“SUPPOSE” Is Now Available In Print

Suppose

For those eager readers who have been asking, “Suppose” is finally available in print: A collection of over sixty riveting tales, with new and expanded stories.


Suppose: Drabbles, Flash Fiction, and Short Stories has undergone a complete rewrite, with new and expanded stories: over sixty tales of humor, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and life experiences so unbelievable that they have been disguised as fiction.

Suppose you saw something you couldn’t explain. And then suppose it turned out to be something far stranger, or funnier, or more horrifying than you ever expected. That element of surprise, and a different way of looking at things, is what this anthology is all about. Most of the short stories take less than fifteen minutes to read, and the ultra-short drabbles take less than thirty seconds.

Kathy Steinemann, Amber Hayward, A. L. Kaplan, and Donna Milward share their tales and fantasies in this book of drabbles, flash fiction, and short stories.

Why would the government force an artist to paint portraits of despots or drug lords? Why would healthy people die for no obvious reason? Do you suppose that wishes could ever be dangerous? What’s a BioInterFace Fluxxatron? Do aliens watch reality shows? Why would someone pay double the usual rate to move a heavy trunk? Why is the mud from Sludge Flats so valuable?

Discover the answers to these questions in this eclectic collection.

For a limited time, readers can receive a discount on the print edition at CreateSpace, the company that produces books for Amazon. The reduced price of $9.99 USD is further reduced by $2.00 with the discount code below:

DISCOUNT CODE: FPHUKVQB

https://www.createspace.com/5572855

And here are the other formats currently available.

Digital Editions:

Amazon.comAmazon.caAmazon.co.ukAmazon.deiTunesBarnes & NobleSmashwords

Paperback Editions:

Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.deCreatespace

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RED ROVER, RED ROVER

“Damn fracking,” mumbled McAllister. He stared at the red water in the little creek. “First they cause an earthquake, then they pollute the groundwater. Now something’s using my farm as a fast food highway.”

After the quake last year he’d been thrilled to have a new creek bubble up across his farm. Not anymore. The weird noises grew louder every night. Livestock vanished with increasing frequency.

Sweat dripped down McAllister’s back, but not from the sun. Last night he saw something slither up this creek bed, leaving a trail of feathers. A dozen of his best layers, gone. The unearthly prints around the hen house were the only clue something wasn’t right.

The bushes rustled. High pitched chirping echoed around him. He tightened his grip on the shotgun and kept moving. The air felt charged, pricking his skin. His heartbeat quickened. Maybe it wasn’t the fracking after all. Maybe it was something else.

Wind and darkness swirled around him. He leaned into the tempest and continued forward. The storm vanished as quickly as it arrived, leaving McAllister in a still and barren landscape with a red stream. He blinked in the bright light and scorching heat. Large and small leathery wings filled the sky. Their screeching and chirps made his hair stand on end, but the golden eyes that studied him nearly made his heart stop.

“Mmm, a human,” said the dragon. “I wonder if it tastes like chicken.”

“Looks old and tough. Not enough meat for the children. Throw it back in the portal and try a different opening.”

The dragon flicked a claw at McAllister knocking him back into the whirlwind. A moment later he landed on his farm next to the now dried creek bed.

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DRASTIC MEASURES

The old grandfather clock began to chime and Mr. Pritchard’s mouth stretched into smirk. Three-thirty in the afternoon. Normally he’d be napping now, but ever since Becky Vogel moved in with her noisy little Pomeranian, Yappers, he hadn’t had a decent rest. Neither had Casper. That annoyance was about to end.

“Time to see if our plan is going to work, Casper,” he said, rubbing his hands together. The Samoyed yawned and flopped his tail. “I’m tired too, buddy. Keep your paws crossed that the brat takes the bait.”

He hobbled over to the window and pulled back the drape just as Becky started to race down the street. Yappers perched in the bicycle basket, raising his usual ruckus. Mr. Pritchard cringed. Even Casper whimpered and buried is head under a pillow.

The bicycle screeched to a halt by the table he’d set up down the block. They stared for a full minute, then Yappers leaped from the basket and started chowing down on the mound of liver kibble. A moment later Becky grabbed cookies in each hand and gobbled so fast she started coughing.

“Good thing I left you a bottle of water, you greedy little imp.”

He pressed his face against the glass and laughed as the pair remounted and road away.

“Glad the kid can read the sign,” he said. “Free treats for kids and dogs. If you’re quiet between the hours of three-thirty and four-thirty, there will be more tomorrow.”

