A.L. Kaplan Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

A.L. Kaplan is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature on Indies Unlimited and a place in their collection of winners which will be published  at year end.


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Win A Copy Of Young Adventurers

Want to win a free copy of the Young Adventurers anthology plus another Intrigue Publishing novel?

Check out the Young Adventurers Facebook page to find out how. Young Adventurers

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Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers Available on Amazon

Young Adventurers

WELCOME TO A WORLD OF ADVENTURE Enter here for cool stories of action, adventure and intrigue, featuring heroes and heroines who prove you don’t have to be a grownup to save the day. Inside you’ll find: A teenage spy trapped on a train with men who want to kill her. A young man earning his pay hunting dragons in a hot air balloon. A girl who talks to wolves in a frightening dystopian future. And Young Jack solves a mystery years before he grows up to be F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack. PLUS 14 more thrilling tales set in the past, the present, the future, and in worlds of fantasy, written by Jeffrey Westhoff, Jeff Ayers, Kevin Lauderdale, Victoria Pitts Caine, Kevin Singer, C.A. Verstraete, David Perlmutter, M.M. rumberg, A. L. Kaplan, Deborah Walker, Anne E. Johnson, Chantal Boudreau, David Turnbull, Milo James Fowler, Jack Mulcahy, Nathan Hystad, and H.L. Pauff.

Order now on Amazon

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook page for contest information.

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Happy Halloween Y’All


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“Check out the weird goop covering all the trees,” said Jimmy. “It looks like Starburst vomit.”

“You’re disgusting,” said Rachel. “It wasn’t here yesterday.”

Jimmy laughed. “Maybe your imaginary space aliens left it last night.”

“The UFO was real.”

“Sure it was.”

“That’s enough,” said Professor Goodwin. He didn’t have the patience for their bickering.

Every shadow in the refuge made his skin prickle, like they were being watched. This place normally teamed with wildlife, but they hadn’t seen a single bird all morning. The rest of the students clustered together as silent as the woods. Only Jimmy and Rachel seemed unaffected.

He studied the vibrant yellow and orange growth coating the tree. “Let me collect a sample then we’ll go back to the classroom.”

“I got it,” said Jimmy, as he yanked a handful of the stuff. A second later he collapsed.

“That hurt,” said a strange warbling voice. “How’d you like your skin pulled off?”

Rachel screamed and pointed at two eyes on what the professor had thought was a tree.

“What…who…?” Professor Goodwin couldn’t seem to put two words together.

The tree like creature poked at Jimmy’s prone form. “Your boy tried to mutilate me.”


“Yes, I’m a plant. You humans are so animal centric. The name is Michelangelo Bernini Trillian.”

The Professor pointed a shaking finger at Jimmy. “Dead?”

“I thought you creatures were supposed to be intelligent. He’s breathing. My natural bio-toxin just knocked him out. Now get out of my sculpture.”

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As Professor Jacob’s wife bit into the last pear in the basket, Michael couldn’t help but grin. It had to be the one he’d poisoned and had delivered anonymously earlier today. All he had to do was wait for her to get sick, then swoop in and save her with the antidote hidden in his ring. Professor Jacob would shower him with praise and get him the internship he wanted. He’d become a hero, the top medical student.

It didn’t take long for a reaction. Mrs. Jacob began to gag. Foam sprayed from her mouth. Michael rushed forward to work his magic. Everything was going according to plan. That is until he reached Mrs. Jacobs. Her petite hand clamped around his wrist. Nothing in her appearance hinted at the strength that now cut off the circulation to his fingers. All signs of illness were gone.

“You tried to poison us.”

Words stuck in his throat.  “What… no… I can help….”

Her lips curled back. Long white fangs lined her mouth and her usually blue eyes turned amber. “Then why was your scent all over the fruit?”

Panic made Michael’s stomach clench. He tried to pull free but couldn’t break her hold. Dozens of amber eyes glared back at him when he looked around the room for help. Fur and sharp teeth were everywhere, along with deep rumbling growls.

“You measured the poison for an adult,” said Professor Jacob. His hands grasped Michael’s shoulders, forcing him to the ground. “Our housekeeper’s daughter was only eight. You’ll pay for her death.”

Music began to blast loud enough to make the champagne glasses shake. No one heard Michael’s screams as the pack took their revenge.

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Jessica watched Chad over her paint smudged canvas as he hiked up the trail to Goat Rock. His muscular thighs pumped up and down with the rhythm of the crashing waves below. Same time, same trail, again. Repetitious behavior was sloppy for someone in their line of work.

Hidden below the half squished tubes of cadmium red and viridian paint, lay her weapon. There was a clean shot, but something held her back. Chad looked more familiar than her month long surveillance allowed. His piercing blue eyes held her gaze. Tightness spread across her gut. Instead she picked up a paintbrush and splattered cobalt blue across the canvas. As fine art it sucked, but she wasn’t that kind of artist.

“Hi, Jessica.”

The tightness grew. Never let a hit get close, ever. It was drilled into her, yet she allowed him to walk up and look at the canvas. Her fingers ached to grab her weapon.

“I thought assassins were supposed to kill people, not art.”

Her mouth felt dry. “What do you want?”

“You always were direct. Do you know why they’re after me?”

“You reneged on a contract, and we’ve never met.”

Chad sighed. “Actually we have. They didn’t name the hit until after I agreed.”

“Not my concern.”

“It should be, little sister.” His hand brushed across her face. The familiar gesture caused images to flash through her mind. “They’ve messed with our memories enough. It’s time to stop playing their games and take back our lives.”

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