Enjoy.

Here’s a tease:

Bobby had never been a very practical boy. At least that’s what his teachers always told him. Being raised by his Mom and Dad to always seek the most interesting solution to any problem, rather than the easiest, probably had much to do with that.

“Son,” Dad would say, patting Bobby’s shaggy brown hair, “life is too short to treat every situation like some sort of porcelain doll. If your answer ruffles some feathers, then you’re probably on the right track. If you’re wrong, then just keep trying.”

So when the lad saw his first dragon, he took it at face value, rather than assuming he had gone off his rocker.

If you like this story you might also check out the sample for my YA science fiction novel, Ginnie Dare: Crimson Sands, or if you like horror have a look at my anthology Through a Glass, Darkly. Enjoy!

Read An E-book Week

In celebration of “Read An E-book Week” if you go to Smashwords you can get any of my e-pubs for free. Don’t have an e-reader? You can read them all online or download them as PDFs. Coupon codes are available on each story’s page.

This is a promotional effort by Smashwords to encourage people to embrace the format and let people know about the awesome content out there. This promotion only lasts til the end of the week so don’t wait!

Holiday Spirits

I found this little short in my files and dusted it off. I though you might enjoy it.

Joe sat in Barren Grounds, Lumiere’s premiere coffee roaster and café, and stared at the reflection in his Mocha Java. “Why do I stay here? Year in and year out I’m here, despite the fact that I resolve to leave every year about this time.” His faraway gaze switched to the fitful snow outside the cozy shop’s windows. He continued to mutter to himself, not an uncommon thing among the patrons of this odd little place. “I mean I do like my job but I could write just about anywhere.”The ghostly reflection of a young man in the window glass startled him out of his reverie.

He turned around and looked at the lanky straight-backed youth. The almost-man wore a denim jacket covered in road dust over a baggy University sweatshirt. The once blue jacket had been used as a drawing board for all manner of anti-war graffiti and anti-capitalism sloganeering, still as popular on the campuses now as it had been when Joe was his age. The hems of his baggy blue jeans scraped the ground and covered battered Chucks. A huge cobalt watch cap covered his tangled ashen locks completing the ensemble. He clutched a cup of steaming brew in his hands. “Mind if I sit with you sir?”

Continue reading Holiday Spirits

Scavenger Hunt!

Reviews for my stories keep coming in. A new one for “Fetch” went up last night and I’m pleased with it. Still, I want to continue to find new ways to get the word out about them. So I came up with an idea and I’ve approached some of my favorite podcasters with it…

I send them a coupon code for one of my stories and they drop it in their podcast. Their listeners get a free story and I send you lovely people (who might not be listening, and why aren’t you?) over there to listen, get hooked and ALSO get a free story. It’s WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN.

The first one has gone up. Jake Bible has dropped a coupon code into his latest Ramblin’ Jake Infocast. So go listen. He’s got some great news about his projects (at least one of which you might be interested in) and he also drops the coupon code somewhere in there. You’ll find a link to the story itself on his site.

If you’re a podcaster and you want to get in on this action, drop me a comment. If you want more free stories and news go to my author page on Facebook. You might find something over there to like other than me!