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GOOD NEWS COMES IN CLUSTERS

It seems that good news comes in happy little clusters. My poem, “Midnight Dance,” won honorable mention the Balticon 49 poetry contest and was published in this year’s BSFAN magazine. I had the pleasure of reading my poem at this year’s convention. Balticon is run by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. (BSFS) See my recommended links for more details.

Earlier in the week I receive notification that my poem, “Aware,” was accepted for publication in Dragonfly Arts Magazine 2015.  Dragonfly Arts Magazine is published by Hope Works. (Howard County Maryland Domestic Violence Center.)  Check back soon for the link to a free copy.

After so much good news, how could there be more? Well, there is. Indies Unlimited 2014 Flash Fiction Anthology, which contains four of my short stories, is now available on Amazon as an E-book. A print version is forthcoming.

Happy writing Y’all.

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TYPOS

“Look at this mess, George. The grammar’s all wrong. You’ve spelled ‘there’ four different ways on the same page. Your punctuation is all over the place. The only job you’ll ever get with this kind of work is trash pick-up.”

Those words stung when Mrs. Davies said them back in high school. They still did, but I turned them around. A dozen books, three on the best seller list, and two movies. Quite a bit better than a janitor. At least she got one thing right. I needed to get my act together. Right after graduation I poured my soul onto page. Now I had money to burn on Armani suits. And a special little gift for Mrs. Davies. I’d rub this cheap, error-filled sign right in her face.

“Well if it isn’t George P. Urim,” said Mrs. Davies as I walked into her classroom. “I was hoping you’d visit one day.”

“Uh, hi, Mrs. Davies,” I said. The smile plastered across her face was more disconcerting than the fact that she remembered my name after all this time. “I brought you something.”

Her eyebrows shot up as she took the package and removed the extravagant wrapping. As soon as she read the sign she started chuckling. “I see you aren’t the only one with grammar issues. ‘The early worm get’s the bird,’ indeed. At least you made errors work to your advantage.”

She motioned to her bookshelf. On it sat all twelve of my novels and ticket stubs from both movies.

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LESSON LEARNED

“You’re nothing but a thief, a leach living off people’s dreams,” someone yelled.

Jay froze, hand inches from banging on Mr. Smith’s front door. He’d been thinking those same words as he slogged down the snow-covered driveway. So excited that a publisher wanted his novel, Jay didn’t think twice before shelling out thousands of dollars for editing, cover design, and postage. He even paid for most of the printing. All he had to show for his work and money was the box of overpriced books he bought from the publisher. The novel wasn’t even available on-line.

A second voice squeaked like a rat caught in a trap. “I’ll pay you your royalties. Just let me get my checkbook.”

It seemed Jay wasn’t the only one taken in by Smith Publishing. He peered in through the narrow window next to the door, but all he saw was a pair of shadows on the wall. One of them waved what looked like a weapon, just like the gun weighing down Jay’s pocket. The other held its hands in the air.

“It’s too late, Smith.”

“Please. I’ll give you anything.”

Three shots rang out. The smaller shadow slumped to the ground. Flakes of snow slipped inside Jay’s jacket collar, but he didn’t notice. He wouldn’t be getting any money back after all. Nor did he get to confront Smith himself. At least he had a new novel idea. This time he’d be careful and check the Writers Beware and Predators and Editors websites first.

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BEYOND

Tanya gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles, struggling against the air that seemed to press down on her. Sweat streamed down her back. The erratic thump, thump of her heart drowned out the honking horns behind her. Drivers gestured and screamed for her to move aside. She was holding up the daily commute, one that she hadn’t partaken of since coming to this place with him, asleep, in the dead of night.

There was nothing out there for her, he’d said. No hope, no love, no people. Only he would have her. Confidence slowly eroded, just like the banks of the island. Her world shrunk until all that was left was his will.

This wasn’t the first time she’d hovered at the edge of this bridge, staring as it disappeared into the distance. Each time, fear had held her back, the panic of that big empty expanse of water with only a thin layer of concrete and steel for safety. Fear of how she could survive alone, without him.

Nausea gripped her as she struggled to decide. She’d suffered his poisonous words for years, even the occasional slap, but last night left more than her self-confidence beaten. If it was just her, she’d suffer through, but this wasn’t a life to bring another into.

Movement caught her eye. He was coming, charging down the road, mustache twisted up into small horns. Even at this distance she could see the fury in his expression.

Hands shaking, she slammed the accelerator. The car rocketed into the unknown. Free at last.

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